2019 Preseason Rankings: Top 10 Second Basemen: Intriguing Names Emerge At A Suddenly Deep Position

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As we said with our early first base rankings, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • We are still extremely early in the process so player movement, among other factors, will have an impact on these rankings as we get closer to the start of the season
  • Just because a player his ranked #3 doesn’t mean you should draft him in that spot. In most cases you shouldn’t have to, it just shows the potential value they hold
  • These rankings are based on our projections and expected production for 2019

Second base was once viewed as a shallow position, though that’s no longer the case.  Just looking at the names who just missed these rankings shows that there is going to be value even late in your draft, it’s just a matter of identifying who the right target is.  Let’s take a look at how things currently look:

1) Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
2) Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs
3) Ozzie Albies – Atlanta Braves
4) Whit Merrifield – Kansas City Royals
5) Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees
6) Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers
7) Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers
8) Daniel Murphy – Free Agent
9) Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox
10) Scooter Gennett – Cincinnati Reds

Thoughts:

  • Entering last season seeing Rougned Odor in the Top 5 wouldn’t have come as a surprise, though a slow start led to questions about his upside. He posted a strong second half (.266 with 12 HR and 39 RBI) and showed a significant improvement in his ability to make consistent contact (his SwStr% dropped from 12.9% to 10.4%, showing improvement against all types of pitches).  There’s never been a question about his power and speed, with a 30/15 season not out of the question.  He and Gleyber Torres have extremely similar projections for 2019 and it wouldn’t be surprising if Odor ultimately outproduces him, though for now he’s going to come in behind him on our rankings.
  • We’ve all heard about the potential of Yoan Moncada, and while he has yet to live up to it we could finally be at the tipping point. He showed an improved approach as the season progressed (11.8% SwStr%, 22.5% O-Swing% in the second half), and that should lead to a better strikeout rate.  Even if he just gets things down into the 27-28% range, with his speed and ability to hit the ball hard we are talking about the potential to hit .260 to go along with 20/20 ability.  Don’t make the mistake of writing him off now.
  • We recently took an in-depth look at Scooter Gennett, trying to determine if he was for real or if he was destined to disappoint. Make sure to check that out by clicking here.
  • Where Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier and D.J. LeMahieu land via free agency will ultimately determine their spot on these rankings. While Dozier and LeMahieu fell just short, if they land in ideal situations it wouldn’t be surprising to see them find their way into the mix.
  • Others who just missed are Dee Gordon and Robinson Cano, both of which could easily jump right behind Shaw on the rankings depending on how the offseason progresses.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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Make sure to check out all of our 2019 projections:

Player
Date Posted
Dylan Bundy10/22/18
Foltynewicz, Mike10/09/18
Gibson, Kyle10/29/18
Hoskins, Rhys10/16/18
Hosmer, Eric11/05/18
Wheeler, Zack10/02/18

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