We’ve previewed catchers and first base, so now it’s time to head to second base. Second Base is SHALLOW this season. You either need to go early or take some shots late in drafts. This will be a position where rankings will be show some mega differences compared to other positions. Let’s see who the guys like and the strategy taken when attacking the second base with the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Second Base Primer.

Lucas (@BieryPlox33)Bubba (@bdentrek)
1- Jose Altuve1- Jose Altuve
2- Whit Merrifield2- Gleyber Torres
3- Gleyber Torres3- Ozzie Albies
4- Keaton Hiura4- Ketel Marte
5- Ozzie Albies5- Jonathan Villar
6- Jonathan Villar6- DJ LeMahieu
7- Ketel Marte7- Keston Hiura
8- DJ LeMahieu8- Mike Moustakas
9- Max Muncy9- Whit Merrifield
10- Jeff McNeil10- Max Muncy
11- Tommy Edman11- Jeff McNeil
12- Mike Moustakas12- Tommy Edman
13- Gavin Lux13- Eduardo Escobar
14- Eduardo Escobar14- Kevin Newman
15- Kevin Newman15- Cavan Biggio
16- Ryan McMahon16- Gavin Lux
17- Garrett Hamspson17- Kolten Wong
18- Kolten Wong18- Luis Arraez
19- Scott Kingery19- Ryan McMahon
20- Tommy La Stella20- Garrett Hampson

Overall Thoughts on the Position-

Lucas- Second base is a an interesting position to tackle in 2020, it is rich with power (Gleyber Torres) and speed (Jonathan Villar) at the top, and has tons of different types of profiles later in the draft that will suit your specific team needs, whether it’s adding more power (Michael Chavis), adding a pinch of speed (Kolten Wong) or even batting average (Luis Arraez). Ultimately if you get snaked on one of your targets, do not panic, you can continue waiting and waiting as there are many palatable options that can fit your specific team needs. Even if you have to settle for a Cesar Hernandez type really late, that’s fine as he’s a compiler who will give you something.

Bubba- The Second Base position isn’t deep at all. There are some really nice targets at the top, but the overall talent or playing time begins to drop. When looking at my rankings and overall NFBC ADP, I want some of the top options or there are some interesting gambles really late in drafts. When looking at 2B, I find it highly unlikely that I will have a 2B in my MI spot as SS is so much deeper. Maybe things will change as we get a better feel for playing time, but for now you won’t want to wait too long on draft day. 

Potential 2020 Busts-

Lucas- Ozzie Albies is an above average hitter (117 wRC+ in 2019), but I think there could be some buyers’ remorse if you chose to invest in Albies in Round 3. Albies has long been considered a steals source, but has only delivered 14 & 15 steals the past 2 full seasons. Even if you think his power will continue, it’s not particularly loud power, only having hit 24 home runs despite the fact that he had the 3rd most plate appearances (only 24 HR’s in 702 PA’s) for all 2B eligible players. One injury could zap the power total to under 20. Albies is a nice young bat (yet to even turn 23), but I do believe that there are better ways to spend your 3rd pick for your fantasy team.

Bubba- The easy answer is Jonathan Villar, but I am picking him anyways. For those that have listened to or read me for the last few years know my love for Villar. He has helped me to fantasy crowns, and killed me at the same time. The move to Miami will help Villar with everyday playing time and it appears may even get him more positional eligibility. But that isn’t enough for that draft price. He will be able to run wild, but the power will drop in Miami and the counting stats may struggle some in that Marlins lineup. There’s also a good chance he gets traded and could become a platoon player which would destroy his value. If he wasn’t being drafted so high I would likely be in, but for now I will have to watch my unicorn on someone else’s roster.

Top Second Base Targets for 2020-

Lucas- There are some really consistent table setter types at the top of the pool in Whit Merrifield and Jose Altuve. Both are fairly similar in my book (obviously Altuve is the superior player), both guys are high batting average, excellent runs scored guys, some power and some steals. Don’t penalize these guys too much because they don’t run anymore, they bring tons to the table. 2B is a position that is top heavy but runs out of supreme talent quickly. If Altuve/Torres/Merrifield are gone, I’m likely waiting until I can add some upside youth with Tommy Edman or Gavin Lux. Edman (who went 14-15 on the base paths and led STL in BA and SLUG in 2019, 2nd on team in OBP) should provide a nice speed boost (with many avenues to playing time given Matt Carpenter’s decline and their lack of reliable OF options) and Lux is the total package (1.197 OPS at age 21 in Triple A), but we get a discount because he hasn’t done it yet over a full season. Lux feels a little underrated here if he can get the playing time, which I think will happen.

Bubba- If I am drafting early I would love to have some Ozzie Albies or Ketel Marte. Both Albies and Marte have 20+ home run upside (Marte 30+) while both having 10+ steals upside, solid batting averages and good counting stats. They help in all 5 roto categories. If waiting though, like most every other year, you can get a way too cheap Mike Moustakas. Moose has hit 28 or more home runs in 3 straight seasons and now makes that trip to Great American Small Park where he could run into even more. He will be a solid run producer in Cincinnati as well. Moose is likely my favorite 2B target and is a great source of power at a position where power is usually quite limited.

Top Second Base Sleeper Targets for 2020-

Lucas- If I missed out on the 2B studs, I’m content going for some speed out of my 2B position with Kevin Newman (quietly fills it up across 5 cats), Garrett Hampson (we’re getting suckered in again) or Kolten Wong. Newman is a nice stabilizer who should play everyday and hit at the top of the lineup. Hampson is a something of a wild-card given Colorado’s mishandling of youth, but I think he’ll demonstrate his supreme plate skills in 2020 (regularly over .380 OBP in the minors.) Add the steals potential + Coors Field and betting on Hampson feels OK at ADP 167. Wong’s 2019 steals mark may look like an outlier next to the rest of his career (24 steals in 2019, 21 steals the previous 3 seasons combined) but it’s key to remember that the team philosophy changed, as Matheny’s clubs rarely attempted steals, while Mike Shildt was Top 5 in all of baseball in steals attempted. Wong should continue running.

Bubba- As I stated above, there are some later round targets I don’t hate gambling on. Kevin Newman is a player I’ll be taking some stabs on this draft season. We saw him hit over .300 while hitting 12 home runs and stealing 16 bags for the Buccos in 130 games. He should get everyday at bats and hopefully find his way to the top of the Pirates order. He’ll be a nice source of some power and good steals later in drafts. Tommy La Stella, Cesar Hernandez and Starlin Castro are some really nice deep targets if you are feeling frisky.

Dynasty Second Base Targets-

Lucas- 2B is tough position to invest in from a dynasty perspective as there’s really nowhere to go defensively but first base or a corner outfield spot, but there’s still some really interesting players to go seek out in a trade. Nick Madrigal, is a contact-speed guy who will likely provide excellent batting average, 20-something steals and a boatload of runs at the top of the White Sox lineup. The elephant in the room is his power, as Madrigal only hit 5 homers in a full season (120 minor league games across High A, Double A & Triple A). Don’t expect much in this department, but enjoy the high batting average, the mid 20’s SB totals and the runs Madrigal delivers.

Bubba- This past season we saw Keston Hiura, Gavin Lux and Mauricio Dubon make their MLB debuts. This season we may see Nick Madrigal. Madrigal is a hitting machine for the White Sox, similar to Hiura. Madrigal doesn’t quite have the power you’d hope for, but will hit for a really nice average, steal a few bags and score a ton of runs for a loaded, young White Sox offense. Madrigal should be starting for the White sox by season’s end.