CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Second Ba... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (01/23)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (02/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Orioles... (01/30)

January 30, 2014

Dynasty League Positional Rankings

Top 50 Second Basemen

by Bret Sayre

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

To read previous articles in this series, click here:

The Primer:
Because dynasty league rankings are relatively league dependent, I set up parameters for ranking the players below (and the ones who will follow at other positions). The list here presupposes a 16-team standard dynasty format, where there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever and owners have minor league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2014 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or only formats.

Second base is a position that is on the move—especially this season. You’ll notice that four of the top ten names on this list were ranked at different positions only twelve months ago. The problem is that we don’t know who is going to maintain that eligibility and for how long. It’s been talked a lot this week about how the position is lacking in the star department, and it’s going to have to rely on this infusion of talent to stick if that’s going to change. There are not a lot of second base prospects in the minors who project as fantasy useful players, let alone stars. As is somewhat common, the position is going to have to continue to rely upon movement from elsewhere on the diamond, or else it’s going to be stuck with this glut of decent options for years to come.

And now, your top 50 second basemen in dynasty formats:

[Obligatory Jay Z reference]. Cano may see his stock slipping in some peoples’ eyes, but he’s still a top-12-overall player in dynasty formats and he’s going to be valuable for a long time. Not even Safeco can contain his ability to hit. There’s certainly risk long-term of him moving off the position, but I think he’s pretty safe for the next three to four years. [Obligatory second Jay Z reference].

And here’s where things start to get interesting. I’m still not 100 percent comfortable with Kipnis’ performance, but his combination of age and success the past two seasons gets him the two-spot here. Profar over Pedroia may raise some eyebrows, but he’s nine and a half years his younger and I think by 2016, he’ll be outperforming him on a yearly basis. Plus, Profar will be playing now, so this isn’t a situation where you’ll have to wait for him to put up stats—even though you will probably have to wait for him to put up elite stats. Don’t let prospect fatigue diminish the star that Profar is. He will one day rule this position.

Another player who seems to be getting lost in the post-prospect shuffle is Rendon, who at one time was a no doubt offensive star at Rice. His star has faded slightly due to continued injury issues and a relatively pedestrian rookie season, but stick with him. He will lead you someplace special, even if he ends up back at third base (where he’s likely to be after 2014).

There really is not a whole lot separating these next five guys in my book. Kinsler should see his value hold tight in Detroit—he won’t steal many bases, but we shouldn’t have expected more than 15 from him in Texas anyway. Carpenter will take a step back, but how much? And with a very good chance he loses his eligibility after this season, he gets docked again. Gyorko may have topped out with his power in 2013, but there’s room to grow in average—don’t be surprised to see him in the .270-.280 range as soon as 2014. Hill and Zobrist are both going to start the 2014 season at age-32 and things can get go downhill fast as keystone strongholds approach their mid-30s.

The same disclaimer for this group of five as the previous one. Murphy was great last year, but that may have been his career year from a fantasy value standpoint. Utley was great last year, but he’s not getting any younger or healthier. Altuve is going to see his steals start to decline soon, and when that happens, he won’t be able to offset it with a ton of value elsewhere. Walker and Prado are good options and should have the same expectations over the next couple of seasons (solid average, counting stats, 15-homer pop, and a sprinkle of steals).

Both Wong and Franklin are promising young hitters who are facing opposite situations this year. The Cardinals moved David Freese to clear space for Wong, while the Mariners purchased a superstar at Franklin’s position leaving him no place to play at the moment. Franklin has more upside in the long run, but the current opportunity sparks Wong’s edge here. If Franklin were to be traded tomorrow to a team that were going to give him a starting job, I’d bump him up into the Murphy/Utley/Altuve range.

I keep going back and forth on Alcantara versus Odor. It’s extremely close no matter how you slice it, but for today, the Cubs’ middle infielder gets the edge. The route to playing time is easier to visualize and he has the better skill to fall back on for value (steals). They’re both worth investing in, so don’t let that detract you from Odor at all—it’s much more of a pro-Alcantara argument. If you know what you’re going to get from Guerrero, you’re either insane or you’ve learned how to time travel. If you’ve learned how to time travel, I have so many other questions more important than what the Cuban import is going to do at the plate. Rosario has the suspension looming and is not a lock to stay at second, but he can hit and won’t need that much more time in the minors.

I ended the last episode of Flags Fly Forever with a public service announcement that I wasn’t ready to bail on Dustin Ackley. This is just an affirmation of that moment of weakness. Or does that make it two moments of weakness?

The last of the interesting tiers, this one is a real hodgepodge in terms of what kinds of players these are. Dozier has the power/speed combo, but is unlikely to hit for much average. Betts has some sexy numbers in the minors, but I’m not totally buying in yet—another year and he could be 15 spots higher on this list. Infante is a rich man’s Marco Scutaro. Schoop could have 20-homer pop at a position severely lacking in power, but it’s not a lock by any means.

These two are like the ghosts of second basemen past. Except they’re still alive. Sort of.

This is when the crop of second basemen get really, really boring. Lindsey, LaStella, Herrera, and Gennett could all be starters, but they’re not going to provide a ton of fantasy value. Callaspo and LeMahieu may be starters now, but they’re not going to provide much fantasy value either.

Some of you may have been wondering why you hadn’t seen Josh Rutledge yet. Well, here he is. I’ve been a long-time non-believer in Rutledge and I continue to not see him as a viable major-league hitter. I know he plays at Coors, but he’s still Josh Rutledge. If I’m gambling on a player who has had some success at the major league level but likely won’t have a job to start the season, I’m rolling the dice on Danny Espinosa. We know he can’t hit for average, but the power and speed is real and an Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, or Adam LaRoche injury would get him playing time (and frankly, neither of those things would be a surprise)—plus, he could win that job back once Rendon moves to third or get traded.

And the dregs of the position. At best, some of these guys could play and be OK. Maybe Beckham rediscovers some of his past magic. Maybe Roberts can stay healthy for 50 games or so. Maybe Giavotella can… ah, forget it.

Bret Sayre is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Bret's other articles. You can contact Bret by clicking here

14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

bhacking

It's a good list when I'm discussing a guy in the 40's, but I'd take Ryan Goins over the last 6 guys on the list. Unless the Jays sign Drew he'll be the starting 2B. Of course he hasn't hit at any level so there is no reason to expect him to contribute much.

Jan 30, 2014 05:15 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

In an AL-only format, sure. I'd be relatively surprised if he was ever a positive contributor in mixed leagues.

Jan 30, 2014 07:34 AM
 
mgolden

No. 35, Emilio Bonifacio, please check team.

Jan 30, 2014 07:27 AM
rating: 4
 
smcfee

Hold that thought a few more days :)

Feb 03, 2014 18:38 PM
rating: 0
 
bulls2327

Altuve to see his steals start to decline soon? He's 23, how soon is soon? 8 years? I definitley question this ranking!

Jan 30, 2014 07:59 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

He's not a burner, so he may decline faster than people think as he gets less agile. I think he's under 20 steals within the next 2-3 seasons.

Jan 30, 2014 10:00 AM
 
alvinfan

I don't exactly question it.

He gives you an empty average and steals, and those aren't too likely to increase any.

Jan 30, 2014 10:50 AM
rating: 0
 
alvinfan

Also, this hilariously clashes with another BP contributor's ranking of Altuve.

Jan 30, 2014 10:51 AM
rating: 0
 
Jake V

Any chance Vince Belnome can play 2nd base in the majors?

Jan 30, 2014 10:37 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

Probably not. He might have made the list if it went to 60, but maybe he hits for a little average and not much else? That's not very exciting.

Jan 30, 2014 18:04 PM
 
mc7788

I believe in Rendon and like his ranking as the 5th best player on this list. However - shouldn't he be ranked much lower as a dynasty league second baseman if you believe he will lose his eligibility in a year? I just bring this up because I recall players getting docked in the catcher rankings because the author believed they would lose their catcher eligibility.

Jan 30, 2014 11:15 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Bret Sayre
BP staff

Eligibility from catcher to any other position is a much more significant drop than any other diamond move. He'll lose a touch of value, but 3B isn't exactly a bastion of fantasy goodness right now either.

Jan 30, 2014 18:03 PM
 
huztlers

I don't like him as a good option at 2B let alone 3B. Even if he had a better non-unclassman-college track record, there would still be the health issues.

Jan 30, 2014 20:05 PM
rating: -1
 
wonkothesane1

Heh, my dynasty team has 5 of these guys. None all that great. Kendrick, Callaspo, Lindsay, Brett and Forsythe. I also have Sogard, but I guess he's either listed at another position or isn't even in the dregs. Cory Spangenberg is obviously outside the top 50.

Jan 30, 2014 13:39 PM
rating: -1
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Second Ba... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (01/23)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (02/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Orioles... (01/30)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Avoid: Starting Pitchers
Fantasy Infographic: Starting Pitchers
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 175 ...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Diamondbacks Third Baseman is...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Bad Bullpen Teams ...
Prospectus Feature: A.J. Preller's Offseason...
Premium Article Raising Aces: The Eyes of March

MORE FROM JANUARY 30, 2014
The Lineup Card: Nine Moves that Teams Still...
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Positional Preview: High...
Premium Article Skewed Left: Saying Goodbye to Lance Berkman
Premium Article An Agent's Take: Navigating Free Agency
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Orioles Adding Arms?
Fantasy Article Get to Know: Second Base Prospects
Fantasy Article Tale of the Tape: Jurickson Profar vs. Antho...

MORE BY BRET SAYRE
2014-02-03 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Ain't Nothin' But Hamm...
2014-02-03 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Cincinnati Reds
2014-01-31 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep 4: My A** i...
2014-01-30 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 S...
2014-01-28 - BP Experts Prospect Mock Draft: Rounds 3-4
2014-01-28 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Episode 4
2014-01-24 - TINO (There Is No Offseason): Ep. 3: There A...
More...

MORE DYNASTY LEAGUE POSITIONAL RANKINGS
2014-02-20 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 120 ...
2014-02-14 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 T...
2014-02-06 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 S...
2014-01-30 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 S...
2014-01-23 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 F...
2014-01-17 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 C...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-03-06 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 75 R...
2014-02-27 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 175 ...
2014-02-20 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 120 ...
2014-02-14 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 T...
2014-02-06 - Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 S...