(Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire)
2018 End of the Season Positional Dynasty Rankings
The season may have ended, but dynasty baseball never stops.
|Top 25 Catchers||Top 60 Outfielders|
|Top 30 First Basemen||Top 90 Outfielders|
|Top 30 Second Basemen||Top 30 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Shortstops||Top 60 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Third Basemen||Top 90 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Outfielders||Top 50 Relief Pitchers|
The Top 30 Second Basemen
- Jose Ramirez lost second base eligibility in 2018 with only 16 starts at second base once Josh Donaldson came to Cleveland. There remains a path to continued second base eligibility if Donaldson is resigned by Cleveland (or another third baseman), otherwise, the team will have Ramirez anchor third base in the future. If second base eligible, Ramirez would be the clear #1.
- Jose Altuve played much of the 2018 season with a knee avulsion for which he underwent surgery after his season ended. While this likely cut down on his home runs and stolen bases, Javier Baez‘ monstrous 2018 campaign earned him the top spot having finally played a full season. There is significant room for debate between these two players as they present varying approaches to earning fantasy value. If you want a deeper comparison, hit us up – but for the purposes of this ranking consider them 1a and 1b.
- Ozzie Albies is once again the third overall second baseman after posting a solid first half of 20 home runs, nine stolen bases, and a .281 batting average. Albies subsequently fell off hard in the second half with only four home runs, five stolen bases, and a .226 batting average — and still finished as the 7th best second baseman. Albies is still only 21 years old and his talent is likely closer to his first half than his second half. While there are clear concerns, few players in the Majors have as much upside as Albies.
- Gleyber Torres did not break out in his rookie season, but in his age 21 season and first season back from Tommy John, he presented a floor of a player likely to stick around in the Majors. Like Albies, he faded hard in August and September. In only 431 at-bats, Torres hit 24 home runs, stole six bases, and batted .271. All signs are pointing up for Torres as he comes around for his first full season in 2019.
- I was a Scooter Gennett doubter after 2017 and here I am to eat crow. Gennett was a consistent bat throughout 2018, dipping to a monthly batting average of .259 only once. He only has one year left of arbitration before he lands on a team that will boost his countable stats – although in any other park there may be a dip in home runs.
- Dee Gordon should have enough looks moving forward at second base to justify placement on this list with Robinson Cano to get more first base and designated hitter reps now that Nelson Cruz‘ contract is up. A sixty-point drop in Gordon’s OBP had more to do with Gordon’s lack of production on the bases. Gordon is 30 years old and as a speedster will only see his value fall in coming years, but for now Gordon should have enough in the tank to still lock down steals (at the risk of only contributing to two categories).
- Daniel Murphy has begun his descent in fantasy relevance although despite an injury-shortened season produced as consistently as he has in years past. Murphy is a Free Agent and much of his value will be tied up in where he signs and for how long. He is a pure hitter that should contribute 20 home runs for the next few years.
- Rougned Odor settled down after a disastrous 2017 campaign, producing fewer home runs, but stabilizing his batting average in the mid .250s – most notably he brought his OBP up seventy points to a respectably average .326. Odor is only 24, but has been in the league since he was 20 — he is inconsistent, but has massive upside.
- Nick Madrigal may wind up at shortstop although in his first partial season in the minors he played nearly exclusively at second base. Madrigal is a true hitter, making consistent contact without striking out (he went his first 72 plate appearances without a strikeout). Madrigal should rise quickly and offer some power and speed. I see Madrigal as the next Daniel Murphy or Dustin Pedroia.
- I think I am too low on Jonathan Villar in Baltimore. Had Villar played in Baltimore all season he could have been on pace for 60 steals, having stolen 21 bases in just 209 at-bats after getting traded in July. Villar has two years left of arbitration and although Baltimore will be a terrible team in that span, Villar should be at the top of the order with opportunity.
- The placement I have consistently have to defend is Yoan Moncada. I get it, Moncada has a massive ceiling with 30/30 potential – I remain a skeptic that he will ever reach his ceiling. At nearly any level of play Moncada has yet to produce in a way that would justify a higher ranking. His inability to make contact at the plate (32% and 33% K-rate in ’17 and ’18 respectively) limits his ability to produce anywhere else. To compound matters, he swings at good pitches with a well above average 23% O-Swing rate & 63% Z-Swing rate – but cannot make contact. In his first full season, Moncada took a step back – if he rights the ship he has a ceiling as high as Tier One.
- Adalberto Mondesi was a breath of fresh air as many other second basemen fell flat in August and September. Mondesi stole 32 bases in only 75 games in 2018 and is tracking to be the next speedster. I worry about his .306 OBP and 26% strikeout rate inhibiting his future success in that regard. He will be valuable, but how valuable will play out in 2019.
- Other than Nick Madrigal, Xavier Edwards is my favorite second baseman out of the 2018 draft. In his first 55 games, Edwards hit .346 with 22 stolen bases (caught only once). He also walked more than he struck out (25:31 K:BB). At 19 years old, Edwards is poised to move quickly through San Diego’s system.
- Luis Rengifo rapidly moved from A to AAA in 2018 he now finds himself relevant enough to make the list in earnest. Rengifo has an advanced approach at the plate (75:75 K:BB), which allowed him to hit consistently through each level while stealing 41 bases in 2018. Rengifo does not have much power, but could make for a much needed leadoff man and second baseman in Los Angeles.
- Jonathan Schoop is a speculative bounce-back candidate after a catastrophic 2018 season where he batted .233 and hit only 20 home runs. Schoop made 9% less hard contact and saw a seventy point drop in his BABIP. If Schoop could regain even half of those losses he would once again be a relevant fantasy player.
- Vidal Brujan and Esteury Ruiz were both on my “Way Too Far” list from the 2018 pre-season, but after breaking out in 2018 deserve to make this list in earnest. Brujan stole 55 bases and hit .320, Ruiz stole 49 bases and hit 12 home runs while hitting .253. Ruiz strikes out at a rate that worries me at his level, but Brujan has the plate discipline that will allow him to move as quickly as Luis Rengifo has moved.