2018 Fantasy Baseball: Second Base Rankings 11-20
The Winter Meetings have come and gone and people always get excited over the big time moves that teams make. As exciting as it is to see the Giancarlo Stanton’s change teams, most teams would not go without the glue guys that just produce average to above average numbers. The same is true of fantasy teams as well. About a week ago we looked at the top ten second basemen on the board. Obviously, not every player in a 12-team league can have one of those guys. So, we look at the next ten guys on the board.
Players are ranked primarily based on their rankings in five and six category formats. Occasionally we make some significant adjustments based on new information. We will definitely go over that as we go. In some cases, players have changed teams and that could affect their overall value as well.
Jonathan Schoop—Baltimore Orioles
5 Category: 19
6 Category: 20
Sometimes you have to make a bet on recent results. It gets hard because you have to tell the difference between genuine growth and a simple career year. Usually we split the difference on this thing, but the evidence of growth is pretty clear just by eye-balling the numbers above. Some will be tempted to pick him higher than 11th and there is some cause for that, but the lack of patience will hold him back from being a true superstar.
Ben Zobrist—Chicago Cubs
5 Category: 15
6 Category: 8
You won’t find a bigger 5 and 6 category split in the business than Zobrist. He also is coming off of a bad season at an advanced age. Predicting the future is a bit dicey to be sure. I like him as a borderline regular because of the positional flexibility, but understand if others feel a little squeamish. His playing time isn’t guaranteed next season, but he should get considerable playing time because of his flexibility.
Dustin Pedroia—Boston Red Sox
5 Category: 7
6 Category: 6
Some will be tempted to drop Pedroia off their list because he will be out at least the first two months recovering from surgery. That would be a mistake. Many fantasy owners can be easily beaten because they don’t understand the variable of time. Pedroia’s overall numbers will suffer, but what he gives you in four months can be as or more valuable as what many will give you in six. We’ve dropped him outside of traditional starter territory, but he should be a prominent bench piece somewhere.
Dee Gordon—Seattle Mariners
5 Category: 18
6 Category: 18
Truthfully, Gordon is a little better than the overall rankings would suggest. He lost 50 games in 2016 due to a PED suspension. He likely would have approached the numbers in his other three seasons if he hadn’t missed those games. He hits for average and steals bases. How much is categorical specificity really worth? Yes, he gets you elite steals, but nothing else is elite and he is missing power, RBIs, and walks. Adjust accordingly how you need to.
Asdrubal Cabrera—New York Mets
5 Category: 14
6 Category: 12
Cabrera allows fantasty owners to think in multi-dimensional terms. Imagine if he was your second basemen until Pedroia returned to healthy. You’d get two months of his stats on top of four months of Pedroia and you wouldn’t have to spend starter draft status on either of them. Cabrera also has shortstop eligibility and might have third base before all is said and done as well.
Neil Walker—Free Agent
5 Category: 17
6 Category: 13
I am generally not a fan of uncertainty. The Winter Meetings closed quite a few doors to Walker, so it remains to be seen where he will land when the music stops. Common sense says he should have a starting job somewhere, but until we know for sure it is hard to put him any higher in the rankings. A reunion with the Mets would seem to make the most sense, but you just never know.
Starlin Castro—Miami Marlins
5 Category: 12
6 Category: 15
Castro exists as a fantasy thought experiment at this point. How much is a player really affected by the quality around him? Of course, he could end up being flipped before the start of the season and the thought experiment would die. The Marlins will deal Christian Yelich and when they due the last vestiges of competitiveness will go with him. How will that ultimately affect Castro? Welcome to the experiment.
Josh Harrison—Pittsburgh Pirates
5 Category: 16
6 Category: 17
Harrison has some multi-positional flexibility and a minimal amount of speed, but otherwise is just a guy. He represents the difference between real baseball and fantasy baseball. In real baseball he has value because he produces mediocre numbers and matches that up with above average defense. Average players can be pretty valuable under the right circumstances. In fantasy baseball they really aren’t that valuable. He should get drafted and should figure prominently on someone’s bench, but other than that there isn’t much to see here.
Yangervis Solarte—San Diego Padres
5 Category: 20
6 Category: 19
Solarte always seems to be a stopgap guy whichever position you put him at or whatever organization he is in. He’s been a Yankee and he’s been a Padre. He might be something else before the season opens. He’s been at third base and now he is at second base. That flexibility makes him play up a little, but he isn’t elite in any particular category. The best you can hope for is to remain afloat until something better comes along. By definition that makes him a backup in every viable mixed league.
Scooter Gennett—Cincinnati Reds
5 Category: 21
6 Category: 22
Where you put Gennett depends heavily in how much stock you put in 2017. He’s done this before. His 2013 debut made some think he was going to be an elite second baseman. 2017 would lead you to believe he will be again. The problem is that the mediocre performance between those two seasons should pour cold water on that notion. He did show more power in 2016 in addition to 2017, so maybe that part of his game is here for good. If that is the case is somewhat viable as a fantasy backup. He wouldn’t be a bad flier candidate on the off chance that he repeats what he did last season.