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2019 Fantasy Baseball: NL Second Base Profiles and Projections

Welcome to the FantraxHQ 2019 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. Our blitz of awesome fantasy baseball content started on New Year’s Day and will continue right on up until Opening Day. We’ve got all the rankings, strategy, and analysis you could ever want coming your way of the next few months. Right now we’ll continue our spring around the fantasy bases with our NL Second Base Profiles and Projections for 2019 Fantasy Baseball.

After you finish here please check out all of our other fantasy baseball player profiles as well. The second basemen profiled below are all from the National League, but have no fear, that’s just to break the profiles up into more manageable bites. All players are still evaluated for leagues of all sizes, whether it be a 12-team mixed league or a 12-team NL-Only squad. We’ve tried to include all players we expect to have a fantasy impact all the way down to the monoleague level. If we’ve missed someone you think could be fantasy-relevant please let us know in the comments below. On that note, players like Javier Baez, who are eligible at multiple positions, will be profiles at the position you are most likely to use them at in fantasy. Baez will be profiled at shortstop. Of course you’re free to use him at second base if you ask nicely.

Enjoy the profiles and come on back tomorrow. We’ll have new stuff everyday to help make your 2019 fantasy baseball season a successful one.

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 NL Second Base Profiles and Projections

Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

Ozzie Albies 2019 Projections

Coming into the 2018 season, Ozzie Albies was one of the trendiest sleeper picks around. If you simply looked at his overall stat line at the end of the season, you wouldn’t have any qualms with his performance. But then some might take a look at his splits and see the problem. Albies only hit seven of his 24 homers after July 1st and flirted with the Mendoza Line from August first on, hitting just .213 in 211 at-bats. Still, the end result was a top-50 overall fantasy asset and borderline top-5 2nd baseman. That type of value might be his floor in 2019. The offensive numbers are legit and Albies has more speed in those legs than the 14 steals he swiped last season. That 2019 projection above is pretty accurate, but go ahead and add around 10 steals to that. And with the great Atlanta lineup around him, it wouldn’t shock me if he challenged for 200 R+RBI. Buy, buy, buy. – Eric Cross

Robinson Cano, New York Mets

Robinson Cano 2019 Projections

Say what you want about his age or last season’s suspension, but Robinson Cano remains one of the best pure hitters at the 2nd base position. Period. He’s now hit .280 or higher in 10 straight seasons with seven of those 10 seasons ending with an average north of .300. At the very least, you can expect a strong batting average from Cano year in and year out. The power output has been a little more up and down since he left the Yankees, but at the end of the day, Cano can still be banked on for 20-plus homers over a full season with 80-plus RBI and runs added to that. He doesn’t run at all, but owners should be happy with the strong four-category production. Cano moves back to the East coast in 2019 following a mid-December trade and will slot into the heart of the Mets order. With his current ADP sitting around pick 137, Cano is one of my favorite second base targets for the 2019 season. Draft with confidence in the middle rounds.  – Eric Cross

Starlin Castro, Miami Marlins

Starlin Castro 2019 Projections

The 2018 season was like many before it for Starlin Castro. He once again hit for a respectable batting average with double-digit pop and his 76 runs scored were his most in a season since he had 78 back in 2012. Castro certainly wasn’t a key cog on championship fantasy squads, but he was a solid guy to have on your bench or in a MIF spot. I don’t envision that being the case in 2019. Castro’s power is decreasing back to his early-career norm of 10-14 and he barely runs anymore. On top of that, he’s going to be hitting in potentially the worst lineup in all of baseball, especially after the Marlins inevitably trade J.T. Realmuto, so the runs and RBIs aren’t going to be bountiful. He’s a fine NL-Only option butis barely on the mixed league radar to start the season.  – Eric Cross

Daniel Descalso, Chicago Cubs

Daniel Descalso 2019 Projections

Descalso has slowly turned himself into a somewhat decent hitter. He’s sacrificed average to add a bit of pop and his versatility is certainly useful in fantasy baseball. He’s unlikely to see as much playing time as in the last two years, but Joe Maddon is creative and will get Descalso in there enough to merit as a reserve consideration in deep NL-Only formats. – Doug Anderson

Wilmer Difo, Washington Nationals

Wilmer Difo 2019 Projections

As it stands today, Wilmer Difo has a real shot at opening the season as the Nationals starting 2nd baseman now that Daniel Murphy is out in Colorado. Should we be excited? Not really, but there is some fantasy appeal here in NL-Only formats. Difo showed off some solid wheels in the minor leagues, stealing 48 bases per every 600 at-bats with a 79.5% success rate. If he can get 500-plus at-bats in 2019, you can likely pencil in at least 15-20 steals for Difo with the upside for a little more if he starts running more than he has over the last two seasons. Throw in an average that won’t kill you and maybe 10-12 homers and you have a sneaky good NL-Only 2nd baseman. For mixed leagues, he’s best left on the waiver wire to start the season. – Eric Cross

Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh Pirates

Adam Frazier 2019 Projections

Adam Frazier is not a future star and it’s unlikely he’s the Pirates’ long term answer at second base. He looks to be the current answer though and with 500 at-bats he’s got 15-HR upside with a batting average that won’t hurt your team. Frazier is nothing more than an injury fill-in in mixed leagues, but NL-Only owners could do a lot worse with their middle infield slot. – Doug Anderson

Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds

Scooter Gennett 2019 Projections

When Scooter Gennett popped four homers in one game in 2017 it was a lot of fun but no one took him seriously. After a second consecutive 20-HR season we’re paying attention. If anything Gennett may be getting a bit overdrafted now. The power seems mostly real and another 20-plus HRs is likely. It’s the batting average that could take a hit. It’s very hard to maintain the BABIPs he’s had over the past two seasons. Gennett could just as easily hit .265 as .295. He’s still a solid play in all formats, just let him fall to you and don’t get caught reaching. – Doug Anderson

Garrett Hampson, Colorado Rockies

Garrett Hampson 2019 Projections

Why do the Rockies hate young players? Why, I ask! Just when it appeared that both Garrett Hampson and Ryan McMahon had good shots to start in 2019, boom, Daniel Murphy signs with Colorado. Nothing against Murphy who is a damn good hitter, but give the kids a chance Colorado. That now leaves Hampson and McMahon is a battle for the starting 2nd base job in spring training. My money is on Hampson, and for fantasy purposes, we should all want him to win the job. Hampson has the best speed on the team and would be a near-lock for 30-plus steals if given everyday at-bats. He’s much more than just a speedster though. Hampson hit .315 during his minor league career and never went below.301 at any level. The contact skills are phenomenal and with Coors Field backing him, double-digit homers are a distinct possibility. He’s one of my favorite sleepers for the 2019 season. – Eric Cross

Alen Hanson, San Francisco Giants

Alen Hanson 2019 Projections

Hanson never quite fulfilled his promise as one of the Pirates top infield prospects and bounced to the White Sox and now Giants. Hanson enjoyed a mini-breakout in 2018 but lacks the plate discipline to take that next step. He’s got the potential to top double-digits in both HRs and SBs, but batting average is always going to be a concern. He’ll get enough play to offer a little value in NL-Only leagues, but can be safely ignored in shallower mixed leagues. – Doug Anderson

Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies

Cesar Hernandez 2019 Projections

Last season, four players finished with at least 15 home runs, 15 steals, and 80 stolen bases. Three of them were Mike Trout, Jose Ramirez, and Mookie Betts. The 4th is this man, Mr. Cesar Hernandez. I know that’s an odd stat, but it shows the type of value Hernandez can provide to a fantasy team and also that he’s quite underrated in general. After hitting 17 home runs combined in his first 1,698 at-bats, Hernandez almost matched that last season with 15 in 605 at-bats. A big reason for that was the 9% spike in his flyball rate up to a career-high 33.6%. Now, I wouldn’t expect more power than that moving forward, but another 10-15 dingers this season is reasonable with 15-plus steals to go along with it. And due to his strong walk rate and OBP, Hernandez will likely continue to his leadoff with a strong lineup behind him in 2019. Eclipsing 100 runs for the first time in his career wouldn’t be a shock. – Eric Cross

Kike Hernandez, Los Angeles Dodgers

Kike Hernandez 2019 Projections

Hernandez never seems to have a starting job, but in each of the past two years he’s appeared in 140 or more games. He turned the power up a notch in 2018 and the 14.6 HR/FB rate isn’t too far out of line with recent campaigns. Playing time looks to be an issue heading into 2019. The Dodgers seem intent on using Max Muncy extensively at second base. Chris Taylor is slotted in center field and Corey Seager returns to man shortstop. Hernandez will still make plenty of appearance, but it’s not likely he’ll come near last year’s 462 plate appearances. The position flexibility and solid pop make him a nice play in deep formats, but the lack of at-bats and pedestrian batting average limit his value to short spans in mixed leagues. – Doug Anderson

Keston Huira, Milwaukee Brewers

Keston Huira 2019 MLB Projections

As I was talking with Doug Anderson about Hiura, I told him that Hiura is one of the five best pure hitters in the minors with a legit 70-grade hit tool. As a guy that analyzes a ton of prospects, I know how special a 70-grade hit tool is and don’t throw that phrase around lightly. Hiura truly is a special hitter with elite contact skills. He’s really begun driving the ball more with a quick right-handed stroke and phenomenal plate coverage. Not only should he hit for a high average year in and year out, but there’s also developing 20-25 homer pop in that bat as well. The Brewers, on paper, look to be a playoff-caliber team once again which should give them added incentive to bring up Hiura later in the 2019 season if he continues to mash pitching in the high minors. Expect a promotion sometime around the all-star break and steady production down the stretch. – Eric Cross

Howie Kendrick, Washington Nationals

Howie Kendrick 2019 Projections

If Difo isn’t the Nationals starting 2nd baseman on opening day, it will be this man. Kendrick was once again a strong batting average source in 2018, but outside of that, doesn’t offer a whole lot. His .161 and .171 ISO marks from the last two seasons are his highest since 2011 and Kendrick recorded career-highs in 2018 in both his hard contact and fly ball rates. Granted, that career-high flyball rate was still only 28.2% so we shouldn’t get too excited about that and forget that he’s never hit more than 14 home runs in a single season. If Kendrick is the starter at 2nd base or Washington this season, something in the vicinity of .280/10/10 would be possible, but the upside is limited and better suited for NL-Only formats. – Eric Cross

Ian Kinsler, San Diego Padres

Ian Kinsler 2019 Projections

It looks like father time caught up to Kinsler in 2018. He’d shown a bit of a power renaissance the previous two years, but after a decent first half the power dried up with just a lone home run after he was traded to the Red Sox. Kinsler should get the bulk of the at-bats at second base in San Diego and add a nice veteran presence for the Padres. Unless you play in a unique league veteran presence won’t help your fantasy team. Draft Kinsler as an adequate middle infielder in NL-Only leagues, but he’s limited as a streaming option or injury fill-in in mixed leagues in 2019. – Doug Anderson

Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte 2019 Projections

I’ve never quite got the love Marte gets in fantasy. He’s not a bad player and he showed a little more pop in 2018. He’s also got the speed to be a lot more valuable than he has been. The thing is you have to run in order to steal bases and he’s shown little inclination. Marte is a nice contact hitter (13.6 K%) with a little more room for batting average upside, but unless he starts running more he’s nothing more than a late round flier at your middle infield slot in mixed leagues. – Doug Anderson

Jeff McNeil, New York Mets

Jeff McNeil 2019 Projections

From 2018 2nd half fantasy darling to without a starting gig in 2019 following the trade for Robinson Cano. McNeil recorded an OPS north of 1.000 in both the Double-A Eastern League and Triple-A Pacific Coast League last season while showing power for the first time in his career. A big reason for the power surge was that McNeil was driving the ball in the air more than he ever had which resulted in a spike in his HR/FB rate that had been below 5% for his career until 2018. It remains to be seen if that newfound power stroke will remain, but what we do know is that McNeil has been a rock-solid batting average source throughout his minor league career and has enough speed to steal 15-20 bases over a full season. Unfortunately, it looks like McNeil will only be in a utility role this season, limiting his value to NL-Only leagues. However, if everyday playing time opens up due to injury or whatever reason, be ready to grab him quickly off of waivers in mixed leagues.  – Eric Cross

Daniel Murphy, Colorado Rockies

Daniel Murphy 2019 Projections

How quickly fantasy owners forget. Take a look at the numbers Murphy put up in 2016-17. Now take that player and put him in Coors Field. It took Murphy awhile to get going in 2018, no doubt because of the knee injury that delayed his start to the season. Murphy didn’t return until June and only hit .200 for the month. Over the next three months he hit .317 with 12 homers. Look familiar? Murphy is 34 years old, but there is absolutely nothing in his peripherals that says he’s entered a decline phase. He’ll be playing mostly first base for the Rockies, but fantasy owners can use him at second all season long. The hype may grow as draft day approaches, but right now Daniel Murphy looks like one of the bigger bargains of 2019 fantasy baseball. – Doug Anderson

Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants

Joe Panik 2019 Projections

Look up the word scrappy and there just might be a picture of Joe Panik. Now let me know when your fantasy league dedicates a category to scrappy. Panic has typically hit for a solid average during his career, but the 10 homers he hit in 2016 and 2017 is about the most you can hope for. He’s never stolen more than five bases in a season so there’s no speed to boost his value. Did I mention a home ballpark that’s a pitchers’ paradise and a Giants lineup with an outfield that nobody’s ever heard of? There’s just no reason to roster Panik in anything but a deep NL-Only league and even then he’s just a hole filler that won’t hurt much… or help. – Doug Anderson

Hernan Perez, Milwaukee Brewers

Hernan Perez 2019 Projections

Perez is one of the top super-utility guys in the majors, appearing at every position in at least five games other than pitcher or catcher. It looked like he might get to handle second base until Brewers top prospect Keston Huira was ready, but the Brewers signed Cory Spangenberg to likely handle the bulk of work there. Perez hasn’t run as much since stealing 34 bags in 2016, but he’s got the speed and pop to go 20/20 if he ever gets full-time play. Perez is probably nothing more than a bench bat in mixed leagues, but if he does manage to grab the second base gig, he instantly becomes a nice sleeper play in any format. – Doug Anderson

Cory Spangenberg, Milwaukee Brewers

Cory Spangenberg 2019 Projections

What do you do when you have the top second base prospect in baseball but you’re not quite ready to hand over the keys? You sign Cory Spangenberg, that’s what you do. Spangenberg has a bit of speed and a bit of pop and can play multiple positions. Sounds like a bench player right? The question is when? Spangenberg has the inside track to the starting second base job, but if the Brewers are in contention, as they have been the last few years, how soon will they turn to Keston Huira after service time issues are past? Regardless Spangenberg is nothing more than a movable depth piece in NL-Only leagues. – Doug Anderson

Luis Urias, San Diego Padres

Luis Urias 2019 Projections

Luis Urias is a pretty damn good baseball player. Unfortunately most of what he does will not translate to fantasy. Urias slides over to short with the Padres signing of Ian Kinsler. Though he lacks the power or speed to reach double-digits in HRs or SBs, Urias does have a track record in the minors of hitting in the .300 neighborhood. At age 21 there’s room for a bit of growth, but the lack of upside likely limits him to NL-)nly formats or streaming 15-team mixed leagues. Urias is someone to monitor, but there’s no reason to get excited unless we see something more. – Doug Anderson

Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals

Kolten Wong 2019 Projections

Despite excellent defense the Cardinals never seem to fully commit to Wong as a full-time player. He’s potentially got the pop to hit 15 homers and the speed to steal 20 bases. It never seems to come together at the same time though. Wong enters 2019 with as much certainty as he’s ever had with only Jedd Gyorko a real threat to at-bats. Wong’s defense should hold him off. A year of quiet career-bests is not out of the question, but Wong lacks the upside to be consider a true breakout. He fills the middle infield slot nicely in NL-Only leagues and can be streamed in mixed leagues. There’s nothing more  here. – Doug Anderson

Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs

Ben Zobrist 2019 Projections

Zobrist’s power has been on the wane for several years now, but he’s also cut down the striekouts and maintain modest fantasy value. He even managed a career-best .305 average in 2018. The domestic abuse issues of Addison Russell likely have Javier Baez moving to short, meaning Zobrist likely has a larger share of the second base at-bats than he has for a few years. The presence of Ian Happ and Daniel Descalso give Joe Maddon lots of options and you know he’ll use them, so Zobrist will still likely get plenty of time elsewhere. Zobrist looked as good as ever in 2018, but father time catches up to everyone. Feel free to use Zobrist as a useful spare part in all formats, but don’t be surpised if the cliff comes suddenly in 2019. – Doug Anderson

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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