Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy, Rankings Tiers: Second base

first_imgFantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers: 2BFor most of these guys, an injury will be required to be have real value, but look for them over short stretches. Some, like Devon Travis, have long seemed on the verge of a breakout but continually disappointed. Maybe this is the year, but we’re not betting on it. If you’re in a deep league and want to grab one late, go for it, but he’ll likely be among your first cuts.TIER 6Devon Travis, Blue JaysKolten Wong, CardinalsEduardo Nunez, Red Sox (3B)DJ LeMahieu, YankeesBen Zobrist, Cubs (OF)Jedd Gyorko, Cardinals (3B)Yolmer Sanchez*, White Sox (3B)Starlin Castro, MarlinsDustin Pedroia, Red SoxJoe Panik, GiantsAdam Frazier, Pirates (OF)Matt Duffy, Rays (3B)* = Not eligible at that position on draft day but expected to play there throughout the season The middle infield spots tend to be “catch-alls” during a fantasy baseball draft. If you don’t grab one early (and not many traditionally do), then your targets change based on the lineup you’re putting together — usually based on whether you need more home runs or stolen bases. This year, position versatility is king, which means we might see more MIs go in the first couple rounds of drafts. However, because many guys can move between some combination of 2B, SS, and 3B, you’re always going to be looking for the best values or sleepers at each position. For second base, that means the rankings tiers aren’t as deep as they might seem, but there are still plenty of options depending on your draft strategy.For many, steals will be a priority from a 2B, and there are plenty of guys who provide those. Most who do so can hit 15-plus HRs, which is always nice. But there are also some pretty sturdy 25-30-HR hitters outside of the top tier at 2B, so if you grabbed a high-SB OF early and would rather focus on HRs, you’ll be just fine. DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: 2019 ultimate cheat sheetThe key to tiering players at any position is recognizing the type of production they offer, not necessarily the overall production. Our “True Tiers” can help you figure out the best players to target (and when to target them), regardless of whether you have a set draft philosophy or you’re making things up as you go.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300Who are the best fantasy baseball 2Bs?Eligbility based on Yahoo default settingsIt’s rare that the top of a position has four stud players who do different variations of the same thing. Jose Ramirez is a legit 30/30 guy who should see his average climb even higher after a surprisingly low BABIP last year; Javier Baez has shown his 30/20 ability; Jose Altuve had a down year by his standards, but just two years ago he hit .336 with 24 HRs and 32 SBs; and Whit Merrifield will likely lead this group (and maybe the majors) in steals while batting around .300 with 15 HRs.  What’s crazy is Ramirez is the only first-round lock. Getting him with a top-five pick makes sense, and targeting Baez and Altuve in the second round is sound, as well.Merrifield is a little tougher to figure because you don’t know what you’re getting in the power/RBI department. Even his runs could disappoint based on the team around him. But there’s no denying his ability to win you a category. For a third-round pick (who you can also move around your lineup if you need him to), he’s a worthwhile investment.TIER 1AJose Ramirez, Indians (also eligible at 3B)Javier Baez, Cubs (3B, SS)TIER 1BJose Altuve, AstrosTIER 1CWhit Merrifield, Royals (1B, OF)More Fantasy Baseball Rankings Tiers, Draft StrategyCatcher | First | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Closer2019 Fantasy Baseball 2B Rankings: Tier 2While you could easily argue Adalberto Mondesi and Jonathan Villar should be in a tier of their own because of their unique overall upside, we grouped them in with these (mostly) more proven players because both have some serious bust potential. We also must point out that Tier 2B doesn’t necessarily feature players “worse” than Tier 2A or “better” than Tier 2C — just different types of players.Mondesi and Villar both have legit 20/50 upside, which you’re going to realistically find in, oh, maybe three or four players. Yes, it’s unlikely one or both reach those milestones, but the upside is there. Of course, Villar has totally flopped before and Mondesi is a 23 year old who struggled to get on base throughout his minor league career, so there’s a lot of risk here.Scooter Gennett and Daniel Murphy will both likely hit .300-plus with around 25 HRs. They won’t really steal bases, but the rest of their numbers will be solid across the board, thanks in large part to their favorable home parks. Health is a concern for Murphy, but few 2Bs outside of Altuve and maybe Whitfield offer his kind of average upside. (Update: Gennett’s groin injury has dropped him in our rankings, as he’s likely to be out two-to-three months.)Ozzie Albies, Gleyber Torres, and Rougned Odor are all 25/15 candidates. After a down year, Odor figures to bounce back and lead this group in homers (he hit 30-plus in 2016 and ’17), though his average is a potential worry. Albies’s first-half power might have been a bit of a mirage last year, so penciling him in for 25 HRs is a mistake. Still, he could pop 20 and steal 20 bases, and it’s safe to assume his average will rise. Torres still has a lot of potential to tap, though. His homers might not go up much this year, but he could see a jump in steals if the Yankees let him run.There’s a pretty wide range for when players in this tier will come off draft boards. Mondesi and Villar will likely get jumped on early, and if you already have some sluggers, grabbing them in the early-middle rounds of a 12-team draft makes a lot of sense. Torres and Albies will likely go before everyone, and while they’re solid fifth- or sixth-round picks, there’s an argument to be made you can get better value with other players a few rounds later. Gennett and Murphy are solid, but if you don’t have any speed, you’ll likely need it from your 2B, making them suboptimal picks. Conversely, if you need power, they, along with the guys in Tier 3A, likely offer better value.TIER 2AAdalberto Mondesi, Royals (SS)Jonathan Villar, Orioles (SS)TIER 2BDaniel Murphy, Rockies (1B)TIER 2COzzie Albies, BravesGleyber Torres, Yankees (SS)Rougned Odor, RangersSLEEPERS & BUSTS: All-Breakout Team | All-Overrated TeamFantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: Middle-round 2Bs to targetWe’re splitting hairs here, but the fact is these players offer different things, and considering you’ll be looking at these guys around Round 9, that matters. Matt Carpenter will likely go sooner (we’re not as high on him as other sites), but the rest are falling into that range. Yoan Moncada is going the latest in early mock drafts, but the breakout potential is there for a big season.Tier 3A features mid-average sluggers who don’t steal bases. Carpenter will score the most runs (and is the most proven), but Shaw is probably the best bet for HRs and RBIs. As stated above, waiting to grab one of these guys if you already have a speedy OF or SS (or maybe if you have Wil Myers at 3B) makes some sense given how much cheaper you can get them.If you still want a little speed to go with 25-HR upside, Moncada and Brian Dozier are your guys. Both come with risks — Moncada’s lack of consistency and Dozier’s obvious decline — but both have major upside if they find their respective strokes this year.We placed Cano in his own sub-tier because he doesn’t run at all but has the highest batting average upside of this group. At 36 and coming off a PED suspension, Cano is no sure thing, but .300-20-80 is in play, which gives him plenty of fantasy value. Dee Gordon gers his own sub-tier, too, because he’s one of the few pure, high-volume speedsters left at any position. Last year was rough for Gordon, as he stole only 30 bases, but he had a 60-SB pace the previous four campaigns. His batting average and OBP have really fluctuated in recent years — which greatly impacts his run totals — but if he gets back on track, he could be a big-time value for a team that’s loaded up on power early. At only 30, it’s too soon to say he’s “done”.TIER 3ATravis Shaw, Brewers (1B, 3B)Matt Carpenter, Cardinals (1B, 3B)Max Muncy, Dodgers (1B, 3B)TIER 3BYoan Moncada, White Sox (3B*)Brian Dozier, NationalsTIER 3CRobinson Cano, Mets (1B)TIER 3DDee Gordon, Mariners (SS, OF)2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Each teamFantasy baseball 2B breakouts and bounce-backsWe’re all over the place with this tier, and admittedly, some of these guys are clearly better/more proven than others. The reason we group them in the same tier is because it’s likely all will be drafted as backups. So, if you’re not even drafting a starter, you can make a case you’re better off going for a sleeper like Willy Adames or Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as opposed to a proven (read: boring) guy like Chris Taylor or Asdrubal Cabrera.Tier 4A features low-level power-speed guys. Taylor is the best overall option, but Cesar Hernandez is a better bet for steals and runs thanks to his high BB-rate. Ian Kinsler and Jason Kipnis are 36 and almost 32, respectively, and it’s pretty clear their best days are behind them, but they still have some power-speed appeal. Kinsler will steal more bases, but Kipnis will hit more homers. Overall, owners will likely opt for needle movers in one category or younger sleepers late in their drafts.Yuli Gurriel gets his own tier because he could very well hit .300 with 10-15 HRs, but he offers little else aside from versatility. (Update: Gennett will likely post similar stats to Gurriel once he returns from his groin injury in June.) Similarly, Garrett Hampson gets his own tier because he figures to be a pure speedster if he gets playing time. He’s been a great average hitter in the minors — and we all know stats can be inflated in Colorado — but as a 24-year-old rookie, steals will be his primary contribution.Tier 4C is interesting because it features a bunch of 20-HR hitters with 30-HR upside. Jonathan Schoop has hit at least 21 HRs each of the past three years, including 32 last season, while both Wilmer Flores and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. could break out in full seasons in favorable hitting environments. Because all can play multiple positions, they’re good guys to target in the late-middle rounds.TIER 4AChris Taylor, Dodgers (SS, OF)Cesar Hernandez, Phillies Willy Adames, Rays (SS)Ian Kinsler, PadresJason Kipnis, IndiansRyan McMahon, Rockies (1B, 3B)TIER 4BYuli Gurriel, Astros (1B, 3B)Scooter Gennett, RedsTIER 4CWilmer Flores, D-backs (1B, 3B)Jonathan Schoop, Twins (SS)Asdrubal Cabrera, Rangers (3B, SS)Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays (SS)Jed Lowrie, Mets (3B)TIER 4DGarrett Hampson, Rockies (SS)Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 2BThere are a bunch of sleepers in the above tier, so now we’re into a mixture of young sleepers and “if-they-get-playing-time” sleepers (well, and Zack Cozart). In shallow leagues, you don’t need to worry about these guys too much. Marwin Gonzalez and Daniel Robertson are interesting in Tier 5A, which is composed of moderate power hitters. Gonzalez will play every day in April because of Miguel Sano’s injury, and Robertson will be locked into a battle for playing time in the Rays infield.Tier 5B features players with more speed. And while Joey Wendle could hit .300 and Franklin Barreto could hit .215, we just grouped them together because a little bit of pop mixed with some worthwhile speed are what really makes this group interesting. At most, these are late-round fliers, but chances are more than a few will be hot waiver wire pickups at some point this season.TIER 5ALuis Urias, Padres (SS)Zack Cozart, Angels (3B, SS)Enrique Hernandez, Dodgers (1B, SS, OF)Marwin Gonzalez, Twins (1B, SS, OF)Daniel Robertson (3B, SS)TIER 5BHernan Perez, Brewers (3B, SS, OF)Franklin Barreto, A’sJoey Wendle, Rays (3B, SS, OF)Ketel Marte, D-backs (SS, OF*)Niko Goodrum, Tigers (1B, 3B, SS, OF)last_img

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