by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
While there are questions throughout the rankings, second base has suddenly developed into a rather deep position. We saw players emerge last season, including Dee Gordon, Rougned Odor and Logan Forsythe. We should see some players rebound in 2016, including Anthony Rendon, Jason Kipnis and Robinson Cano. How does it all shake out? Let’s take a look:
1. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
2. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
3. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
4. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
5. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
6. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
7. Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers
8. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
9. Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds
10. Logan Forsythe – Tampa Bay Rays
11. Kolten Wong – St. Louis Cardinals
12. Brett Lawrie – Chicago White Sox
13. Neil Walker – New York Mets
14. Starlin Castro – New York Yankees
15. Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
- When you look at the players ranked 3-5 there are obvious questions. Rendon struggled with injuries in ’15, limiting him to 80 games, but if he returns to health he should be a 15/10 option (with the potential for more). Kipnis did hit .303 last season, but there wasn’t a lot behind it (9 HR/12 SB). He added 43 doubles, though, and is a good bet to rebound and bring a 10/20+ campaign. As for Cano, we all know the story and the strong finish (.331, 15 HR, 49 RBI). He’s not going to be the player he was in New York, but he’s going to be productive all the same.
- There’s a lot to like regarding Rougned Odor, though there are questions regarding his average. Last season he struggled with both line drives (14.6%) and popups (19.1%), making his pedestrian .261 average look unsustainable. Of course he was also just 21 (he turns 22 in February), so there’s a good chance that he takes a step forward in his development.
- Logan Forsythe was one of the bigger breakout performers in 2015, but can he maintain it (.281, 17 HR, 9 SB)? We tackled that question earlier in the offseason, which you can read by clicking here, concluding that he may take a small step backwards but should continue to produce solid numbers.
- Moving from the A’s to the White Sox is obviously going to be beneficial to Brett Lawrie, who has the potential to post the first 20+ HR season of his career. The caveat, though, is if he can stay healthy… That’s something he’s had problems doing.
- We looked at Neil Walker, prior to his trade to New York, which you can read by clicking here. At the time we declared him an ideal bounce back candidate, as the underlying average metrics (18.2% strikeout rate, 21.4% line drive rate, 4.9% popup rate) were all promising and his average distance on non-groundballs were similar to his ’14 mark (263.527 vs. 264.396). The trade does little to impact our outlook, so continue to view him as a strong buy.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2016 rankings: