2015 Second Base Preview

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Zach here,

In past years, a key component of my draft day strategy has been to pay particular attention to position scarcity, which usually meant that I would draft an elite middle infield. Although I’m beginning to shift away from that approach, the second base position scares me this year. Are there 12-15 startable options? Yes. But I’ll be avoiding several of the guys at the back end of the group, so I have a rather short list of second basemen on my radar, and almost all of them are from that upper-tier class.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland Indians

2 UP

Jason Kipnis – If I miss out on the Cano/Altuve/Rendon trio, Kipnis will be my primary target, and if I have to reach a bit to get him, so be it. Just a year ago, Kipnis was a no doubt top-25 pick, but a disappointing and injury-plagued 2014 season has resulted in him dropping all the way down to Round 6-7 territory in 12-team mixed leagues (he was drafted at 7.06 in our slow mock). I refuse to give up hope that a 20 HR/30 SB season is in his future, and who knows, it might happen in 2015, his age-27 season. At his current price tag, I’d be more than happy to take that chance.

Jedd Gyorko – Trusting Gyorko to serve as your starting 2B is a stretch, but as a late-round MI investment, he’s an intriguing option. His home ballpark will scare off many owners, but this is a guy who launched 23 homers two seasons ago, and in this era of dwindling power numbers, it’s rare to find a middle infielder with Gyorko’s home run potential. On the whole, his 2014 campaign was a disaster, but keep in mind that he played through plantar fasciitus for a portion of the season, and after finally being shut down, he looked a lot better upon his return. Gyorko’s second half line of .260-5-27 offers some optimism that a bounce back could be in store.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers

2 DOWN

Dee Gordon – Simply put, I’m not a fan of stolen base specialists, particularly stolen base specialists who will cost an early-round pick and carry a limited track record of early-round level production. Gordon could very well steal 64 bases again, but matching last season’s .289 batting average will be a tall order given his high K/BB ratio. Also note that Gordon’s OBP dropped from .344 in the first half to .300 following the All-Star break. But let’s get back to the topic of stolen base specialists. By drafting one of these guys, you are building your roster in a way that if your stolen base specialist misses significant time, you’re likely in big trouble since you counted on him to swipe a certain number of bags and didn’t bother to supplement him with multiple 15-20 SB type contributors. Someone in every league will be willing to reach for Gordon. Make sure that someone isn’t you.

Javier Baez – Sure, Baez has a great deal of long-term upside. But the bottom line is that he strikes out a ton. At 22 years of age, he has plenty of time to figure things out at the big league level, but unless you’re in a keeper league, you’re better off letting another owner suffer through the adjustment period after paying an inflated price thanks to all the hype. Save your gambles for less expensive players.

3 Comments

where do you think Springer should be drafted in a 12 team head to head league,,,,,before Harper or Donaldson?

Definitely after Donaldson and probably after Harper, though a solid argument could be made either way as to Springer vs. Harper.

Zach

what team or teams do you feel will have best offense this year and also if picking at the end of the 1st round and beginning of 2nd would you ever take 2 pitchers like Kershaw and either sale/ F hernandez or do ya need offense such as Altuve or Encarnarcion……in the past have not taken pitching till around 7th round

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