The past four weeks we have been switching back and forth between outfielders and shortstop. While there are still many elite level prospects at those positions to cover, we will take a break and take a look around the diamond. This week we will look at second base. There are two prospects I want to showcase this week in Nick Madrigal and Shed Long.
Over the past few years we have seen the position of second base grow in depth in the fantasy world. In years past there could be up to 20 players that could reasonably be on my roster. This past year however we saw a shift. That list went down to about 12 that I felt comfortable rostering. The change was that some of the players that were dependable in years past have started to decline in performance and there began a gap in the position of talent. The good news is that there are good prospects coming on the way.
Nick Madrigal (2B CHW)
Scouting Grades according to MLB.com: Hit: 65 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
Nick was drafted as the 4th overall pick in the 2018 draft and he hit the ground running in pro ball. Madrigal has been known for getting on base and at a high rate. Through three levels in his first year of pro ball, his OBP was not lower than .340. At the start of the 2019 season he has kept up that clip over the first few weeks of the season. What might be more impressive than his ability to get on base, is Madrigal’s strike out percent. Over 2018, in 226 plate appearances Madrigal struck out only 8 times. That is an incredible 3.5%. The major downside to Madrigal’s game is his power. Over last season he did not hit a single home run. With minimal power, it can be hard to view the potential of a superstar in fantasy at the position, but he will be very useful and will be in the top 10 for many years.
As of right now Madrigal is estimated to reach the major leagues in 2020. If he continues to hit, I do not see a reason why he could not reach the majors. I can see Madrigal taking on a role similar to DJ Lemahieu. In my opinion, Madrigal has more value in a dynasty league compared to a keeper league. The reason for that, is in a dynasty league you keep most if not all of your team. Having Madrigal as your second basemen can be a solid player for years especially in an up and coming White Sox team. In a keeper league, I would not view Madrigal as a building block. Depending on the depth of league and how many are kept he could be a keeper, but I would view him more as a high draft pick after keepers.
Shed Long (2B SEA)
Scouting Grades according to MLB.com: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 45
Shed Long was taken in the 12th round of the 2013 draft. He originally was in the Reds organization until this past off-season. He was traded to the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal, then traded to his current organization of the Seattle Mariners. Shed landing in Seattle may be the best of the three teams for him to land at with a path to the majors. Currently Dee Gordon is occupying second, but it is clear that he is not the long-term solution. Shed profiles as a tool shed (pun intended with a power/speed combo and a decent average. Last season at AA Shed hit .260 AVG, 12 HR, 19 SB, 75 Runs and 56 RBI’s. If he can repeat those types of numbers when he gets to the major leagues he will definitely be a top ten second basemen.
The downside to Shed is his age and his hit tool. Shed is 23 years old, and by no means is that old, especially for a prospect. The part where his age comes into play is time to keep developing and improving. This can especially come into play with power. If he can continue to increase his number of home runs without sacrificing average that would increase his value. At his peak i would assume and average between .240-.260, home runs between 14-17 and 15-20 stolen bases. Obviously if he can stay towards the top of all those numbers the higher the value, but either way this will be a player that will rank within the top 12 in the future.
If I had to choose one of these players, I would probably pick Shed Long. I have a soft spot for players with power/speed potential, even if I have to take a hit with average. If you want the player with a higher floor, then Madrigal is your guy. Shed Long has the higher ceiling, but also the more room to fall. Depending on how you like to construct your team, either player can be useful for your fantasy teams. If I was a dynasty owner I would definitely try to grab one of these guys as they are part of the next wave of the position.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday April 18th, 2019 from 7:30-9pm EST for episode #152 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. Cole and Kyle will discuss the latest happenings in the world of MLB and fantasy. They will take a look back on the previous few days and a preview of the coming weekend. Including spot starts, bullpens, offense, and minor league players.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel live on Sunday April 21st, 2019 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #153 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. We will discuss spot starters for the coming week, plus a weekend update, and look ahead to next week.