As the second base position has thinned over the past 2-3 years in fantasy, it’s good to have an eye on who could be coming up and bolstering the ranks. Some of the prospects included are multi-positional types, capable of playing second base among other positions. Others are/will be converts from shortstop that may lack the range or arm strength to play SS at the major league level. Most have been highlighted in our Top 100 Prospects article, but there are a few who didn’t make the cut (NR = Not Rated). In any event, each of these prospects bring their own unique skill set.
Typically, like LF or 1B, second basemen are going to be bat-first profiles, which puts additional pressure on young players to produce often in at least one major offensive category. It can be helpful in fantasy to target 2B prospects more based on what they contribute, whether it be power, steals, or on-base percentage. The best of the bunch, of course, display a wide variety of skills.
With that said, let’s get to the list.
Top 10 Second Base Prospects for Fantasy Baseball
1. Curtis Mead, 1B/2B/3B, TBR, #22
Age: 21/2022 Stats (AA/AAA): 282 AB/.298/.390/.532 /13 HR/7 SB/43 R/50 RBI
Mead is slowly creeping into the prospect fatigue zone, as we’ve been waiting for him to be promoted to the Rays’ lineup for the better part of two years. He followed up his breakout 2021 season with another campaign full of hard contact (over 77% across levels) and above-average plate discipline (11% SwStr rate, 11% walk rate).
Mead should finally get his shot this season, but the irony is that he’ll likely be more of a 1B/DH. The defensive profile was always shaky, as Mead lacks the general footwork to play elsewhere. He could find time at 2B in a pinch, but given the number of middle infielders in Tampa, it’s unlikely.
2. Connor Norby, 2B/SS, BAL, #36
Age: 22/2022 Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 477 AB/.279/.360/.526/29 HR/16 SB/92 R/73 RBI
Norby was part of the middle infield glut forming on Baltimore’s farm to begin 2022, but broke away from everyone not named Gunnar Henderson by demonstrating power numbers at the High A & AA levels well above expectations. Everyone in the O’s organization that I’ve heard comment on Norby says he’s the real deal.
Unfortunately, Norby still has to play his way out of that middle infield log jam. As part of their…”rebuild”, the Orioles ditched Rougned Odor and his decreasing batting average, only to sign Adam Frazier and his batting average inflated by singles. Frazier is likely (hopefully, fingers crossed) a half season rental, a pump & dump asset that Elias & co. will deal at the trade deadline. Next, the O’s dealt Darell Hernaiz to the Athletics in exchange for Cole Irvin, so it does seem like the front office is willing to deal from their strength, clearing pathways for their best young players; a possible positive note for Norby.
3. Termarr Johnson, 2B, PIT, #40
Age: 18/2022 Stats (Rk/A-): 63 AB/.222/.366/.365/1 HR/6 SB/7 R/6 RBI
Johnson began making waves in prospect circles in late 2020 and throughout 2021 as a high school underclassman, for a time looking as though he may be the #1 overall pick in the 2022 draft. While his stock slipped slightly, falling to #4, scouts and fantasy analysts alike are still in love with Johnson’s hit tool. His ability to cover the zone equally, showing pull-side power along with exceptional plate discipline, is what has made him such a joy to watch as an amateur. Recent news has him nursing a slight hamstring injury, so he’ll be a bit behind to start this season, but hopefully it’s nothing major.
The question for Johnson lies in what type of power numbers he’ll produce. There’s not much projection left physically, so eyes will be on how well his swing continues to develop in producing loft (exit velocities have not been a problem). As a prep bat, his road to The Show is a bit longer, even more so if Pittsburgh is dead-set on not rushing him through any levels. If Johnson becomes a 18-22 HR bat along with his existing skillset, he quickly becomes a top 2B in fantasy baseball. If his totals stagnate around the low teens, he slots in high in the second tier of second basemen.
4. Edouard Julien, 2B/3B, MIN, #67
Age: 23/2022 Stats (AA): 400 AB/.300/.441/.490/17 HR/19 SB/77 R/67 RBI
Julien isn’t the flashiest name on this list in terms of pedigree or tools, but he’s a great Swiss Army knife of a player. Whether it’s power (39 XBH), speed, (19 SBs) or plate discipline (second most walks in AA, tied for eight best BB/K rate), Julien can produce. There’s a little concern over his hit tool, as his contact rates have yet to touch 70%.
With the trade of Luis Arraez, 2B is a little bit thinner in Minnesota than it was in 2022. However, Jorge Polanco will still be penciled in most days, and Nick Gordon can fill in as necessary. Given their victory in the “Correa-n War”, it appears the Twins still feel they’re contenders, so Julien could be more of a mid-season promotion. But similar to his Twins compatriot, Jose Miranda last season, Julien is forcing his way into strong consideration
5. Jordan Westburg, 2B/SS/3B, BAL, #70
Age: 23/2022 Stats (AA/AAA): 544 AB/.265/.355/.496/27 HR/12 SB/96 R/106 RBI
Another gladiator in the “Baltimore Battle for Second Base”, Westburg had a less meteoric rise than Norby but was steady in his production. After a good but not great second half of ’21 at Bowie, Westburg repeated AA, delivering on every front and earning a promotion to AAA Norfolk. The metronomic Westburg continued displaying his consistency, keeping his walk rate, SwStr rate and GB% all around the same number while shaving a few points of his K rate (27% to 22%) and adding them to his contact rate (74.6% from 68.7%).
Westburg could technically make an appearance on a couple of these positional rankings after logging more than 30 games played at 2B, SS, and 3B. It’s likely that the Orioles will continue to have Westburg move around the infield, both as a way for him to find a path into the lineup as well as giving the O’s optimal flexibility to get rest for Gunnar Henderson while they also evaluate the future of current 3B Ramón Urías. Given Westburg’s offensive production, his value really spikes in fantasy if he can keep multi-position qualifications for the first years of his MLB career.
6. Michael Busch, 2B, LAD, #90
Age: 24/2022 Stats (AA/AAA): 552 AB/.274/.365/.516/32 HR/4 SB/118 R/108 RBI
Like LF, many 2B are defensively neutral at best in what they can contribute to a team, relying mostly upon their bat to make up for any deficiencies. Busch follows this same tradition, as an average at best defensive second baseman, who still holds his value in his bat.
For Busch, the concern remains that he may not make contact with the consistency to tap into his power skill. His K rate remains just north of 25%, but luckily he can take a decent number of walks, which helps him retain prospect value in OBP leagues while he loses some in BA leagues.
7. Nick Yorke, 2B, BOS, #95
Age: 20/2022 Stats (A+): 337 AB/.232/.303/.365/11 HR/8 SB/48 R/45 RBI
Yorke has fallen quite a bit since his pre-draft days, now typically regarded as the 4th or 5th best Red Sox prospect depending on the list. Yorke showed us his do-it-all game, including his advanced plate skills in 2021, posting 11% walk rates at each level of A ball.
Unfortunately, a slew of injuries seemed to impact Yorke throughout the 2022 campaign, resulting in less than stellar contact rates and BABIP. His power also showed a slight decrease while he consistently has been an inefficient base stealer at the lower levels (21 SBs of 34 attempts combined as a pro), where base-stealing has been inflated. It will be telling to see where Yorke is assigned (he’ll just be turning 21 years old when the minor league season starts) and how quickly the Red Sox move him through. If he just needs to get healthy in order to produce, then we should see a return closer to ’21, but if he begins to plateau, a .240/.310/.400 second baseman with low double digit homers and a shaky stolen base record is not someone to invest much time.
8. Justin Foscue, TEX, NR
Age: 23/2022 Stats (AA): 460 AB/.288/.367/.483 /15 HR/3 SB/60 R/81 RBI
Like Busch, everything about Justin Foscue’s potential MLB career will be decided by what he does in the batter’s box. He has limited range and athleticism, with a possibility that he’ll soon develop into a DH-first player at the major league level. As such, Foscue made a complete 180-degree turn in a positive direction, cutting a K rate that had stayed well above 25% for all of 2021 down to 14.5% with an 8% SwStr. Not only that, but he upped his contact from 69% in AA during 2021, all the way to 83.3% in his second tour at Frisco.
Foscue may never be more than a bench bat in fantasy based on his defensive future, but if any of last season is real, having 2o HR/20 double player first off your bench can be advantageous.
9. Zack Gelof, OAK, NR
Age: 22/2022 Stats (AA/AAA): 440 AB/.270/.352/.463/18 HR/10 SB/61 R/66 RBI
Gelof made a name for himself in 2021 after receiving a brief promotion toward season’s end from Low A directly to AAA (he was an injury replacement as the Las Vegas Aviators were out of 2B, and Stockton, CA is closer than Midland, TX), promptly hitting 7-12 with 6 RBI. It’s important to note that 6 of the 7 hits were singles, but nevertheless, he wasn’t rattled in what had to be some unnerving circumstances.
Back in his traditional environment, Gelof profiles as a utility bat both in real life and in fantasy. He lacks any elite tools, and his current skill set is too low-ceiling to raise much interest beyond deep leagues. If Gelof unlocks more power (possible but unlikely) or becomes more active on the bases (improbable), then it’s a profile worth watching.
10. Jace Jung, DET, NR
Age: 21/2022 Stats (A+): 108 AB/.232/.373/.333/1 HR/1 SB/16 R/13 RBI
Jung’s background is well-known thanks to big brother Josh, but Jace himself has some skills that he can flash. After posting impressive home run totals and continued walk totals higher than strikeouts, Jung had a surprisingly rough start to his pro career, hitting .231 in his first 30 games as a pro.
The expectation is for Jung to make necessary adjustments and have a standout season in A ball. Like his brother, Jace has exceptional bat-to-ball skills. While he may not have the same power upside as Josh, Jace Jung should be an offensive force at 2B for fantasy in the near future.