2016 Rankings (OBP Edition): Top 15 Second Basemen

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Dee Gordon, one of the top second baseman in the league, hardly ever draws a walk so how does his value change with the move to OBP?  Which player sees his value jump the highest?  Who tumbles down the rankings because of it?  Let’s take a look at how we rank the Top 15 Second Baseman in OBP formats:

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) Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
8) Logan Forsythe – Tampa Bay Rays
9) Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers
10) Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds
11) Kolten Wong – St. Louis Cardinals
12) Ben Zobrist – Chicago Cubs
13) Joe Panik – San Francisco Giants
14) Neil Walker – New York Mets
15) Brett Lawrie – Chicago White Sox

Thoughts:

  • Dee Gordon doesn’t draw many walks (3.8% in ’15), but his speed should allow him to maintain an elevated BABIP and push a .300 average. While his value doesn’t increase due to the switch to OBP, his stolen base total keeps him right at the top.
  • Switching from average to OBP does hurt the potential value of Rougned Odor, who falls into a nearly dead heat with Brandon Phillips and Kolten Wong. He owns a 4.5% walk rate over 887 PA (leading to a .307 OBP) in the Majors and while you can argue his age and potential to mature, he’s shown little sign of it (.313 OBP in the second half last season). Until he shows that he can take the step forward we need to keep our expectations in check.
  • One of the biggest risers is Joe Panik, who posted a .378 OBP last season. He doesn’t have the power or the speed upside, which keeps him towards the bottom of these rankings, but he has the potential to post one of the best marks of any second baseman. That gives him value so don’t sell him short.
  • Ben Zobrist is another player that gains value thanks to the change. His OBP is right there with Panik’s, though the concerns about his recent lack of power and the disappearance of his speed remain. He certainly jumps, thanks to an 11.6% walk rate in ’15 (12.0% for his career), but don’t ignore the other issues.

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5 comments

  1. Marky Mark says:

    Last year, Zobrist had a .173 ISO (2nd among all 2B) and a .450 SLG (3rd among all 2B).

    I don’t know where you imagine a lack of power exists.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He hasn’t topped 13 HR since 2012, so the days of him reaching 20+ seem to be behind him…

      • Marky Mark says:

        If the only thing you are looking at is the HR column on the stat page, then yeah, I can see how you would come to that conclusion.

        My point is that the power is clearly still there. Those ISO and SLG stats put Zobrist in the top 60 among all qualified hitters last year.

        Now that he’s moved out of the pitcher’s paradises in OAK and KC, which are among the most HR-suppressing parks in the game, there’s reason to expect the HR numbers to increase. Because he still hits for power.

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