Today, we continue to take an early look at Fantasy Baseball Rankings for the coming year and this article’s focus will be on the Second Base position. With that in mind here are the early 2016 Fantasy second base rankings.
1) Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
Altuve has continued to improve his performance at the plate. Historically, Altuve has hit for a strong batting average and has been a strong source of stolen bases. However, with Altuve starting to develop some power (15 HR last season), he has established himself as the strongest second baseman from a fantasy standpoint.
2) Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Twins
Dozier is the Fantasy Baseball equivalent to the Ben & Jerry’s flavor Everything But The Ice Cream. In Dozier’s case, he is everything but the batting average as he is a .240 career hitter. However, he is strong in the power department (28 HR last season), he scores plenty of runs (101 runs last season), has driven in 70+ runs the last two seasons and consistently reaches double figures in stolen bases.
3) Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners
Cano hasn’t had the same impact since going to the Mariners but is still capable of producing. Last season, he still managed to hit .287 with 21 HR despite providing very little value pre All-Star break. While there are red flags (age, rumored unhappiness, etc.), there isn’t enough statistical evidence to write him off completely.
4) Dee Gordon, 2B, Miami Marlins
While the Marlins were a colossal disappointment last season, Gordon would be one of the last people to blame for these results. At the very least, he will steal a lot of bases; but expectations will need to be tempered on the batting average as his .333 AVG was fueled by a .383 BABIP. Then again, I thought he was going to regress in 2015 for the same reason. So take that prediction with a grain of salt.
5) Ian Kinsler, 2B, Detroit Tigers
While Kinsler is not getting any younger and is not the 30/30 player he was earlier this decade, he still has enough left to be revlevant. He still hits for enough average, scores plenty of runs and has enough power/speed to provide double figures in both HR & SB.
6) Anthony Rendon, 2B, Washington Nationals
Rendon is also eligible at 3B. While Rendon has displayed enough potential to be much closer to the top of the list (see 2014), to date he’s only had one strong season. Granted, last season’s production was limited by injury; but even in the 80 games he played last season his numbers were not very impressive (97 wRC+).
7) Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians
Overall, Kipnis experienced a strong bounce-back in 2015 (.303 AVG, nine HR, 12 SB, 126 wRC+), but there is reason to be skeptical about an ability to repeat. His .356 BABIP was 36 points above his career total making a repeat of his .303 AVG unlikely. There is also the question of whether a high level of performance is sustainable year-long as he hit .271 with three HR after the All-Star break.
8) DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Colorado Rockies
While LeMahieu is not going to give you power numbers (even at Coors Field), he does provide a strong batting average and plenty of stolen bases.
9) Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Pedroia is another player that is past his peak but still has value. He should give you a strong batting average, score plenty of runs, and give you double-digit HR totals. However, his days of being a source of stolen bases are done.
10) Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
Wong took a couple steps forward and a couple steps back last season. While he improved his batting average by 13 points and improved his Run/RBI totals, he also saw a decrease in HR & SB. Despite this, his power/speed combination and youth (he’s only 25) indicate that better days could be on the horizon.
11) Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers
Odor had such a poor start to last season that he actually spent 30 games in the minors. However, he had a very strong second half (.273 AVG, 12 HR in 277 PA) and overall he made strides (especially in the power department). He will only be 22 before Opening Day and if he continues to improve he could be top-5 at this position within the next few years.
12) Daniel Murphy, 2B, Free Agent
If you are expecting a power burst from Murphy similar to what he did in the off-season you will likely be disappointed (his 14 HR last season was a career high). However, he will hit for a solid average, throw in some power, and could drive in 70+ runs if given the opportunity.
13) Neil Walker, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates
He took a modest step back last season as his HR total of 16 was closer to his career norms. While Walker will give you slightly more power than Murphy, he is also likely to hit for a lower batting average.
14) Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
Phillips enjoyed a mini-resurgence last season hitting .294 with 12 HR and 23 SB. However, these numbers were not even close to what he put up when he was younger and at 34, his peak has likely come and gone.
15) Ben Zobrist, 2B, Free Agent
Zobrist is one of those players who is in high demand on the free agent market. However, he is much more valuable in real life than he will be on your fantasy team. While you will get a decent batting average and double digit power, he has also not hit 20+ HR since 2012 and if last season is any indication, his days of being a stolen base threat are over.
16) Howie Kendrick, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
While Kendrick will help your AVG (.290+ the last three seasons), he also has a limited ceiling when it comes to home runs and stolen bases.
17) Joe Panik, 2B, San Francisco Giants
Panik had a surprisingly strong follow-up to his rookie season. He hit .312 and improved his BB% and K%. However, his value is driven down by low power totals.
18) Starlin Castro, 2B, Chicago Cubs
Castro played 38 games at 2B (in addition to 109 games at SS) last season. He has consistently hit 10-14 HR per season but does not provide many stolen bases and his batting average has been inconsistent.
19) Logan Forsythe, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays
Forsythe had a breakout season last year, hitting .281 with 17 HR. With that being said, I’m not sold on him repeating this performance as his BABIP was 27 points above his career average, and it was the first time that he reached double figures in home runs.
20) Wilmer Flores 2B, New York Mets
While he primarily played at SS, he is eligible at 2B as he played 37 games there last season. While he did hit for decent power (16 HR) he rarely steals any bases. He hits for a mediocre average and there is the question of how much playing time he will get (510 PA last year was his career high). Even though he is young (24) and should be better over the next few years, there isn’t yet enough statistical evidence to rank him higher.