2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Second Base
After delineation, deliberation, and anticipation, here are your 2014 Philly.com Fantasy Baseball rankings.
Over the next several weeks, we will unleash the top players at each position, culminating in a handy guide to help you through your draft.
Two weeks ago, we took a look at the top 20 catchers.
Last week, we took a look at the top 20 first basemen.
Next Tuesday, we will take a look at the top 30 third basemen.
Today, Second base:
1. Robinson Cano, Mariners
2013 (with NYY): 160 G, .314 AVG, .899 OPS, 41 2B, 27 HR, 107 RBI, 65 BB, 85 K
One of the most consistent players of the last decade is moving on, but not necessarily up. Cano goes to the spacious setting of Safeco Field, leaving behind the short porch at Yankee Stadium, the 9th easiest ballpark to homer in. The ballpark in Seattle is ranked 21st in park factor, meaning you should expect a dip in power numbers. He’s still a first round choice in all drafts. He’ll still hit for great average and won’t strike out a ton; a category league beast. Just watch for fewer jacks in his new house.
2. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
2013: 157 G, .318 AVG, .873 OPS, 55 2B, 7 3B, 11 HR, 78 RBI, 72 BB, 98 K
Carpenter exploded in his first full season in the majors, assaulting the ball to all fields and finishing 4th in the NL MVP vote. Is an encore possible? It’ll be hard to top 55 doubles and 73 XBH’s. But rest easy that he’s definitely a multi-category maestro, lacking mostly in homers. In Yahoo! leagues, his ADP is currently 60! If you can get him there he’s a steal, but I wouldn’t wait that long. I’d take him ahead of Pedroia and others.
3. Jason Kipnis, Indians
2013: 149 G, .284 AVG, .818 OPS, 36 2B, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 30 SB, 76 BB, 143 K
Kipnis is a great selection in both points and category leagues because he hits for power, maintains a decent average, and steals 30 bags per year. A 25/25 year isn’t out of the question if he can cut down on some strikeouts, although I do think 20-22 HR is more likely as he hits the all-important age-27 season. But to get all that you might have to reach a bit.
4. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
2013: 160 G, .301 AVG, .787 OPS, 42 2B, 9 HR, 84 RBI, 17 SB, 73 BB, 75 K
Pedroia is going 25 spots higher than Carpenter, but the difference isn’t that great between the two. The Laser Show and former MVP continues to put up solid numbers year in, year out. His home run total sunk to just nine last season, and his OPS was a career low. That said, he’ll still show up the box score in many different ways. I just wouldn’t reach too high or overpay for him.
5. Ben Zobrist, Rays
2013: 157 G, .275 AVG, .756 OPS, 36 2B, 12 HR, 71 RBI, 72 BB, 91 K
The multi-dimensional Zobrist is a fantastic utility player to have as he’s also eligible at shortstop and outfield. Over the past five seasons, only Evan Longoria and Miguel Cabrera have a higher total WAR than Zobrist. He will be 33 and his best days are likely behind him, but he’ll hit you 15 homers, knock in a decent amount of runs, and even steal double-digit bases.
6. Brandon Phillips, Reds
2013: 151 G, .261 AVG, .706 OPS, 18 HR, 103 RBI, 39 BB, 98 K
Phillips is always just there. Never wowing you, but also putting up nice stats. He’s still hitting for power, but his stolen bases dropped to a career-low five last year. Phillips is slowing, evident by his career-low OPS total, yet he’s still solid and one of the better bets at second base. What could hurt his RBI total? Losing Shin Soo-Choo in front of him in the lineup, an on-base machine.
7. Ian Kinsler, Tigers
2013: 136 G, .277 AVG, .757 OPS, 31 2B, 13 HR, 72 RBI, 15 SB, 51 BB, 59 K
Kinsler was swapped straight up for Prince Fielder, so he’ll go from the heat of Texas to the frigid spring/fall of Detroit. Not usually a positive for power numbers, which have slipped already as he hits age 33 this year.
8. Chase Utley, Phillies
2013: 131 G, .284 AVG, .823 OPS, 18 HR, 69 RBI, 45 BB, 79 K
The days of Utley being the top-rated second basemen are well over, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a decent value draft pick. If he gives you similar numbers to a year ago, then no complaints. I expect near 20 HR again, but limited RBI because of the offense he plays in. Fingers crossed he stays healthy.
9. Brian Dozier, Twins
2013: 147 G, .244 AVG, .726 OPS, 33 2B, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 14 SB, 51 BB, 120 K
In his first full season, Dozier hit for a good amount of power, but is a killer in leagues that penalize for strikeouts. He also stole 14 bags, so hopefully discipline improves, which should improve other aspects of his game.
10. Daniel Murphy, Mets
2013: 161 G, .286 AVG, .733 OPS, 38 2B, 13 HR, 78 RBI, 23 SB, 32 BB, 95 K
Murphy is all over the map in his four full seasons in the majors. What can you expect? Probably about 10-14 HR, a high-.290’s average, 15 steals, and big time doubles. If that sounds good, Murphy can be yours in rounds 14 through 17, which is a steal at his position.
11. Jurickson Profar, Rangers
2013: 85 G, .234 AVG, .644 OPS, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 26 BB, 63 K
His numbers from a year ago were underwhelming; then you realize he’ll turn 21 before the season. He’s been a highly ranked prospect and has been given the keys now that Ian Kinsler is gone. The kid can (eventually) do it all. He’s a risk, but the reward could be huge.
12. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
2013: 107 G, .254 AVG, .712 OPS, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 30 BB, 68 K
I’ve been high on Lawrie for years, and this is a big stepping stone season. Fact is, he’s only 24 and can still improve from his subpar totals the last two years. He’s another player who could pay huge dividends and is going in the 11th round of Yahoo! leagues. He's definitely a breakout candidate. I like him for 20-plus homers and 90 RBI this year.
13. Howie Kendrick, Angels
2013: 122 G, .297 AVG, .775 OPS, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 23 BB, 89 K
Kendrick is Brandon Phillips-lite. Steady numbers, never eye-popping, but solid. He was in line for a big year, but missed a month with a knee injury. It’s a given that he provides near .300 average with a little pop. A healthy Albert Pujols could help him.
14. Anthony Rendon, Nationals
2013: 98 G, .265 AVG, .725 OPS, 23 2B, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 31 BB, 69 K
Once a top-20 prospect in all of baseball, Rendon played a little more than half a season and showed some flashes as to why he’s highly thought of. Only problem is, he’ll be fighting for full-time at-bats with Danny Espinosa. Still, he's an intriguing pick, but isn't guaranteed to get 600 at-bats yet.
15. Jose Altuve, Astros
2013: 152 G, .283 AVG, .678 OPS, 31 2B, 5 HR, 52 RBI, 35 SB, 32 BB, 85 K
I have the diminutive Altuve ranked low because of his lack of power. He’s pretty consistent, but doesn’t get on base a whole lot. If you need steals in a category league, he’s good for 30-plus. Just don’t reach for him.
16. Martin Prado, D’Backs
2013: 155 G, .282 AVG, .750 OPS, 36 2B, 14 HR, 82 RBI, 47 BB, 53 K
“Pardo”, as Charlie Manuel used to call him, had some of his best power numbers last season and plays in a hitter paradise in Arizona. His average is dipping, but he can still get you about 50 extra-base hits. A potent D'Backs lineup should provide solid RBI opportunities.
17. Aaron Hill, D’Backs
2013: 87 G, .291 AVG, .818 OPS, 21 2B, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 29 BB, 48 K
Hill had an injury ravaged 2013, but did work when he played. His .462 slugging percentage would have ranked 4th among all 2B if he’d been eligible. If he can stay healthy, he’ll grab you 22+ HR and won’t K a ton. Good value here.
18. Jed Lowrie, A’s
2013: 154 G, .290 AVG, .791 OPS, 45 2B, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 50 BB, 91 K
He exploded last year as part of the A’s playoff club in what was his first full season. Expect good numbers across the board and also good value late in the draft. Something like 35 doubles and 12 HR with a decent average. A nice bench/utility option who can play multiple positions. (Also eligible at SS)
19. Neil Walker, Pirates
2013: 133 G, .251 AVG, .757 OPS, 16 HR, 53 RBI, 50 BB, 85 K
Walker has solid HR totals, but his declining average and RBI totals have him just inside the philly.com Top 20. He's still only 28, so he is a good back up plan.
20. Brad Miller, Mariners
2013: 76 G, .265 AVG, .737 OPS, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 24 BB, 52 K
Miller is a rising player coming off a nice rookie season. Seattle now has a more potent lineup, which could help. Has the tools to be a top-10 second baseman soon.
5 more just in case:
21. Omar Infante, Royals
22. Josh Rutledge, Rockies
23. Kelly Johnson, Yankees
24. Dustin Ackley, Mariners
25. Dan Uggla, Braves
Contact Pat on Twitter: @PatGallen_975