Please see our player page for Jonathan Villar to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Last week we took a very early look at the first base position for fantasy baseball in 2020, both with some early general thoughts that could apply to both deep and shallower leagues, as well as some more specific thoughts about NL-only, AL-only, or other deep leagues.  We’ll move along to the Keystone this week as we try to do some early navigation into the world of second basemen.  Since Grey has already kindly gifted you with his list of top 20 second basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball, I’ll began by quoting him directly — as he said, “First time I can remember a position, besides catcher, that didn’t have one guy in the top 20 overall.”  Two other important points he made which I largely agree with and will now paraphrase:  1) The guys at the very top of this position are probably not worth drafting at their current price in any format, but 2) There are lots of 2B bargains later on.  One other thing I noticed that I thought was interesting when looking at the second base landscape:  just off the top of my head, it looks to me that about two-thirds of the top 30 second basemen also qualify at another position, even when using a 20-games-played-in-2019 threshold.  I don’t remember any position having stats quite like that in the past, and what it means to me at first glance is that there are A LOT of guys who qualify at 2nd base this year.  Let’s take a look at some names, and how the current state of second base particularly affects those of us deep-leaguers.

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Wasn’t that long ago that we were screaming about how terrible the shortstops are and how the sky is falling and how red wine is good for your health and you were like, “What if I put grenadine in my vodka?” Maybe it comes with age, but if you’re around long enough you know these things go in cycles. For a few years, middle infidels are terrible, then corner infidels are in that sinking boat. As of now, shortstops are stupid stacked, and the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball are an absolute joy for at least twenty of the twenty but, as always, this is going much deeper. So, here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are under that thingie-ma-whosie, and I mention where all tiers start and stop, and all shortstop projections are mine.  Let’s get to it!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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One super quick word about the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball and all the 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, each ranking appears insanely long and it is, but I imagine in a lot of leagues guys won’t have eligibility, because I’m using the extremely lax Yahoo position eligibility.  Without further ado because this post is longer than the combined length of the Gutenberg Bible and Steve Guttenberg’s IMDB page, I mention where tiers start and stop and all projections are mine and cannot be reproduced without the express written consent of Major League–Damn, I’m being told by Major League Baseball I did not have express written consent to use their warning. It was expressly written for them. You guys! Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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After a lengthy hiatus, and much world travels, Donkey Teeth and B_Don are back talking baseball on the Goin’ Deep Razzball Podcast. After talking about some of the big free agent landing spots and few of the free agents still yet to sign, the guys introduce the RazzSlam.

The RazzSlam discussion includes a full layout of the rules, point scoring system, playoff and prizes. The B_Don and DT also chat a little about draft strategy and how they might use their very limited RazzSlam FAAB opportunities. Slow drafts will start in late February, sign up here for your chance to compete against some of the biggest names in the industry!

At the back end of the show (36:30) the fellas discuss the Fantrax Best Ball draft B_Don is currently participating in with some industry stalwarts. Find out where Luis Robert, Fernando Tatis Jr, Lucas Giolito, Jo Adell and many other exciting names were drafted.

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On Dancer! On Prancer! On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in. Welcome, reader! Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire. You look festive. I love that Rudolph tongue ring. That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism. That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2020 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away. Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Shohei Ohtani, the hitter vs. Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher. Maybe I should use two dart boards. Hmm…In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2020 fantasy baseball season. I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2020 fantasy baseball drafts. I’m a giver, snitches! Happy Holidays! I only listed players that have multiple position eligibility of five games or more started outside of their primary position. Not four games at a position, not three, definitely not two. Five games started. If they played eight games somewhere but only started one, they are not listed. 5, the Road Runner of numbers. So this should cover Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, et al (not the Israeli airline). Players with multiple position eligibility are listed once alphabetically under their primary position. Games played are in parenthesis. One big take away is Jonathan Villar started in, like, 200 games. That can’t be right. Oh, I know, they’re listed if they had 5 or more games started, but I noted games played in parenthesis, so Villar must’ve switched positions three times per game or played two positions at once because the Orioles only had seven fielders plus a pitcher. Don’t know, don’t care. Players are listed by Games Started, and Games Played are noted. It’s not confusing at all! This is the only time a year I do anything alphabetically, so I might’ve confused some letters. Is G or H first? Who knows, and, better yet, who cares! Wow, someone’s got the Grinchies, must be the spiked egg nog talking. Anyway, here’s all the players with multiple position eligibility for the 2020 fantasy baseball season and the positions they are eligible at:

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I’m here in sunny downtown San Diego at the Winter Meetings and just ran into Matt Kemp. How ya doing, Matt? “I’m great, Grey, excited about continuing my career.” Which career is that, Matt? “Baseball.” Okay, great! *holds finger to ear* Sorry, hearing now there’s big breaking news! Wow! It was just reported the Red Sox have a lot of suitors for Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Price. An absolute ton of offers. Currently, 32 teams are offering packages and there’s only 30 teams, including them. That is crazy! Just going to pass through this downtown San Diego lobby and, damn it, it’s Matt Kemp again. *ducks behind a bank vault with money that is being wheeled by Brain Cashman, follows him into a room with Gerrit Cole lighting cigars rolled in million dollar bills* Gerrit Cole, “Can you change your Diamond Club to the Cole Club?” Cashman, “We can change Giancarlo to Giancole-lo if you want.” “We have a deal.” Oh my God, I snuck into the biggest signing in the history of signings! Excuse me for a second while I try to piece together some of this million-dollar-ash back into a million dollar bill. So, Gerrit Cole signs with the Yankees. He seems like he might be, I don’t know, good. There’s only one person Cole disappointed last year. “His contact rate was 66.3%? That’s next-to-last in the league! So dumb! Is he as thick as this Fribble?” That’s Ray Searage explaining pitching to a Friendly’s waitress. Luis Castillo was the only pitcher with a lower Contact Rate, but Cole’s O-Swing% was 1.4% higher. Cole was also number one in the majors for Swinging Strike percentage (16.8%). In other words, Cole induced the 2nd lowest contact while making hitters chase more than the number one guy, and made hitters swing and miss more than everyone. I’d like to thank the Academy for telling me who died last year and thank Cole for being wonderful. Cole had the best fastball (36.2 Fastball wins above average). That was the 5th best fastball since 2000. No one in the top 10 had another pitch register higher than 11.4, except Cole, whose slider was a 13. Like Leggs, Cole is sheer excellence. He had arguably one of the best pitcher seasons in the last 20 years. The Pirates got Joe Musgrove, Michael Felix and Colin Moran for him, then the Pirates turned around and traded Tyler Glasnow for Chris Archer. Pirates should sell their team bus and buy a Dodge Dart to drive around the team, because they are a bunch of clowns. For 2020, I’ll give Gerrit Cole projections of 17-6/2.61/0.93/294 in 207 IP. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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The hot stove heating up right before Thanksgiving is exactly how it was meant to be. Now if I could see Giancarlo in nothing but taters that would make me thankful for everything. Five hours through my thankfulness, “…um…I’m also thankful for the lines at the DMV because they give me time to reflect…” Seven hours later, “…I’m thankful for my wife’s cooking because it helps me appreciate dining out…” Ten hours later, “…I’m thankful for the kid at the frozen yogurt place who puts his grubby fingers on the yogurt spout because I really shouldn’t have been eating yogurt anyway…” I hope you’re all as thankful for everything you have too on this glorious day of turkey, stuffing and ignoring the cranberry sauce. Any hoo! The Padres and Brewers igniting the pilot light on the hot stove, sending Trent Grisham and Zach Davies to the Padres for Luis Urias and Eric Lauer. This trade is close to even, so why make it? That’s a mystery best left to Grisham’s older, unrelated cousin.

Trent Grisham had a higher walk rate (14.6%) than strikeout rate (13.9%) in Triple-A last year. That originally attracted me. If I’m being honest, before I go any further, a lot was turning me off. He didn’t look like a major league regular as recently as a year ago — I mean, for Criss Angel’s sake, he hit .233 in Double-A in 2018. Hilariously, he had a 26% strikeout rate in Single-A. Grisham is a lefty, which immediately gives me pause, because the wrong manager — hey, Tingler, how’s tings? — will platoon a lefty almost exclusively. Now that I say the quiet part out loud, what the hell am I doing being excited about Grisham, and has anyone turned my marbles in at my library’s lost & found? Thankfully, it wasn’t just a minor league walk rate in a mere 34 games that drew me in for Grisham. In 2015, Trent Clark was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Beermakers. Trent said, “I miss my mommy’s née and I want you to now call me Trent Grisham,” and a legend was born. I.e., you people who need things like I and E spelled out to you, Grisham was a top prospect in the country five years ago. Maybe he should’ve went to college, but can’t fault a guy for skipping classes to play pro ball. Without college, he brought warts with him to minor league baseball, that he might’ve been able to shake prior. So, to recap, Grisham was good, was terrible in the minors, became good again this year. He’s still only 23 years old. Better he figure things out now than later like those great waxy candies. So, what changed, you ask with a bat of your eyelashes. An approach change. He used to try to be overly patient and hit everything the opposite way. He began to pull more pitches this year and became more aggressive, and things went Click, like that terrible Adam Sandler movie, but in a good way. This year Grisham hit 32 homers across three levels. This is a guy who regularly took a walk, and that hasn’t just disappeared. Oh, and he has 15-steal speed. I’m sorry, a guy who can go 30/15 with walks? Who’s being drafted around the last round in many fantasy drafts? Hmm, all of those reasons why I didn’t like him seem like distant memories, which gives me an idea. Hello Sharks! For $400,000, you can have 5% of my secondhand memory foam mattress store called Distant Memories. Only real concern is that Grisham doesn’t do well early on, falls into a platoon or worse, is demoted, but his price is so cheap in drafts, that he’s well within the realm of being a sleeper. Also, he hit .284 vs. lefties last year in the minors, which was better than his average vs. righties, so he’s not an obvious platoon guy. For 2020, I’ll give Trent Grisham projections of 64/19/51/.254/13 in 453 ABs with a chance for much more. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2020 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The top 20 shortstops for 2019 (what this is, read the title once in a while) are deeper than the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 (not clickbait at all), and even deeper than the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 (click or not, but don’t judge me). Rhys Hoskins, the 20th ranked 1st baseman, was about as valuable as the 23rd ranked shortstop (Asdrubal). To make sure we’re not losing perspective, the 20th ranked shortstop was better than the 6th ranked catcher. The catchers were still terrible, don’t get it twisted — sorry, it’s too late for your Mitch Haniger, you need to get it untwisted. Without further Machado, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool. In the preseason, 2nd base looked hella deep, and now it looks relatively shallow. Not making this recap, due to disappointing me and/or you, is Jurickson Profar, Matt Carpenter, Robinson Cano, Jonathan Schoop, Daniel Murphy, Brian Dozier, and, last and least, Travis Shaw. Other guys stepped up obviously, but the last six names on this ranking are gonna leave something to desire. To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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22-year-old Rafael Devers ($3,900), a.k.a. Baby Face Killa, has been an elite hitter against right-handed pitching with a .325/.383/.598 line, along with 24 homers and just a 15.8% K-rate. He can easily finish as one of Tuesday’s top hitters against an opener in Edinson Volquez, who has more walks (11) than strikeouts (9), followed by Ariel Jurado and his 5.73 ERA. Devers should be a centerpiece of your lineups and is affordable at this price.

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