Dynasty baseball is all about building a sustainable roster that can compete long-term. Winning now is important but it’s best to build around a prime core that can lead you to multiple competitive years. A five-year projection is long compared to what most dynasty rankings look at. Unless your roster is currently in a complete reboot, there’s no sense in planning that far in advance either. However, these prime second basemen can lead the way to fantasy success right now while still having room to get even better over the next half-decade.
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Predicting the Top Dynasty Second Baseman in 2028
The Favorite: Jazz Chisholm Jr.
Beginning this season, Jazz Chisholm Jr. is transitioning to a role in center field and could be at risk of losing his eligibility at second base due to Miami’s glut of infielders. However, over the next few years, I’d anticipate that he will see at least some playing time at the position he’s spent most of his MLB career unless he develops into a plus-defender in center. Either way, he has all the makings of a future superstar if he can finish putting the pieces together. Chisholm has the power-speed combo necessary to make him an elite fantasy contributor. Despite playing just 60 games last season, he hit 14 homers with 12 steals and an .860 OPS.
As is the case with many “toolsy” young stars, Chisholm has a strikeout problem. He’s struck out in at least 27% of his plate appearances in each of his three MLB seasons and it’s gotten worse in the early goings of 2023. The 25-year-old has struck out 20 times in 52 plate appearances, resulting in a 38.5% strikeout rate. This isn’t a new issue for Chisholm; he struggled with strikeouts throughout the minors as well. On top of that, his chase and swing-and-miss rates aren’t doing him any favors. At this point, it’s safe to say that Chisholm’s strikeout rate will always limit his ceiling for batting average but the tools are loud enough that he can overcome it.
Beyond his glaring strikeout problem, the other factors working against Chisholm are his supporting cast and home park. LoanDepot Park is fairly average but suppresses homers to lefties, which can be seen in his career splits. He has 19 home runs on the road compared to 17 at home despite having 55 fewer road plate appearances. As for the lineup around him, Miami has finished in the bottom three in runs scored during each of the last four full MLB seasons. The team is off to another slow start in 2023 and there don’t appear to be many dramatic improvements coming along. Chisholm has moved around the lineup this season, primarily between leadoff and cleanup, but the poor supporting cast will limit his runs and RBI.
Assuming he can lower the strikeout rate just enough that it’s manageable, few second basemen can provide the same power/speed threat that Chisholm can. His career sample size is small but the 162-game average is impressive, with 27 homers and 30 steals alongside a .754 OPS. As expected, he does most of his damage against righties, with a career OPS of .792 compared to a brutal .642 against left-handers. While there are a few reasons to believe that Chisholm will never reach his full potential, I’m still buying in on the tools. He has elite speed and should provide a comfortable floor for steals. When he was healthy in 2021, Chisholm posted decent batted-ball data, including an 84th percentile max exit velocity. Despite the risks, his 30-30 potential makes him worth the gamble in dynasty formats.
The Other Options
Unlike catchers and first basemen, there are multiple second basemen that had an argument for the top spot on this list. Coming in just behind Chisholm is Andres Gimenez. After struggling early in his MLB career, Gimenez blew up in 2022, finishing sixth in AL MVP voting and winning a Gold Glove. He slashed .297/.371/.466 with 46 extra-base hits (17 homers) and 20 steals. Prior to last season, he registered a .671 OPS with just 23 extra-base hits in 117 games. Gimenez still doesn’t have great batted-ball data but he continues finding success in spite of it. He’s carried the momentum into the early stages of 2023, slashing .308/.368/.462 with five doubles and an MLB-leading 14 runs.
While he doesn’t have the same power potential as Chisholm, Gimenez’s elite sprint speed should give him a ceiling of 30-steals, and possibly more with the new rules. The 24-year-old second baseman is mostly a pull-hitter from the left side, so 10-15 home runs each season feels like a safe floor. Despite the non-elite power and solid bat-to-ball skills, Gimenez struggles with plate discipline. Improving that will be the difference between him being a great dynasty second baseman and the best one. Even with the high chase rate, Gimenez should be a constant 20-20 threat during his prime with a solid batting average.
Just a few seasons ago, Ozzie Albies probably already was the top dynasty second baseman. During his age 21-22 seasons (2018-2019), he slashed .278/.329/.476 with 48 home runs, 83 doubles, and 29 steals. Since then, his batting average has steadily dropped while his OPS+ is just barely above average (105). Albies saw nearly all of his metrics drop from 2021 to 2022, resulting in a career-low .703 OPS through 64 games. So far in 2023, he’s below average in most categories. A big reason for his decline is his left-handed hitting performance. He owns a career .744 OPS against right-handers compared to a .913 OPS against lefties.
Aside from all the negatives, there’s still reason to believe that Albies can bounce back. He’s only in his age-26 campaign despite already having over 2,500 plate appearances at the MLB level. Albies had a 30-20 season in 2021 despite an OPS under .800 and he still has a safe floor for counting stats due to Atlanta’s strong lineup. With no shift, his numbers as a lefty should improve, though the new rules haven’t boosted his stolen base numbers. Albies can still be a 20-20 threat even if he never returns to his early-career form.
Like Albies, Gleyber Torres’ fantasy value has been a rollercoaster throughout his young career. He burst on the scene with 62 home runs and an .849 OPS (125 OPS+) in 2018 and 2019, his first two seasons in the big leagues. The following three years, he totaled just 36 homers with a .730 OPS (104 OPS +). Torres found his power again in 2022 with 24 bombs but his strikeout and walk rates continued turning in the wrong direction. He also burned out down the stretch, with his first-half OPS falling from .809 to .702 in the second half.
Torres has quietly looked like his younger self to begin 2023. His underlying numbers are strong, including a vastly improved plate approach. The 26-year-old is currently leading the AL with 11 walks while striking out just five times. He’ll end up regressing to the mean a bit but he’s a legitimate 20-20 candidate for the first time in his career. Torres is slashing .372./522/.657 with five steals and five extra-base hits through 46 plate appearances. The buy-low window may be closing but he’s back to being a real fantasy contributor at a weak position.
Predicting the future wave of talent at second base can be tough for multiple reasons. The main issue is that many second basemen are shortstop prospects that were moved for defensive reasons. For now, Termarr Johnson is one of the most projectable prospects at the position. The 18-year-old is still a few years away from the majors but was drafted with a highly-praised hit tool that should carry him through the minors. A few other prospects with the potential to be in this conversation include Connor Norby and Edouard Julien. Norby flew through Baltimore’s system in 2022 and is now knocking on the door for his MLB debut. Julien has followed a slower path but looks like he’ll be an OBP machine in Minnesota before long.