Last week I went through the top 17 second baseman. This week, I discuss the remaining second base eligible players who may be useful in 2019. As I put this article together, I realized there are a lot of multi-position eligible players, many of whom have 2B eligibility. That being said, fasten your seatbelts because we’ll be covering 22 players today. To try and make it easy to sort through, I’ve broken out the piece into sections. One for guys drafted in the top 210 ADP, one for the young or unproven players, one for veterans (which I’ve put last), and one for miscellaneous players that didn’t quite fit into the other categories but I still wanted to discuss. Each section is ordered by ADP as a reference point, but I put my general thoughts at the beginning of each section before getting into the details of each player.
Top 210 ADP
All of these players are likely to be drafted even in 10-team leagues. I like Rougned Odor and Jonathan Schoop the best in terms of value heading into 2019. Yoan Moncada has the biggest upside along with the biggest risk (and the biggest strikeout rate). I also think DJ LeMaheiu is an undervalued player heading into 2019, as he should be able to take advantage of the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium with his ability to hit the ball to the opposite field.
Jurickson Profar – OAK, 132 ADP (1b, 2b, 3b, SS)
Profar has been in and out of the Rangers line up since 2012, yet he is just 25 years old and coming off a 20 HR,10 SB season where he hit .269. He’s got a decent contact rate of 82%, walks at a 9.1% clip, and strikes out at just 14.8%. The prospect pedigree is there, so the thought of Profar as a late bloomer is enticing. He was traded to Oakland in the offseason and should finally get playing time. He’s an intriguing option for sure, though at an ADP of 132 he isn’t exactly cheap.
Rougned Odor – TEX, 140 ADP (2b)
In 2016 Odor hit 33 homers, stole 14 bases, batted .271, and was considered a top-10 second baseman. His 2017 was similar, posting 30 HR and 15 SB, but hitting just .204. The BA declined due to a dip in BABIP and a walk rate below 5% catching up to him. In 2018, Odor improved his walk rate to 8.0%, while also increasing his hard-hit rate to a career high 45.2%. In 129 games he hit 18 homers and stole 12 bags while batting a respectable .253. Just 25 years old, if Odor can keep his 2018 trend going, he has potential to be a top 10 2B again.
Yoan Moncada, CWS, 159 ADP (2b)
Age 23 with lots of power / speed upside, but I have a hard time getting excited over a 33.4% K-rate as it means Moncada will surely drain your batting average. He’s a player I won’t be drafting and could find himself on the waiver wire in a shallow league. If he does, I’ll be quick to add him at any sign of a hot streak.
Cesar Hernandez – PHI, 187 ADP (2b)
A steady and underrated player the last couple seasons as he walked at a 10% – 13% clip and batted toward the top of the Philly lineup. However, with the additions of Segura and McCutchen, Hernandez will likely find himself in the bottom half of the order. I have little interest in him down there as the counting stats will be limited due to reduced at bats.
Jonathan Schoop, MIN, 190 ADP (2b, SS-Y!)
Projections seem pretty spot on here: 70 runs, 25 HR, 75 RBI, .265 BA. He’s got power upside which we saw in 2017 when Schoop hit 32 of them, but some batting average downside which we saw last year when he batted .233. He found a new home in Minnesota on a 1-yr deal and should provide good value for his current ADP.
DJ LeMahieu – NYY, 205 ADP (2b)
LeMahieu has historically been a high contact hitter with a propensity to go the other way. In 2018, he adjusted his approach to pull the ball more frequently, dropping his opposite field rate from 38.3% to 29.5%. The change increased his hard-hit rate from 30.6% to 35.0%, and he hit a career high 15 home runs. LeMahieu signed with the Yankees this winter. Leaving Coors will have an impact on his overall output, but Yankee stadium is a pretty nice landing spot, especially with the short porch in right field and LeMahieu’s ability to go the other way. The only real question mark is playing time. LeMahieu has a great glove, and the Yankees plan to use him all over the diamond. This should help him get his fair share of at bats, and if he gets hot they will find a way to get his bat in the lineup. In the end, I think LeMahieu can provide solid value at his current ADP.
Chris Taylor – LAD, 207 ADP (2b, SS, OF)
Taylor is a 28-year-old utility man who I think we’ve seen the best of in 2017. He’s got a bit of pop and a bit of speed, but I think he’s a long shot for another 21 HR, 17 SB season, and I don’t see him batting .288 any time soon with a K-rate approaching 30%. At a 208 ADP, there are plenty of other options I prefer.
This group does not have a lot of MLB experience. Obviously this makes them difficult to analyze and project for an MLB season, however, we can assess their tools and situations and consider where these guys are likely to help our teams. For stolen base upside, Garrett Hampson is the obvious leader of the group with his 70-grade speed. However, Luis Urias could also provide stolen bases as he has 50 grade speed. Of the remaining three players in this group, I like Joey Wendle the best. Not only is he slated to bat in the 3-hole for the Rays, but he also showed solid plate discipline and a 37% hard hit rate last season.
Garrett Hampson – COL, 204 ADP (2b, SS)
Currently projected to be the starting 2B for the Rockies as Murphy will be playing 1B and Desmond in the OF. There is risk that picture could change as we enter spring training. Hampson has 70 grade speed, so the SB potential is there. In a small 48 PA sample in 2018, Hampson walked at a 14.6% rate which means he should get on base enough to run. He’ll start the season in the bottom half of the order which brings his value down. At an ADP of 204 I’m not drafting him unless I totally whiffed on steals in the draft.
Willy Adames – TB, 223 ADP (2b, SS)
In 323 PAs last year Adames put up a solid 10 HR, 6 SB, and .278 AVG. The 29.4% K-rate has me concerned, but the 9.6% walk rate is above average. He also hit the ball pretty hard (34.7%) for a rookie. He’ll likely bat in the middle to lower half of the Rays lineup to start the year, but it shouldn’t take much for him to move up in front of the likes of Ji-Man Choi and Avisail Garcia. If so, he should end up providing value to those who drafted him.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.- TOR, 238 ADP (2b, SS)
In a small sample size of just 263 plate appearances, Gurriel showcased a 30.6% hard hit rate, and a 77.4% contact rate. Not bad considering he is a rookie. He also showcased a 3.4% walk rate which means he’s got a lot of work to do in 2019. Playing time is also a concern as the Jays have a crowded infield a well as a crowded outfield. Probably best to avoid for 2019 until we have a little larger sample and the playing time picture is clearer.
Joey Wendle – TB, 250 ADP (2b, OF, 1b-Y!, SS-Y!)
The 28-year-old had his first near full season in 2018 with the Rays, hitting .300 with solid plate discipline and a 37% hard hit rate. Unfortunately the hard hit rate only translated to 7 HR last year though. He is currently slated to bat 3rd for the Rays, behind Kiermaier and Pham. That’s a great spot to rack up RBI. I think there is a lot of upside potential here and thus Wendle is my favorite of the bunch.
Niko Goodrum – DET, 313 ADP (1b, 2b, 3b, SS, OF)
Based on a rookie 2018 season that included 492 plate appearances, Goodrum looks like a guy with a bit of pop and some speed. All signs point to his 16 HR, 12 SB season seems repeatable. Playing on the rebuilding Tigers will suppress his draft price, but batting 5th behind Miguel Cabrera could be a great opportunity for Goodrum to drive in some additional runs in 2019.
Luis Urias – SD, 325 ADP (2b, SS)
I’m admittedly not a prospect hound, but Urias is the 24th rated prospect per Fangraphs. He’s got a 65-grade hit tool and a 50-grade speed tool, but just a 35-grade power tool. Urias was slated to bat 2nd until the Padres signed Machado yesterday. Though he will likely hit lower in the order, Urias remains a cheap option for potential stolen bases.
The Mixed Bag – Miscellaneous Second Basemen
It’s not easy to determine which bucket these guys quite fit into so here they are in an assortment. Ketel Marte and Daniel Descalso are both intriguing. Marte took a step forward in his hard-hit rate last season while still maintaining elite contact levels. That’s great to see from a 25-year-old. If the trend continues, Marte may be a huge asset in 2019. With Descalso, his profile in 2018 was that of a 25- 30 home run hitter, yet he hit only 13. I see him as an extremely potential source of potential power for 2019 at an ADP of 542.
Ketel Marte – AZ, 273 ADP (2b, SS, should gain OF early in 2019)
Marte took a big step forward in his 2018 season with Arizona, swatting 14 homers and increasing his hard hit rate by 8% to 36.0%, all while maintaining a .260 batting average. Marte has a great contact rate of 85.9% and solid plate discipline evidenced by a walk rate of 9.3% and a K-rate of 13.6%. In the past I viewed Marte as a player with BA upside and a bit of speed, so the developing power makes him an intriguing option. He’s someone I’ll be targeting in deeper leagues.
Marwin Gonzalez – FA, 280 ADP (1b, 2b, SS, OF)
He does not yet have a team and as a utility player that adds a lot of question marks around his value. He’s a good bet for mid-teens HR and an average in the .250s. The hard-hit rate improved last year, which could mean the potential for another 20+ home runs season (see 2017). Without knowing where he will sign, it’s hard to evaluate his value, but at his current ADP he’s not badly priced.
Daniel Descalso – CHC, 542 ADP (1b, 2b, 3b)
Descalso signed a 2-year deal with the Cubs this offseason, and while he is slated to be a bench / platoon player, he’s someone who intrigues me. Much of that is from his 15% walk rate, his 43.1% hard-hit rate, and his 46.1% fly ball rate. Seems like there is legit untapped power potential here, yet Descalso hit just 13 home runs in 423 plate appearances last year with the Diamondbacks. Descalso does have a 49.1% pull rate which will limit the batting average. If you can handle juggling the playing time, I think Descalso is worth a flyer with one of your last draft picks.
In a 10 or 12 team league, I’m likely not drafting any of these guys. However, in a 16-teamer or AL/NL only, there is certainly a place for the dependable, though not very exciting veteran. Someone you can plug in without concern for playing time, and though they won’t give you much, they will give you something. Of the group below, I am partial to Kinsler due to his consistency and because he is likely to bat leadoff for the Padres. Lowrie and Cabrera are also both decent options, though being drafted much earlier than the rest of the bunch. Walker could also return some value as he must be the cheapest cleanup hitter on the fantasy landscape right now.
Asdrubal Cabrera – TEX, 254 ADP (2b, 3b, SS)
Cabrera had a solid campaign in 2018, posting 23 HR and a .262 average in a season split between the Mets and Phillies. At age 33 he finds himself in Texas to start 2019. It’s a great park to hit in, but don’t expect much of a change from the numbers Cabrera put up the last few seasons.
Jed Lowrie – NYM, 270 ADP (2b, 3b)
Lowrie had a career 2018, including 23 homers and 99 RBI. He’s got good plate skills and posted a career high 40.1% hard hit rate last year with the As. Now a New York Met, Lowrie should bat in the top half of the order. I don’t expect a repeat of 2018, but he could come close if maintains his gains in hard hit rate.
Ben Zobrist – CHC, 326 ADP (2b, OF)
He had himself a nice season hitting .307 in 2018, but it came with little else. I don’t expect him to play more than 140 games at age 37.
Starlin Castro – MIA, 336 ADP (2b)
Castro posted a career hard hit rate of 37.3% last season. Though he hit just 12 home runs last year, I am optimistic he can return to near 20 home runs in 2019, a mark he hasn’t hit since 2016. Castro is in all likelihood batting in the 2-hole for the Marlins, though their lineup is rather dilapidated. Aside from the 15 or so home runs you are likely to get, Castro should also provide a batting average north of .270. Not an exciting guy to draft, but that’s what you get at an ADP of 336.
Jason Kipnis – CLE, 343 ADP (2b, OF)
Kipnis is another player who can provide a bit of power and speed. Though the stolen base totals have waned in recent years, the power numbers have been steadily in the 15-20 range. At an ADP of 342, Kipnis is more a fill-in than a target. He’ll bat toward the top of a good Cleveland lineup however, so there is some Runs upside.
Ian Kinsler – SD, 361 ADP (2b)
Kinsler is slated to bat leadoff for the Padres which just got a little more interesting with the Machado signing. The veteran second baseman has provided a nice power speed combo over the last decade, somehow finding a way to return double digit home run and stolen base totals in 12 of his 13 MLB seasons. The batting average has declined in recent seasons, and at age 36, it’s hard to expect Kinsler to take a big jump forward. However, he should be in the range of his last couple seasons with potential to score some additional runs batting in front of Machado and Hosmer.
Neil Walker – MIA, 483 ADP (1b, 2b, 3b)
Walker is slated to play first and bat clean-up for the rebuilding Miami Marlins. He’s coming off a down year with the Yanks so I expect a bit of a bounce back from the .219 average. He’s practically free, so he’s someone I may be targeting in deeper leagues.
Zack Cozart – LAA, 416 ADP (2b, 3b, SS)
Cozart missed a large chunk of 2018 after injuring his shoulder, resulting in surgery to repair a torn labrum. Cozart is just 2 years removed from a career 2017, however shoulder injuries can sometimes take a while to fully recover from. Look for a bounce back, but similar to Walker, not enough to interest me.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and feel free to drop a comment below. Next week I will be switching to the other side of the diamond and ranking shortstops. See you then.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday February 17th, 2019 from 8-9:45pm EST for episode #138 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. This week we will break down the N.L. Central.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore on Thursday February 21st, 2019 from 8pm – 9:45pm EST for the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. Call in number is 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Our topic for tonight will be the A.L. West.
Be sure to check out our Sunday night show February 24th from 8pm to 9:45pm EST. They will cover the N.L. West.