End of the Season ’18: Top 30 Second Basemen To Own In Dynasty Leagues

Brennen Gorman ends the season by breaking down the top 30 second basemen to own in dynasty leagues.

(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 CatchersTop 60 Outfielders
Top 30 First BasemenTop 90 Outfielders
Top 30 Second BasemenTop 30 Starting Pitchers
Top 30 ShortstopsTop 60 Starting Pitchers
Top 30 Third BasemenTop 90 Starting Pitchers
Top 30 OutfieldersTop 50 Relief Pitchers

The Top 30 Second Basemen

RankPlayerTeamAgeChange
Tier One
1Javier BaezChicago Cubs25+8
2Jose AltuveHouston Astros28-1
3Ozzie AlbiesAtlanta Braves21
Tier Two
4Gleyber TorresNew York Yankees22+2
5Whit MerrifieldKansas City Royals29+3
6Scooter GennettCincinnati Reds28+21
7Dee GordonSeattle Mariners30UR
8Cesar HernandezPhiladelphia Phillies28+13
Tier Three
9Daniel MurphyFree Agent33-3
10Garrett Hampson (P)Colorado Rockies24+7
11Rougned OdorTexas Rangers24+2
12Keston Hiura (P)Milwaukee Brewers22+7
12Nick Madrigal (P)Chicago White Sox21UR
13Jonathan VillarBaltimore Orioles27+8
Tier Four
14Yoan MoncadaChicago White Sox23-4
15Nick Solak (P)Tampa Bay Rays23+8
16Adalberto MondesiKansas City Royals23UR
17DJ LeMahieuFree Agent30-3
18Brian DozierFree Agent31-11
19Xavier Edwards (P)San Diego Padres18UR
20Robinson CanoSeattle Mariners36-5
Tier Five
21Joey WendleTampa Bay Rays28UR
22Luis Urias (P)San Diego Padres21-4
23Luis Rengifo (P)Los Angeles Angels21UR
24Jonathan SchoopMilwaukee Brewers27-20
25Vidal Brujan (P)Tampa Bay Rays20WTD
26Esteury Ruiz (P)San Diego Padres19WTD
27Niko GoodrumDetroit Tigers26UR
28Brandon Lowe (P)Tampa Bay Rays24UR
29Starlin CastroMiami Marlins28-1
30Ian HappChicago Cubs24-19

Brennen’s Thoughts:

Tier One

  • 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.

Tier Two

  • 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).

Tier Three

  • 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.

Tier Four

  • 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 MadrigalXavier 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.

Tier Five

  • 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.

Authors Note: In a misstep, Jeff McNeil was not included in this list. I would have placed him immediately below DJ LeMahieu.

Brennen Gorman

A lifetime Tigers fan (oh boy) getting ready to watch some good minor league baseball for the next few years. Liquor lawyer by trade, consumed by baseball statistics for pleasure? Yep. Seems about right.

  • Avatar Southern Marylander says:

    I really want to believe when it comes to Hampson, but I don’t think with how the Rockies handle their prospects that any can be rated above Tier 5.

  • Avatar Nicholas Gerli says:

    As always good job on this! The really interesting thing about this is just how many factors you need to consider for the ranking. A lot of ways you can go.

    -Gleyber needs to be in tier 1. He was better than Albies at the same age (120 v. 100 wRC+). He doesn’t have quite as much SB upside, but hit at a 30HR+ pace in his rookie season. I suspect you docked Torres because he will likely be hitting in the 7-9 hole next year, but I could see him hitting higher in the Yanks’ lineup in the future.

    -I like Gennett a lot, but am a bit disturbed by his power decline (236 ISO to 180) last year. His BABIP propped up the ship, but looking at his xStats it might not be sustainable (although he’s outperformed his xwOBA significantly for four straight years so maybe there’s something to it).

    -I’m sure being locked in for the starting gig in Coors vaults Hampson up there a bit, however Brendan Rodgers will likely be pushing him for playing time at some point next year. Hampson looks like he has some versatility, so he can probably find at bats, but I don’t know that he gets 600 PA year-in, year-out.

    -Solak had a great 2018. Wish the Yankees didn’t trade him. However, with how many impressive infield bodies the Rays have, where are the at bats going to go? I can see a Cubs-esque situation occurring where players get rotated and no one gets above 500 PA.

    -Moncada seems far too low. He already has a decent floor of 30 HR + SB, and the upside is massive if he can cut the Ks down. Can’t forget that the guy was 22 for a big portion of this season. Someone like Hampson is 24 and just getting started in the bigs.

    -Not a Wendle guy. Outperformed his xStats significantly last year and will be in a very crowded infield soon.

    -With that said, love Brandon Lowe. Showed impressive power last year hitting 28 HR at all levels. Really dominated AA and AAA. Showed well in the bigs. Can play the OF so it will be easier to get ABs. He’s definitely on my radar.

    Excited to read the rest!

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      Agreed on Moncada. I cant imagine a dynasty owner in the universe who would trade him for Villar, Cesar Hernandez or the ghost of Dee Gordon.

  • Avatar BB says:

    Interesting, in the lists like this that I’ve seen so far, McNeil ranges from #10 to totally MIA (like he is here). And FWIW, Happ only played two games at second this past season and it’s pretty uncertain whether he’ll regain eligibility in 2019.

    • Avatar Nick G says:

      McNeil is an interesting case. Huge power breakout in minors and good boxcar MLB stats but his batted ball data was ass. However his plate discipline was elite. Not sure what to make of him.

      • Avatar Brennen Gorman says:

        McNeil was an oversight on my part, I’ll make an authors note – but I would have him immediately below DJ LeMahieu for now.

      • Avatar theKraken says:

        He makes a lot of contact. Not everyone makes a living generating elite exit velocity. All EV tells you is who has power, which was always easy to identify.

  • Avatar MJ says:

    Brandon Lowe is going to be a guy I target in mid to late rounds. I think he could be a steal in 2919.

  • Avatar Christopher Biron says:

    This site has been very helpful in bringing up prospects like Solak for me to grab. My issue going into next year is what starting infielders to keep in my OBP league. I have B.Dozier, Semien, Escobar, C.Taylor, Solak, Tatis Jr. Being able to only keep 3, maybe 4 of these guys gets tricky, with Tatis obviously not going anywhere. Question is does Solak top half of this list?

  • Avatar E says:

    Nick Senzel? You are not figuring he maintains 2B eligibility? Gennett in last year of arbitration, so I think he gets dealt before trade deadline making 2B open for Senzel. He played over 60% of his innings at 2B. With Peraza at SS and Suarez at 3B, I think 2B is his long term. Better there than OF, in my opinion

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