We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball. Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool. Weird year for the 2nd basemen. They had a huge bounce back last year, but this year a bunch of guys got old or just disappointed: Kinsler, Carpenter, Kipnis and Zobrist. And that’s only naming the Jews and Gentiles. (I’m putting Carpenter in both camps.) 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 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:
1. Jose Altuve – Okay, no small cracks, and I’ll keep this short–Dah! Altuve is what makes baseball great. You can appreciate football, I don’t, but you can. You can appreciate basketball, I really don’t, but you can. Baseball is the only sport where a five-six, buck-fifty guy can be the best player in the league. That is the American dream. That and Dusty Rhodes. Preseason Rank #1, 2017 Projections: 107/18/81/.321/37, Final Numbers: 112/24/81/.346/32
2. Anthony Rizzo – Don’t even get me started on the stupidness that is Rizzo having 2nd base eligibility because he fielded a few bunts. Any hoo! I went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.
3. Dee Gordon – I Mr. Bungled this one. We can debate my Odor snafu, but Gordon I legit messed up. I’ll cop to it. I think it’s because I was burned so badly the year before by his suspension. He’s an easy 50-steal guy, which I projected him for, but I ranked him too low. He’s more of a five to six ranking vs. 11. Meh, live and…What’s the other half of that expression? Preseason Rank #11, 2017 Projections: 88/3/39/.282/51, Final Numbers: 114/2/33/.308/60
4. Jose Ramirez – Here’s what I said this past preseason, “The positive is speed doesn’t slump. Worst case scenario, maybe he gets only 5 homers and steals 20+ bags. That’s not great, but I’m not convinced he can’t be Altuve at 3rd either. He doesn’t strike out, he walks a ton, he will hit near-.300 and he stole 38 bases in Double-A. Everyone’s going negative on Ramirez, but when they go low, we draft them high! Hmm, that didn’t work as I intended it.” And that’s me quoting me! Turns out, he does have Altuve’s power and then some. Preseason Rank #17 for 3B, 2017 Projections: 75/8/69/.295/25, Final Numbers: 107/29/83/.318/17
5. Jonathan Schoop – You ready to get burned by Schoop? Because I think I’m going to like him a lot next year. His BABIP (.330) wasn’t extreme for him, maybe a hair high. His HR/FB% was in line with norms. His line drives are solid, ground balls aren’t bad, fly balls are fine, Ks are okay, walks went up, was in top 35 for Hard Contact, bottom eleven for soft contact, and, yeah, I like him. Preseason Rank #10, 2017 Projections: 78/30/89/.260/2, Final Numbers: 92/32/105/.293/1
6. Brian Dozier – I guess we should start expecting the 2nd half boon, if boon means what I think. At least what I think boon means now, not what I thought at age 15 when all I knew was Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill. The problem with relying on a huge 2nd half is if it doesn’t come, you’re left with a terrible 1st and 2nd half and no redemption. Preseason Rank #6, 2017 Projections: 102/25/74/.248/15, Final Numbers: 106/34/93/.269/16
7. Whit Merrifield – Similar sitch to Scooter below, I was one of the few who projected and ranked Merrifield because I liked him as a super late flyer, and how I ended up drafting him in my NFBC league, which I won. Of course, I did not predict this year from him. No one did, not even Whit, to wit. Preseason Rank #41, 2017 Projections: 40/5/34/.261/5, Final Numbers: 80/19/78/.288/34
8. Daniel Murphy – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.
9. Scooter Gennett – Hey, at least I ranked him. Can’t say that about many other ‘perts. Not only did I rank him, but I drafted him for free in the preseason in Tout Wars (12-team NL-Only) and he played a huge part in my victory. This was one case where not ignoring a one-time prospect paid off. But, still, eat a D, Brett Lawrie! Preseason Rank #38, 2017 Projections: 41/10/47/.274/5, Final Numbers: 80/27/97/.295/3
10. Chris Taylor – Looking through Taylor’s minor league numbers to see if we missed any sign he was about to hit 21 homers, and, unless someone gives me his high school or Little League numbers to peruse, I can’t find a single solitary thing. He looked like a five to seven homer guy prior to this year. What hath your tightly-sewn baseballs wrought, Commissioner? Prior to this year, Chris Taylor was only Ben Stiller’s wife. Now even that is gone! Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 85/21/72/.288/17
11. Trea Turner – In 198 major league games, that’s a season plus six weeks, he has 25 HRs and 81 SBs and a .304. I just got dizzy in the pants. Can I draft him top five next year right now? If he had the number of runs and RBIs that comes with 11 HRs, 46 SBs and a .284 average in, say, 150 games, if he wasn’t injured, he’d easily be the 2nd best 2B on this list. I love Trea Turner. Preseason Rank #2, 2017 Projections: 102/16/84/.305/40, Final Numbers: 75/11/45/.284/46
12. Robinson Cano – If baseballs weren’t flying out at a record pace, Cano’s season would’ve looked downright Yunelish. It took a while, but we’re finally seeing the decline phase of Cano’s career. Preseason Rank #4, 2017 Projections: 86/26/91/.291/2, Final Numbers: 79/23/97/.280/1
13. Eduardo Nunez – Maybe it’s the 30 years of age, but I believe Nunez is exactly what we saw last year, even though he missed 50 games. Preseason Rank #17 for Shortstops, 2017 Projections: 64/10/72/.259/30, Final Numbers: 60/12/58/.313/24
14. Marwin Gonzalez – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.
15. Javier Baez – I’m going to try to say this without any exclamation marks, but the urge is so overwhelming. Baez had 372 at-bats hitting 7th or lower in the order; Zobrist had 374 at-bats hitting cleanup or higher. DAH!!!!!!! I couldn’t do it, sorry. Preseason Rank #21, 2017 Projections: 55/17/65/.268/13, Final Numbers: 75/23/75/.273/10
16. DJ LeMahieu – This is funny (so not funny). Ranked ahead of LeMahieu in my preseason rankings was Devon Travis. HAHAHAHAHA–WHAT DRUGS WAS I ON!? By the way, runs, RBIs and AVG are the hardest to predict, and steals and power are the easiest, as I’ve said a million times. With that in mind, look at my LeMahieu projections vs. end stats. Hehe, I’m stoopid. Preseason Rank #14, 2017 Projections: 96/14/64/.311/15, Final Numbers: 95/8/64/.310/6
17. Jean Segura – I project ABs in the preseason, and haven’t been mentioning that, but now figures to be a good time, because Segura is pretty damn close on projections vs. end stats, but I thought he’d get 60 more ABs, so, just being upfront with you, I wasn’t that close. Though, 60 more ABs would’ve pushed him up to about 12th overall, which is closer to my preseason ranking of 7th, so I was kinda right! The first thing you learn in the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston is how to justify anything. Preseason Rank #7, 2017 Projections: 83/11/46/.274/27, Final Numbers: 80/11/45/.300/22
18. Rougned Odor – Hoo boy. Last time I get behind a guy with such an odorous last name. I’m looking at you, Triple-A All-Star Jimmy Stankfinger. Okay, okay…OKAY! The average is what really killed him. I know, I know, it really, really, REALLY was bad. But look at his other stats compared to projections. If his BABIP cooperated, he wouldn’t have been a bust. He would’ve still had a lower average than I projected, but it wouldn’t have been that low. For a guy that hit .204 (Hayzeus Cristo), he could’ve been much worse. Preseason Rank #14, 2017 Projections: 92/28/98/.281/15, Final Numbers: 79/30/75/.204/15
19. Tim Beckham – It wasn’t quite sending Erik Bedard to the Mariners for their entire farm system, but the O’s look like they got a steal from Beckham. I’m still puzzled by the Rays thinking. Beckham was the 1st overall selection in the MLB draft, and they got back Nadir Bupkis. Maybe, as reported, Beckham is a clubhouse cancer, but 20+ HRs puts that shizz in remission real fast. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 67/22/62/.278/6
20. Jose Reyes – How bad was the Mets season? Jose Reyes was a highlight. Preseason Rank #32 for Shortstops, 2017 Projections: 51/10/29/.271/17, Final Numbers: 75/15/58/.246/24
I need SP in 2018 and I’m good on infielders. What do you think about trading Odor for Price in a keeper?
What are your thoughts on the disappointing mentioned Carpenter and Kinsler for next season?
Are they done or do you think they can bounce back ?
I wouldn’t trust them to bounce back
Am I the only person not shocked at all about Weinstein?
I’m shocked people are believing that celebrities to didn’t know…,
I thought it was widely known
@Grey: I’m not even in Hollywood and I knew he was a nasty prick that intimidated people to get what he wanted. I’ve heard countless podcasts where they discuss him. They said they didn’t know… they knew!
Yeah, they had to know… You read the account where he wrestled some guy in front of a room of reporters and cameramen b/c he accused Harvey of touching his girlfriend? No one reported anything…
@Grey: I heard stories of him bating people up which poses the question. Either people are stupid or pussies…. or both.
I love Brad Pitt today, tho… Good for him for bodychecking Harvey for touching his girl at the time… I don’t buy Damon or Clooney or anyone that says they didn’t know, effin BS
@Grey: yeah Clooney knows everything
And Damon and Affleck, they worked with Harvey too many times to not know… This gets me mad…
@Grey: they are all phonies
Agreed… You wouldn’t happen to know the band, The National, would you?
I do and think they are over rated. Like maybe 3 songs if that. Guys voice gets old fast.
Going to see them tomorrow and I don’t know what to listen to to familiarize myself… tried all three of their albums and nothing stuck out…
Exactly my point! Nothing jumps out. A couple of their older “popular” songs are okay. I look at it this way. The people I know who are into them I don’t share the same musical tastes with. It’s like Mumford and sons. That’s loved by soccer moms and women that want to be soccer moms…. they have no taste in music
I don’t disagree, I can’t even figure out what their popular songs are, tbh… It was not my choice to see this group, though we are gonna be in the front row of the Bowl, because big fans of theirs and friends of Cougs’ are flying in from Cincy to see them, and The National is a Cincy band
That’s funny because I think Bloodbuzz Ohio is their most popular song. If I’m going for Ohio bands you have never heard of Id try Buffalo Killers. You should ask them about that band
I will, I’m kinda excited to have such good seats, just wish it was for Eminem or someone
Front row is great for anyone, will be an experience for sure. Hopefully you don’t come back a huge fan…whiny guy indy rock sucks ass.
Ive always heard that the rich people live in Kentucky across the bridge from Cincy. Like a lot of the Bengals live over in Kentucky. Conversation starter
These people we’re going with have crazy money… Her grandfather is Welcome Weaver, from the Encloypedia page: Weaver produces nearly 30 percent of the world’s popcorn… Don’t really know anything about Kentucky or Cincy, but I plan on spending October of 2020 in Ohio going door to door for whoever is going against Trump…
I hear they have a real opioid crisis there, maybe you can get their vote with some free oxy contin
Whatever it takes!
That was Trumps slogan!
Grey, I’m always trying to swing trades. In a 12 team, roto, dynasty keep all which side do you like better.
MY guys, Siemien, Healy and KK.
His guys,Story, C. Taylor and A. Jones.
He needs a 3BM, and Taylor would have to go to the OF for me as I would move Hoskins to !B where I had Healy. We play 2 at each position. I have C. Frazier on reserves, along with Springer, JUP and ODB.
I could also offer, Stephenson, Faria or Buehler for C. Allen. If you think so which one. They all offer upside in a dynasty league. Is the 3×3 and or 4×4 close?
Story side not close… Allen side, not close
@Grey: Thanks, I’ll make the offer. Maybe Healy will tempt him.
Grey, how many more years do you think Max Scherzer has?
im in a 10 team keeper league. H2H.
I would be giving up A.Wood, Mccullers, Arcia and my 1st pick, 2nd pick and possibly a 3rd pick for Max and Cespedes.
I feel like im getting old making this deal.
I didnt make playoffs these last 2 years.
Maybe two more years — You are getting old making the deal, could go either way… I’d likely hold
Is there a formula behind the rankings?
I’d take Ramirez’ and Dozier’s numbers anyday over Dee Gordon’s!
Sure, the Player Rater has a formula
I take exception to “baseball being the only sport a 5’6″ can be the best player.”
Two words: Lionel Messi.
Who’s Lionel Messi?
I don’t think you really missed on Gordon. 2 HR and 33 RBI are more or less death to your team in this environment. He is not one of the top 10 2B I would want even if we were drafting knowing the exact stats they were going to put up. In this lower SB environment I can find my SB elsewhere without shooting myself in the foot in 2 stats. Sometimes the player raters miss the context of the game and those no HR pure SB guys are one of those cases.
That’s fair, but 60 SBs is about eight points in one category… that’s helpful…
I talked about Taylor when I co hosted the baseball show with senor Lifshitz….. mechanical adjustments ala Justin Turner. Went to a line drive approach and got dongs in return. But that’s baseball and WGAF! I want to talk meatballs. I made around 65 today and I’ll tell you. I’m never agreeing to do that again. Besides the ripped forearms afterwards I think the quality fell off in mass quantities. Keep it small, keep it simple
You made 65 meatballs? You working a side job at Bucca di Beppo’s?
Haha, seriously, you catering an Italian wedding?
@Grey: nah my dad is hosting poker tomorrow and since I was making them anyway…. it’s only 7 pounds of meat, why not! I told him I can make him some and they can have meatball subs…. better than shitty pizza
So, you add some milk-soaked bread to make them nice and soft?
@Grey: I pour some heavy cream into the dry ingredients and let them soak it up
Ooh… Heavy cream, Momma Albright would be proud… one piece of white bread goes a long way too… and a mix of pork and beef… ugh, I want some!
@Grey: I used 3 pounds 80/20 beef, 2 pound 80/20 pork and 2 pounds 93/7 beef. I think I should of kept them all 80/20 but I had the 93/7 already so I saved a few bucks. Next time I’m going to have them grind my meat fresh
You did well, my moms would be proud… they should be nice and light… 100% beef meatballs are lead balloons…
When I go all beef I add in a little more dry and add an extra egg to counterbalance.
All beef is tough, dry and heavy… really need white bread then…
@Grey: mama albrights approval is like early Christmas
Yeah, she taught me, and Sicilian grandmother taught her… you’re doing good!
and I kinda look Dego too!
Hmm… maybe, no beard tho, unless you’re Captain Lou
So – Cabrera failed at 1B, Kinsler at 2B… and the Tigers thought they were too close to making the playoffs to sell everything at the deadline??? LOL
I’m so stoked for the SS write up. This was a very very good SS year.
Haha, yeah, Tigers had one bright spot, Castellanos
Ugh, I ranted on the Rizzo/2B thing in one of my RCL posts right before he got his eligibility there. So stupid. I don’t understand how that is allowed or why the other instances of 3B playing over in the 2B or SS spot during shifts doesn’t get the same treatment. I love the argument for it too, “Oh, well, he and Javier Baez switch gloves, so now he’s a 2B”. It doesn’t pass the straight face test.
This just brings us closer to having 6 “IF” spots and 6 “OF” spots in our fantasy lineups of the future. Sounds terrible.
Agree totally, and now I want some entrepreneurial fantasy baseballer to switch out Trout’s glove with a catcher’s mitt
Not 2B related, but here’s a fun 162-game stat line for you . . .
.254 with 30 HR, 9 SB, 108 RBI and 81 R. Any guesses?
Trevor Story’s second half (70 games) over a full season. Die historic on the fury road, baby! I already see myself grabbing him everywhere again in 2018, for better or worse.
Wow, that is sexy
@Grey: And I don’t even recall Story having any particularly “hot” week during the second half . . . i think he’s really going to go overlooked.
Best fantasy site! Thanks for all your hard work, Grey.
@Phil: No problem!
Javy Baez got only 508 PA while sitting for a Former Top Prospect Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist’s Contract. In fact he probably would have gotten less PA if Russell wasn’t hurt for a couple of months. Yet, he posted solid numbers with 150 combined RBI/R, 10 steals, and 23 HR.
Imagine he gets 650 PA one year and not hitting 8th most of the time? He could legitimately post 100/100/30/15 from a middle infield spot. How are the Cubs not playing this guy everyday??? Does anyone else see this, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills?!?!
I know you alluded to some of this in the post. What do you think about Baez for next year?
– Baez Dynasty Owner
@Lougle: Have to think he does play every day and in a better spot in the order next year — 27/15 seems about right
Keeper question in 5×5 OBP league, 10 teams, 6 keepers.
My keepers are Rizzo, Machado, Lindor, Springer, Blackmon.. who are almost no brain to keep.
The last one .. candidates are ..
Dee Gordon , Hosmer , or one SP from Serverino / C. Martinez / Carrasco
My league is in ESPN so supposedly Rizzo won’t get 2B ..
Thoughts about the last one keeper? Thanks.
I think so. Thanks.
And, if there is the 7th keeper and I would like to pick a SP.. who is better?
Severino, C. Mart, Carrasco
@Wilson: I’d go with Carrasco
Grey, you make a lot of reference to “pro” rassling. My Grandma loved leaping Larry Chain, My favorite was the mighty Igor. I was afraid of the Shiek, lol. I coached the Stiener brothers in baseball. In high school Scotty used to run 4 miles every morning to school. He was very strong. There real last name has a Rech in front of it.
2. Don’t beat yourself up over Gordon you only missed by one HR.
3. I think 2B is going to be tough drafting after the top 4 or 5 guys. Hard to put much stock in guys that had career years, Scooter, Whit, Marwin and Taylor.
4. I’m still a newbie at this hobby and for the first time am going to rank my own players before next season and then use your rankings to tweak mine and second guess both of us. The big difference we use OPS.
@Packers: 1. Ha 2. Thanks! 3. Agreed 4. We have OPS rankings too
Pending a full healthy season, where would Castro most likely have ended up? Because I personally can’t believe it would have been below Odor or Reyes.
Side note: Love me some Whit
@Chris D: He’s ranked 30th right now, so he wasn’t close
@Grey: wow honestly didn’t realize he was that low.
Yeah, cause he never gets huge SBs either to help
Am loving your top 20 write-ups!!!
a. Was stalking you for a while, but just had to come in from the cold to say hello! Hello! It was really cold and rainy outside on your porch.
b. Did you see the box score from the HOU-BOS game, yesterday? Devenski allowed his 2 inherited runners to score, hence going 2-2 but not in the nice way. 2-2 is good when you hit, 2-2 for inherited runners allowed is no bueno. So what does Musgrove do? He also allowed both of his inherited runners to score also going 2-2!! Musgrove’s like: ‘Hey, Devenski! You can’t outdo me! I was actually hoping for 3 of your inherited runners!’ Then someone tells Musgrove that it’s not a good thing, and he goes all red with embarrassment.
c. Did Kershaw have a one-night stand that went sour with a friend of a friend of one of the postseason regression fairies? ‘Cause he is just stank in the postseason. Kluber looked bad too, his sinker didn’t sink it was up. And then when he tried to aim it into the strike zone, that was tattoo you all over again. Starting pitching hasn’t been perfect. Anyway, still looking good for that CLE v. LAD World Series. LAD definitely going to win the pennant. CLE? Still in question but I think they have enough pitching to do it.
@Ante GALIC: A. So that was you! B. Haha, yeah, watched most of it C. Yeah, watched both games (most of them)… Kluber looked the worst I had seen him since April, Kershaw didn’t look terrible, just pitching to contact with a lead
a. Btw, Chad is still the same! Thanks for asking! God, sometimes you’re so insensitive! J/k, hombre!
b. Tanaka’s effort was one for the books, but I can’t see NYY winning the series. Same goes for AZ. HOU will also get past BOS. The guy that who was in a self-induced 6-year coma and had rostered Joe Kelly wakes up and says: ‘See, he’s a winner! I told you all!’
c. Biggest question will be WAS-CHC, could go either way. Still think WAS has the upper hand. Plus, Scherzer still hasn’t pitcher so yeah I like WAS chances of going to the NLCS. No way anyone is going to beat LAD.
A. Haha, How long since Chad’s ‘changed?’ B. Ha, yup C. WAS could do it, but they have not looked great