2015 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2015 Fantasy Baseball: It’s Never Too Early — Second Basemen

baez land
Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

In the last edition, a reader wrote in and asked about Buster Posey’s ranking among first basemen. As it turns out, a number of players are eligible at multiple positions. Choosing which position to list them at can be a tricky proposition. Most of the time they are listed where they will play most of their games, but occasionally we list them where they will do the most damage. Posey lists as a catcher on both counts, but it is instructive to check the rules of your league because it could dramatically impact a player’s overall rating.

At second base, we have a few of those guys on the board with the same issue. Anthony Rendon is probably the biggest name on the second base board, but he will likely play mostly at third this season. Asdrubal Cabrera and Ben Zobrist are both Tampa Bay Rays as of this writing, but Zobrist likely will be dealt somewhere before the start of the season. Cabrera is eligible at second and short while Zobrist is eligible at second, short, and in the outfield. We’ve chosen second base for both of them.

ESPN(P)

ESPN(O)

Expert(P)

Expert(O)

DIFF(P)

DIFF(O)

Robinson Cano

1

14

3

16

-2

-2

Jose Altuve

2

18

2

15

0

+3

Anthony Rendon

3

21

1

10

+2

+11

Ian Kinsler

4

54

5

61

-1

-7

Jason Kipnis

5

60

4

35

+1

+25

Brian Dozier

6

80

7

89

-1

-9

Dustin Pedroia

7

83

9

101

-2

-18

Dee Gordon

8

91

6

67

+2

+24

Kolten Wong

9

104

8

99

+1

+5

Daniel Murphy

10

127

11

119

-1

+8

Javier Baez

11

135

13

166

-2

-31

Chase Utley

12

136

12

138

0

-2

Asdrubal Cabrera

13

155

18

220

-5

-65

Neil Walker

14

160

10

102

+4

+58

Howie Kendrick

15

170

14

170

+1

0

Jedd Gyorko

16

184

16

204

0

-20

Ben Zobrist

17

200

15

173

+2

+27

Rougned Odor

18

218

19

233

-1

-15

Scooter Gennett

19

244

-4

-20

Aaron Hill

20

21

254

-1

-9

Jonathan Schoop

21

20

240

+1

+5

Joe Panik

28

17

216

+11

+41

Brandon Phillips

29

22

260

+7

+40

italics= estimate

Biggest Risers

Joe Panik— San Francisco Giants

Position Rise: +11

Overall Rise: +41 (estimate)

You will undoubtedly recognize the gap between Jonathan Schoop and Joe Panik. There are six players there that the experts skipped over to pick Joe Panik and Brandon Phillips. Phillips makes a good deal of sense based on past performance, but Panik is straight out of left field. His .343 BABIP makes his .305 average a little suspect from a year ago. This is one of those picks that will either end up looking stupid or clairvoyant. I suppose when you are picking this late it might be worth the risk.

Brandon Phillips— Cincinnati Reds

Position Rise: +7

Overall Rise: +40 (estimate)

This almost makes a great deal of sense. He was picked at the 22nd second baseman in the expert draft. He averaged more than 80 RBIs before last season and hit 18 home runs four seasons in a row before last season. So, you can see the wheels spinning. Why not add Phillips as a backup and he just might have a bounce back season. In the abstract the logic makes all the sense in the world. The problem is that there have been signs of decay for years now. Even healthy I’m not sure Phillips will ever go back to those numbers again.

Neil Walker— Pittsburgh Pirates

Position Rise: +4

Overall Rise: +58

Here is an instance where the experts in the expert draft paid a little more attention than the experts at ESPN who made the preseason rankings. The rankings at ESPN were probably done on a multiple season average whereas the experts are looking at a player on the upswing. Walker has always had it in him, but seems to miss between 20 and 30 games a season with nagging injuries. If he could ever play 150 or more games he will easily be a top ten fantasy second basemen.

Biggest Sliders

Asdrubal Cabrera— Tampa Bay Rays

Position Slide: -5

Overall Slide: -65

Given the recent returns and circumstances this makes a ton of sense. The Rays now have three middle infielders that can all play shortstop and second base. Ben Zobrist can also play left field and right field, so there is a chance all three can stay. If that happens you have to know that the playing time will be somewhat limited for someone. My bet is that Cabrera would see his time get cut. My gut tells me that Zobrist will be traded to a team needing a second baseman, but I’ve been wrong before.

Scooter Gennett— Milwaukee Brewers

Position Slide: -4

Overall Slide: -20 (estimate)

There are players that fill up the stat sheet. They may not be the best players in the world according to advanced metrics, but somehow they wind up with all of the requisite fantasy numbers. Gennett might be the anti-filler. According to advanced metrics he’s a pretty darn good player, but he doesn’t hit home runs or steal bases. So, unless he hits for an obscenely high average, his value is going to be limited. He went undrafted in the experts league and could possibly go undrafted in your league as well.

Javier Baez— Chicago Cubs

Position Slide: -2

Overall Slide: -31

Perhaps it is better to look at the minor league numbers to see what is in store for Baez. He’s hit 76 minor league home runs in three full seasons. For the math impaired, that is an average of 25 a season. He’s averaged 20 stolen bases a season as well. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he has also averaged about 115 strikeouts a season as well. Mind you that is in only 314 games between 2012 and 2014. That’s 346 strikeouts in 314 games. He had only 88 walks in the same amount of time. I’m guessing contact may be an issue.

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3 Comments

  1. AJ
    January 7, 2015 at 10:58 am — Reply

    After a year in which I held onto Alex Guerrero with fingers crossed, paid way too much for Chase Utley, repeatedly benched and “gave another chance” to Matt Carpenter and picked up a variety of below average guys for sometimes only a week at a time… I finally went out and traded Ellsbury and a 4th round draft pick (180+ players are kept each year, so a 4th isn’t all that valuable) for Robinson Cano. Did my frustration of cycling in anyone and everyone last year cause me to overpay for Robbie, or does it seem reasonable? I have Joc P in my minors, but the move does leave me without much speed and with Stanton as my only OF pre-draft. I also don’t have a pick until the 3rd round, after dealing away half my draft and a bevy of players to acquire Miggy Cabrera. But I’m left with a core of Stanton, Miggy, Cano, Votto, Machado & Mesoraco to carry me into 2015. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks

  2. January 8, 2015 at 7:03 pm — Reply

    Interesting dilemma. I like your core, but worry about Cabrera’s long-term future as a stud. There is always good depth in the outfield and on the mound, so you might focus on SS early on unless you have someone you didn’t tell me about. As always, thanks for reading.

  3. Eric
    March 10, 2015 at 7:32 am — Reply

    Is it worth picking Gordon over Pedroia. My league gives a point for SB and runs scored which Dee obviously has an advantage. Thoughts?

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