Unlike the first base position that I previously reviewed, the keystone is much more in line with the MLB-norm as far as “spread” is concerned- where qualified second basemen averaged a spread of .056 in 2015. And although this position is typically less sexy than me with my shirt off in the winter, it has a lot of solid players in 2016. I am here to show you whose value rises and falls when shifting to an OBP league and will also identify those targets and sleepers that you can get in the mid-to-later rounds.

At last, the position you all have been waiting for… SECOND BASEMEN!

(Keep in mind, the format is 12-team 5×5 OBP)

The Risers:

PLAYER TEAM AB R HR RBI SB BB AVG OBP SPREAD
Matt Carpenter STL 574 101 28 84 4 81 0.272 0.365 0.093
Ben Zobrist KC/OAK 467 76 13 56 3 62 0.276 0.359 0.083
Logan Forsythe TB 540 69 17 68 9 55 0.281 0.359 0.078
Jace Peterson ATL 528 55 6 52 12 56 0.239 0.314 0.075
Chase Utley LAD/PHI 373 37 8 39 4 32 0.212 0.286 0.074
Danny Espinosa WSH 367 59 13 37 5 33 0.24 0.311 0.071
Brian Dozier MIN 628 101 28 77 12 61 0.236 0.307 0.071
Jason Kipnis CLE 565 86 9 52 12 57 0.303 0.372 0.069
Brock Holt BOS 454 56 2 45 8 46 0.280 0.349 0.069
Ryan Goins TOR 376 52 5 45 2 39 0.250 0.318 0.068
Cesar Hernandez PHI 405 57 1 35 19 40 0.272 0.339 0.067
Joe Panik SF 382 59 8 37 3 38 0.312 0.378 0.066
Dustin Pedroia BOS 381 46 12 42 2 38 0.291 0.356 0.065
Addison Russell CHC 475 60 13 54 4 42 0.242 0.307 0.065
Neil Walker PIT 543 69 16 71 4 44 0.269 0.328 0.059

Brian Dozier (5th Round, OBP Value= 4th)

Over the last two years, Brian Dozier has averaged 106 Rs (!!), 26 HRs, 74 RBIs, 16 SBs, and… a .239 AVG. In other words… if Dozier were a woman, she would have all of the qualities you look for, but lacked a but in the boob department. And as your league shifts from AVG to OBP as a category, Dozier all the sudden gives you some BBs to play with. What also makes Dozier great is that you pretty much know he is going to be a monster in the first half of the season. Before you laugh at my “monster” description of Brian freaking Dozier, take a look at his last two years:

First Half 2015: 67 Rs, 19 HR, 50 RBI, 9 SB, .328 OBP

First Half 2014: 69 Rs, 18 HR, 45 RBI, 16 SB, .340 OBP

If you just went six to midnight looking at those numbers, it probably means you haven’t been boned before by the atrocious second half that follows each of those years. And if your league isn’t familiar with Dozier’s second half shenanigans, he should definitely be even higher on your draft board, as someone is sure to fall for the jig and give their left nut up in a trade offer at ASB. Even if you are in a league where it might be tough to sell him, Dozier remains a top-four option at 2B and is in the same tier as Robinson Cano. Take your 25 bombs, 15 SBs and .330 OBP and cash it in for a 4th rounder. Thank me later.

The Fallers:

PLAYER TEAM AB R HR RBI SB BB AVG OBP SPREAD
Omar Infante KC 440 39 2 44 2 9 0.22 0.234 0.014
Dee Gordon MIA 615 88 4 46 58 25 0.333 0.359 0.026
Jonathan Schoop BAL 305 34 15 39 2 9 0.279 0.306 0.027
Brandon Phillips CIN 588 69 12 70 23 27 0.294 0.328 0.034
Chris Owings ARI 515 59 4 43 16 26 0.227 0.264 0.037
Jose Altuve HOU 638 86 15 66 38 33 0.313 0.353 0.040
Daniel Murphy NYM 499 56 14 73 2 31 0.281 0.322 0.041
Howie Kendrick LAD 464 64 9 54 6 27 0.295 0.336 0.041
Carlos Sanchez CHW 389 40 5 31 2 19 0.224 0.268 0.044
Johnny Giavotella LAA 453 51 4 49 2 32 0.272 0.318 0.046
Ian Kinsler DET 624 94 11 73 10 43 0.296 0.342 0.046
Eric Sogard OAK 372 40 1 37 6 23 0.247 0.294 0.047
Robinson Cano SEA 624 82 21 79 2 43 0.287 0.334 0.047
Jedd Gyorko SD 421 34 16 57 0 27 0.247 0.297 0.050
Rougned Odor TEX 426 54 16 61 6 23 0.261 0.316 0.055

Dee Gordon (2nd Round, OBP Value= 4th)

At .359, Dee Gordon has a relatively high OBP at face value. But that number sure as hell isn’t due to his ability to take walks- as this speedster learned how to run before he walked. In fact, his walk rate is so low that any variation in his batting average (like a drop to .300) might have you staring square in the eye of a 2nd round draft pick with an OBP in the .320s. And when I mean his walk percentage is low… I mean it’s low low low low (Flo Rida voice). In 653 PA last year, Dee took a staggering 25 BBs, putting his walk percentage in the grocery store beer percentile of 3.8%.

Unless you are desperate for snagging speed early, I would lay off of Dee in your draft or at least wait until the late 3rd where he has some value. But let’s be honest with ourselves…he aint gonna last that long as some asshole is sure to take him with a late 2nd.

The Target:

Ben Zobrist (12th Round, OBP Value= 9th )

As if winning a World Series for my city wasn’t enough, Ben Zobrist forever cemented himself as KC’s most beloved one hit wonder by naming his child after the Royals. Really, this guy was on such a high after that World Series win that he thought he was Kanye West and named his kid freaking Blaise Royal Zobrist. And for that, I am forever grateful. Which is why I have designating one paragraph in his honor to let you know why the Zobes is a great value pick or trade target in your OBP league.

Like many of you, I am a sucker for drafting young players with high ceilings. But sometimes it’s smart to go the route of safety in fantasy baseball. And if you want consistent, you want Zobrist. Over the last 3 years, Zorilla has hit .275, .272, and .276 with respective OBPs of .354, .354, and .359. Although he is no longer is a threat on the base-paths, Zobrist has huge upside in the Rs category depending on where he bats in the stacked Cubs lineup. If Zobrist ends up hitting #2 (which he has done plenty of in the past), you might have yourself a second baseman that is a virtual lock for a .355 OBP and 100+ Rs, something that almost no 2nd baseman can provide. And it may only cost you an 11th round pick…

The Sleeper:

Logan Forsythe (18th Round, OBP Value= 15th)

Let me tell you about Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays starting second baseman. I only have known about him for a few hours now, but after googling (and creeping a bit) I can tell you he has a rockin’ beard, a hot wife, and put up some very sneaky-good stats that I did not know about in 2015. In fact, in his first full season, Forsythe ranked top 5 for second basemen in OBP (at .359). And he did that with also sprinkling in a little bit of pop and some speed to go along with it. Let me take this opportunity to give you a player comparison that might surprise you:

Player A: 71 R, 11 HR, 61 RBI, 15 SB, .321 OBP

Player B: 94 R, 11 HR, 73 RBI, 10 SB, .342 OBP

Player C: 69 R, 17 HR, 68 RBI, 9 SB, .359 OBP

Player A is Kolten Wong, Player B is Ian Kinsler, and player C is the red-bearded wonder- Logan Forsythe. And with Wong and Kinsler going nearly 10-12 rounds ahead, get Forsythe on your radar right this minute. Aint nobody got time to pay double digit rounds for 15 more runs or five more swipes.

 
  1. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Noticed that Rendon isn’t here (guessing he’s in 3B), who I’ve been planning to target over a guy who will cost me twice as much at auction like Dozier. What do you think of Rendon for OBP leagues v. a guys like Zobrist/Kipnis?

    • Warren says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: grappling with a similar question. I like the safety of Dozier, but he will be pricey.

      I don’t have any idea what to make of Rendon. I feel like he could be similar to Zobrist–100 runs, nice OBP, 15 HRs and 5-10 steals.

      Forsythe is intriguing to me…could go uber cheap at 2B and stash Devon Travis on the DL and start with Logan.

      • Hodysseus

        Hodysseus says:
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        @Warren: I couldn’t agree with you more on Rendon. However, he will likely cost you a higher draft pick than Zobrist by a few rounds, so why not just wait on Zobrist?

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Stats were from last year in which Rendon didn’t have enough to qualify. I do think he has some upside as he showed good OBP skills two years ago, but so much is up in the air with him.

      He is literally the one guy I cannot figure out and for that, I am not drafting him. Could be a mistake, but I’d rather have safety vs uncertainty.

  2. Ruben says:
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    Harrsion has 2B eligibility in ESPN, how would you value him in obp formats? Do you take the over or under on a 350 obp?

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Ruben: Harrison has only averaged a Spread of .036 over the last 3 years. I see him under .350 OBP for sure.

      His value decreases if anything in OBP formats.

  3. Duke says:
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    This is really helpful for those of us in (vastly superior) OBP leagues. Thanks for doing these!

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Duke: Absolutely. It is actually surprising how few of resources there are for OBP leagues out there so I will make sure to continue to focus on this format. And I agree, much superior!

      • Jonathan says:
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        This was really useful. Draft in our OBP league is this weekend — any non 1b/2b players who really shine in this analysis? I know Choo, etc. Trying to evaluate how I should adjust my 4th overall pick (Donaldson by consensus) in the OBP format. @Hodysseus:

        • Hodysseus

          Hodysseus says:
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          @Jonathan: 3B is coming out today so look for that. Outside of 1B/2B/3B, here are some names to look for:

          Curtis Granderson
          Joc Pederson
          Miguel Sano
          Christian Yelich
          Corey Seager
          Yasmani Grandal
          Russ Martin
          Brian McCann
          David Ortiz
          Alex Rodriguez

          Those are some. I don’t want to spoil too much for my upcoming releases but hope that helps.

    • Otto Von Bismark says:
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      @Duke:
      Seconded. Thanks a lot Hod. Hoping you can get to 3B and maybe SS before my draft on Saturday. Got Carpenter slotted in at second and all the top 3Bs and SSs are kept.

  4. Zeus says:
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    Meh on the wife.

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @Zeus: Was hoping you wouldn’t check my work on that…

      • Zeus says:
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        @Hodysseus: mention of hot wife gets me to googling

      • Zeus says:
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        @Hodysseus: by the way sorry about my brother Poseidon. He’s kindof a dick

        • Hodysseus

          Hodysseus says:
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          @Zeus: this comment had me laughing out loud

  5. Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:
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    Keeper question:

    Would you rather have Kyle Schwarber @ $6 or Joey Votto @ $25 in a H2H 5×5 OBP league?

  6. Hodysseus

    Hodysseus says:
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    I don’t even like the Schwarb Dog that much in 2016, but at $6 that seems hard to pass up…

    • Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry says:
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      @Hodysseus: I know…I’m debating if I should try to trade him before the draft or after

  7. The Wombat says:
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    Otis back at it again

  8. BIGTIMETIMMYJIM says:
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    I recently swapped Dozier and Gray for Sale and LeMahieu in an AVG & OBP league. Is LeMahieu a potential sleeper here? He had a spread 2 points below Walker last year with an AVG that is 22 points higher. Granted it was a career year but if he bats 2nd behind Blackmon and ahead of Nolan, could he repeat his year last year and add a few more runs ?

    • Hodysseus

      Hodysseus says:
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      @BIGTIMETIMMYJIM: I like the move for you. Batting 2nd, DJ Had an OBP of .373, which was almost 70 points above his average. He absolutely has a chance at being a great player if he indeed stays at the top of the order. Plus Sale is miles better than Gray.

      • BIGTIMETIMMYJIM says:
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        @Hodysseus: Yea Grey got after my for drafting Gray and when this deal popped up in a dynasty I decided to pull the trigger. Plus LeMahieu makes Grichuk and/or Duda more palatable in my UTL slots.

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