2018 Fantasy Baseball: Midway Checkup– Second Basemen
The midway point is always a good time to take a look at back and see how positions are shaping up. I like to use total points for a number of reasons. First, it is a growing format due to the popularity of daily fantasy sports. Moreover, more and more full season leagues are using it. Secondly, it more accurately shows how players are actually performing. Of course, every platform has their own formula, so we will be using our own for our own purposes. Statistics are accurate through the first 81 games of the season.
Total Points = TB + Runs + RBI + SB + BB + HBP – SO – GDP – CS
Jose Altuve– Houston Astros
Total points: 242 (1st)
Altuve is on pace to have more than 200 hits for the fifth consecutive season. Only a handful of players in history have pulled that off. Only two have done it since World War II. He’s also walking more often than he did earlier in his career. The only drawback this season has been a step back in the power department. With more and more middle infielders hitting for power, that could get him leapfrogged by the end of the season.
Ozzie Albies– Atlanta Braves
Total Points: 241 (2nd)
In all fairness, the list includes Jose Ramirez, Matt Carpenter, Chris Taylor, and Anthony Rizzo who are primarily playing other positions. However, there is no denying that Albies has burst on the scene with power, speed, and an improved lineup that will help him produce runs. He likely isn’t as good as he produced in the first half, but conservatively he should produce 25 home runs and 15 steals by the end of the season.
Javier Baez– Chicago Cubs
Total Points: 205 (3rd)
Even if you removed the Cubs enormous financial advantage, they still would have a ton of talent available to them through scouting, development, and shrewd trades. At second base alone, the Cubs could employ Baez or Ian Happ. This doesn’t even include Ben Zobrist who they got in free agency. Baez and Albies are similar in that they are dynamic power and speed threats.
Scooter Gennett– Cincinnati Reds
Total Points: 202 (4th)
To put this in perspective, in a typical 12 team league, Gennett wasn’t going until the 19th round. He would be a part of a typical fantasy bench. This is the second year in a row that he has burst into the scene and performed like a top ten fantasy second baseman. Even when you consider others that are eligible at the position he is still a top ten performer. Plus, he is a prime trade candidate, so he could be moving to a contender.
Jed Lowrie– Oakland Athletics
Total Points: 192 (5th)
If Gennett was drafted as a bench guy, Lowrie probably wasn’t drafted. There is always one of these guys in the top ten at every position. Lowrie’s future depends a lot on how the A’s play over the next month. They have an outside shot at a wild card if they continue to win, but the chances are slim. The A’s can probably get a good prospect for him if they wanted. He could end up playing short or third some as well.
Cesar Hernandez– Philadelphia Phillies
Total Points: 175 (6th)
Hernandez is a steady performer and when you remove the folks that don’t actually play second base then he is not that far off. The key for Hernandez has forever been health. He has been healthy this season, so he has been more productive than in the past.
Asdrubal Cabrera– New York Mets
Total Points: 170 (7th)
A player eligible at three different infield positions who normally hits around 20 home runs per season should not go undrafted. He’s on pace to do it again. Granted, some shallower leagues would not utilize him as a starter, but he should be on someone’s bench. Considering the state of the Mets these days it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he ends up being dealt this summer to a contender.
Brian Dozier– Minnesota Twins
Total Points: 167 (8th)
Much like the Twins as a whole, Dozier has been a disappointment so far, but he hasn’t been a complete bust. It seems like everyone on the roster has achieved a bit below expectations. That has a way of adding up. He could go on a hot streak and return to career norms. It would help him break the bank this next offseason. That being the case, there is always an outside chance he gets dealt before the end of July.
Whit Merrifield– Kansas City Royals
Total Points: 156 (9th)
Imagine saying that Merrifield would be the most valuable Royal two years ago. The notion would be ludicrous given all the talent the Royals had then. Their bullpen has been decimated and their rotation has one or two quality arms tops. So, either Merrifield or Mike Moustakas will be the team MVP at the end of the season. The winner will be the one left standing.
Ben Zobrist– Chicago Cubs
Total Points: 147 (10th)
One of the problems with lists like this is that you have to make some tough choices about eligibility. I’ve always been a purists. I rate players where they play most often. So, even when a player is eligible at a position, I usually go by where he plays more often. Zobrist plays everywhere, but still plays a plurality of his games at second base. He will likely go down as one of the the most underrated players of the current era.