After covering catcher and first base, we’ll be heading over to the keystone today with my 2023 Dynasty Second Base Rankings. Once thought of as a light-hitting, defensive-oriented spot, this second base positional has steadily trended upwards with more exciting fantasy options every year.
In 2022 alone, we saw plenty of movement at the position, both positively and negatively. At the top, Ozzie Albies was limited in more ways than one, but we also witnessed the emergence of Jazz Chisholm Jr, who has quickly become one of the most exciting players in baseball. We also received several other breakouts while some more established players endured rough seasons offensively.
- There will be some debate at the top between Ozzie Albies and Jazz Chisholm. One is coming off an injury-riddled season after a half-decade of high-end results. The other has the most upside at this position but is also very raw and still finding his footing at the Major League level. At this moment, I lean Albies and believe he’s a strong buy-low candidate in dynasty leagues if the opportunity arises. Apparently, all it takes is one injury-shortened season of less-than-stellar production to make many forget that in each of Albies last three full seasons (2018, 2019, 2021), he posted at least 24 home runs, 14 steals, 102 runs, and 72 RBI. On top of that, Albies best season to date came in 2021 where he set career bests in HR, RBI, and SB.
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) April 24, 2022
- As for Chisholm, he’s the flashy new you at this position with the sexy metrics many fantasy players drool about, including a 16.7% barrel rate, 46.7% hard-hit rate, and a 94th percentile sprint speed. On the surface, Chisholm racked up 14 home runs and 12 steals in only 241 plate appearances in 2022 along with a .254/.325/.535 slash line. However, there are some red flags with Chisholm in his approach, mainly with his 74.6% zone contact rate and 32.1% whiff rate. There’s no doubt that Chisholm has the highest upside at this position and could easily grasp and run away with the #1 spot. However, I’d love to see some improvement in his approach before putting him ahead of Albies quite yet. With all of that said, this duo is easily the #1 and #2 options at this position right now for dynasty purposes.
- We have two new additions to tier 2 this year with Andrés Giménez and Vaughn Grissom. After suffering some prospect fatigue, Giménez broke out in 2022 with 17 home runs, 19 steals, and a .297/.371/.466 slash line. However, when you peek under the hood, his statcast page doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh, but outside of his sprint speed, there’s a lot of blue. All of Giménez’s QoC metrics were league-average or below-average and he’s never been one to walk much. Plus, Giménez was aided by a .353 BABIP last season which definitely helped considering his contact metrics, which once again, were middle of the road. I’m not saying that Giménez is bad or that he’s going to fall off a cliff. But what I am saying is that I’m expecting a small step back in his offensive numbers in 2023. However, additional plate appearances could help soften the blow. Giménez is more of a sell than a buy right now for me.
- Turning our attention to Grissom, he’s one I would consider buying in dynasty leagues entering 2023. It’s hard to have a “tale of two seasons” scenario in just 156 plate appearances, but that’s exactly the case here. In his first 103 PA, Grissom slashed .347/.398/.558 with five homers, four steals, a 17.4% strikeout rate, and a .211 ISO. At that point, it was all aboard the Grissom train. But over his final 53 plate appearances, Grissom struggled to the tune of a .174/.264/.196 line with zero homers, one steal, a 3o.2% strikeout rate, and a .022 ISO. Ouch. Yuck. But don’t hold those 53 plate appearances over his head for too long. Grissom is a talented bat that hit .315 over 227 minor league games. That includes a .324 AVG in 2022 along with 14 home runs and 27 steals in 96 games. Grissom should be able to hit for a high AVG with enough power and speed to flirt with 20/20 annually. Just keep in mind that he’s moving over to short with Dansby Swanson’s departure and could lose eligibility.
- One of the most polarizing players at this position entering 2023 has to be Trevor Story. In his first season with the Red Sox after signing a six-year contract, Story slashed .238/.303/.434 with 53 runs, 16 home runs, 66 RBI, and 13 steals in 396 plate appearances. If you extrapolate those out over 650 plate appearances, you’d have 87 R, 26 HR, 108 RBI, and 21 SB. That looks great, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. As a Red Sox fan, I watched Story look absolutely lost for about 90% of last season. That other 10% was a 10-game stretch in May when he hit eight home runs. That means he had as many homers in that 46 PA stretch as he did in his other 350 PA. Additionally, Story recorded a 30.8% strikeout rate, 30.8% whiff rate, and 33.1% chase rate. This is not the time to write him off, but expecting a major bounceback from him in 2023 also isn’t recommended. We’re probably looking at another solid power/speed pace, but with a lower AVG and OBP.
- At this point, Brandon Lowe is becoming a difficult rank. We saw what he can do when everything clicks as it did in 2021 (97 R, 39 HR, 99 RBI), but that also serves as his lone season north of 330 PA. Lowe was limited to 65 games in 2022 due to a back issue and only slashed .221/.308/.383 when he was on the field. We also saw his barrel rate and hard-hit rate drop a solid amount while his whiff rate remained too high. But on the other hand, Lowe improved his strikeout rate to a career-best 22.9% and posted a walk rate above 10% for the third straight season. When it comes to whether or not to buy low in dynasty, the asking price is especially important (duh). I’m a believer that Lowe’s production will bounce back in 2023, but the back issue and all-around inconsistencies do worry me a bit. Buy low, but proceed with caution.
- The last player I wanted to discuss is Nolan Gorman. This is a story of a former prospect favorite of mine turned player I’m strictly avoiding in all formats right now. There are a few reasons for this. To start, one area for Gorman that has always been exciting is his power. Gorman flexed that power during his 2022 Major League debut, cranking 14 home runs in 313 plate appearances with a 14.4% barrel rate and 43.3% hard-hit rate. But outside of the power, his profile turns sour in a hurry. Gorman hit just .226 this past season which includes a .192 AVG and 33.2% whiff rate against fastballs. That 192 mark was the 6th worst mark in baseball last season (min 100 PA). Overall, Gorman recorded a 34.5% whiff rate and a 74% zone contact, both of which were well worse than league average. And even if I could look past all of that (I can’t), Gorman is far from a lock to receive consistent playing time in St. Louis. The Cardinals basically refused to let him face LHP last season and also have Brendan Donovan in the picture at second base. Gorman’s best chance at playing time is for Donovan and/or multiple DH options (Yepez, etc) struggling in spring training while he posts a strong spring showing. And even if that all happens, those previously mentioned metrics still don’t provide any confidence that he’ll be able to hold that position down. Just as I was fading Dylan Carlson in 2021 and 2022, Gorman has become a strong fade as well.
- .If you’re looking for notes on the prospects included in these rankings, you can find those in my Second Base Prospect Rankings article.
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2023 Dynasty Second Base Rankings
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Media Credit: John Adams/Icon Sportswire, Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire, Codify, Fangraphs