2016 Fantasy Baseball Busts: Second Base
We are not suggesting a total collapse for these players just the strong possibility that their production will not justify their draft position.
Jason Kipnis – Indians
Overall ADP: ADP 92
Kipnis hit his first home run of the season on April 29 and then for the next 81 games he was one of the best players in baseball. He slashed .353/.435/.533 with six home runs, 60 runs and nine stolen bases. Chronic inflammation of his shoulder forced him to the DL in August.
When he returned to action, he slumped to .244/.292/.388 with three home runs, 20 runs and just one stolen base in his remaining 40 games. It is difficult to know what version of Kipnis will appear in 2016. Our ECR™ currently has him ranked 72nd but the ADP is a little more cautious at 95.
He broke out in 2012 and 2013 as a 30+ stolen base and 10+ home run speedster. In 2014, he was a disappointing 0.7 WAR player with just six home runs and 22 stolen bases.
The Indians’ second baseman failed to reach double-digit home runs again last year and his stolen base total dropped to a career-low 12, and he was caught eight times (that’s a 40% failure rate). If Kipnis can recapture the stellar form he showed in May and June then he will be a wise investment; otherwise, you may have overpaid for just a solid average and a good quantity of runs and doubles.
Ian Kinsler – Tigers
Overall ADP: #81
Kinsler still has the name recognition of the player who went 30/30 in 2011. Today he has the ceiling of a 10/10 player, yet our ECR™ still ranks him 77th. In 2015, he batted .296 (his highest average for seven years), which was helped in part by a .325 BABIP (some 35-50 points higher than any of his last three seasons).
Batting at the top of the Rangers’ lineup will give Kinsler plenty of run scoring opportunities, but perhaps 2016 is the first year that the 33-year-old fails to reach double-digit home runs and stolen bases. Second base is deep this year, so beware not to overpay for name recognition when you might get similar stats from Logan Forsythe 11 rounds later.
Daniel Murphy – Mets
Overall ADP: # 176
A home run in seven straight postseason games was a historic event, and it is already boosting Daniel Murphy’s draft position. His ADP is more than 40 spots ahead of our ECR™. Over the last five years, Murphy has only hit 48 home runs so it would be optimistic to expect 14 homers again.
He is no longer a threat on the base paths with his stolen base total having dropped from 23 to 13 to two in consecutive years. He should still provide a solid batting average in the .280 to .290 range but take note that he posted his lowest average for five years in 2015.
He continues to be exposed by left-handers, slashing .251/.284/.381. His projected stats look very similar to a large group of other second basemen (Starlin Castro, Brandon Phillips, Joe Panik, Josh Harrison) so don’t overpay for his postseason exploits.