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What a difference a year makes. Had I wrote this post in 2016 we’d be discussing one of the deepest positional player pools going. But just 12 months later, and there’s no Moncadas, Albies, or Calhouns to be found. Players that would have graced the back end of my top 10 last year, are now ranked at the top of the heap. That’s not to say there aren’t some impact bats in the mix at the keystone. But it’s a mix of transformative players losing rookie status, and the talent not being as close to the majors as it had been in previous years. There’s another element to all this too. Much like with third base, some of the top 2nd baseman are still playing shortstop. It wouldn’t shock anybody if Bo Bichette, Brendan Rodgers, Franklin Barreto, or even Gleyber Torres ended up at 2nd. So there’s a lot to debate in this ranking. Everyone is bound to have some variance and disagreement. But what’s wrong with some disagreement amongst the consensus? Call me crazy, but it’s a lot more fun when there’s debate and a wide range of opinion. I mean you’ve seen my twitter, right? Without further delay, it’s the Top 10 2nd Base Prospects for 2018.

 

1. Scott Kingery, 2B Phillies | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .304/.359/.530 26 HR, 65 RBI, 29 SB

One of the top breakout stars of 2017. Kingery tapped into his power (and Reading aided lift) and rode it all the way to the top of the 2nd base ranks. While he didn’t hit for the same power in AAA that he did in AA, for obvious (Reading Aided) reasons. He still managed to hit 8 homers in 63 games and slugged .449 along the way. What sets Kingery apart is his ability to pair above average pop with 25 steal potential. Kingery looks like a nice complimentary piece to Rhysus in the developing Phillies core.

2. Keston Hiura, 2B Brewers | Level: A | 2017 Stats: .371/.422/.611 4 HR, 33 RBI, 2 SB

Ranking 85th in my midseason top 100, Hiura has been solid through his first half a season of pro-ball. He’s just returned to the field recently, playing 3 games (a total of 21 innings) at second. If you’re unaware of Hiura’s elbow injury do some googling. What I’m getting at is, I guess this second base label is generous. Positional worries aside, Hiura was one of the best college bats from the 2017 draft, pairing excellent contact, with plus approach, and above average power. If he can tap into more of his raw power then Hiura has a chance to be a stud fantasy player. If he doesn’t he’ll be similar to later career Dustin Pedoria. When it comes to first year player drafts he should be going well within the top 5-10 picks.

3. Max Schrock, 2B Athletics | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .321/.379/.422 7 HR, 46 RBI, 4 SB

Since being plucked by Washington in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, all Schrock has done is hit and have a top 5 name. I mean really? Max Schrock sounds like the protagonist of a film noir. He’s pretty much all hit tool, with batting average and approach being his carrying skill. That’s not to say there isn’t power, but a 20 homer ceiling seems generous. I do however think he’s a potential batting title contender, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him in the majors at some point in 2018.

4. Shedric Long, 2B Reds | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .281/.358/.477 16 HR, 50 RBI, 9 SB

An offseason darling of yours truly, and season long teammate of 2nd rated 3rd base prospect Nick Senzel. Shed, had a serious Jekyll and Hyde season. He was excellent in A ball slashing .312/.358/.543 with 13 homers in 62 games. A late June callup to AA didn’t go nearly as smooth. Long slashed .227/.312/.362 with just 3 homers over 42 games with Pensacola. It should be noted he was a little unlucky on balls in play, and did improve both his strikeout and walk rates at AA. While it’s certainly a hitch in his excellent track record of production, it’s not all bad. Shed’s got a quick lefty swing with an uppercut path, leading to some swing and miss but also a good power floor. I think there’s potentially 25 homer power in Long’s bat.

5. Luis Urias, 2B Padres | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .296/.398/.380 3 HR, 38 RBI, 7 SB

It’s easy to look at the power numbers and forget that Urias just turned 20 at the beginning of June. While it’s certainly not encouraging, it wouldn’t be surprising if he grew into say 10-13 homer power depending upon how juiced the balls were in a given season. He’s yet another hit tool first prospect, and he doesn’t have elite speed. Not the most exciting player on here, but as good a hitter as any.

6. Isan Diaz, 2B Brewers | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .222/.334/.376 13 HR, 54 RBI, 9 SB

It was a very down season for Diaz, as his slugging percentage dropped by nearly 100 points. With his batting average already a future struggle, Diaz needs to hit for power in order to keep fantasy relevancy. Unfortunately a .376 slugging percentage ain’t getting it done. Perhaps it’s just growing pains in the young sluggers development. Despite his struggles this year there’s still a lot to like about the profile. Good on base skills, raw power, speed, and the ability to play some short. Diaz isn’t a bad buy low in deeper dynasties. Wouldn’t surprise me if 2018 was a solid bounce back.

7. Nick Solak, 2B Yankees | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .297/.384/.452 12 HR, 53 RBI, 14 SB

A contributor across the board, Solak brings above average speed, power, and batting average. A former outfielder in college there’s some question as to if Solak sticks at the position. Offensively he’s not that far off from how I viewed Kingery a year ago, and a 2018 breakout wouldn’t be surprising from the Yankees 2016 second rounder.

8. Esteury Ruiz, 2B Padres | Level: Rookie | 2017 Stats: .350/.395/.602 4 HR, 39 RBI, 26 SB

Acquired from the Royals at the trade deadline as part of a package for Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer, and Ryan Buchter, Ruiz is a guy that gets varied opinions from scouts. Some love his combination of contact, raw power, and speed, while others doubt any of those skills are much more than average. That’s obviously a debate that will rage for the foreseeable future. What we do know is Ruiz packs an ample punch in his quick righty swing, manages to get on base, and steal bases at a successful rate. At just 18 he’s one of the standouts of the rookie level Arizona League.

9. Max Moroff, 2B Pirates | Level: AAA | 2017 Stats: .254/.390/.519 13 HR, 37 RBI, 5 SB

Very likely to exceed his rookie limits over the next few weeks, so perhaps he doesn’t qualify for this list by next Sunday. I felt it was important to include Moroff as I feel he often goes forgotten. While he’s no batting average of speed maven, the switch hitter is certainly capable of getting on base, hitting the ball in the air and hitting it hard. The OPS friendly skill set, and potential to carve out an everyday role in Pittsburgh next year, make him an under the radar dynasty target.

10. Garrett Hampson, 2B Rockies | Level: A+ | 2017 Stats: .326/.387/.462 8 HR, 70 RBI, 51 SB

One of the under discussed breakouts of the season, Hampson, the 2016 3rd rounder, went wild on the basepaths this year. Finishing 2017 with the 5th highest steal total in the minors. Hampson isn’t a slugger, but he hits the ball in the air enough that he’ll have a shot at double digit homer totals. His future lies as a speedy leadoff hitter.

Next Two
11. Kevin Kramer, 2B Pirates | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .290/.371/.479  6 HR, 30 RBI, 8 SB

With a significant increase in flyball contact, Kramer added power to his game this year. Limited due to injury, Kramer will look to build on his 2017.

12. Travis Demeritte, 2B Braves | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .231/.306/.402 15 HR, 45 RBI, 5 SB

Last chance for love here with Demeritte, after 28 homer/17 steal campaign in 2016 the follow up numbers are a major disappointment. Demeritte still brings to the table a true three outcome skillset with big raw power. Those guys are hard to quit.

Sleepers
Max George, 2B Rockies | Level: A | 2017 Stats: .252/.344/.425  13 HR, 47 RBI, 30 SB

It’s taken time for George to breakout, but he has power, speed, and some approach.

Pablo Reyes, 2B Pirates | Level: AA | 2017 Stats: .274/.356/.410 10 HR, 50 RBI, 21 SB

Solid sleeper with above average approach, some pop, and speed. 24 years old so he’s a little long in the tooth for AA, but he’s not far off.

The Old Men
Jose Miguel Fernandez
Tony Kemp

The Imports
Lourdes Gurriel
Luis La O

Other Names: Gabriel Cancel, Sam Haggerty, Reinaldo Ilarraza, Kevin Josephina, Tucker Neuhaus, Daniel Brito, Walter Rasquin, Jhonny Bethencourt, Vidal Brujan, Samuel Castro, Bret Boswell, Tristan Gray, Orlando Garcia, Shael Mendoza, Connor Hoover, Jonathan Aranda, Borinquen Mendez, Derian Cruz, Max Hogan

 

Follow me on Twitter @ProspectJesus and Tune in Tuesday’s @ 9PM (EST) to my Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube.  (and join the Crab Army in the chat)

   
  1. Another Dan says:
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    Excellent Stuff as usual Ralph.

    Shed Long is my top rated 2B in my minors. Hiura might be a target for me in my FYPD this offseason. Am going to have to start looking at some FYPD rankings when the season ends, as well as evaluating my roster and the minor leaguers that I can no longer hold because they have passed their rookie limits. You going to be updating your FYPD rankings ? Or producing an end of season top 100?

    This fantasy baseball is a year long game. I am in the play-offs in this league though and am looking favourite to make the final next week.

    Football update : things been going pretty well. FA Cup run continues. 2-0 home win yesterday means that this is the furthest we have been in the FA Cup since reforming (old club was wound up) in 2007. Draw for the next round is Monday lunchtime.

    We’re sitting 7th in the league P6 W4 D1 L1 but have a game (and more) in hand on all the clubs above us.

    hope all is good with you,

    Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Another Dan: Hey Dan whats up? Yeah the plan is to do both over the next month. I might wait on the FYPD ranks until December.

      Congrats on the good season, best of luck making it great.

      Awesome, sounds like things are heading in the right direction.

      Catch you later on.

  2. JSF says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    What’s your take on Albies’ ceiling?

    Is the comp to Altuve legit or simply due to short stature/speed/hit tool mix? With everyone hitting bombs now, what kind of power could he develop?

    Long-term, Albies or Kingery?

    Thanks

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @JSF: I do think the Albies comp is legit. Will he reach that power? Not sure, but he’s following a similar trajectory. Seems like he could be a .300/15/30 guy

  3. Alan says:
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    Thanks Ralph!! Any updates on Roman Quinn? Is he throwing yet? It seems rehab never works and it always requires surgery in the end.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Alan: I’d have to look he’s off my radar.

  4. Stumanji! says:
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    Ralph! Not a prospect question but I trust your judgement. Grandal had been awful and I need to cut bait in my H2H finals. Who do you like the rest of the way between Wilson Ramos and Christian Vazquez?

    • Packers says:
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      @Stumanji!: Ramos

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Stumanji!: Vazquez, he’s been on fire the last month.

  5. Mel says:
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    I need to pick a rookie keeper for my league, and it has to be someone who is already on my roster.
    Which should I choose:

    Chris Taylor
    Josh Bell
    Matt Davidson

    I know…not the best of choices.

    • Packers says:
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      @Mel: Not knowing the rest of your roster and how many teams I’d say Bell, Davidson and Taylor in that order.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mel: Depends what your team looks like, Bell and Taylor. I wouldn’t even think about keeping Davidson.

  6. Packers says:
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    Ralph,off the subject here but since you do the pitcher ranks, I have a question about your thoughts on values for next year. We have one week after the season is over for trades in our 12 team, keep all dynasty, roto league. Extra cat is net wins which is hard to guage.
    I don’t have a strong staff. My for sures are Cmart, Nola and Otani. I’ll probably not trade Flaherty, Faria and Buehler. I also have Quintana, Manaea, Folty and Odorizzi. I may be able to trade for Roark, Clevinger, Godley or Peacock. So, how do you rank my final 4 Quintana, Manaea, Folty and Odorizzi vs Roark, Clevinger, Godley, and Peacock?

    Thank you for taking the time to sort through this post.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Packers: Godley, Quintana, Clevinger, Manaea, Odorizzi, Roark, Peacock, Folty.

  7. M says:
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    When do you anticipate Fernando Tatis Jr getting the call? Late 2018?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @M: Late 2018 like September, could be as late as July 2019 too.

  8. J.R. says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Ok, considering what you discussed on your podcast last week, it sounds like you are pretty high on Nolan Jones, Ryan Vilade, and Mark Vientos moving forward (as far as lesser known 3B prospects go). Jones being drafted a year earlier and showing nice numbers but limited power to this point, Vilade seems the most well-rounded, and Vientos showing an advanced bat and being really young, which one of these guys would you be targeting in dynasty leagues? Also highest ceiling/floor of the 3?

    Thanks, as always.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @J.R.: I think the highest ceiling player is Vilade, but Jones is really close. Keep in mind with Jones’ power numbers he’s in full season ball, and he’s the league isn’t as hitter friendly. Mark Vientos is another really nice talent, very tough to pick the highest ceiling because they’re all so damn similar.

  9. Every Monday Listener says:
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    Ralph,

    Maybe this isn’t the place for this, but I don’t have a twitter and can’t find a contact info for email. Was wondering if you guys could put up all your guys’ podcasts for the prospects podcast? It only allows like 30 or something, and it would be nice to listen to all of the ones from way back when, even if they are a year old.

  10. Swfcdan says:
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    Your point about Bo, Rodgers, Gleyber etc maybe ending up at 2B is totally true. So maybe it would be best to just have a top MIs ranking? That way we can compare these guys to the others who seem to be the clear cream of the crop now.

    Right now who would you lean towards offseason promoting: Devers or Albies? Would like both but starting clock inst a good idea in contract keepers unless they are fully ready to make a difference.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Swfcdan: Isn’t that what my Top 100-200 is for? I like doing it position by position because I cover more players this way. The other issue is many of those SS will end up at 3rd too.

      I’d promote Devers

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: True man, this just seemed like a pretty sorry bunch for a top 10. Guess thats way things work sometimes.

        Devers over Albies? Thats the Red Sox homer in you haha. I think I might hold off on both, then whoever is hitting best early in the year (or both) I bring up. Albies has really impressed me apart from the steals, and Devers is hitting his adjustment period right now.

        Think Fisher or Honeywell have a shot at starting the season as regulars in the bigs? Suprised and disappointed we haven’t seen Honey or Alford for a cup of coffee this year.

  11. Jake from State Farm says:
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    I got smoked in first round and am now looking to next year. In a 14 team dynasty with a 14 man farm system and up to 40 players keepable in total. Some prospects I see out there are Dustin may, neidert, Sandro Fabian, Yarbrough, Khalil lee, Austin Jackson, wander Javier, and Schrock. If you can rank them and maybe throw out some names I can hunt for .. also would you keep folty, Heaney, Dillion Peters or mondesi jr in this league ? Starting pitching is hard To get. Thank you..

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jake from State Farm: I’d dump Peters, Heaney, and Folty but hold on Mondesi Jr.

      Javier, Schrock, Jackson, Lee, Neidert, May Yarborough, and Fabian.

      How about Jorge Guzman, Jordy Barely, Mark Vientos, Issac Paredes, Fernando Kelli, Nelson Velazquez. Check my Top 100 and Top 200 first.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Jake from State Farm: Glad not everyone kills their league on this site! Read every year everyone thanking the guys for the titles they won. Leagues I play in are very tough and you need everything goign your way to win, alas not again for me this year.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Swfcdan: Next year!

  12. Anthony Culotta says:
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    Not even a mention of Jose Siri? Follow your stuff and am a fan but don’t recall a negative comment about him, or any comment for that matter. I could have missed it but thought Siri would at least make the list.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Anthony Culotta: He’s an outfielder.

      • Anthony Culotta says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Fair enough, I’m an idiot. I erroneously put him as a 2b on my list and went with it. I realize not super young has some swing and miss but is he not worth a top 200 mention? Know some guys can slip through and sneak up on us later, ala Tatis this year…but he appears to fill several hitting buckets, no?

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