The So-Called Fantasy Experts continue to post our Fantasy Baseball rankings for the 2016 campaign and today we look behind the curtain at the second base rankings.
Second base is not where you go to find power. Last year, only two second basemen surpassed the 20-homer plateau, with Brian Dozier and Robinson Cano doing the trick. However, speed was a little more abundant with 13 second basemen recording double digit steals, led by major league leader Dee Gordon.
The top of the second base rankings are led by the consensus number one Jose Altuve followed by Dee Gordon. Both of those players will likely be off the board by the end of the second round in your drafts. I see the next group lasting from Robinson Cano (ranked 3rd) through Kolten Wong (ranked 9th).
After that, the drop-off is not that dramatic as you move down the list. The tiers are divided more by blurry lines than thick walls. There was decent consensus between the rankers over the Top 10, after that you start to see quite a bit of variance. Once the top two choices are off the board, second base becomes more of a team need issue, rather than a building block for your roster. As a group, second base is not full of hitting studs, but the parity throughout suggests it is relatively deep.
Before we see the rankings, let’s look first at a quartet of second basemen with questions that need to be answered, then players with new teams in 2016, and finally we conclude with a couple of underappreciated second sackers.
What To Expect?
Despite all likely being mixed league starters, there are plenty of questions that surround the following group of players.
Robinson Cano had a tale of two halves. Will he be the player that hit .251 with six homers like he did prior to the All-Star Game? Or will he build off his second half where he hit .331 with 15 home runs. Either way, he remains second base’s best shot at a season with both a .300 average and 20 home runs.
Jason Kipnis bounced back from an awful 2014 campaign, and posted a solid season last year. But the question remains who is the real Jason Kipnis? It might be the line drive .300 hitter that we saw in 2015. Or it may be the player that averaged 15 home runs, 80 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases between 2012 and 2013. Both are useful, but the former Kipnis was much more of a Fantasy stud.
Anthony Rendon looks to rekindle his 2014 form after struggling through an injury-plagued season last year. Will he ever show us those 20/20 abilities again? Given his track record, the stolen bases seem less likely. A little bit of pop and a decent average still plays well anywhere in the middle infield.
Addison Russell had a decent rookie season, but his near 30-percent strikeout rate limited his Fantasy production, especially his batting average. Will this be the year the former top prospect breaks out? The upside is intriguing and the breakout question seems to be more of a “when” and not an “if”.
Same Face, Different Place
During the offseason, there has been plenty of movement among second basemen due to trades and free agency.
Ben Zobrist, who rejoins manager Joe Maddon, looks to translate his impressive OBP skills into Fantasy success with the Cubs. Fantasy owners hope he can improve on his combined 16 home runs and stolen bases from last year, which was his lowest total since 2008.
Neil Walker, now in New York, hopes for a seamless transition into a crowded looking Mets infield. For now, it looks like he will bat near the top of a decent hitting lineup.
Starlin Castro was the odd man out in Chicago and now he will try to get his career back on track with the Yankees. It will be a start if he can buck the downward trend that he has experienced in both stolen bases and batting average.
Daniel Murphy, fresh off an impressive power hitting display in the playoffs, leaves the Big Apple and goes to the Nation’s Capital. Recency bias suggests that his draft day price tag may be too high.
Brett Lawrie, now a member of the White Sox, will attempt to build off his career high 16 home run campaign. He will now play half of his games in a hitter-friendly environment and be a part of a better offense.
Don’t Forget About Us
Jonathan Schoop can hit for power. Last year, in just 86 games he hit 15 big flies along with a .279 average. While the batting average may regress, expect more at-bats in 2016 to lead to more home runs, 20-plus seems likely.
Devon Travis had a great start last year, but a shoulder injury ended his season in late July. Now expected to miss the start of the regular season, Travis should hit his way back into the lineup once healthy. You will need a backup plan for a few weeks, but this multi-cat producer needs to be stashed.
And now, the moment you have been waiting for. Here are the rankings.
With Spring Training coming to a close, now is a great time to catch up of a few noteworthy items involving second basemen.
Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Dodgers
Re-signed with the Dodgers in early February, but he still looks to be nothing more than a Top 20 option at the keystone.
St. Louis Cardinals
With Jhonny Peralta possibly out until the All-Star Break, Jedd Gyorko was given a golden opportunity to have an everyday role. He hasn’t exactly the seized the moment, as Gyorko is hitting a pedestrian .184 along with zero home runs so far this spring.
Jose Peraza, Cincinnati Reds
The speedy Jose Peraza stock is on the rise despite not having a home anywhere in the Cincinnati infield. However, he may just play his way into a spot in center field. With Billy Hamilton battling injuries and his continued struggles at the plate, it is hard to ignore Peraza’s spring where he has hit .317 along with five stolen bases.
The Trea Turner versus Danny Espinosa battle appears it will go down to the wire. Two of our rankers give Turner the nod, while Espinosa also has two rankers in his corner. It may just come down to the needs of your Fantasy team, as Turner should provide a better batting average along with higher stolen bases total, while Espinosa should have the power advantage.
2016 Fantasy Baseball Second Base Rankings
These Fantasy rankings are mainly for Rotisserie leagues that use home runs, RBI, runs scored, stolen bases and batting averages.
[su_box title=”SCFE 2016 Fantasy Baseball Position Rankings” box_color=”#d75c37″] Overall Top 300 | Catcher | First Base | Second Base | Shortstop | Third Base | Outfield | Starting Pitchers | Relief Pitchers[/su_box]
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