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2020 Second Base Ranking Tiers (Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jul 7, 2020

Keston Hiura is going to be a top-three second baseman in fantasy for the next decade.

It’s very tough to find a position that’s not absolutely loaded for fantasy purposes.

Take third base, for example. Including the players who are eligible at multiple positions, you can fill an entire lineup that will compete with guys who are eligible at third base. The same holds true for outfield and shortstop.

But not second base.

No, see, second base is the weakest position outside of catcher this year, and if you want one of the top guys for the short season, you need to invest early.

We’ll take a look at second base ADP based on FantasyPros composite ADP and break them down into tiers for you so you know when to grab the guy who you like.

We should note that these tiers are based on a 12-team standard roto league, so adjust accordingly for your league scoring.

Check out all of our fantasy baseball ranking tiers here.

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Tier 1: The Top-Tier

If you’re going to invest early in a second baseman, you want one of these guys, and you can really argue for them in any order. Altuve doesn’t have the stolen bases anymore, and we’ll see what the fallout is from the cheating scandal. He should be around fourth or fifth here.

Even with youth on Albies’ side, he’s a rather boring pick here, but boring can be good – especially at the position. But, at a third-round cost, he doesn’t really stand out in any category. You’re banking on the .295 average being more legitimate than the .261 average in 2018 and hoping that he steals mid-teens bases again.

Hiura was my favorite player to go after in 2018 first-year player drafts who wasn’t named Shohei Ohtani. Yes, more than Luis Robert. I compared him at the time to prime Dustin Pedroia but with more power. Hiura’s early returns were better than I had imagined. He’s in the perfect ballpark, and he’s at the shallowest position outside of catcher to justify this ranking – even with the high strikeout marks. Hiura is going to be a top-three second baseman in fantasy for the next decade.

If you’re taking Torres as your second baseman, fine. No argument there. But if you’re taking him as your shortstop, you’re reaching. While young with a bright future ahead of him, thus far, he’s proved to be a one-category standout with his power, and that’s about it. He isn’t bringing you the stolen bases or average that are needed to justify the cost with shortstop being so deep. As a second baseman, he’s worth the cost here since there is a significant drop off after the first tier.

With second base being as weak as it is, it’s kind of shocking that Ketel Marte is going this low (40th overall) in drafts. Sure, the breakout was out of nowhere – despite being a popular breakout pick for three years in a row – but he actually was stronger down the stretch than he was in the first half, and there are very few concerns with his underlying numbers. A change to the baseball could see his home runs come down, but not enough so that he won’t return draft-day value.


Tier 2: High-Ceiling, Low-Floor

This tier is scary, man. We saw last year what happened when Merrifield didn’t repeat his stolen base numbers, and he’s 31 now. Stay far away from him. Speaking of far away, Villar is probably the riskiest player to take in fantasy this year. The thing is, he’s done this to us before, and he burned us. He could win you steals for the season, or he could be a super-utility player who loses his job to Jon Berti.

LeMahieu quieted those who didn’t think you could find success outside of Coors Field with his career year in the Bronx. Can he repeat it again? In order to return value on his draft position, he’s going to have to.

Muncy, over the course of 162 games, would be a lock here. However, the Dodgers, who are the favorites in the NL to win the pennant, could plug and play a bit. He’s an average drag, but the homers, RBIs, and runs make up for it.


Tier 3: Mixed Bag

McNeil backed up his 2018 with a strong 2019. He seems like a late-career breakout guy, but he just turned 28. Nice source of batting average. Moustakas in Cincy is going to be f-u-n. Escobar just feels like a trap. Statcast doesn’t like him, nor do the peripherals. He’s a prime player to trade away in dynasty leagues.

Biggio is a slightly polarizing player this year. He definitely gets a boost in OBP leagues, but he’s being overdrafted in standard leagues. He does have a nice stolen base floor, though. Moncada could and probably should be in the second tier here. He could be a dark horse MVP candidate. It’s the inflated BABIP that has people screaming regression.


Tier 4: Mini-Cliff

Santana will be starting in centerfield for the Rangers, but nearly everything about his 2019 screams fluke. Regression is going to hit him hard. Edman could be a nice player, but do we know that he has an everyday role? What will he actually bring to the table for fantasy managers? A quarter of Newman’s home runs came in a series at Coors Field. He’s already turning 27 soon. Can you count on runs and RBIs from him with that poor supporting cast?

Gavin Lux would be higher with his cup of coffee last year, but the Dodgers could get creative in a short year. Gurriel is a great target, but he’s been a streaky player in his career so far. If McMahon gets everyday at-bats with the DH, he could be a steal at this spot.


Tier 5: Question Marks

Wong will player every day thanks to his elite defense, but he’s basically been an every-other-year contributor for fantasy purposes. There’s still hope of a Kingery breakout, but the Phillies have options, including top prospect Alec Bohm, who is waiting in the wings. Hampson had a nice September, but he needs everyday playing time. With Ian Desmond sitting the season out and the DH coming to Colorado, let’s see what excuse the Rockies use now to not get him the playing time he needs. Arraez could lead the league in batting average this year. What else can he do?


Key Takeaways

  • If you want to stand out at the position, you have to be willing to invest a pick in one of the first three rounds on the first tier of players. 
  • The third tier is probably the tier that you can target for the most value with mixed contributions. Moustakas will give you power if you’re lacking. Biggio can provide on-base skills and stolen bases. Moncada can give you Top 5 potential without the price tag.
  • If you take a risky guy, be sure to pair them with a player with a good floor later on in the draft. Someone like Newman, Arraez, Hernandez, or Castro.
  • If you decide to wait on the position, there are options even deeper than the ones we have listed. Nick Solak is quietly becoming a favorite rookie target. Shed Long has untapped potential, too. Nick Madrigal is polarizing, but if you’re a fan of his, he’s breaking camp as the starter. Jonathan Schoop shouldn’t be your starter, but he’s a fine late-round flier if you took a risky player earlier.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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