We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool.  Okay, it was actually a lukewarm puddle where lots of amoebas grew, and I don’t mean a giant San Francisco-based record store where the cashiers know more about an REM B-side from their unreleased first album than hygiene.  It’s a little scary, for unstints (how I say it), that there were only six 2nd basemen that you wanted to own all year, and even the sixth man (not Marlon Wayans) had his share of “Meh, I guess he’s okay.”  Pretty appropriate that the first 2nd baseman off the board in a lot of leagues didn’t even make the year-end top 20.  Thank you very much, Anthony Rendon!  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 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. Dee Gordon – Huge power year from Gordon.  This year’s home run total from Gordon is as much as combining his 2012, 2013 and 2014 homer totals.  If Bautista did that, he would’ve hit 90 homers this year, and we’d be wondering if cortisone was really a steroid, Grey says with his tongue in cheek.  I also said, “Mmrfump arfether,” with my tongue in my cheek, but my mouth was closed.  Gordon led the majors in steals and the NL in average.  Well, la di da!  Something JB and I talk about on the year-end podcast that’s coming this week (maybe next; we’re free-flowing in the offseason like when you have no clean underwear), there were fewer 30-steal guys this year than any year I can remember (7), but maybe my memory isn’t so good.  Preseason Rank #4, 2015 Projections:  86/1/29/.263/55, Final Numbers: 88/4/46/.333/58

2. Jose Altuve – I pretty much nailed Altuve’s projections and ranking this year –> Grey’s reaching new heights, unlike Altuve!  Though, Altuve showed a lot more power than I thought was possible.  Why does the song, “An Ant Can’t Lift A Rubber Treet Plant,” come to mind?  Preseason Rank #2, 2015 Projections:  78/8/55/.306/39, Final Numbers: 86/15/66/.313/38

3. Mookie Betts – I want this guy so bad for 2016 already, I can’t.  I seriously can’t.  I full-on cannot.  I am unable.  Able just walked out the exit in a David Lynch movie and disappeared into the ether and now we’re left with unable.  Preseason Rank #14, 2015 Projections:  68/9/37/.292/18, Final Numbers: 92/18/77/.291/21

4. Matt Carpenter – A quick word about projecting stats.  Ks are the easiest for pitchers.  K-rates stay fairly normal.  For hitters, steals and homers stay pretty normal.  So, when I say I was off on Carpenter’s power, I mean I was really3 off.  Everyone was.  I bet not one single projections system came within ten homers of Carpenter’s final power output of 28 homers.  Forty percent of his homers were of the Just Enough variety, which is above the 30% normal rate.  His fly ball rate went from 35% to 41%; his HR/FB% went from 4.7% to 15.8% (that’s goofy) and his ground balls nearly disappeared.  It’s rare a 29-year-old changes his approach completely, but that’s exactly what he did.  Now whether he continues to do it will be something for January Grey.  Preseason Unranked for 2nd basemen due to eligibility, 2015 Projections:  87/12/77/.281/3, Final Numbers: 101/28/84/.272/4

5. Brian Dozier – Here’s another guy (with Carpenter) who saw a large uptick in power.  Actually, just looking at the first five guys here and 2nd base is awesome!  *looks at the next five names*  2nd base is okay!  *looks at the next ten names*  2nd base is feces!  Preseason Rank #5, 2015 Projections:  89/19/67/.246/15, Final Numbers: 101/28/77/.236/12

6. Ian Kinsler – Gut Call Alert!  Kinsler’s runs, RBIs and average this past year are disguising the last decent year of his career.  Preseason Rank #7, 2015 Projections:  83/15/77/.269/15, Final Numbers: 94/11/73/.296/10

7. Brandon Phillips – Another huge bounce back season for a Reds vet (thinking of Votto)…and Frazier did well.  So, where the hell did the Reds go wrong this year?  Besides, doing away with private property.  Oh, man, that pitching staff is ugly.  Okay, fair enough, smarter side of my brain.  Preseason Rank #23, 2015 Projections:  64/10/67/.251/3, Final Numbers: 69/12/70/.294/23

8. DJ LeMahieu – It wouldn’t blow your mind if I told you he hit 40 points higher at home, would it?  Every time DJ Mario LeMahieu is home it’s a power play.  Look at Grey busting hockey knowledge!  For more from someone who actually knows something, check out our fantasy hockey section.  (Clickbait!)  Preseason Rank #38, 2015 Projections:  62/7/56/.262/12, Final Numbers: 85/6/61/.301/23

9. Robinson Cano – I told everyone to avoid him in the preseason, saying he was overrated, and he did even worse than I thought he would in three of five categories, but (will this sentence ever end?) he still had a decent 2nd half which makes him feel less disappointing than he likely was, especially (end this sentence please!) if someone bought him low around the All-Star break. Preseason Rank #3, 2015 Projections:  82/19/92/.305/7, Final Numbers: 82/21/79/.287/2

10. Matt Duffy – Look at his end-of-the-season stats at the end of this blurb.  Now, if his batting average was .7712, I would’ve got so spooked I would’ve ran off with a gang of Moonies.  Duffy is the first, and really only completely out of nowhere player.  I mean, Forsythe was terrific and unranked by me, but he had been in the league and everyone that wanted to know him, knew him (he’s very quick and open about replying to fan letters). Duffy came completely out of nowhere.  He hit 12 homers.  In around three-quarters of a season last year in Double-A, he only hit three homers.  That’s some serious Maas appeal.  Some players say when they get in the zone, the pitched ball appears to be the size of a beach ball.  Duffy must’ve been seeing Bochy’s head out there.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 77/12/77/.295/12

11. Jason Kipnis – Here’s a likely reason that some people lost their leagues, because Kipnis was so good in the 1st half, you prolly ignored a lot of the symptoms of garbage in the 2nd half.  Symptoms of Garbage was also my high school punk band.  You might remember us from the lead single, “My Parent$ Are Facist$.”  Preseason Rank #6, 2015 Projections:  81/15/70/.261/24, Final Numbers: 86/9/52/.303/12

12. Logan Forsythe – I grabbed Logan in my 15-team NFBC league super late.  How’s that Forsythe?!  I grabbed him simply because I liked his eligibility.  Tut, tut, don’t be specific, they’ll never know.  Unless they read that last part.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 69/17/68/.281/9

13. Neil Walker – Funny thing (completely unfunny), I nailed Walker’s projections, but if you would throw out like two weeks when he was hot, he would’ve ended up with about 10 homers and a giant nogoodnik button.  Don’t make me get out the nogoodnik button.  Preseason Rank #11, 2015 Projections:  72/17/77/.270/2, Final Numbers: 69/16/71/.269/4

14. Kolten Wong – I had a major wang for Wong this past preseason, and now I’m left with a bone to pick.  In 113 games in 2014, he had 12 HRs and 20 SBs.  He missed both of those marks in almost forty more games.  I need to reevaluate liking any middle infielder ever.  Preseason Rank #8, 2015 Projections:  84/18/60/.278/24, Final Numbers: 71/11/61/.262/15

15. Danny Valencia – I’m pretty sure he is ranked this high because of about a two-week time frame where he was ownable when, most everyone, didn’t even own him.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 59/18/66/.290/2

16. Justin Turner – It’s fair to say if Mattingly knew how well Turner was doing, he wouldn’t have played him as much.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 55/16/60/.294/5

17. Ben Zobrist – Came pretty close to nailing his preseason projections and, boy, are those numbers ugly.  Preseason Rank #20, 2015 Projections:  77/12/49/.268/10, Final Numbers: 76/13/56/.276/3

18. Daniel Murphy – In the preseason, people are like, “I’m just gonna take Murphy and his counting stats and get my power and speed elsewhere.”  If you draft and/or hold any player this low in the rankings, you’re not going to win your league, unless it’s an NL or AL-Only league.  Preseason Rank #13, 2015 Projections:  82/10/58/.284/10, Final Numbers: 56/14/73/.281/2

19. Asdrubal Cabrera – How about them Rays middle infielders with two in the top 20?  Three if you count Longoria who hit like a middle infielder.  Preseason Rank #21, 2015 Projections:  67/15/63/.246/11, Final Numbers: 66/15/58/.265/6

20. Brett Lawrie – Hopefully you see Lawrie after Asdrubal and some other schmohawks above and it sinks in subconsciously when you’re looking at Lawrie in your drafts next year.  If you have any hope for Lawrie next year, you’re officially the last one.  That includes his parents.  Preseason Rank #18, 2015 Projections:  54/14/62/.267/6, Final Numbers: 64/16/60/.260/5

 
  1. Dietter says:
    (link)

    Grey: Thoughts on 3 keepers in 12 team head to head league?

    Abreu
    Altuve
    Brantley
    Schwarber
    Tulo
    Sano (like his power but utility position is not ideal)

    Thanks in advance.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Dietter: Abreu
      Altuve
      Brantley

      Could see Tulo instead of Brantley, but meh

  2. Lville Jim says:
    (link)

    As Yogi said “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”. It’s like Sturgis here, once the rally is over and all the bikers roll out of town.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @Lville Jim: It’s like the hot nightclub at 10 AM when you wake in the bathroom

  3. Lville Jim says:
    (link)

    Finally numerous uno. It doesn’t feel like I thought it would, kind of like being the worlds tallest midget.

      • Lville Jim says:
        (link)

        @Grey: Dietter post didn’t show when I went to post this morn. Now I’m not even the tallest midget.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          You’re the tallest member of Altuve’s family

  4. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:
    (link)

    These middle infielders are an exciting bunch huh?…**crickets**…So, how bout that Chase Utley?

    • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
      (link)

      @MattTruss: I’m having a hard time not hating the whole thing, and he was called safe? Ballsy challenge by Mattingly

      • Lville Jim says:
        (link)

        @Ra’zbahl Al Ghul: Saw where Loria was interested in Mattingly. They deserve each other.

        • Ra'zbahl Al Ghul says:
          (link)

          @Lville Jim: Ha seriously

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @MattTruss: I was at the game, felt right in the moment from 350 feet away… Watching replays at home, wow was he past the bag and how was that safe?

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:
        (link)

        Yea, kinda messed up, but still, what’s with the out of nowhere suspension? Since when is MLB the NFL with their random made-up suspensions?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          To continue your football comparison, they’re Monday morning quarterbacking to fix their mess up… He shouldn’t be suspended…if he was called safe!

  5. royce! says:
    (link)

    Cano killed it in the second half. Do you put any stock in this being the result of his finally getting treated for acid reflux in July? Seems like a pretty freaking easy thing to diagnose and treat, and if it really made him such like he did, he owes Mariners fans an apology for being a dumbass and not just taking a tums or something…

    • GhostTownSteve says:
      (link)

      @royce!:

      Be very interesting to see where Cano shakes out in the ADP next year. My sense is that these name brand guys never fall as far as they should as fast as they should. Still, even with those meh numbers, Cano was 49th on the player rater. Makes him a late 4th early 5th rounder by rank. I’d consider him there for sure but I bet we still see him as early as late 2nd and gone by the 3rd in most leagues next year.

      Speaking of name brand, Laser Show tucked in nicely between Cesar Hernandez and Jace Peterson on the rater. He’ll be another guy that will see some interesting rankings next year.

      • royce! says:
        (link)

        @GhostTownSteve: I was thinking the same thing- Cano’s name value will prevent him from falling far enough that he could be a very high value pick. I took him in the 3d round in the Original Recipe RCL and his second half helped me win, but only insofar as it was making up for his first half. Then again, wtf else would I have done, since the 2B pool was so shallow? I agree with your predictions re: ADP and rankings, though. But what if it was true that he just needed some pepcid?

        I had Laser Show in the one RCL I lost. He’s not going to fall far enough for me to draft again, ever.

        Outside of the top 5, Cano, and Kipnis, I churned through all of these dudes (was even able to get Carpenter off waivers in one RCL). Makes a strong argument for punting 2B/MI.

        • James says:
          (link)

          @royce!:

          over on the catcher side people were posting their Franken-catcher stats, some of them would have been top 20 players (my guess is a lot of luck in finding the right hot guys in a shallower league), but would be interested to see what you put together.

          In my 2 competitive dynasty leagues I had Wong all season (he went in a larger trade where he would have been the 5th or 6th best player involved), and Kinsler in the other. I just assume that their production is about what a Franken-2b would look like. A decent average, good counting stats and a modest amount of power/speed.

      • i agree re: cano. it seems like certain players (espec with history of power/speed in particular) spend a couple years hanging around the first 3-4 rounds providing awful value. Reyes and Wright come to mind. That said, I think Cano would be an intriguing 3rd/4th round pick next year as he’d make a nice compliment to a low AVG power guy (Stanton) or a < speed guy (Altuve, Marte). But he might appeal more to me than most b/c I put equal emphasis on AVG to HR/SB which has been a mixed bag for sure (Votto 2015 and V-Mart/Morneau 2014 were nice...have scars from V-Mart 2015 and Allen Craig 2014).

        • GhostTownSteve says:
          (link)

          @Rudy Gamble:

          I’m exactly with you on that analysis. I like him in particular as a pairing to a certain roster construction. Just a matter of the price

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @GhostTownSteve: I love when peeps use the words roster construction.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      @royce!: He’s decent, not great, don’t see a huge bounce back next year… Mariners made a terrible deal to get him and are now stuck with him…

  6. Scott Kimmel says:
    (link)

    I have a trade offer not sure if I should make it. I trade Goldschmidt and Tulo for Trout and Miggy. I am wanting to make the trade but want to make sure Miggy is completely healthy. Please advise. I have Correa at SS with Votto, Papi at 1B

    • FWIW, I’ve given this trade my blessing on Twitter. Miggy’s less of a health risk than Tulo and that’s before factoring in Tulo on turf. Goldy was awesome but Trout is the #1 player.

        • Scott Kimmel says:
          (link)

          grey will Miggy be healthy enough to put up his usual .330 35-115?

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Nope

            • Scott Kimmel says:
              (link)

              Grey the latest trade offer came my way. It’s still the four players from before but now it’s a six player deal. The deal on the table is Tulo, Goldschmidt and Harvey for Trout,Miggy and Greinke. Do I make the deal or leave it as is with the four for four deal? Please help

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Come to my newest post

                • Scott Kimmel says:
                  (link)

                  Where is it gray

                  • SteveNZ says:
                    (link)

                    @Scott Kimmel: What Grey is saying is that you should comment in his latest post.

                    And that post is about where the Razzball Player Rater ranked 3B guys for THIS year based on their numbers during the season.

                    It’s not a ranking for next year.

          • Scott Kimmel says:
            (link)

            enough to do the deal?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              Yeah

              • Scott Kimmel says:
                (link)

                Will Miggy’s numbers be close to Goldschmidts

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  No

                  • Scott Kimmel says:
                    (link)

                    @what numbers can I expect for Miggy and Trout next season

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      I’ll do projections in January/Feb

                    • Scott Kimmel says:
                      (link)

                      would you trade Ryan Braun for Carlos Gonzalez, I have been on the fence about it Grey. Your buddy mr gamble thinks cargo is not worth Braun. What do you think?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      It’s fair, don’t see the point…

                    • Scott Kimmel says:
                      (link)

                      so it’s a lateral move?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Yup

                    • Scott Kimmel says:
                      (link)

                      Grey a guy in my league has cargo. We are discussing a possible swap of Russell Martin for Cargo. I have Posey at C and can always find a backup when I draft would you make that deal? I am considering it but he wants to expand it further.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      I’d want CarGo, not close

                    • Scott Kimmel says:
                      (link)

                      grey he said no to cargo for Martin. Discussing a Braun for Bautista deal. Make it?

        • J-FOH says:
          (link)

          @Grey: the Pope of Twitter Village?

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Rudy is no Mickey Rourke (thankfully)

            • J-FOH says:
              (link)

              @Grey: he may not be the Mick but he is the Mack…daddy of stat bots

              • Grey

                Grey says:
                (link)

                Ha, how is Mack Daddy of Stat Bots not a robot name yet?

                • J-FOH says:
                  (link)

                  @Grey: are you saying rudy is a robot…is he the statonator?

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
                    (link)

                    No, but that reminds me of Giancarlo…The Stantonator…

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: BTW, speaking of amazing, that dynasty league, the guys that won it all, holy shizz, how did these guys get what they got is incomprehensible

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Eno from Fangraphs said there’s guys in that league that are sons of actual GMs… So you better beat Ruben Amaro Jr Jr.

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: I might need Magoo as a co manager, surprisingly a lot of the teams have co managers.

                      The winning team, out of 20 teams, had Goldy, Donaldson, Betts, Trout, Harper, and Springer….looks like I’m focusing on sweeping the pitching cats

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Damn! I didn’t realize it was that lopsided…Do you keep guys forever too?

                    • J-FOH says:
                      (link)

                      @Grey: its dynasty so I’m assuming yes. On the flip side their (they have co-managers) pitching is terrible so with some good sneaky hitting picks I think I can move up a few spots because I took the team that had the better pitching and some nice minor league arms. I have already been on the phone and texting with Mike as we game plan some minor league strategies for a sooner than later call up. This one will for sure be a group effort plan of attack. With the website name on it, I think it would be best to get the consortium together (Mike, Magoo and Myself) to handle off season and draft and then let me do my in season magic. It’s funny, I think I just gave these guys some fantasy methadone by calling on them. I have been blasted with trade offers already, all terrible, but I’ll let them keep coming in as I think these guys are trying to size me up.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Sounds good, just don’t blame Mike when it all goes to hell

                    • @Grey: Is this the one run by Dan Rosenheck?