The pool of available second baseman is never deep. It’s one of the thinnest positions in fantasy baseball. This year is no different. After the first 15, you’re picking through the scraps of platoon players and young players who haven’t proven themselves in the Majors.
Does Jason Kipnis have a shot of dethroning Robinson Cano has the best fantasy second baseman?
My 2nd base fantasy baseball rankings are based on a standard 5×5 league. If you have any specific questions about a different league, email me BobbyMcrib@gmail.com.
1. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners – Cano has been the consensus #1 second baseman for quite some time. He got PAID (yes, capital letters) this offseason. I usually predict regression once a player signs a long-term deal worth the GDP of a small country, but Cano is as consistent as they come.
2. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians – I love Jason Kipnis. He helps you in every category. Not only does he hit near 20 homers, but he bats .280 and steals 30 bases. I will definitely be targeting him in nearly every fantasy baseball league I’m in this year.
3. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox – Where has Pedroia’s power gone? He had some thumb issues last year and you can’t drive the ball when your thumb is barely hanging on your hand. I expect a resurgence of power in 2014. He should finish the season close to 20 homers.
4. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers – I’ve always liked Ian Kinsler. He’s consistently near a 20/20 season every year. Leaving Texas does worry me a bit, but he has a chip on his shoulder. He didn’t want to leave Texas, but they traded him to Detroit for Prince Fielder.
5. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays – Zobrist and the next few players are all about the same. I ranked Zobrist higher due to his multiple position-eligibility. You can play him at second base, shortstop and outfield. I love being able to move players around. That pushes him above the next few players.
6. Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds – Great American Ballpark will forever be a hitter’s park. Phillips is lucky to play 81 games there and his fantasy stock is always high. I expect another 18/95/.270 season from Dat Dude.
7. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals – Carpenter had a breakout season in 2013. He scored 126 runs, hit .318 and also drove in 78 RBI. The odds of him matching those numbers are very slim, but he should only slightly regress. He should still score 100 runs, hit a tad shy of .300 and have 70-80 RBI. He’s also eligible at third base, but his value is the highest at second base.
8. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros – I ranked Altuve this high solely based on his stolen bases. He’ll have a decent batting average, but he’s not going to help you in RBI or Runs, since the Astros are bad.
9. Jurikson Profar – Texas Rangers – I ranked Profar a lot higher than most fantasy analysts. He is only a year removed from being the #1 prospect in all of baseball. Texas actually traded Kinsler to Detroit to free up a spot for Profar on the field. He had 286 at-bats last season, but they were scattered and would often sit every other game or just pinch-hit. He’ll have an everyday role this season and I expect Profar to produce.
10. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies – Utley is in the same category as Brandon Phillips, but with a caveat. Phillips is consistent every season and is always ranked high. When healthy, Utley is as consistent as Phillips…but he has a history of injuries. Drafting Utley as a top 10 second baseman does hold some risk, but sometimes you need to roll the dice to win your fantasy league.
11. Martin Prado – Arizona Diamondbacks – I was really high on Prado going into last season. He was on nearly every one of my fantasy leagues, but laid a stinker in the first-half. He turned it on after the All-Star Break and hit .324 from that point on. He helps you in nearly every category, but he’s not elite in any. There’s no risk drafting him this high. He’s a very safe pick, but doesn’t have much upside.
12. Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks – Hill is another second baseman with an injury history. He only had 327 at-bats, but still managed to hit 11 homers and bat .291. He’s one of the most inconsistently good second baseman on this list. His numbers jump up and down in every category, but still manages to be well above replacement level.
13. Jedd Gyorko – San Diego Padres – If you can lead every rookie in homers and play 81 games at PETCO Park, you have my respect. Gyorko has a real shot at ending the season as a top 10 second baseman. I expect his batting average to improve if he cuts down on his strikeouts. I like him a lot and would be a great backup or starting middle infield flex option.
14. Jed Lowrie – Oakland A’s – Lowrie didn’t exceed power expectations last season. He hit one homer less than 2012, but had 250 more at-bats. AL West pitching is better than what he faced in Houston in 2012. I expect Lowrie to hit near 20 homers and the rest of his numbers will be near his 2013 totals.
15. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins – Dozier really surprised me last season. He seemed to come out of nowhere and was available to pick up or stream for most of the season. If he can repeat another 15/15 season, he’s definitely a top 15 second baseman.
16. Daniel Murphy – New York Mets – Before I rip Daniel Murphy, I want to go on the record and say he helped me win two fantasy leagues last season. I got him late in the draft and helped me in every category. The reason I have him ranked this low is because I don’t believe he can duplicate those numbers. He’s a good player, but he’s a 8/65/.275 hitter, not 13/78/.286 as he was in 2013.
17. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels – I never have Kendrick on any fantasy team. He seems to be drafted before I would feel comfortable drafting him. He never wows me with his RBI or Runs. He doesn’t get enough steals or homers to make up for the lack of production in other categories.
18. Alexander Guerrero – Los Angeles Dodgers – I almost ranked Guerrero in the top 15, but I decided to be more conservative with my ranking. For a second baseman, he put up nice power numbers in Cuba. Even if he doesn’t quite hit 20 homers this season, I expect him to hit double-digit homers. His batting average could be a tad low, which is why he’s only ranked at #18.
19. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates – Walker is the player equivalent of the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’. If I see ‘Shawshank’ is on television, I don’t turn the channel. I end up watching the whole thing. Similarly, if I see Walker available late in the draft, I always take him. I ride him all season and it always pays off. He’s a switch hitter and would be ranked higher if his righty/lefty gap wasn’t so prominent.
20. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals – This is the area in which the talent takes a huge dip. Rendon is a decent real life player, but his fantasy numbers aren’t impressive. Danny Espinosa is the backup and could take some at-bats away from Rendon.
21. Kelly Johnson – New York Yankees – If Kelly could hit both righties and lefties, he would be a top 15 second baseman. Unfortunately, he can’t do that, so he will be stuck in a timeshare with Brian Roberts. Johnson could help you if you paid extra attention to the opposing team’s starting pitcher. He could sit for a few games in a row if the matchup isn’t favorable.
22. Josh Rutledge – Colorado Rockies – Rutledge isn’t much more than a streaming candidate. He should be a 10/10 guy with a batting average around .260.
23. Kolton Wong – St. Louis Cardinals – Wong hit the ball all over Triple-A before he had a small cup of coffee at the end of last season. I love his skill-set and has been one of the Cardinals top prospects for a few years. Veteran Mark Ellis is his backup and if Wong struggles, he could see some at-bats fade away. The Cardinals are really deep and Wong could fall out of favor.
24. Omar Infante – Kansas City Royals – Infante is just a contact hitter at this point in his career. To put it this way, he won’t hurt you in any category, but won’t be much help either.
25. Marco Scutaro – San Francisco Giants – If you read Infante’s description, the exact same goes for Scutaro.
26. Jordy Mercer – Pittsburgh Pirates – He’s expected to be the starting shortstop in Pittsburgh. He also has 2B eligibility, so that’s a bonus. Clint Barmes could take some at-bats away from him, so I had to knock him down a few spots.
27. Gordon Beckham – Chicago White Sox – I don’t know what to think about Beckham. He was a high draft pick, but looks more like a Four-A player at this point in his career. We’re picking scraps at this point in the draft.
28. Ryan Flaherty – Baltimore Orioles – He’s unproven and is also a batting average risk. He has some pop and will be interesting to see what he does with 400+ at-bats. I think he would be a solid backup in AL-only leagues. Prospect Jonathan Schoop is sniffing the Majors and could eventually take some at-bats away late in the season.
29. Dan Uggla – Atlanta Braves – I always avoid drafting Uggla, but if you’re desperate for power and can take a huge hit in batting average, Uggla is worth a pickup…if you catch him while he’s on a hot streak.
30. Dustin Ackley – Seattle Mariners – Cano is at second base and Ackley looks to be relegated permanently to the outfield. He was a high draft pick and has year to look comfortable in the Majors. Having second base-eligibility still makes him barely fantasy relevant. If he was only an outfielder, no one would even consider drafting him.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.