Yoan Moncada is pictured above. He is currently not signed by an MLB franchise, however, he is the next superstar player at the second base position and any team will be lucky to sign him. He is a 5 tool player who is also a switch hitter. Keep a watchful eye on him and draft him if you can. He has top 5 potential and is only 19 years old.
1. Robinson Cano– Seattle Mariners
Cano has been the games best 2nd baseman for years now and 2015 will be no different. He consistently puts up super star numbers at a position that is not known for its offensive prowess. He now has the reigning American League home run leader hitting behind him in the lineup and should see more pitches to hit this season. Look for Cano’s 2nd year in Seattle to be even better than his first.
2. Jose Altuve– Houston Astros
This guy was pretty much the lone bright spot for the Astros last year. Not only did he win the American League batting title as a 2nd baseman, he stole 56 bases which lead the AL and lead all of baseball with 225 hits. If he possessed more power, he could give Cano a run for his money atop this list. His career high in home runs is only 7 though and he is the shortest player in the league.
3. Anthony Rendon– Washington Nationals
Rendon is a rising star for the Nats. He will be manning 3rd base this year but has eligibility at 2nd as well. Take advantage of this while you can. In only his 2nd season in the MLB, Rendon put up excellent numbers. His 21 HR and 83 RBI are well above the average for players at the 2nd base position. He also hit for a .287 BA and stole 17 bases. He is a solid producer across the board.
4. Ian Kinsler– Detroit Tigers
Kinsler is a great player who has the benefit of hitting in front of 3 very dangerous hitters. He may even lead the league in fastballs seen in 2015. I expect him to improve upon his 17 HR from a year ago as well as improve upon the already impressive 100 runs he scored. He has always been a player who can be counted on to drive in runs and steal bases too. He can pretty much do it all and you can rely on him to do so in 2015.
5. Dee Gordon– Miami Marlins
Dee is the son of former major leaguer Tom Gordon. His fathers nickname was “Flash”, a name which is much more suitable for Dee. This speedster stole 64 bases last year while hitting for a .289 BA and scoring 92 runs. Many will argue that Dee is too high on this list, yet I think his best years are still ahead. Speed can sometimes be a very underrated stat in fantasy, however, with Gordon you get hits as well. He had 176 last year, and I think he can eclipse 200 in 2015.
6. Jason Kipnis– Cleveland Indians
He had a down year in 2014, thought if his 2012 and 2013 seasons prove anything, it’s that Kipnis remains one of the better options at 2nd base. He is a lock to steal 25-30 bags and I predict a .280 BA with 20 HR, 80 RBI and 85 R. I don’t base my ranking on last years numbers, I base them on what I expect this upcoming year, that is why Kipnis is number 6 on the list.
7. Brian Dozier– Minnesota Twins
This guy has steadily improved each year in every offense category with the exception of BA. He is a solid source of HR and RBI while scoring a whopping 112 runs in 2014. I believe Dozier will continue to improve and should eclipse the 25 HR plateau, while driving in 75 runs and stealing 20 bases. He is not number one at anything, yet he’s well above average at everything.
8. Howie Kendrick– Los Angeles Dodgers
He has a career .292 BA and is coming off a 2014 season where he had a career high in RBI and SB with 75 and 14 respectively. He is still playing in Southern California after he was traded this offseason from the Angels to National League West Champion Dodgers. He is surrounded by all-star players at almost every position and his team is still the favorite to win the NL West Division in 2015. With all that being said, there may be an adjustment period early on for Kendrick while he is learning all the new pitchers he will be going up against.
9. Dustin Pedroia– Boston Red Sox
Coming off what the worst statistical season of his career, many of you may be shocked to see Pedroia in the top 10. He is only 31 years old and has a lot of good baseball left in him. He was battling injuries last year and there is no doubt in my mind that they played a major role in his decline in production. Look for Pedroia to be back around the .300 mark with his BA, score over 90 runs, drive in 70 and hit 10-12 HR. He has the potential to steal over 20 bases, even though he has yet to do so under manager John Farrell.
10. Ben Zobrist– Oakland Athletics
The long time Tampa Bay Ray is now playing on the west coast in a ball park that is not so friendly for hitters. Since 2009, he has been the most consistent player the rays had and he should give a much-needed boost to the A’s lineup in 2015. He is not going to hit more than 20 HR or drive in more than 80 runs, but you can expect a BA in the .270’s, 10-15 SB and 75 R.
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11. Neil Walker– Pittsburgh Pirates
The former first round pick is coming off his most complete season as a major leaguer. He hit a career high 23 HR, scored 74 and drove in 76. Walker hit for a .271 BA and established himself as one of the National Leagues best 2nd baseman. Look for him to improve upon last years numbers and be one of the driving forces in the Pirates lineup. If he can repeat this performance, he will surely crack the top 10 next season.
12. Daniel Murphy– New York Mets
Murphy has steadily produced in the BA department his entire career and the Mets continue to add offense each season. With David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer hitting behind him, Murphy should see a lot of pitches to hit this year and should have a stat line that looks like this: .285 BA, 85 R, 60, RBI, 180 H, 10-15 SB.
13. Chase Utley– Philadelphia Phillies
His best years are behind him but the longest tenured player in the Phillies organization is still very productive. His HR total continues to decline and there is little to no chance at all that he even reaches 20 again. He did manage to drive in 78 runs last year, score 74 runs while hitting for a .270 BA. Last season he was able to stay healthy and it helped him earn an all-star appearance.
14. Scooter Gennett– Milwaukee Brewers
Gennett is one of the best up and coming middle infielders in baseball. He built off his brief 2013 stint and performed better than most could have expected in 2014. With Rickie Weeks gone, he should see full-time AB’s which will help his development. He has not hit for much power yet, however, he his capable of double-digit HR. I think he will hit for a .300 BA, score 70 runs and drive in 65.
15. Kolton Wong– St. Louis Cardinals
Wong didn’t have the rookie season that many predicted in 2014, he did show that he has a ton of potential though. Wong has the ability to be a 20 HR, 20 SB player consistently at the MLB level and his .249 BA in 2014 is well below what i expect in 2015.
16. Brandon Phillips– Cincinnati Reds
He is coming off a down year in which he missed 41 games. All of his numbers were below his career averages. Phillips is only one season removed from a season where he drove in 103 runs (career high) and scored 80 so there is no reason to believe that he can’t put similar numbers up again. The reds have a deep lineup and that should benefit the 13 year vet. This guy is second to only Robinson Cano in RBI for 2nd baseman since 2009.
17. Javier Baez– Chicago Cubs
He was the 9th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Cubs. He is entering his first full season in the MLB and has a ton of upside. Although he struck out about 45% of his AB’s, he also hit 9 HR in only 52 games. He has the potential to hit 25-30 HR in 2015 while driving in 75 and scoring 70. The Cubbies are definitely an improved ball club and Baez could be the guy who helps take them to the next level.
18. Jed Gyorko– San Diego Padres
The Padres are the most improved team in baseball heading into the 2015 season. Their success may be determined by whether or not players like Gyorko bounce back from a dismal sophomore season. He has 20 plus HR power and with a deep lineup now in SD, Gyoroko should drive in and score more than 70 runs.
19. Omar Infante– Kansas City Royals
Infante is another player who is coming off a poor performance in 2014, even though he set a career high in RBI (66). However, in 2013 he put together what was arguably the best season of his career when he had a .318 BA. Look for him to balance out in 2015 and be a solid player for the defending American League champs.
20. Joe Panik– San Francisco Giants
He played in just 73 games last year as a rookie but was a big part of the Giants winning their 3rd World Series in 5 years. He was on base consistently and had a .305 BA. I see him as a perfect number 2 hitter in the Giants lineup which would mean that he hits in front of Buster Posey, the perfect spot for him to see a lot of hittable pitches.
21. Aaron Hill– Arizona Diamondbacks
After 3 very solid seasons since arriving in Arizona, Hill was beyond disappointing last season. He has always been an inconsistent player and there really is no way of knowing whether or not he will bounce back. Personally, I believe Hills best years are behind him and you should look to someone else to fill your need at 2nd base,
22. Josh Rutledge– Los Angeles Angels
He has never had more than 350 AB’s in a season but has proven to be very productive in his limited opportunities. He is leaving one of the best hitters ball parks in Colorado for Anaheim, yet I still expect his numbers to vastly improve. The angels have a very talented lineup which should benefit a player like Rutledge who puts the ball in play and gets on base at an above average rate. In a full 2015 season, I believe the 25-year-old will hit .270 with 80 R and 60 RBI.
23. Asdrubal Cabrera– Tampa Bay Rays
His numbers have declined since his 2 All-Star appearances in 2011 and 2012. The change in scenery this upcoming season could help regain that all-star caliber form, however, he will have to earn his starting role in spring training this year. His ability to play both 2nd Base and Shortstop give him the upper hand on his competition.
24. Roughned Odor– Texas Rangers
Odor is an up and coming player who impressed the Rangers brass as a 20-year-old. He is one of the better young players at the position and has the skill set to one day be a star. He is only as low as 24 on this list due to his lack of experience at the MLB level. Many young players are subject to what is referred to as a “sophomore slump” and I think Odor is likely have one of his own.
25. Jonathan Schoop– Baltimore Orioles
Schoop is another up and coming player. He showed last year that he has tremendous power for a young player who did not have every day AB’s. He won’t hit for a high average or get on base with any regularity, however, if you want above average power at a position that has very little of it, Schoop is one of the better late round options.
26. Stephen Drew– New York Yankees
Drew is a former shortstop who signed late in 2014 and really never got it going. He was traded at the deadline to the Yankees and settled in defensively at 2nd base. He is projected to be the starting 2nd Baseman in 2015 and his left-handed swing should translate well with the short porch in Yankee Stadium. If Drew bounces back, he will be much more valuable than the 26th best second baseman.
27. Yunel Escobar– Washington Nationals
This guy cannot seem to stay in one place for any significant length of time. Since 2010, he has been part of 5 different organizations, including a trade this offseason from Oakland to Washington before even playing a game for the A’s. This will be his first year as a 2nd baseman and there is no way of knowing if the change in position will affect him at the plate.
28. DJ Lemahieu– Colorado Rockies
With Rutledge now with the Angels, Lemahieu will see every day AB’s as the Rockies 2nd baseman. He plays in the most hitter friendly ball park in all of baseball and has very talented hitters around him. Look for him to build off his last 2 seasons as a role player and establish himself as an everyday player at the MLB level.
29. Alberto Callaspo– Atlanta Braves
He has had seasons of hitting for a .300 BA but those season appear to be a distant memory. He was used as a role player with Oakland which makes it difficult to assess his potential in 2015 as a full-time player with the Braves. With Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis all on new teams in 2015, the Braves lineup is depleted and Callaspo may be relied upon to be a veteran presence atop the lineup.
30. Nick Franklin– Tampa Bay Rays
Franklin is probably most famous for being one of the players the Rays received last season in the David Price trade. At the time, it was a puzzling acquisition to say the least with Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist manning the middle infield in Tampa. As I detailed earlier in the article, that is no longer the case as both players have been traded away. Franklin will be battling with Asdrubal Cabrera and former 1st overall pick Tim Beckham for playing time in Tampa. He has the ability to be a productive player at the position, though his value depends on his playing time. If you’re interested in drafting franklin, monitor his status throughout spring training.
That wraps up the 2nd base edition for 2015, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any baseball or fantasy baseball related questions. Tune in next week for the Short Stop edition.
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@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.