Fantasy Baseball: Second base draft strategy, sleepers, prospects and more
Fantasy Baseball: Second base draft strategy, sleepers, prospects and more
Second base had a pair of MVP candidates, a couple top prospects and some late bloomers at the top of the position for fantasy baseball last season. Owners now have to decide what was real and what wasn't heading into 2019.
Second base had a pair of MVP candidates, a couple top prospects and some late bloomers at the top of the position for fantasy baseball last season. Owners now have to decide what was real and what wasn't heading into 2019. Jose Ramirez and Javier Baez each finished in the top-3 of MVP voting, but there are questions as to whether either performance is sustainable in the long run. Some see Ramirez as a top-3 pick, while others are worried about his numbers against breaking balls. Whit Merrifield rewarded players who bought into his 2017 season, but are his best days behind him as he turns 30? What can be expected of Ozzie Albies and Gleyber Torres in their second full seasons? Can Jose Altuve return to an MVP-caliber form? These are just some of the questions facing the position this season. Chris Mascaro and Tommy Stokke give their opinions on the position below. ADPs are from [Fantasy Pros](https://www.fantasypros.com/mlb/adp/2b.php). __MORE:__ [Fantasy baseball catchers preview](https://www.betchicago.com/fantasy-baseball-catchers-draft-strategy-sleepers-prospects) | [First basemen](https://www.betchicago.com/fantasy-baseball-first-base-draft-strategy-sleepers-prospects) ## Draft strategy __TS:__ Jose Ramirez is great, but his struggles against off-speed pitches are concerning. I'm not taking him third overall, and I'm probably letting someone else take Baez and Merrifield early. I believe in both players, but second base isn't a position where I'll reach. I'd prefer to wait for Daniel Murphy or Gleyber Torres around Rounds 6 and 7, or pick up Robinson Cano or Brian Dozier later than that. __CM:__ This position is chock full of talent, so conventional wisdom would say to wait for value, and there's actually plenty of it. Ozzie Albies at No. 52? Gleyber Torres 59th? Both 22-year-olds have MVP potential if they can remain consistent for a full season. If Dee Gordon can get his act together after a lackluster 2018, he could provide value at No. 96. ## Auction strategy __TS:__ In a perfect world, I'm getting a discount on Altuve. If it's not Altuve, I expect the other top candidates to be too much, so second base turns into a position to save and invest little. Starlin Castro and Cesar Hernandez aren't sexy names, but they'll get it done for cheap. __CM:__ Many second basemen have other position eligibility, so factor that in when deciding whether to spend an extra buck or two. A guy like Jurickson Profar, who is eligible at every infield spot, was once a top prospect and he might finally be putting everything together after a breakout season last year. He's going 140th after hitting 20 homers, scoring 82 runs and stealing 10 bases last season. ## Player going too high __TS: Jose Ramirez, Indians (ADP: 1 2B, 3 OVR):__ I've alluded to the [numbers](https://twitter.com/claywlink/status/1096163829527035904) earlier this story, but he hit .159 against sliders and .204 against curveballs. Those were even worse after August 1. In total, his hit .218 in the second half of the season with 10 home runs. I can't take him third. I wouldn't take him over Altuve. He's probably a first-round pick, but he's easily outside my top-5. __CM: Daniel Murphy, Rockies (ADP: 9 2B, 75 OVR):__ I hate to pile on Murph, since I had him here in our [first base preview](https://www.betchicago.com/fantasy-baseball-first-base-draft-strategy-sleepers-prospects), too. But again, worried about his health, age and declining power. Travis Shaw hit 32 homers last year and is going 23 picks later. 🤔 ## Player going too low __TS: Brian Dozier, Nationals (ADP: 16 2B, 129 OVR):__ Dozier has become an afterthought after his disatrous year in 2018. He cost himself money by hitting .215 with a .696 OPS last year and had to settle for a one-year deal with Washington. Most of his underlying numbers stayed the same, so I'm going to believe in the track record with a better batting average, 20-plus homers, 15 steals and more opporunties to score or drive in runs. There will not be 15 second basemen better than Dozier this year. __CM: Profar, A's (ADP: 18 2B, 140 OVR):__ Talked him up earlier, but allow me to elaborate. This guy has top-10 talent at the position, and he's playing for another contract after being jettisoned following a breakout season by the team that signed him as a 16-year-old. His .269 BABIP also suggests that he was unlucky last year, especially considering he has a relatively low strikeout rate (15 percent). Honorable mention to Jonathan Schoop, who just didn't pan out in Milwaukee and has plenty to prove on a one-year deal with the Twins. ## Player I won’t draft __TS: Ozzie Albies, Braves:__ He was an All-Star and hit 24 home runs, but only four of those came in the second half of the season. I don't have enough evidence that his power surge is real and his low OBP makes him someone I'll stay away from in 2019. __CM: Robinson Cano, Mets:__ He's the best pure hitter I've ever seen in person except for Ken Griffey Jr., so this choice could come back to bite me. But I think age (he's 36) finally catches up to him. His nonchalence is a little worrisome as well, since it's not like he's going to leg out many base hits or steal many bases. (Tommy and I disagree on him, and it wouldn't shock me if he turns out to be right. I'm just steering clear.) ## Player I keep drafting __TS: Dozier.__ Not much more I can say that I haven't already, but he's been a target. So has Robinson Cano. His PED suspension means nothing to me, and it means even less than that in fantasy baseball. It probably helps having time off to put him at full strength this season. He'll hit 20 homers with a near-.300 average, but he'll be dinged for age. He hasn't dropped off yet. __CM: Jed Lowrie, Mets:__ Don't usually love guys off a career year who just got paid, but he's going to get plenty of RBI opportunities in the middle of the order. He's proven to be durable the last two years (153 and 157 games) and he's a bargain at No. 246 overall. ## Prospect to watch __TS: Garrett Hampson, Rockies:__ This would feel a lot better if the Rockies knew what they were doing with young players. Hampson should be the every day second baseman where he'd hit for high average and steal bases. The Rockies, though, like to play veterans over prospects. That might hurt Ryan McMahon more than Hampson in this case with Murphy at first base and Ian Desmond in the outfield. Hampson can hold off Brendan Rodgers for this year and cheap average and steals can be hard to find. __CM: Luis Urias, Padres__: The 21-year-old has dealt with hamstring issues in camp, and the organization isn't going to rush him. But Ian Kinsler is nothing more than a stopgap at second in San Diego, and it's only a matter of time before Urias takes over. He's not going to put up overwhelming power numbers, but an .802 OPS in five minor-league seasons should translate decently. ## Bold prediction __TS:__ Asdrubal Cabrera finishes in the top-12 of the position. __CM:__ Cano finishes outside the top-20 among second basemen.2019-03-09T17:35:19.525Z2019-03-09T12:00-05:00