Update Rankings (May 1): Top 15 Second Basemen: Odor Sliding Down, Murphy Among Elite & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We are a month into the season so there have obviously been changes to our preseason rankings.  Who has shown signs of improving?  Who has struggled and thus has a cloudier outlook?  Let’s take a look at how things currently stand (Note: The number in parenthesis represents the player’s ranking in our final draft guide update):


1. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros (1)
2. Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals (7)
3. Trea Turner – Washington Nationals (2)
4. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals (4)
5. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians (NR)
6. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners (3)
7. Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners (10)
8. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins (8)
9. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers (5)
10. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins (6)
11. Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers (9)
12. Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee Brewers (NR)
13. Devon Travis – Toronto Blue Jays (13)
14. Neil Walker – New York Mets (14)
15. Jonathan Schoop – Baltimore Orioles (NR)


Currently on the DL:

  • Logan Forsythe – Los Angeles Dodgers (12)


  • It has become obvious that Daniel Murphy is not the same player he was while he was in New York. Sure he doesn’t walk that much (5.4%), but he makes consistent contact (6.6% SwStr%) and hits the ball exceptionally hard (29.0% line drive rate).  He’s proven capable of carrying a .320+ average for some time now and also continues to show power.  At this point he’s one of the best in the game.
  • So far Robinson Cano appears to have gone backwards in terms of his groundball rate (50.6%). While it may rebound, it has come at the expense of his line drive rate (16.9%).  After posting an 18.0% mark last season it’s something watch.  He should be better than a .252 hitter, but he needs to make an adjustment in order to rebound.
  • Jose Ramirez wasn’t included on our preseason ranking because he only played 9 games at second base last season. With Jason Kipnis’ injury he’s already exceeded that and should maintain eligibility there into 2018 (most likely).  While he may not be able to maintain the power he’s shown thus far, remember he’s just 24-years old and did have 46 doubles and 3 triples last season.  Seeing a few more home runs (think 15-20) shouldn’t be a surprise. (Note: The same reason is why Jonathan Villar was not included in our preseason rankings)
  • It looks like Rougned Odor has gotten homer happy, with a 52.6% fly ball rate, and he continues to chase far too many pitches (41.0% O-Swing%). That’s obviously had a negative impact on his batting average (.196) and will continue to do so until he readjusts.  This could be just the beginning of his slide down our rankings.
  • It’s been a nice start for Jonathan Schoop, but keep in mind he owns a 16.9% strikeout rate yet a 13.9% SwStr%. There’s a regression coming, though the power keeps him relevant.

Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:

CatcherApril 25
First BaseApril 26
Second BaseMay 1
Third BaseMay 4
ShortstopMay 8
Starting Pitcher--
Relief Pitcher--


  1. Chris says:

    Hi Prof. Your thoughts on Starlin Castro? You think he’s just riding a hot streak right now and will slump? TIA

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Yep, that’s exactly it. He was in contention for the bottom of the rankings, but the risk of a significant regression kept him just shy

  2. Mike says:

    What about Kipnis. Now that he’s back, Ramirez is back to 3rd base.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Ramirez is going to remain on the rankings because he retains eligibility. Kipnis is so hit or miss, probably should’ve been in the #14-15 range right now, but his upside isn’t as high as a healthy Travis

  3. Mike says:

    I think Cesar Hernandez most certainly should be in the top 15 and arguably the top ten.

    Where would his 2016 numbers rank him?

    It seems like he is taking a step forward this year through 1/6 of the season. He is on pace for .300 110 runs, 20 HRs 15 SBs. I think his pace might shift to a bit less power and a bit more speed.

    How many full, productive seasons does Travis have?

    It seems the ceiling of Travis is equal to the floor of Hernandez.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Hernandez doesn’t offer much power or speed (though more speed), he’s benefitting from an unsustainable .409 BABIP and he’s swinging and missing more (leading to a jump in strikeouts to 25.0%). Hard to buy into him maintaining his current marks.

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