Top 20 Second Basemen – Fantasy 2017
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These rankings are for your standard 5×5 rotisserie leagues, enjoy!
Updated April 21st, 2017. Overall Rankings can be found here.
‘Movement’ column signifies the change in rank at this position, from the last update (April 1st, 2017).
My thoughts preseason…
Is Turner a first round asset?
This is the question we have all wrestled with through the offseason, and with drafts finally rolling in, verdicts on whether we’re actually willing to invest the price in a player like Turner have varied. We saw him go 10th overall to Paul Sporer and Jason Collette in LABR mixed, while others have turned a doubtful eye that he will actually be able to give back top 10-15 value.
For me, it all comes back to the price you are paying. With high end picks like this I want security in power among the elite players in the league. Others agree, as the top 12 overall is packed with 25+ home run bats and sky high ceilings.
I understand steals are scarce, but the profile of hitter that will always be scarcer are high-average / power 30 HR bats, who almost exclusively go in the first few rounds. It’s a rudimentary point, but one that a lot of people gloss over. The chances of picking up a guy on waivers who can steal 30-35 bags is much more likely than picking up a guy who can string together a 100RBI/30HR/100R season. In taking Turner before the 15th overall pick, you are paying for his current ceiling (dynasty leagues are different). Five players who finished inside the top 10 overall last year returned insane value because of their stolen bases and power surges. Betts, Trout, Altuve, Villar, Segura. Betts, Trout, and Altuve all hit 24+ home runs, while Villar and Segura had 19 and 20 respectively. If Villar and Segura produce identical seasons, but cut back to 12 home runs, they immediately fall outside the top 15 overall.
It’s really no surprise that high steals players return this surplus value, when they produce power. The ‘Fans’ projection on Fangraphs, which is often optimistic, is projecting 18 home runs for Turner. ZiPS and Steamer are pegging him for around 15 with his expected line drive profile and bottom quarter of the league fly ball percentage. To take Turner in the first round, you need two unlikely things to happen, together. He needs to exceed 20 homers, and he needs to hit above .300. Is it possible? Sure, but even in that case, what’s the surplus value you’re getting for the risk you take? Turner isn’t going to put together a 25 home run year, and on a team like the Nationals, I really don’t think they’re going to let him run enough to eclipse 40 stolen bases. I reiterate again, you’re paying for the ceiling, and if the ceiling is the expectation, which in this case I think it is, where is there room for Turner to please? If we don’t this ceiling from the prospect with merely 360 plate appearances under his belt, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. Turner will surely be a top 40 player for me, but not inside the top 15.
More Schoop, less Kinsler
Let’s start with Kinsler. I don’t understand why owners are taking a guy at 75 overall (NFBC) who is coming off a completely out-of-nowhere season, where he posted 28 home runs, the most since his career high of 32 back in 2011. You’ll get runs, a .280 average, and around 10 steals, but that’s not a top 100 player for me. Maybe it’s my perception of the position, which is deeper than in prior seasons, but what’s the difference between these two second basemen…
Schoop is 25, Kinsler is 34.
Schoop is going 100 spots later than Kinsler in drafts.
Why one would invest a top 8-10 pick in a player whose value is based upon the most meaningless category of the standard five, runs? Your perceived security in the Tigers’ second basemen isn’t actually there as he creeps into his mid 30s, a time when it’s more than likely his 15 stolen base days are over, along with his hopes of another 28 home run season.
Schoop strikes out a ton, but is one of the only middle infielders that actually has a consistent 20-25 homer bat, after a year that saw a huge power spike at historically contact-heavy positions. I like Camden Yard for righties, the Baltimore lineup hasn’t changed enough for concern, and Schoop should easily clear the top 15 at the position. More than excited to grab him at his current ADP for 170 overall, instead of Kinsler inside the top 100.
Photo via the Flickr creative commons, thanks to Keith Allison.
Statistics via Fangraphs.com.