Rapin's Rankings - Second Base: Youth Be Served!
Second base doesn't appear to be as deep as it has been in previous years. However, there is a ton of youth at the position and it could be absolutely loaded in years to come. Young potential studs like Ozzie Albies, Gleyber Torres, Yoan Moncada, Garrett Hampson, Lourdes Gurriel, Nick Senzel, and Luis Urias have me very excited for the future.
As far as overall strategy of this position, my goal is to attack Tier Two. That tier has a nice balance of younger players, let for the most part proven talent, that doesn't have as many question marks as the players in the tiers below. Second base isn't necessarily a position I plan on waiting until the later rounds to fill in 2019.
Let me know your thoughts and give me a holler on Twitter @fantasygeek37. I would love to hear your thoughts on second base.
1. Jose Altuve, Astros
2. Javier Baez, Cubs
3. Whit Merrifield, Royals
- In October, Jose Altuve had surgery to repair an avulsion fracture in his right knee. In the first half of 2018, Altuve hit .332 with 14 stolen bases. In the second half, he hit .276 with only three steals. If you think his poor second half was due to the knee injury, then it wouldn't be a stretch to see him return to his 2017 form in 2019 if healthy.
- Plate discipline isn't a strength of Javier Baez as he finished 19th in walk rate (4.5%) among qualified second baseman last year. Take that into account in on-base percentage leagues.
- In 2017, Whit Merrifield had a batting average of .288 with a .308 BABIP. In 2018, his batting average was .304 with a whopping .352 BABIP. I don't see Merrifield repeating his plus .300 batting average from last season.
4. Ozzie Albies, Braves
5. Gleyber Torres, Yankees
6. Travis Shaw, Brewers
7. Jonathan Villar, Orioles
8. Daniel Murphy, Rockies
9. Scooter Gennett, Reds
- In the first half of 2018, Ozzie Albies hit .281 with 20 home runs and nine stolen bases. In the second half, he hit .226 with four home runs and five stolen bases.
- Gleyber Torres' season was also a tale of two halves. In the first half, he hit .294 with 15 homers and in the second half, he hit .249 with nine home runs.
- Travis Shaw's career BABIP is .286. Last season his BABIP was .242 which led to a .241 batting average. In his three season in the Majors prior to last year, his BABIP was .304, .299, .312. I expect his batting average to rebound in 2019.
10. Brian Dozier, Nationals
11. Rougned Odor, Rangers
12. Robinson Cano, Mets
13. Yoan Moncada, White Sox
14. Garrett Hampson, Rockies
- Brian Dozier has had double digit steals for six straight seasons.
- Last season, Robinson Cano finished sixth in average exit velocity (113.4) per Baseball Savant.
- Throughout his three year career in the Minors and Majors, Garrett Hampson has averaged over 41 steals per season.
15. Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
16. Dee Gordon, Mariners
17. Jonathon Schoop, Twins
18. Cesar Hernadez, Phillies
19. Nick Senzel, Reds
20. Marwin Gonzalez, Twins
- Both Ketel Marte and Nick Senzel are expected to be moved to the outfield this season, thus giving them both infield and outfield eligibility.
- Dee Gordon has never hit more than four home runs in any season in the Majors.
- In 2018, Jonathan Schoop played in Baltimore and Milwaukee. Per ESPN Ball Park Factors, Oriole Park at Camden Yards was 9th in Major League Baseball and Miller Park was 10th in Home Run Factor. This year he will be playing at Target Field, which is 20th in Home Run Factor.
- Last season, Cesar Hernandez led all qualified second baseman in walk rate (13.4%). Hernandez hit leadoff for the Phillies in 144 games last year, but with the additions of Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, and JT Realmuto, Roster Resource now is projecting him moving to eighth in the lineup.
21. Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Blue Jays
22. Luis Urias, Padres
23. Adrubal Cabrera, Rangers
24. Joey Wendle, Rays
25. Jed Lowrie, Mets
- In 2018, Lourdes Gurriel Jr played 44 games at shortstop and 23 games at second base.
- Per MLB.com, Luis Urias is the number two overall prospect at the second base position.
- Among qualified second baseman in 2018, Joey Wendle finished sixth in OBP (.354) and Jed Lowrie finished seventh (.353).