Remember when the second base position was thought of as a light-hitting, defense-first position? My, my, my how the times have changed. The keystone has seen a consistent influx of offensive talent over the last half-decade and that’s not going to be stopping anytime soon. In the minors, second base is a deep and talented position with five inside my top-50 overall. Even as we get near the end of these second-base prospect rankings, you’ll find plenty of exciting talent and breakout picks to target in dynasty leagues. Let’s kick things off with a top-10 pick from the 2020 draft.
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Top-30 Dynasty Second Base Prospect Rankings
1. Nick Gonzales, PIT
2021 (Hi-A): 80 G, 369 PA, .302/.385/.565, 23 2B, 18 HR, 7 SB, 10.8 BB%, 27.4 K%, .263 ISO
While there are four others in this tier, Nick Gonzales is a rather easy choice for the top spot. Others can rival his offensive ceiling, but when you combine ceiling and floor, Gonzales’ combination is one no one else can match. After back-to-back dominant seasons to finish his collegiate career at New Mexico State — including 12 homers in 16 games in 2020 — Gonzales continued his offensive barrage against minor league arms in 2021. A .302/.385/.565 slash line with 45 extra-base hits and 18 home runs in 80 games was the final product, with Gonzales silencing any doubters that questioned his 2020 performance or lack of high-end competition in college.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) October 16, 2021
Yes, 12 homers in 16 games won’t happen again, but Gonzales is a plus hitter with around plus power and at least average speed as well. This position as a whole is on the rise and Gonzales has the offensive firepower to rank right near the top for fantasy purposes. His combination of ceiling and floor makes Gonzales a no-doubt top-25 overall fantasy prospect heading into 2022.
2. Vidal Brujan, TBR
2021 (AAA): 103 G, 441 PA, .262/.345/.440, 31 2B, 12 HR, 44 SB, 11.1 BB%, 15.4 K%, .178 ISO | MLB: 2/26
Thanks to an early-season power barrage (7 HR in 22 GP in May), Brujan found himself inside some top-10 prospect lists, mine included. Finally, the additional power had arrived! But unfortunately, that was just a cruel tease as Brujan hit added only five more in his next 81 games to close out the season. That .584 SLG and .269 ISO we saw in May now must be questioned as potential mirages due to the fact that his next best marks in a month were .440 and .170 respectively.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) October 11, 2019
Honestly, just give me 10-15 homers Vidal. That’s all I’m asking for. Adding 10-15 homers annually to his plus hit, double-plus speed profile would morph Brujan into a potential fantasy star. We’re talking about a career .288 hitter in the minors with 195 steals in 502 games with a 75% success rate. Brujan is exceptionally difficult to strike out and has displayed electric bat speed from both sides of the plate with great gap power. Let’s just hope he can get some of those gap shots to clear the fence. Brujan began playing more outfield this past season, and that might be where he winds up longterm. Who knows, this is the Rays we’re talking about.
3. Jose Miranda, MIN
2021 (AA/AAA): 127 G, 591 PA, .344/.401/.572, 32 2B, 30 HR, 4 SB, 7.1 BB%, 12.5 K%, .228 ISO
For the first two months of the minor league season, you’d have a difficult time finding many hitters hotter than Jose Miranda. The 23-year-old infielder slashed .345/.408/.588 in 47 Double-A games, earning a promotion to Triple-A in late June. The Miranda show didn’t stop there either as he was just as good in Triple-A with 17 homers in 80 games and a .343/.397/.563 slash line. Miranda brings minimal speed to the table so his fantasy value is heavily focused on his bat. Luckily, Miranda’s plus contact skills and above-average to plus raw power give him a considerable chance to be an impact bat at the Major League level.
While he doesn’t walk a ton (6.3% in MiLB), Miranda consistently puts the ball in play and has shown exceptional zone awareness and pitch recognition. There’s .275+/25 upside in Miranda’s profile, all he needs is chance. That could come early in 2022, depending on the health of oft-injured Josh Donaldson.
4. Nick Yorke, BOS
2021 (Lo-A/Hi-A): 97 G, 442 PA, .325/.412/.516, 20 2B, 14 HR, 13 SB, 11.8 BB%, 15.6 K%, .191 ISO
With each passing day, the Nick Yorke selection grows on me even more. We’ve now reached the point where I’ve even thrown around a Dustin Pedroia comp on the Red Sox 2020 first round pick. Yorke was lauded as one of the best pure prep hitters in the 2020 class and that showed in his 2021 performance. Yorke excelled across Lo-A and Hi-A, hitting well over .300 at both levels with a .400+ OBP and .500+ SLG at each level as well. The power is what has really intrigued me though and pushed Yorke well inside my top-50 overall.
Nick Yorke is enjoying his time with the @GreenvilleDrive.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 29, 2021
This is easily a plus hitter with a mature approach well beyond his years. But the advancement of his power has been huge. Yorke still doesn’t have plus game power or anything, but he could post some 20+/15+ seasons with an excellent AVG/OBP to go with it. My Fantrax Toolshed co-host, Chris Clegg, believes that Yorke could be a top-10 fantasy prospect within the next two years. And frankly, I don’t have any disagreements with that notion.
5. Nolan Gorman, STL
2021 (AA/AAA): 119 G, 523 PA, .279/.333/.481, 20 2B, 25 HR, 7 SB, 7.3 BB%, 22.0 K%, .202 ISO
As someone that once had Nolan Gorman in my top-15 overall (Yes, I got a tad overzealous), I’ve actually become one of the lower around on him in the industry these days. Let me clarify that I’m still high on Gorman in a general sense and think he’s going to be a good, but not great fantasy player. His easy plus or better raw power finally began translating more frequently in games this past season with 25 homers, a .481 SLG, and a .202 ISO in 119 games. That power looks even better at the keystone, which will likely be his defensive home due to the presence of Nolan Arenado at the hot corner. However, I’m not sure he’s a 30+ homer bat like I once believed. Still, a 25-30 homer profile will play just fine at this position and Gorman has the contact skills to hit around .260-.270 as well.
6. Michael Busch, LAD
2021 (AA): 107 G, 495 PA, .267/.386/.484, 27 2B, 20 HR, 2 SB, 14.1 BB%, 26.1 K%, .217 ISO
Valuing Michael Busch largely comes down to your league format. If you play in an OBP league, Busch might squeak into the back of tier one, possibly even ahead of Nolan Gorman. Throughout his minor league and collegiate career, Busch has shown around average contact skills, but with a keen eye at the plate that led to an 18.1% walk rate in college and 14.5% in the minors thus far.
That patience along with his solid contact skills and above-average power could make Busch a rock-solid #2 hitter down the road if that opportunity opens up with the Dodgers. But at this point, Gavin Lux is still trying to break in full-time, so there are no guarantees with Busch as of yet. However, if he does receive full-time at-bats, Busch’s .260+/.370+/25 profile at second base would be quite intriguing. Not as much at first though, which is another spot he has spent time at.
7. Jeter Downs, BOS
2021 (AAA): 99 G, 405 PA, .190/.272/.333, 9 2B, 14 HR, 18 SB, 9.4 BB%, 32.3 K%, .143 ISO
There are rough seasons and then there are seasons like the one Jeter Downs had in 2021. But let’s start with the positives. Downs played 99 games for Triple-A Worcester and racked up 14 home runs, 18 steals, and a decent 9.4% walk rate. That’s still a 21/27 pace over 150 games, which is highly impressive given the fact that Downs slashed .190/.272/.333 with a 32.3% strikeout rate. His performance in the Arizona Fall League was similar with a .228/.389/.481 slash line, five homers, and four steals in 72 PA.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) October 15, 2021
With Downs, the 20/20 power/speed blend remains, but the hit tool is now a major concern. In my live looks out in the AFL, Downs was able to consistently barrel up fastballs, including that opposite-field missile off Bobby Miller above. However, he looked absolutely lost against anything offspeed, which backs up what I saw on video during the minor league season. Case in point, his strikeout versus Landon Knack two at-bats later…
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) October 15, 2021
If Downs can improve against non-fastballs, there’s still a path to him being a solid fantasy contributor at the second base position down the road. Easier said than done though. Now is an ideal time to try and buy-low in dynasty formats as his value has dropped outside the top-100 and closer to 150 overall.
8. Eddys Leonard, LAD
2021 (Lo-A/Hi-A): 107 G, 492 PA, .293/.390/.539, 29 2B, 22 HR, 9 SB, 10.4 BB%, 23.6 K%, .246 ISO
While Jeter Downs is trending the wrong way, Eddys Leonard’s stock is soaring. The Dodgers versatile infielder was even taken inside the top-100 of the recently concluded Toolshed Industry Prospect Mock draft. It’s not hard to see why as Leonard is coming off a 22-homer/9-steal showing in 107 games with a .296/.390/.539 slash line. Leonard might not possess that one standout tool, but he could wind up as 55 across the board offensively. He’s also displayed a mature approach at the plate, giving him similarly enticing value in OBP formats. Leonard started 20+ games at 2nd, 3rd, and short this past season, and that versatility should be beneficial longterm as he attempts to crack the Dodgers lineup in a couple of years.
9. Justin Foscue, TEX
2021 (RK/Hi-A/AA): 62 G, 267 PA, .275/.371/.590, 19 2B, 17 HR, 2 SB, 9.4 BB%, 27.0 K%, .315 ISO
Honestly, I’m surprised that Justin Foscue doesn’t get more love in rankings after the season he just put together. Despite missing a month and a half with a rib issue, Foscue still was able to swat 17 homers and 19 doubles in 62 games with a .590 SLG and .315 ISO. Sure, a sizeable chunk of that was in July (15 G, 6 2B, 10 HR), but Foscue possesses plus raw power with an average hit tool and can draw walks at a decent clip. He uses a bigger leg kick and stride pre-pitch, but it works with his quick hands and torque created by his hip rotation. He’ll need to cut down on the strikeouts a bit, but the offensive profile is exciting at this position.
— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) November 5, 2021
10. Richie Palacios, CLE
2021 (AA/AAA): 103 G, 428 PA, .297/.404/.471, 33 2B, 7 HR, 20 SB, 13.6 BB%, 16.4 K%, .174 ISO
From start to finish, the 2021 calendar year was a productive one for Richie Palacios. After hitting .297 with a .404 OBP and 20 steals in 103 minor league games, Palacios kept that momentum going with three homers, four steals, and a .387 OBP in 20 AFL games. This profile doesn’t scream star, but it does scream sneaky fantasy value thanks to Palacios’ above-average hit tool and speed, on-base abilities, and double-digit power. This performance was especially encouraging as Palacios last played in 2018 after missing 2019 due to injury leading into the lost 2020 season. Palacios is a great target in dynasty leagues as his potential value far outweighs his current price tag.
Richie Palacios really caught my eye in live looks in the AFL. I was very worried after he was hbp on the hand, but he rebounded strong and had a great couple games. 1.271 OPS and 3 extra base hits in 14 PAs. Going to be a riser in my prospect rankings.
Heres some highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/x2SkBKtrUN
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) October 18, 2021
11. Oswaldo Cabrera, NYY
2021 (AA/AAA): 118 G, 514 PA, .272/.330/.533, 31 2B, 29 HR, 21 SB, 8.0 BB%, 24.7 K%, .261 ISO
Another breakout middle infield prospect for the Yankees, 22-year-old Oswaldo Cabrera finished one homer shy of a 30/20 season in 2021. Don’t take 2021’s stats and assume he’s going to be a fantasy stud though. The 5’10 switch-hitter doesn’t stand out in any one area, but could be 50-grade in hit, power, and run long-term with .260+/15+/15 upside. He received 20+ games at 2nd, 3rd, and shortstop in 2021 as well, which definitely is crucial for him in 2022 as the Yankees have Volpe and Peraza, and are rumored to still be in on the remaining big-name shortstop free agents.
12. Xavier Edwards, TBR
2021 (AA): 79 G, 337 PA, .302/.377/.368, 13 2B, 0 HR, 19 SB, 10.7 BB%, 12.5 K%, .066 ISO
See what happens when you have absolutely zero power? If Edwards could hit 10-15 homers annually, he’d be much higher in this tier and maybe even in tier one as his profile is essentially Brujan’s with no power. And when I say no power, I mean it. For his professional career, Edwards has a .389 SLG, a .079 ISO, and one lone home run which was likely an accident. But with that said, you can still find value in a profile like this thanks to Edwards plus contact skills, higher walk rate, and ability to contribute 25+ steals annually. Speed will always play.
13. Ezequiel Duran, TEX
2021 (Hi-A): 105 G, 471 PA, .267/.342/.486, 22 2B, 19 HR, 19 SB, 8.5 BB%, 27.6 K%, .219 ISO
The former Yankees farmhand struggled after his mid-season trade to Texas, but the final product was 19 homers and 19 steals in 105 games. Duran is a talented, yet flawed prospect with a wide range of outcomes. The hit tool is closer to 45 than 50 and Duran has a solid amount of swing and miss to his game which is concerning. But on the positive side, Duran has exhibited plus raw power and a desire to steal bases despite the fact that he’s a 50-grade runner at best. If he can hit enough to keep the AVG respectable and maintains that desire to run, Duran could run into some sneaky fantasy value.
14. Felix Valerio, MIL: Don’t let his diminutive frame fool you, Valerio can rake. Valerio slashed .290/.401/.468 with 11 homers, 31 steals, and nearly as many walks (69) as strikeouts (71) in 2021. The 5’7 second baseman possesses an above-average hit tool, plus speed, and enough pop to reach double-digit homers annually. If this continues, he’ll be near the top of tier 2 by this time next year.
15. Jorbit Vivas, LAD: Oh look, another talented Dodgers infield prospect. I swear they have a tree in Vin Scully’s backyard that grows these guys. Vivas has hit well over .300 in each of the last two seasons and brought more power and speed to the table in 2021 as well. Like Valerio, Vivas could make another massive jump up prospect rankings in 2022.
16. Connor Norby, BAL: After a breakout final collegiate season at East Carolina, Norby vaulted up into the 2nd round where Baltimore selected him 41st overall. The power and speed are both 50-grade, but Norby is easily a plus hitter and could settle in as a top-of-the-order hitter.
17. Max Muncy, OAK: The 2021 first-round pick doesn’t bring any standout tools, but could be 50 or 55-grade across the board and a serviceable Major League caliber middle infielder. He’s worth targeting outside of the top-25 in your FYPDs this offseason.
18. Jonathan Aranda, TBR: I wrote a blurb on Aranda in my top-30 first base prospect rankings.
19. Aaron Bracho, CLE: Damn, the 2021 breakout streak stops at two. Bracho went from being a popular riser in prospect circles entering 2021 to someone I was able to get at pick 367 in the industry prospect mock draft I referenced earlier. A .174/.269/.299 line across 70 games will do that. Still, I’d recommend buying low on Bracho if you can as the price tag might never be lower and it’s a low-risk move at this price. Maybe I’m foolish for thinking there’s still solid upside with the bat, who knows.
20. Carlos Jorge, CIN: Signed out of the Dominican Republic, Carlos Jorge excelled in the DSL in 2021, hitting .346 with 27 steals, a .478 wOBA, and 174 wRC+ in 47 games. If his power develops, watch out.
21. Euribiel Angeles, SDP: It’s quite possible that Euribiel Angeles is more of a utility infielder, but I’m willing to roll the dice on him in dynasty due to his contact skills, speed, and potential for additional power.
22. Samad Taylor, TOR: If fantasy minor league baseball was a thing, Samad Taylor would’ve been a waiver wire darling en route to a 16/30 season in just 87 Double-A games. But this is a case where the stats surpass the skills, and I’m not sure Taylor is a starter at the Major League level, especially in Toronto.
23. Michael Massey, KCR | 24. Tyler Black, MIL | 25. Maikol Escotto, Pit | 26. Ji-Hwan Bae, PIT | 27. Otto Lopez, TOR | 28. Ian Lewis, MIA | 29. Trevor Hauver, TEX | 30. Ryan Bliss, ARI | 31. Alexeis Azuaje, PHI
This tier represents the remaining 2nd base prospects inside my top-400. There’s still plenty of intriguing dynasty targets here, with Michael Massey, Ryan Bliss, Ian Lewis, and Alexeis Azuaje representing my favorite breakout picks for 2022 and beyond.
Media Credit: Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg), Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire, Josh Norris (@jnorris427), MLB Pipeline
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