Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Second Base
The calendar has flipped to March and spring training is underway, so you know what that means -- it's draft season.
Season-long fantasy baseball Twitter is abuzz with nightly draft boards and threads, and perhaps you've already gotten in on the action or have a draft right around the corner.
I'll be posting positional rankings for 12-team, standard-scoring roto leagues throughout the week, with brief notes highlighting notable players and situations. These are by no means strict and rigid rankings, as roster construction should play a big role in who you draft, so I've also included tiers to show which players have comparable values.
You'll notice that the list begins with tier two, and that's to reflect the lack of elite talent at second base and allow you to better compare these tiers to other positions. No second baseman is typically being drafted in the first two rounds, but I give Ozzie Albies the nod for the top spot due to his all-around contributions across all five scoring categories.
In tier three, I tend to prefer Max Muncy and Mike Moustakas for their pop, and Moustakas is being underrated at an ADP around 120. But depending on roster construction, Ketel Marte, Jose Altuve, and Jeff McNeil all have value as potential boosts to your batting average, while Tommy Edman is a versatile jack-of-all-trades who qualifies at multiple positions. Dylan Moore has a wide range of outcomes, making him easily the riskiest of this group.
I brought up Altuve specifically in a recent roundtable with some of my colleagues about bounce-back hitters, and they expressed concerns with Altuve's upside. It's worth noting that Altuve's 2020 wasn't that bad if you include his hot postseason play -- which is relevant in such a short season -- and public projections on FanGraphs collectively buy into solid returns in power, speed, and average.
Obviously, none of that is guaranteed -- particularly with the deadened ball and Altuve's downward trend in stolen bases -- but if everything clicks again, he could be quite valuable as a top-100 pick. For what it's worth, Altuve's sprint speed has remained pretty consistent throughout the Statcast era (2015-present), so he hasn't lost a step at least.
Andres Gimenez is kind of in no man's land on this list as a risk-reward pick going slightly ahead of the guys in tier five. He's still fighting for a starting job, but there's ample upside if you're hoping for a leg up in stolen bases. To give some perspective, Steamer 600 -- projections that assume 600 plate appearances for all hitters -- grants Gimenez 14 home runs and 26 stolen bases. Obviously, we're not expecting that kind of workload even if he earns a starting role, but it shows why drafters are rolling the dice at pick 160.
I wouldn't worry too much about the order of tier five -- it's more about what you're looking for in this range, with a mix of solid regulars, super-utility types, and late-round speedsters.
At an ADP bordering on 250, Kolten Wong is one of the better value targets as the assumed leadoff hitter for the Brewers. Former top prospect Gavin Lux is worth stashing in case he wins a regular role for the Dodgers. The Rockies annually disappoint us with how they utilize their young players, but Garrett Hampson is an option to start in center field, which could maybe (finally?) open the door for him to steal a boatload of bases.