2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Dumpster Diving — Second Base, Part Two

espinosa land
Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

We took a look at the young second basemen in the last edition of dumpster diving, so today we will take a look at the veteran version. Of course, veteran is often in the eye of the beholder. In this case, veteran will be defined as someone that has more than a year of experience. Some of those guys are still young, but they have a little more of a track record than the guys we looked at previously. Still, there are some potentially exciting players on the list.

Like with the other guys, we are looking at what they can potentially give us from this point forward. In order to do that, we will look at the plate discipline data and the batted ball statistics so far on the season. The data comes from games as of May 2nd. We might have a little bit of lag time, but batted ball and plate discipline numbers don’t change much over the course of a few days.

Owned%

PA

AVG

HR

Runs

RBI

SB

Danny Espinosa

5

88

.288

3

8

6

3

D.J. Lemahieu

11

95

.291

0

14

10

2

Alberto Callaspo

12

104

.269

3

11

15

0

Danny Espinosa is one of the better stories so far in the early going. He had seemingly lost his job to Anthony Rendon and Rendon had taken the bull by the horns. Then, Ryan Zimmerman ran into some shoulder problems and had to go on the shelf. Rendon switched to third base and Espinosa came back up. While the Nationals are paying Zimmerman a lot of money to play third base, this probably represents their best possible future. Espinosa is a much better defender and third base is Rendon’s natural position. Zimmerman will likely shift to first base.

Callaspo brings versatility to Oakland. He can play third base and second base, so he may not have one pure position, but he will play enough of both to have a full time allotment of at bats. While his numbers above don’t look impressive, he also had more walks (11 through May 2nd) than any of the other five second baseman up to that point. LeMahieu is a little more shaky in his future, but he seems to be holding things down for right now.

BABIP

SO%

BB%

Oswing

Contact

Danny Espinosa

.345

22.7

4.5

36.3

71.5

D.J. LeMahieu

.347

15.8

8.4

29.5

84.8

Alberto Callaspo

.282

11.5

10.6

16.5

90.0

 

You don’t see numbers like those for Callaspo very often. In particular, the swing rate on balls outside the zone is astronomically low and the contact rate is astronomically high. Throw in the high walk rate and you have the one of the better disciplined hitters in all of baseball. Based on these numbers alone, he can be a pretty good supplemental player on your roster. LeMahieu is the marriage between Callaspo and Espinosa. His numbers virtually represent the league average across the board.

Espinosa is demonstrating why he was sent down to the minors. He is a superior defender and offers an exciting power/speed combination, but he also struggles with plate discipline as he swings at far too many pitches outside the zone. If he could swing at fewer pitches, he could lift his walk rate a little and become the exciting young player than the Nationals thought they had a few years ago when he first came up.

ISO

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB

Danny Espinosa

.200

18.9

41.5

39.6

14.3

D.J. Lemahieu

.047

25.0

55.6

19.4

0.0

Alberto Callaspo

.140

22.2

38.3

39.5

9.4

 

One almost imagines D.J. Lemahieu in the Willie Mays Hayes role when he first got called up to the big leagues. Somewhere in Arizona, Lou Brown was telling him to do 20 push ups every time he hit the ball in the air. The lessons stuck because you won’t see a fly ball rate that low anywhere else. Funny, but he is doing this in Colorado where it pays to hit the ball air more than any other locale. Still, with an isolated power rate that low, he is not really a viable alternative at this point.

That leaves Callaspo and Espinosa as viable alternatives. From here, it depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a potential regular, then you should probably roll the dice and go with Espinosa. He has more power and more speed than Callaspo, so he will be more likely to go off. If you are looking for a bench presence then Callaspo is a better bet. He can play multiple positions and will give you good on base numbers while you wait for your regular to get healthy.

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Daily Fix Podcast: May 6, 2014

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: The Farm Report, May 6

1 Comment

  1. John
    May 6, 2014 at 10:55 am — Reply

    Where would Infante shake out on this list?

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