Diving into the player pool is essential in the initial stages of your Fantasy Baseball prep for next season. Knowing and understanding the player pool can help you better formulate a draft strategy. It may seem like common sense, but knowing the deep and shallow positions can take you a long way. Today, we will look at the Fantasy Baseball second base position and examine the player pool and draft strategy for the position. This article continues a positional primer series that will take an in-depth look at each position across the diamond.
When thinking about the second base position, you might remember it being shallow in the past. That is not the case anymore as players like Trea Turner, Marcus Semien, Javier Baez, Jorge Polanco, and even Mookie Betts added position eligibility at second in some leagues. Shortstop is easily the deepest position on the diamond, but second base is pushing up from a talent standpoint.
How should you approach second base in 2022 drafts? A look back at 2021 performances? Second base tiered rankings? I have it all covered for you right here!
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Fantasy Baseball Positional Preview: Second Base
Second Base 2021 Rewind
The second base position was a fun one in 2021 as talented shortstops gained positional eligibility. Marcus Semien broke Davey Johnson’s record for most home runs in a season by a second baseman with 45. Brandon Lowe tied Jose Ramirez’s 2018 season with 39 home runs. Good for sixth most in a season by a second baseman. Four other second basemen, including Jorge Polanco, Jose Altuve, Javier Baez, and Ozzie Albies, eclipsed 30 home runs. After that, the power dropped off significantly at the position. Just eight total second basemen hit more than 25 home runs.
Marcus Semien perfected the art of pulling fly balls for home runs. Just check out that spray chart below. Semien likely will not hit 45 home runs again but could be an attractive pick depending on which team ends up signing him. Houston would be a fantastic fit with the Crawford Boxes in left field for Semien to take advantage of.
From a speed standpoint, second basemen did very well. Whit Merrifield led the way with 40 stolen bases, second-most in all of baseball behind Starling Marte. Trea Turner and Tommy Edman both stole 30 or more bases last year as well. Six different second basemen stole 20 or more bases, and 10 stole 15 or more. The moral of the story, you can find plenty of stolen base potential at the second base position.
From a statistical standpoint, it is not surprising to see many second basemen perform well in stolen bases, and some display good power. But, there were some individual surprises at the position, starting with Jonathan India.
India was nearly the unanimous National League Rookie of the Year this season, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes. He seemed like a high-profile draft pick who would never reach expectations until he broke out in 2021. India hit 21 home runs, stole 12 bases, and had one of the highest on-base percentages in baseball at .376. It was a pleasant surprise for the Reds and Fantasy Baseball.
Jorge Polanco was another breakout hitter last season. After having a previous season-high of 22 home runs in 704 plate appearances, Polanco hit 33 home runs in just 644 plate appearances. Polanco has always hit for a solid batting average, but this year seemingly sacrificed some for power. He hit just .269 in 2021, which is still serviceable.
Ozzie Albies had one of the quietest 30-HR/20-SB seasons in history. He only posted a .259 batting average, but he was one of two second basemen to surpass 100 runs and RBIs. If it were not for Turner and Semien getting second base eligibility, Albies would have been the top second baseman for Fantasy Baseball.
Fantasy Baseball Second Base Strategy
There is some depth at the second base position for the first time in what feels like a while. If you decide against taking Trea Turner at the top of drafts or Ozzie Albies in the second round, there are what feels like a lot of values down the draft board. Currently, 12 second basemen are going inside the top-1oo of NFBC drafts. It is still early, as just 16 NFBC drafts have been completed, but there are a lot of values to like at the back-end of the top-100.
Though there is some depth and decent value picks at second base, you do not want to wait past the top-100 to get your starting second baseman. Jonathan India comes in at an average pick of 103, and I would include him in players I would be comfortable starting at the position.
After India, you drop down to players like D.J. LeMahieu, Brendan Rodgers, Ty France, and Chris Taylor. While those players could be solid options at second base, I prefer the comfortability of getting one of the top-13 in ADP.
If you are looking for players who can provide a decent return on investment, look in the 75-100(ish) ADP range. Jorge Polanco, Jose Altuve, and Brandon Lowe fall in this ADP range and finished 26, 31, 33 respectively on the Razzball Player Rater last season. Additionally, Max Muncy came in at 50 and Tommy Edman at 61 on the Player Rater. Considering Muncy’s current ADP sits at 97.8 and Edman at 85, those five players seem like attractive buys.
If things stick the way they are for ADP purposes, I will have plenty of Jose Altuve, Brandon Lowe, Jorge Polanco, Max Muncy, and Jonathan India on my 2022 teams.
2022 Second Base Rankings
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