(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)
We featured the Top 25 Catchers and Top 30 First Basemen in dynasty leagues so far this week — today, day three of our positional dynasty rankings will continue the basepath to second base. Let’s go!
Tier One: The Joses
1. Jose Altuve (Houston Astros, 27)
2. Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians, 25)
Tier Two: Stability
3. Ozzie Albies (Atlanta Braves, 21)
4. Jonathan Schoop (Baltimore Orioles, 26)
5. Daniel Murphy (Washington Nationals, 33)
6. Gleyber Torres (P) (New York Yankees, 21)
7. Brian Dozier (Minnesota Twins, 30)
Tier Three: Instability
8. Whit Merrifield (Kansas City Royals, 29)
9. Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs, 25)
10. Yoan Moncada (Chicago White Sox, 22)
11. Ian Happ (Chicago Cubs, 23)
Tier Four: Buy Now or Else
12. Scott Kingery (P) (Philadelphia Phillies, 23)
13. Rougned Odor (Texas Rangers, 24)
14. DJ LeMahieu (Colorado Rockies, 29)
15. Robinson Cano (Seattle Mariners, 35)
Tier Five: Looking to the Future
16. Max Schrock (P) (St. Louis Cardinals, 23)
17. Garret Hampson (P) (Colorado Rockies, 23)
18. Luis Urias (P) (San Diego Padres, 20)
19. Keston Hiura (P) (Milwaukee Brewers, 21)
20. Cesar Hernandez (Philadelphia Phillies, 27)
21. Jonathan Villar (Milwaukee Brewers, 26)
Tier Six: There’s Some Upside
22. Jose Peraza (Cincinnati Reds, 23)
23. Nick Solak (P) (Tampa Bay Rays, 23)
24. Isan Diaz (P) (Miami Marlins, 21)
25. Ian Kinsler (Los Angeles Angels, 35)
Tier Seven: I Pray for Your Chances
26. Devon Travis (Toronto Blue Jays, 27)
27. Scooter Gennett (Cincinnati Reds, 28)
28. Starlin Castro (Miami Marlins, 28)
29. Jason Kipnis (Cleveland Indians, 31)
30. Mauricio Dubon (P) (Milwaukee Brewers, 23)
Way Too Deep Prospects
In keeping with three rookie level players that I don’t own, but choose to keep an eye on — I’m looking at Yairo Munez, Vidal Brujan, and Esteury Ruiz.
- I excluded Dee Gordon from this list. While he qualifies this year, with Robinson Cano locking up 2B until 2023, I do not see Gordon getting enough starts to qualify at 2B anytime soon (Cano has yet to play less than 150 games since 2006). While there are certainly avenues for him to (injury, Cano sliding to DH after Nelson Cruz’s contract expires) I do not want to bank on any of those quite yet.
- On the flip side of Dee Gordon is Jose Ramirez who I am still convinced gets enough looks at 2B to carry the position forward. I have been high on Ramirez for a while and he has done nothing but produce since he broke out in 2016. At 25, the sky is the limit for Ramirez.
- Third may seem aggressive for Ozzie Albies given a small sample size, but nothing in his 57 games in 2017 would suggest he’s in for any notable regression (in fact he’s cut his strikeout rate and raised his walk rate between AAA and the Majors). His floor could be somewhere in the realm of 10/20, with a ceiling of 20/30 while hitting in the high .280s. If you can buy him lower, then do, but Albies will be a fixture at 2B for the next decade (I guess I hadn’t mentioned, he’s only recently turned 21). His age and projections alone put him in contention with “the Joses” in Tier One, where I expect him to be after a few months into the season.
- We are in the midst of a youth revolt at second base, with Gleyber Torres leading the 2018 charge. After missing out on joining the 2017 revolt due to an unfortunate bout of Tommy John – he is healthy and should be in the majors after the Yankees artificially suppress his talent in AAA for contractual purposes. While listed as an SS prospect, there is little doubt that he will end up slotting in for the now departed Starlin Castro at 2B (not dead, but for career purposes – maybe).
- At 10 I am definitely one of the more bearish writers on Yoan Moncada – hell, this ranking is still largely based on his ceiling. While I certainly understand the appeal of a prospect thought to be able to go 20/30, I worry he will never live up to the hype. Other than in 2015 and the early part of 2016 where he played in A and A+ respectively, Moncada has yet to put up in a way that would justify a higher ranking. Granted, each of his sample sizes has been small since he began AA in 2016 with the Boston Red Sox, but he has established a poor ability to make contact at the plate (striking out a 32% rate in the MLB last year). It limits his steals (3 in 231 MLB plate appearances) and other countable statistics as a result. As a rule of thumb, I avoid players with a strikeout rate over 30%. While he will likely improve, until he does – there are plenty of other young players doing what we hope Moncada will do for us. A 2017 Rougned Odor comes to mind as a comp as Moncada is now. While not reflective in these rankings, by mid-season I would expect Scott Kingery to pass Moncada in my rankings.
- Garrett Hampson needs more recognition in the fantasy community. He hit .326/.387/.462 with 51 steals in 603 plate appearances for the A+ JetHawks. He was the level’s average age at 22 (now 23) and could eventually play in Colorado Rockies (although I would not count on it, we’ll see what the team does with the Trevor Story/DJ LeMahieu/Brendan Rodgers logjam). While he won’t hit for much power, few players at any position put up this combination of speed and average. I rank Hampson over Luis Urias and Keston Hiura simply because I think he could make a bigger impact. Urias and Hiura are not sexy picks, but would likely contribute stability to the middle of a roster.
- I do not trust Scooter Gennett. The adage is to not pay for a career season and while that is generally fun for young talent, please abide by the adage in the case of Gennett.
I’ll be making notes in each of my rankings for players/situations/choices worth noting — if there is something specific you wish to discuss regarding the ranks — drop a comment.
What do you think of Nick Gordon? He’s played both SS and 2B in the minors as well as a bit of 2B this year in spring training. I personally think he comes up and sees a bit of time at 2B if the Twins don’t extend Dozier.
I think Nick Gordon is about as boring a pick as one could get, but I think he’s going to make a stable choice in the future for managers that miss out on the top picks. He will do enough to fill a spot and let other players win you the league. Gordon has played 16 total games at 2B in his minor league career (207 at SS). I think you’re spot on regarding 2B, but given the uncertainty surrounding his future, I’m keeping him at his desginated position. I think if Jorge Polanco continues to do well at SS the Twins would feel empowered not to sign Dozier and slot Gordon in. Royce Lewis is still a few years out, but could also be a consideration for Gordon’s playing position.
I don’t see any path where Gleyber Torres out-earns Moncada other than injury. I hate to be a hype guy, but 30 HR is certainly within his reach and I don’t think he can’t hit 40 – that is just based on what I think of his swing and the fact that he is built like a linebacker on a diet. I would put Albies in tier 4, but I admit that could look silly. I don’t see a monster fantasy producer there and he is ranked ahead of a bunch of them.
Thanks for the rankings and the analysis. I enjoyed it.
I would agree that Moncada has a higher ceiling, but its his sub-basement level floor that has me concerned. I understand buying for the ceiling, but when it comes to rankings, I weigh the likelihood of success. Torres has fewer concerns about stable MLB production — so I ranked him higher. I am of the opinion that ranking based on ceilings will lead to disappointment too frequently. The key to success (in my experience) is consistency in your lineup.
I may be higher on Albies than most, but I think 20/30 in his prime is certainly not out of reach given his age and phenomenal showing last year (please don’t have a Swanson slump). I’m not sure monster would be the term to define Albies, but above-average 5-tool player would be.
Opinions on this second base oriented trade proposed to me in a dynasty league I just joined, fwiw this is before we’ve designated keepers.
I give up Johnathan Schoop and Gleybar Torres
I receive Brian Dozier, David Dahl, Nick Senzel, and Reynaldo Lopez
I also own Gregorious and my pitching is fairly weak with Archer Tanaka and Castillo as my only 3 really good guys, plus my team probably isn’t going to contend next year unless I kill the draft. I’m inclined to accept, as Senzel, especially at shortstop, could be really valuable, and Lopez is a big boost to my pitching, and Dozier is still a good player, but this is a high price for me. Thoughts?
I may not share your opinion about Lopez making your staff better, but he would have more longterm upside if you do not plan on competing this year. Torres will be up this year and I’m pretty high on him (independent of him playing for a stacked Yankees lineup). I think you would be giving up two of the three best players, but you would be getting depth (which it sounds like it would be useful). I’m pretty high on Dahl too, I think he comes out as a 20/20 player for the Rockies. I would hesitate to pull the trigger.
Tough ranking for Odor! Guess you have no hope of him improving his ability to read the zone? Shouldn’t his upside and age put him in tier 3, if not tier 2? Curious to hear your outlook on him…
For some color, copy pasting from the 2b redraft rankings on this site: “Odor only just turned 24 last week. The only other players in MLB history with multiple seasons with at least 30 HR and 14 SB at age 23 or younger? Mike Trout and Alex Rodriguez.”
His ranking is more about the tier of talent above him than his dismal 75% contact rate last year. What separates Trout and Rodriguez at that point in their respective careers are about .100 points of batting average and a heck of a lot more plate discipline. I think those I ranked above him will bring more value (even if less in individual categories) to your team by not tanking your batting average. If he finds some balance at or around .240, his value would go up. I think he can, but I think he’s a closer to .200 than he is .270 moving forward. I could have swapped him with Happ and still been content with the rankings.
Agree with your assessment of Hampson! He just seems to be swept under the rug because he isn’t going to hit 30 bombs a year but his speed increases his value as far as turning doubles into triples and triples in to inside-the-park homers. How do you think that Rockie MIF log jam gets figured out. Do you think they’ll save some money and go Rodgers/Hampson up the middle and let DJ walk in 2019?
Hard to say. Its far too soon to predict how that might play out, but if the Rockies compete this year — Hampson would make a great trade piece. If they promote Hampson aggressively this year and he performs accordingly, I could see them taking the risk.
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