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)
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.
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.
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…
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.