Written by: Ray Butler
We’re less than ONE MONTH away from Opening Day! It can’t get here soon enough. Don’t fret, though, because spring training games are starting to pick up and the World Baseball Classic is right around the corner.
But until meaningful baseball begins, we’ll rank players. Here’s how the second base position stacks up in The League of Ruthless Gentlemen.
#1. Bobby Morrison- Second Basemen: Jose Altuve, Daniel Murphy, and Jed Gyorko
Bobby owns the best second baseman in all of baseball. There’s not a category that Altuve doesn’t excel in, and the 26 year old should only get better in the next couple of seasons. Daniel Murphy is another stud who has transformed his game from high-contact to high-contact AND high-power. It’s been unbelievable to watch. Gyorko is a high-power guy, too, but his on base abilities have always limited him to being a role player.
#2. Ray Butler- Second Basemen: Trea Turner, Jonathan Villar, and Brian Dozier
Ray has three 2B-eligible players in the top 50 overall players, and he’d be the top-ranked owner at the position if it weren’t for the star-power of Jose Altuve. Trea Turner will be transitioning to shortstop this season, but both Jonathan Villar and Brian Dozier should be mainstays at the position for the foreseeable future. This trio should produce an outrageous amount of stolen bases while also contributing an underrated amount of power.
#3. Van Moore- Second Basemen: Rougned Odor and Jean Segura
Odor and Segura were two of the six non-prospects kept by Van as he continues to rebuild his squad. Segura will be the Mariners’ every day short stop this season, but both he and Odor will contribute heavily to whatever success Van’s squad has this season. Segura could be an interesting trade-piece if Van opts to continue collecting top prospects for the future.
#4. Gregg Morris- Second Baseman: Robinson Cano
Cano bounced back in a big way in 2016 after being relatively disappointing during the 2015 campaign. The Mariners’ second baseman should continue to generate massive amounts of offense batting in between Jean Segura and Nelson Cruz in a high-powered offense.
#5. John Morrison- Ian Kinsler and Devon Travis
John lands in the top five of these rankings largely due to my belief that Devon Travis has some real breakout ability leading up to the 2017 regular season. But even if he can’t erase his label as injury-prone and performs at a league-average rate, Ian Kinsler exploded last season and will continue to lead off in a stacked Tigers’ lineup.
#6. Zach Gerhart- Second Baseman: Jason Kipnis
A staple towards the top of second base rankings, Jason Kipnis is well above average in every LORG offensive category other than strikeouts. He’ll bat in an offense that will be even better than last year’s Indians squad, so he’ll continue to accumulate RBIs and score runs at an impressive rate.
#7. Caleb Stumpf- Second Basemen: Matt Carpenter and Willie Calhoun
Carpenter had to withdraw from this year’s World Baseball Classic due to issues with his lower back. He also meant a chunk of games last season with injury. He’s also transitioning from second base to first base this season, so there certainly could be some fluidity with Caleb’s second base spot in the near future. I imagine that’s why he drafted Willie Calhoun, a power hitter in the Dodgers’ farm system whose future position could be in question due to questionable defensive ability. Caleb certainly hopes he sticks at second base.
#8. Ben Roach- Second Basemen: D.J. Lemahieu, Javier Baez, and Ben Zobrist
Ben owns two super-reliable second basemen: one (Lemahieu) who plays at Coors Field and another (Zobrist) who bats in the middle of one of the best offenses in baseball. Baez has the ceiling of a bonafide superstar, but he’s currently more valuable in real life (mainly for his defensive prowess) than he is in LORG. He’s only 24, though, so he has plenty of time to reach his fantasy potential.
#9. Frank Selesky- Second Basemen: Dee Gordon and Jose Peraza
Dee Gordon is an elite MLB second baseman, there’s no doubt about it. However, while he produces an elite amount of NSB and historically reaches base at a high rate (though he didn’t in his suspension-shortened 2016 season), he’s undoubtedly more valuable in real life than in the fantasy world (like the aforementioned Javy Baez). I’m glad Peraza will get a real shot to stick this year; like Gordon, he has the chance to be near the top in the stolen base category.
#10. Adam Stumpf- Second Basemen: Logan Forsythe, Brad Miller, Jurickson Profar, Ian Happ
Another position in which Adam has some underrated potential, I could see Profar being the most productive player in this bunch during the 2017 season. That’s saying something, too, since Forsythe should thrive in the Dodgers’ lineup and Miller will continue to hit for above-average power in Tampa. Holistically, Adam has a nice mix of high-floor (Forsythe and Miller) and high-ceiling (Profar and Happ) at this position.
#11. McKinnon Ray- Second Baseman: Dustin Pedroia
Reliable might be the perfect word to describe Dustin Pedroia. He gets on base, doesn’t strike out too often, and always hits for an average amount of power. At 33 years young he’s begun to enter the twilight of his career, but Pedroia will do very little to hold McKinnon’s offense back.
#12. Matt Smith- Second Baseman: Jonathan Schoop
Matt remains the most patient owner in this league. He handled Schoop cleverly this offseason–not keeping him and then reacquiring him with the penultimate overall pick of the draft. If Schoop someday reaches the potential many evaluators think he has, it’ll be a feat big enough for Matt to hang his hat on.
On Deck: LORG 2017 Third Base Rankings (gulp)
Link to LORG 2017 Catcher Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/01/lorg-2017-catcher-rankings/
LORG 2017 First Base Rankings: https://sidelinesandheadlines.com/2017/03/03/lorg-2017-first-baseman-ranks/