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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.

American League Keepers

1. Robinson Cano (Overall Ranking: 1)

Cano is still the no. 1 at the position, but like your Orleans record, it may be time to head to the shop to see what else is out there. He's not leaving Seattle, his power is on the wane, and you're likely to get a haul from another team in your league, as he remains an upgrade at the position. We'd suggest exploring trading down here and see what else you can get elsewhere.

2. Dustin Pedroia (4)
3. Ben Zobrist (5)
4. Jose Altuve (6)

It's undoubtedly a surprise to see Altuve landing on this list behind people who remember Michael Jordan as a Bull, but for those who haven't already done a deep dive, remember three things. 1) 2014, while not impossible to repeat, was Altuve at the top of his game; 2) he lacks secondary skills to make up for the inevitable decline in batting luck, and 3) defense counts, and Scoresheet defense counts the most. Pedroia, for example, has about .20 points of defensive rating on Altuve, a difference massive enough to make up for most of the age gap.

5. Jason Kipnis (7)
6. Ian Kinsler (8)

Kinsler is likely a little lower on our rankings than elsewhere, but everything from Pedroia on is relatively close. There's a tier drop after this point, so you should decide whether you want to spend enough to end up at the top half of this position or not.

7. Rougned Odor (9)

That was a rough year on multiple levels for Scoresheet owners, who are now on the hook for burning multiple protection slots while waiting for Odor to return value. This ranking assumes that he will eventually do so; he still has a number of pathways to future success.

8. Brian Dozier (10)

Dozier seems like an excellent player to target in trade. While he isn't pushing your team forward at the position, he's close enough to an average Scoresheet starter at the position to trade your… well, we suggested Robinson Cano up there, didn't we?

9. Jurickson Profar (12)

We're skeptics, but generally believe that he'll still be a good enough player in his prime to suffer through 2015. It would be hard to imagine trading him for the kind of player you'd like to see come back in return.

10. Marcus Semien (16)

He should qualify at shortstop in relatively short order, but he won't be listed there at first. Certainly he's a borderline protect candidate, but his youth, versatility, and ability to draw a walk leave him on the right side of the line for us.

Below the Keeper Line

We see the appeal of keeping Nick Franklin, but he has little chance of being a player who pushes you towards a championship in 2015 or 2016. Asdrubal Cabrera now qualifies at 2B, but falls out of the keeper rankings on merit. Jonathan Schoop either stopped hitting in the majors, or he was never able to hit in the first place, either way, you don't need to keep him until he figures it out.

National League Keepers

1. Anthony Rendon (Overall Ranking: 2)
2. Neil Walker (3)

We're on the record as relative fans of Neil Walker, as his mid-career cromulence allows him to straddle the Allegheny as the Colossus would over most of the second-base crop behind him.

3. Javier Baez (10)

Not the kind of player who you'd want to see third in any keeper ranking, even one restricted to Cubs. We thought the power would play quickly enough to make him worth starting, even with his strikeout rates. Oops. It can still happen, but you'll likely have to sit through a depressing year or two of poor play and blown keeper picks instead. Buckle up, as the destination should still be worth it.

4. Howie Kendrick (13)

He's fine. This is probably the lower end of his potential rankings, but he's really not great at enough Scoresheet things to stand out as a pick. We've seen the National League rankings, so he's better than your second baseman, but don't fry your laptop trying to trade up for him in the 14th round.

5. Martin Prado (14)
6. Brandon Phillips (15)

The defensive rankings should keep Phillips as a Scoresheet asset for a long time, even if they're no longer fully reflecting reality.

7. Chase Utley (17)

One of us suggested that he could potentially be below the cut line. He's solidly a keeper in our final rankings, but there's more downside here than the name recognition would indicate.

8. Daniel Murphy (18)
9. Arismendy Alcantara (19)

It would have been much more comfortable a conversation if he hadn't blown his rookie eligibility. We think there's enough talent here to make the keeper investment, but wouldn't argue with anyone who's gun shy. He should at least be a versatile Player-AAA resistance force in 2015.

10. Scooter Gennett (20)

We don't think he's the player he appeared to be in 2014, or in 2013, for that matter. A right-handed version of Scooter doesn't make the rankings, but as a lefty, he should be able to offer just enough value on the strong side of a platoon.

11. Kolten Wong (21)

See what we said about Gennett earlier. We really don't feel comfortable with protecting the 10th best second baseman in the less talented league, but he probably has just enough youth and just enough skill to not be a total black hole for most teams. We certainly wouldn't blame any player who prefers using the roster spot elsewhere or even trading the slot.

Below the Keeper Line

Jedd Gyorko is that right-handed player we've been warning you about this whole time. Did you see that twist coming? As with most people around these parts, we would rather play Deee-Lite than Dee Gordon (in fairness, we'd rather play Deee-Lite than most other things). Please thank Joe Panik for services rendered.

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Getting a server error when trying to download podcasts
Hi there! Word from the Official Smart People is that this has been fixed. If you've been experiencing this problem with any BP podcasts this morning, give it another try.
Wait a minute "softball walkup music?"
You guys can always refer to me as a "friend of the broadcast"!
You know, like a bad reality show contestant, we weren't here to make friends. This is going to ruin our rep. Thanks, and it would be fun to know the other side of that deal!
Lemme explain. No. There is too much. Lemme sum up.

More on the deal with Grant involving Ellsbury. I consider my team a contender (if Doolittle doesn't give up 5 ER in 0.1 IP on 21 September, my playoffs likely would have gone better) and I had 19 guys who I deemed to be defensibly protectable. For some, you have to squint a bit (AJax, Paxton, Brad Miller, Verlander, Derek Norris as a xo, RP Doolittle, who has since injured himself off the bubble), but I had too many guys to protect and I am/was looking for extra protect slots. Grant had a slot to deal and was looking for Ellsbury. For me the deal was Ellsbury and a late draft pick for my 14th guy and the Round 16. I did not want to give up Ellsbury but I was trying to get some value for the many guys who I could not protect.
The other part of the equation is that I have a mature core -- Price, Lester, Cobb, Quintana, Verlander?, Pedroia, Donaldson, Hanley, Bautista -- so I am in "win now" mode. What do those four hitters have in common? RHB. So I was trying to get Ortiz thrown into the deal for some lineup balance (I also have Calhoun and Arcia, but they come with question marks still). Plus, I'm a Sox fan. Grant, however, required me to send Stroman as part of the Ortiz deal. So while I'm a big Ortiz fan, I could not pull the trigger on 1-2 years of declining Big Papi for…well, whatever it is that Stroman is going to bring to the table for the coming years.
I have since moved Odorizzi for an 18 and Paxton for another 18. Doolittle has the shoulder thing going, so that helps me make a decision. I guess I now have three protect slots into which to fit Verlander, Norris/Jaso/Pinto, Miller, and AJax. Not sure what to make of Verlander anymore, but I don't want to look foolish either.
I traded Chris Carter for Verlander, Greg, in one of my leagues. No controversay there, but, I have to drop five of Tillman, Kazmir, Hughes, Porcello, Pomeranz, Greg Holland, Andrew Miller, and Jurickson Profar in order to keep him.

It is a most frustraing league. Before I got around to seeing how to sell off my excess talent, one obviously slick talking manager named Eric traded highly questionable cross-over Trumbo for a PROTECTION SLOT AND AN R28, and Cliff Lee. Then with another manager he upgraded from Kinsler to CANO, from Choo to BRANTLEY, from ostensibly from Carlos Santana to Kyle Saeger, and from his likely weak R40 to other manager's likely great R40, plus two other pick upgrades all for a protection slot, Jose Quintana, a couple of B prospects (Hunter Dozier and Delino DeShields), and some very questionable protects: David Robertson (maybe), Jake Petricka (huh?), and Michael Tayler (obviously an extremely deluded White Sox fan).

Now, I can't find a taker for my 14th - 19th guys. . . not a lowly pick. Two managers won't even answer my e-mails and my 18th guy would be in their top 5.

Sorry. We can vent here, right?
I'll be interested to see where A-Cab fits in with the SS
group but maybe I overrate the multi position guys.
So long as you guys don't reveal the basis on which you're making your judgments of value, I'm not only not biting, I'm annoyed. Because the scoresheet SIM is a limited replication of baseball realities, I'm a lot less interested in subjective opinion about player value than I would be if this was fantasy. You guys need to explain why you think what you do, because I've got guys in my leagues who can and do explain their judgments.
This is a fair cop, but these articles just probably aren't going to be for you in that case. Sorry. I don't personally love player ranking articles, and for much the same reason. Our rankings are derived from projection, adjusted for roles and the wisdom of crowds of the annual Mock Draft, and yes, some subjective assessment is involved. The articles also complement our weekly podcast, where we spend significant time explaining our rankings in detail, but I'm certainly not going to demand that you spend another hour a week listening to us if you're already unhappy.

For your tastes, I would instead recommend using SS/SIM once it's released, which provide an objective assessment of Scoresheet value using PECOTA forecasts adjusted for defense, error rating, and other metrics. You'll also find it once you load your team into the team tracker. The good news is that BP has the best Scoresheet coverage on the market, even if you never bother with our articles. Good luck!