Preliminary 2020 Rankings: Top 10 Second Baseman (Where To Rank The 2019 Breakouts, Any Surprises? & More)

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As you view these rankings keep in mind that they are extremely preliminary and will change as we continue our evaluations and projections for 2020. They will also be expanded here on the site, with even deeper rankings and more in-depth analysis available via our draft guide (click here for information on pre-ordering the guide for just $8.25).

With that said, let’s get to the rankings:

RankPlayerTeamQuick Thoughts
1)Jose AltuveHouston AstrosAltuve is coming off a monster season and remains the elite at 2B, though the gap has closed and you have to wonder if he's closer to his 1st half production (.262 with 10 HR) as opposed to the second (21 HR). He also has progressively started running less (17 SB) and if the power regresses so will his overall value. He opens the year atop the rankings, but that doesn't mean he's worth the price tag (something we'll really dive into as the offseason progresses).
2) Gleyber TorresNew York YankeesTorres' 2019 "breakout" was more due to spike in his power than anything, as the underlying metrics remained relatively unchanged. There are going to be questions about his approach (13.2% SwStr%, 35.1% O-Swing%) and concern that his power creates bad habits moving forward (like a pull heavy approach forming).
3) Max MuncyLos Angeles DodgersThose who believed that 2018 was an aberration were quickly proven wrong and the positional flexibility along with his ability to produce against both RHP and LHP only adds to the appeal.
4) Ketel MarteArizona DiamondbacksMarte erupted in '19, hitting .329 with 32 HR, 92 RBI, 97 R and 10 SB. It's possible his power is closer to the second half rate (12 HR) and if he's atop the order the RBI could fall, but with positional flexibility he's truly emerged.
5) Whit MerrifieldKansas City RoyalsMerrifield is going to continue to hold value, but he's not a significant source of power and his stolen base total fell off the map (45 in '18 to 20 in '19). At his age will the stolen bases suddenly return to the elite levels? That'll be something to watch though his production in the other categories (.300ish hitter with enough HR and ability to score R) keeps him as a good play.
6) Eduardo EscobarArizona DiamondbacksHe built on his 2018 breakout, hitting .272 with 35 HR and 118 RBI in '19. Of course he also has some red flags, which helped lead to a .236 AVG in the second half. Even if he hit .260ish with 30 HR, though, would anyone complain?
7)Ozzie AlbiesAtlanta BravesThere's no questioning the potential of Albies, and while he's coming off a productive season there are enough questions to suppress his spot on the rankings slightly. He has struggled to make consistent contact, even against "hard" pitches (11.14% Whiff%) and he takes a pull heavy approach for a player without top end power (20.7% Oppo%).
8)D.J. LeMahieuNew York YankeesAre we really to think that his move to Yankee Stadium suddenly made him evolve into this type of power hitter? Can we really ignore the fact that he played the first part of his career in Coors Field? We've already given our 2020 projection, which you can view by clicking here.
9)Keston HiuraMilwaukee BrewersThe struggles of Travis Shaw (as well as his injuries) led to an opportunity for Hiura and he fully took advantage (.303 with 19 HR over 314 AB). He did show strikeout issues (17.5% SwStr% led to a 30.7% strikeout rate) and he also won't maintain a .402 BABIP. There's a lot of potential, but he needs to make some adjustments if he wants to fully realize it (and while it may happen, it may not happen as soon as 2020).
10)Jonathan VillarBaltimore OriolesThroughout the years we've seen the good and the bad from Villar, but in '19 it was all good (.274 with 24 HR and 40 SB). The key is going to be maintaining the average (he hit .259 in the first half), which will allow him to continue contributing both R and SB.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Prof where would you rank Albies in a keeper league? I know you have him 7th here, but I would assume he’d higher since guys like Muncy, Torres, and Escobar are likely going to lose 2B after 2020

    • I wouldn’t be so sure that Torres in particular is going to lose his 2B eligibility (not that I think they will get Lindor, but the rumors are out there). In a dynasty league I’d push him up below Marte, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he ultimately outproduced him. He wouldn’t jump any higher than that, though.

    • It really depends on their offseason, but I’d think he’s earned a spot. He’s not far outside the Top 10, but it goes to show the depth at the spot this year

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