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2019 Fantasy Baseball: AL Second Base Profiles and Projections

By now you probably know how our profiles work. They’re like the fantasy baseball mag that keeps on giving. So far in our travels around the diamond we’ve hit the AL Catchers, NL Catchers, Al First Basemen, and NL First Basemen. Now we move on to our 2019 AL Second Base Profiles and Projections.

Remember these aren’t our fantasy baseball rankings. The players below are listed in alphabetical order by last name to help you find the player you’re looking for. We’ve also divided each position up according to league. That doesn’t mean these profiles are just for NL or AL fantasy leagues though. Each player is evaluated for all formats from 12-team mixed leagues down to 12-team monoleagues.

If you’re like us you can’t wait until spring to get the 2019 fantasy baseball season started? Well, you don’t have to. Leagues are already forming at, so head on over and start or join a league today.

2019 AL Second Base Profiles and Projections

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

Jose Altuve 2019 MLB projections

Just about the only time you can consider a 13/17/.316 season a disappointment is when you’re talking about Jose Altuve. Altuve had been an iron man since entering the major leagues, playing at least 147 games in each season since 2012. He managed to play 137 games in 2018, but he was hampered by a knee injury all season. He wound up having surgery this offseason to repair an avulsion fracture in his right knee, and is expected to be fully healed by the time Spring Training rolls around. Assuming health, there should be a sizable rebound in his stolen base totals. 2018 was his first full season with fewer than 30 steals, at just 17. Still just 28 years old, he should still have some speedy seasons in him before age-related decline sets in. His power should return to an extent as well, although pushing his home run totals back into the 20’s could be a struggle. His all-around value (including loads of at-bats with an impeccable batting average) make him one of the most coveted players in fantasy, and a big bounce-back candidate for 2019. – Nathan Dokken

Franklin Barreto, Oakland Athletics

Franklin Barreto 2019 MLB projections

A highly regarded shortstop prospect through the minor leagues, it looked like Barreto would shift over to second base and enjoy his first full season with the Athletics. The A’s trade for Jurickson Profar has put those thoughts on hold. Barreto’s stock was already dropping over the last two years due to underwhelming stints with the A’s and an inability to dominate Triple-A. However, he’s still just 22 years old heading into 2019, with plenty of upside still remaining. His approach will need to improve if he ever expects to hit toward the top of the lineup, with a 41.1% K% over 57 games with the A’s and a 31.8% K% at Triple-A in 2018. He does offer an enticing power/speed blend, but it will most likely be a couple of years before he can make enough contact to truly tap into those tools. He’s an interesting AL-Only upside play in the even of an injury to Profar or Marcus Semien, but offers too much volatility to warrant a draft pick in standard mixed leagues. – Nathan Dokken

David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels

David Fletcher 2019 MLB projections

Fletcher earned a promotion to the Angels in 2018 thanks to a contact-oriented line drive approach that led to a .350 average at Triple-A. He continued to make elite contact at the major league level with a 91% contact rate that led to a sturdy .275 average over 307 plate appearances. He provided almost zero category juice however, stealing three bags with just one lone home run. A deeper look at his batted ball data doesn’t paint a pretty picture for an improved average, either; 29% hard contact and a terrible 18.8% pop-up rate won’t do him any favors. Fletcher’s value is in his utility, with 30+ games played at both second and third base, and 11 more between shortstop and the outfield. He’ll need to be flexible to get the at-bats necessary to be fantasy relevant, since the Angels are expected to fill their void at second base via free agency. He can be safely ignored in standard mixed leagues. – Nathan Dokken

Niko Goodrum, Detroit Tigers

Niko Goodrum 2019 MLB projections

Goodrum recorded double-digit games played at every offensive position except catcher in 2018. That fact alone makes him at least interesting in deep leagues, but that’s about as far as his profile carries his fantasy value. He did manage to hit 16 home runs with 12 steals over just 131 games, but his batting average limits his ceiling. He struck out 26.8% of his trips to the dish in 2018, whiffing on 13.5% of his swings. The Tigers lineup in 2019 looks to be dreadful, leaving Goodrum with plenty of playing time opportunities. Over a full season, he could push upper-teens steals, which would put him on the standard mixed league radar. He shouldn’t be drafted in standard mixers to open the season, however. He’s more of a useful AL-Only play. – Nathan Dokken

Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners

Dee Gordon 2019 MLB projections

Those who drafted Gordon in 2018 based off of his 2017 season – likely to go down as his career best – were sorely disappointed. Gone were the 100+ runs, 60 steals, and .300+ average. He did at least steal you 30 bags in 2018 though, which was good enough to tie him with Mookie Betts and Lorenzo Cain for 8th in the league. Gordon, however, is more of a one trick pony than those other bats, with just 15 career home runs and a 4% walk rate. The low walk total affects his ability to score runs at times, since his ground ball-heavy profile can leave him at the mercy of the BABIP gods. You’re looking at a net negative in RBI with Gordon as well, since his spot in the order as either the leadoff bat or buried in the bottom of the order limits his RBI opportunities. He’s speedy enough to continue to steal plenty of bases even though he’s over 30 now, and he’s also dual-eligible at second base or the outfield. You’ll get plenty of speed with Gordon, but if you draft him, you have to construct your team to make up for his deficiencies in home runs and RBI. – Nathan Dokken

Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox

Brock Holt 2019 MLB projections

Every team needs a Brock Holt. And by that, I mean every Major League team, not fantasy teams. Holt is a swiss army knife on the field with the versatility to play literally any position on the diamond outside of pitcher and catcher. That versatility gets him a few starts a week and into plenty of games in the late innings. Holt usually hits for a respectable average with a touch of pop and speed. You could do worse with your last pick in an AL-Only league draft.- Eric Cross

Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians

Jason Kipnis 2019 MLB projections

Considering how terrible Kipnis started in 2018 (.497 OPS in Mar/Apr) his final numbers aren’t that bad. Even though the Indians were World Series contenders, they trotted out Kipnis and his .230 average nearly every day. His 18 home runs were actually the second most of his career, and the seven steals he chipped in made him surprisingly usable in deep leagues from May on. Increasing his launch angle over the past two seasons has diminished his ability to hit for average, while also not tapping into much power. It’s not a great combination. What the increase in fly balls has brought with it, however, is more pop-ups (automatic outs). Again, not great Bob. While Kipnis may once again find consistent playing time in a strong lineup, he doesn’t offer much in the way of upside at this point in his career. Save him for deep mixed and AL-Only formats. – Nathan Dokken

Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals

Whit Merrifield 2019 MLB projections

There was well-founded skepticism aplenty surrounding Merrifield coming into 2018. How much of a repeat could we really expect from this 28 year old who had never played a full season in the majors? Well, Merrifield merrily put all trepidation to rest as he batted .304 with 88 runs and a league leading 45 stolen bases. Considering his massive 707 plate appearance total and .367 OBP, it’s a testament to how terrible the Royals lineup was that he didn’t far exceed 100 runs scored. Merrifield’s even spray batted ball profile and line drive approach will continue to fuel him towards a high average in 2019, although you shouldn’t expect another 45 steals. A whopping 28 of those steals came over 67 games in the second half, a pace unsustainable for almost anyone. A solid 30-35 is a more realistic bet. He’s not a one trick pony, providing you with plenty of average and runs, but he’s a net negative in home runs and RBI like so many other leadoff hitters. With plenty of mashers available these days, it shouldn’t be hard to make up for those deficiencies if you invest in Whit. – Nathan Dokken

Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox

Yoan Moncada 2019 MLB projections

Moncada was somewhat of a sleeper heading into 2018 draft season. Unfortunately, he never woke up. He would post just 17 home runs and 12 steals over 149 games, striking out at a 33.4% clip and batting just .235. Player growth is not linear, and Moncada actually struck out more in his sophomore campaign than he had in his rookie season. On the bright side, he still walked at a double-digit rate, and his ability to spit on bad pitches (23.3% O-swing%) legitimizes his ability to draw the walk. He will need to improve against breaking balls (.323 wOBA vs breaking balls in ‘18) and make more contact (70.3% contact%) if he’s going to trim the strikeouts and hit for a respectable average, though. He will also need to improve against left-handed pitching (.585 OPS) to avoid eventually turning into a platoon bat. There’s still a ton of upside to be had here, but it might take him a few years to fully tap into it. – Nathan Dokken

Eduardo Nunez, Boston Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez 2019 MLB projections

In 2018, Nunez was able to surpass 460 at-bats for the 3rd season in a row. But unfortunately, his statistical production has dropped off in each of those three seasons from 16 HR/40 SB in 2016 to 12/24 in 2017 and 10/7 in 2018. That drop in speed can directly be attributed to various lower-body ailments he’s endured over the last 12-18 months. If Nunez isn’t running, his value is extremely limited. With a full offseason of rest, the hope is that Nunez regains some of that speed in 2019, although, how much playing time he receives will be decided by the health of Dustin Pedroia and the bat of Rafael Devers. Nunez might just be a bench bat for the Red Sox this season and have no fantasy value whatsoever. Or, he could wind up with another 450+ at-bats due to Pedroia missing more time. The uncertainty leaves him off the mixed league radar right now, but he’s a viable AL-Only target for his solid batting average, doubld-digit pop, and potential to return to 20+ steals if given enough at-bats. – Eric Cross

Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers

Rougned Odor 2019 MLB projections

It wasn’t exactly a tale of two halves for Odor in 2018, but it was a tale of an awful beginning and end with three terrific months sandwiched in between. He missed about a month of action early in the season, but his first 31 games through the end of May were dreadful: he hit .204/.252/.301 with one homer and was 1-5 in stolen base attempts. He took us for a ride then from June through August, batting .289/.373/.537 with 16 homers and nine steals. He even started walking twice as much as he had before, with a 9.7% BB%. He attributed his newfound patience to teammate Shin-Soo Choo, who has a career 12.2% BB%. Unfortunately neither the increased walk rate nor hot streak lasted through September, as he settled for a .517 OPS. Moving forward, we can expect another season with 20-plus homers and double-digit steals, although his SB% has always been terrible. It’s possible new manager Chris Woodward is less enthusiastic about giving Odor the green light. He won’t be a boon in batting average and he is likely to actively hurt you in OBP leagues, making him a risky proposition in 2019. – Nathan Dokken

Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia 2019 MLB projections

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Pedroia is still a damn fine hitter that is capable of hitting north of .300 in any given season. He just can’t seem to stay on the field anymore. The 2008 MVP has been limited to an average of 89 games per season since the start of 2015, including three seasons under 110 games played and just three games last season. Even when he does get on the field, his offensive profile is deteriorating into mostly an empty batting average. The knee issues have taken a major toll on his stolen base totals and Pedey isn’t hitting for much power anymore either, with both his ISO and hard contact % on the decline. If he looks healthy in spring training, maybe throw him a bone in the last few rounds. – Eric Cross

Jurickson Profar, Oakland Athletics

Jurickson Profar 2019 MLB projections

Profar heads to Oakland from Texas, where he should be the everyday second baseman. It’s a ballpark downgrade to be sure, so it would be wise to expect his 20 HR mark from 2018 dip into the teens. Even with some power regression, Profar is shaping up to be a solid all-around contributor. He was a perfect 10-10 in stolen bases in ‘18, walked at an above average clip while striking out less than 15% of the time, and hit .254 even with a depressed .269 BABIP. With good contact skills, decent wheels, and a line drive approach, his average has a chance to trend upwards. As a switch-hitter with identical 108 wRC+ splits against righties and lefties in 2018, Profar should entrench himself atop the A’s lineup. That puts him in a good position to meet or exceed his 159 R+RBI from a year ago. Oh, and he qualifies at first base, third base, and shortstop, too, and that is just dandy. – Nathan Dokken

Daniel Robertson, Tampa Bay Rays

Daniel Robertson 2019 MLB projections

Robertson has never been wont to steal bases, and his approach isn’t particularly suited to most fantasy leagues. He’s one of baseball’s most passive hitters, running deep counts which have translated to a higher-than-average strikeout rate to this point in his MLB career. He draws a ton of walks, too, making him a sneaky value play in OBP leagues. In traditional leagues, though, Robertson’s patience chips into his value. He makes a fair amount of contact when he does swing, and he can impact the ball enough to threaten 20 homers over a full season. There might be some hidden upside here if Robertson were to become a bit more aggressive, but he found real-world success with a patient approach last year and may see no reason to improve his fantasy upside. He’s also on a Tampa Bay roster loaded with hit-first middle infielders and could easily find himself in a part-time role. He’s worth a flyer in OBP leagues and deep traditional leagues in case he becomes more swing-happy, but there’s no guarantee he has the desire or opportunity to try.  – Anthony Franco

Jonathan Schoop, Minnesota Twins

Jonathan Schoop 2019 MLB projections

Based on Schoops current ADP of 217, a lot of folks have forgotten that this is a guy that had back to back seasons of at least a .267 average, 25 homers, 82 RBI, and 82 runs in 2016-2017. Yes, last season was a far cry from the previous two. His hard contact, BABIP, and ISO all dropped while his SwStr% and O-Swing% both rose. This is what happens when you have an aggressive approach like Schoop has. So it the 2019 version of Schoop closer to the 2016-2017 version? Closer to the 2018 version? Somewhere in the middle? For the low price of a pick in the 210-220 range, I’m more than willing to pay the price to find out. Schoop could end up being one of the best value picks at the 2nd base position in 2019 while playing in an improving Minnesota Twins lineup. – Eric Cross

Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees

Gleyber Torres 2019 MLB projections

Gleyber Torres burst onto the scene in late April and was hitting a robust .325 at the end of May with nine home runs in 114 at-bats. And since he’s a Yankee, you’d think Babe Ruth had come back to life in the form of a power-hitting middle infielder. Not so fast. Torres has always been a player I’ve projected as a strong starting shortstop or second baseman, but not elite. The contact skills and plate approach project more of a .270-.280 hitter than someone that hits over .300 like he did to start his career. There’s some above-average raw power here as well, but more in the 25-30 range. So, like I said, he’s a damn good offensive 2nd baseman and should be one of the top-10 at the position at seasons end. Just don’t go anticipating elite production from him. At least, not yet. Personally, I can see him finishing somewhere around what Xander Bogaerts did in 2018 which would make him a top-50 or so fantasy asset. If you can grab him after pick 50, that’s solid value. – Eric Cross

Devon Travis, Toronto Blue Jays

Devon Travis 2019 MLB projections

What Travis has left in the tank is anyone’s guess. He’s only entering his age-28 season, so it’s not as if he’s definitely over-the-hill, but he’s seen his share of tribulations the past couple seasons. Even at his 2015-16 peak, Travis’ profile was heavily BABIP-dependent, and that’s come crashing down to the point of overcorrection these past two seasons.  More concerning, a series of lower-body injuries since the start of 2017 has sapped his availability and productivity, as he’s hit just .242 with 16  home runs in that span. Playing over half the season on turf probably does Travis no favors, and it’s not even clear he’s Toronto’s answer at the keystone. The Jays briefly tried to turn the position over to Gift Ngoepe early in 2018, and Travis didn’t exactly stake a claim to it after Ngoepe himself fell flat. While Travis has survived the Jays’ offseason infield reconstruction, the slow-moving free agent second base market presents arguably superior alternatives. If Toronto were to see Brian Dozier or DJ LeMahieu as a buy-low candidate, Travis might find himself on the outs. Even if he breaks camp with the second base job in hand, his two most recent seasons have him in the lowest tier at the position. – Anthony Franco

Jonathan Villar, Baltimore Orioles

Jonathan Villar 2019 MLB projections

Villar’s got speed and…well, that’s pretty much it. In his three seasons of at least semi-regular playing time, he’s stolen 62, 23 and 35 bags, respectively. That has value for roto leaguers, and on a putrid Baltimore roster, he might push 650 plate appearances. Unfortunately, he’s a hitter prone to peaks and valleys who strikes out too often to offer much value anywhere else. He doesn’t hit enough fly balls to profile as a 20-home run threat, and even hitting near the top of the order isn’t as juicy as it might seem. Only Trey Mancini and Mark Trumbo project as (marginally) above-average hitters, so Villar might find himself struggling to score runs. Speed is rare enough that he’s viable mid-tier option at the keystone, but the rest of his profile is average at best. I profiled Villar in depth in September. – Anthony Franco

Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays

Joey Wendle 2019 MLB projections

Despite logging limited big league time in 2016 and 2017, Wendle was technically a 28-year-old rookie during his breakout 2018 season. He might find it hard to repeat those results. Wendle had one of the higher strikeout rates of .300-plus hitters last season, with a .353 BABIP accounting for a good chunk of his success. An all-fields hitter who’s tough to defend, Wendle should always find solid ball-in-play outcomes, but there was some good fortune in here too. Wendle’s results outstripped his Statcast estimators, and he hadn’t hit .300 in the minor leagues since short-season ball in 2012. An above-average runner, Wendle quietly stole 16 bases last season, but he topped out at 14 in the minors, and stolen base totals tend to go down at higher levels, not up. There’s a good chance we just witnessed Wendle’s career year, as he projects as an empty .275 hitter moving forward. – Anthony Franco

Enjoying these Fantasy Baseball Player Profiles? For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2019 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!

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