Updated 2015 Fantasy Rankings: Top 15 Second Basemen (Tiered)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Second base has never been viewed as a particularly deep position, though that no longer appears to be the case.  There are numerous options, ranging from high upside youngsters, veterans who are on the downside and everything in between.  Let’s take a look at how things currently stand:

 

Tier 1:
1. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
2. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
3. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros

Tier 2:
4. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
5. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
6. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
7. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins

Tier 3:
8. Daniel Murphy – New York Mets
9. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
10. Kolten Wong – St. Louis Cardinals

Tier 4:
11. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
12. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Jedd Gyorko – San Diego Padres
14. Ben Zobrist – Oakland A’s
15. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies

Thoughts:

  • Remember the days when Robinson Cano was the clear-cut top option at second base?  Those days are well behind us, as he’s been surpassed at this point.  The power regressed, as expected, though it wasn’t simply ballpark related (52.6% groundball rate, average distance on non-groundballs of 256.590).
  • Jason Kipnis has battled injuries all offseason, with back spasms being the latest issue to sideline him.  If he can get healthy there’s a good chance that he rebounds and posts strong numbers (though his ranking will obviously take a hit if he’s not ready for Opening Day).  A year ago we would’ve placed him right with that top tier and it’s not impossible that he’s back there by year’s end.  For more on Kipnis, click here.
  • The third tier is an intriguing one, with all three players having the potential to move up.  Murphy is banged up, unfortunately, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on him.  As for Walker, some people likely don’t believe in last year’s breakout.  That said the power surge appears to be for real, he has the potential to hit for a strong average and also hits in the middle of the Pirates lineup.  In other words, after the top names are off the board there’s an awful lot to like.
  • After the top three tiers, there’s no real “star” at this point.  Instead there appear to be a lot of interchangeable parts as there are four more players included in this tier.  Players like Pedroia, Zobrist & Utley are on the downsides of their career and Kendrick has always been a player with limited upside.
  • Of the players outside the upper tiers, Gyorko may offer the most potential.  He has ample power, even playing in Petco Park, and also should post a significantly better average than last year’s .210 (.253 BABIP despite a 21.8% line drive rate).  Think of him as someone on a similar level to Jhonny Peralta, who is an underrated source of power from a middle infield spot.

Make sure to check out all of our 2015 rankings:

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14 comments

  1. Marky Mark says:

    Since it’s unlikely that Rendon is going to be ready for opening day….how much time would he have to miss in order to fall out of the top spot on your rankings? 2 weeks? A month? More?

    • m.j higgins says:

      I already knocked him down below Cano and Altuve. Why take the chance. It’s a long season, why start it off looking for trouble.
      I want to be able to not worry about my early round picks, so I advise passing on players with an injury concern. Over the years I’ve seen far to many mountains grow from tiny mole hills.

      • Marky Mark says:

        We keep players forever in my league, so I’m not going to throw him away completely just yet. 140 games of Rendon is still a good bit better than most of the rest of the names on that list anyway.

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          Long-term I’d still prefer Rendon. At this point, though, he does fall to #3 on my rankings due to the risk of missed time

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m in the process of reevaluating Rendon now, but if he’s going to miss any significant time (2-3 weeks/50 AB), it’ll be enough to slip him below Cano. That’s how close it is

  2. Finders Keepers says:

    You should take a longer look at Rougned Odor. To me he’s easily Tier 3 play going into this season and could be firmly entrenched in Tier 2 by the end.

    What he did last year was pretty amazing given he was rushed majors at age 20. He’s had a short but successful minor league career while always being 4-5 years younger than the league average. Plus, the evaluations by his teammates and manager regarding his makeup and ability to adjust indicate a potentially special talent.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I actually am a big believer in him, I just think it’s a stretch to think he’s going to make that big of a leap this season. I’m much more comfortable targeting him as a middle infielder with upside

  3. M says:

    In an OPS league should I trade Billy Hamilton for Dee Gordon straight up? In a 5×5 I wouldn’t, but Billy hurts taking up a OF in my league thats 7×7 with OPS and BB… Thoughts?

  4. Greg says:

    Mookie Betts has 2b eligibility in Yahoo. I can’t believe you didn’t know that but perhaps you didn’t, so I’ll have to forgive your oversight….

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    M – Are there any keeper ramifications? It’s not the craziest thing, but it’s not like Gordon draws a ton of walks or has an elevated OPS himself. If Hamilton is hitting 7th, though, it’s a different story (though I don’t see that holding).

    Greg – I don’t gear the rankings to one site’s eligibility (since everyone sets their league up differently). I used 20 games played as the cutoff, so Betts had 40 in the OF and 14 at 2B last season, which is why he’s not on here. If he were, he’d be #6 ahead of Dozier

  6. M says:

    With Daniel Murphy’s injury apparently behind him, where would you put him in these rankings. Where will he likely end up in the batting order?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I actually hadn’t moved Murphy due to injury so he stays as is. I’d guess he’s hit second, but time will tell

  7. Corey says:

    Better Rendon fill-in at second for me: Scooter Gennett or Micah Johnson?

  8. Rotoprofessor says:

    Johnson has the higher upside but also a lower floor. Gennett is “safer”. I’d probably go after the upside and take Johnson, but it depends how you want to play it.

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