by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The days of Robinson Cano as the lone elite second base option have come and gone, with Anthony Rendon and Jose Altuve joining him in the top tier (and you could argue a few others aren’t too far behind). How do the rankings stack up? Let’s take a look:
1. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
2. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
3. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
4. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
5. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
6. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
7. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
8. Daniel Murphy – New York Mets
9. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
10. Kolten Wong – St. Louis Cardinals
11. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
12. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Jed Gyorko – San Diego Padres
14. Ben Zobrist – Oakland A’s
15. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Javier Baez is going to be one of the more hyped players heading into 2015, but fantasy owners need to be careful not to overvalue him. The power upside is unquestioned, but you need to make contact to hit home runs. He posted an unbelievable 41.5% strikeout rate over 229 PA in the Majors in ’14, after owning a 30.0% mark at Triple-A prior to his recall. Sure he could hit 35+ HR, but it also may come at the expense of a sub-.220 average. Unfortunately for him (and Arismendy Alcantara), the acquisition of Dexter Fowler now throws playing time into question. For more on the fallout click here, but proceed with caution.
- It would be easy to write off the breakout of Neil Walker (.271, 23 HR, 76 RBI), but that would be a mistake. What number was really unbelievable? A 22.6% line drive rate (22.5% for his career)? A 13.9% HR/FB (10.1% for his career, now 29-years old)? A .288 BABIP? A 15.4% strikeout rate (17.1% for his career)? There’s every reason to believe.
- Many are going to write off Jason Kipnis due to his struggles, but we should believe that he can have a strong rebound. Remember he was plagued by an oblique injury that helped to zap him of his power. He did still swipe 22 bases and he also endured some poor luck (.288 BABIP, 22.6% line drive rate).
- Dustin Pedroia simply isn’t the same player that he used to be. Is there anything else that we really need to say?
- We all know Dee Gordon is not going to produce much power, but his move to Miami should not be viewed as a negative one. His speed should play well in the big ballpark and having Giancarlo Stanton hitting behind him should help lead to a significant number of runs scored.
Make sure to check out all of our early 2015 rankings:
- First Basemen
- Second Basemen
- Third Basemen
- Starting Pitchers
- Relief Pitchers
*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, complete with projections of over 550 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***