Examining keystoners who see their values rise and fall in OBP and points formats.
Well, that was fast. A week after surveying the view from the mountaintop while discussing the wonder and might of the first basemen in your league, we trudge back down into the valley where we started in our look at catchers two weeks ago. Second baseman actually had something of a renaissance last year, running up an extra 27 collective points of slugging relative to 2014, while also getting on base at a marginally better clip and hitting a somewhat staggering 93 more homers. Still, those rates and totals were good for just fourth, fourth, and fifth, respectively, among the six positional groupings. Keystoners were more valuable contributors, in other words, but in most cases they still weren’t going to be mistaken for the straws stirring your lineup’s drink.
In this neck-and-neck fantasy showdown, context determines the winner.
The BP fantasy team is on to second-base week, and with that comes another Tale of the Tape. In the last two weeks, we’ve seen Jonathan Lucroy edge out Travis D’Arnaud behind the plate, and Jose Abreu overtaking Edwin Encarnacion in a close battle at first base. In this edition, we have a couple of AL Central foes taking each other on at the keystone position. They both find themselves in the four-star tier on the positional rankings, and have been mainstays at the position over the last couple of years. It’s Jason Kipnis vs. Ian Kinsler.
An overview of the fantasy offerings at the keystone.
Over the past half-decade, the second-base position has lost its offensive potency. It has become a premium fantasy position, in many ways, as top-tier options seemingly have gotten an extra ADP boost in recent years due to the dearth of intriguing players at the third and fourth level.
The Outcomes stack up the keystone for Scoresheet leagues.
This week we tackle second basemen from a Scoresheet perspective. As a reminder, our rankings are based on a continuing 10-team, 13 hard keeper league with two crossovers. If you are in an NL league, you might want to keep some bleach on hand to spritz in your eyes after reading this list, because it gets very ugly very quickly. The junior circuit is a little better, but there's still a pretty significant drop after the first half-dozen players. Tune in to the podcast for a more in depth discussion, but if you don't have one of the few stud (or stud-ish)second basemen, there might be some merit to the strategy of aggressively cutting your 2Bs and using your keeper slots elsewhere, since so few of the players seem to have upside, and the ones that do can likely be taken a few rounds into the draft.
A closer look at the keystone options in the senior circuit.
We have explored the catching and first base landscapes in the National League the past two weeks, and this week we will take a deeper look at the state of the second base position.
If you are searching for power sources, you may struggle finding them from this player pool. Only two members of the current pool of second basemen hit more than 12 homers last season, as Neil Walker and Anthony Rendon led the field with 23 and 21 long flies, respectively. You will also not find a surplus of speed from this position, as only Dee Gordon (64 steals) and Kolten Wong (20 steals) cracked 20 swipes a season ago. While there are very few fantasy stars, there are several second- and middle-tier options at second base that may not produce jaw-dropping stats, but have shown consistency in recent years delivering production across multiple categories, which makes them quite valuable. As J.P. Breen wrote in his State of the Position article on Monday, the landscape of the second-base position is subtly changing but very deep, and this holds true in the NL.
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.
You know the drill by now. Two names that land back-to-back on Bret’s dynasty list for the position get thrown under the microscope—this time from a dynasty perspective. Today we’ll entertain quasi-starting options Marcus Semien and Nick Franklin. It’s worth noting that Semien will pick up shortstop eligibility relatively quickly, but for now he’s a second-sacker.