Well, just over one week into the season, who is ready to dump Ozzie Albies and who is ready to trade the farm for Chris Owings? OK, no one with a functioning brain will do any of those two things, but that is the reaction some fantasy owners are feeling at this point of the fantasy season.

If this were the middle of July, a bad week from Albies and a hot week from Owings wouldn’t move the needle much in the fantasy world. But when the season is brand new, who’s who and who’s not leads to excess celebration or hair pulling. These rankings will reward those who produced and punish those who had a bad stretch of play – though there are always exceptions as we have to look forward and not always in the rear view mirror.

With that in mind, you won’t see Albies sitting at the top of the rankings as the best second baseman – but he is still ranked. Six players who weren’t ranked in the final preseason rankings are now listed below, though one of them – Jonathan India – was a player to watch during those final rankings. So let’s stop wasting time and get to the rankings.

WHERE HAS THIS RYAN McMAHON BEEN?

Rank Name Team Prev. Rank
1 Ryan McMahon COL 25
2 Jose Altuve HOU 6
3 Whit Merrifield KC 3
4 Jonathan India CIN NR
5 Marcus Semien TOR NR
5* Ketel Marte ARI 7

Ryan McMahon as the top second baseman? Really? As I said above, these rankings are going to reward those who produced on the field, and McMahon more than delivered for the Rockies through Friday, slugging five home runs, driving in nine and producing a slash line of .333-.353-.848. Will he continue to have an OPS of 1.201 throughout the season? Absolutely not. However, he has long teased fantasy owners with what he COULD do, but never has. So for one week, let’s recognize the great start he’s had .

Jonathan India, welcome to The Show! What a great start for the Reds’ newest second baseman. Aside from hitting .393, he seemed to collect all his hits at the right time by driving in 11 runs. I guess we now know why the Reds were moving Mike Moustakas back to third base and Eugenio Suarez to shortstop the last week of spring training. I didn’t have Marcus Semien ranked in the final preseason rankings because he was not eligible as a second baseman yet. But now that he is, he quickly vaults into the top five thanks to his three homers and two stolen bases.

Jose Altuve isn’t new to the rankings, just new to the top five as he moves from sixth to second. The new leadoff hitter for the Astros has done what a leadoff hitter is supposed to do for the Astros – get on base at a .405 OBP and 11 score runs. Meanwhile, Whit Merrifield produced a .375-.393-.792 slash line for the Royals en route to being the only top five second baseman to remain ranked in the top five. The only thing he hasn’t done is steal a base yet – the category in which he is supposed to help fantasy owners the most.

Ketel Marte gets honorable mention in the top five because he won’t be there in two weeks after suffering a strained hamstring running to first base and landing in the IL. But before the injury, Marte was red-hot for the Diamondbacks by hitting .462 and posting a 1.346 OPS.

JED LOWRIE STILL PLAYS BASEBALL?

Rank Name Team Prev. Rank
6 Max Muncy LAD 10
7 Mike Moustakas CIN 15
8 Jed Lowrie OAK NR
9 DJ LeMahieu NYY 2
10 Ozzie Albies ATL 1

If you didn’t know Jed Lowrie was a baseball player, you are probably a Mets fan. In two seasons with New York, Lowrie ranked up a whopping eight plate appearances in two seasons – all coming in 2019. But Lowrie is now back in Oakland, for the third time, and makes the jump from not ranked into the top 10. With a host of hitters struggling for the Athletics, Lowrie hit .294 with a homer and five RBI to spark the Athletics offense against Houston in taking two of three games. Mike Moustakas made a big move up the charts, scoring nine runs for a scorching Reds offense thanks for reaching base 50 percent of the time thanks in part to drawing seven walks.

IS GARRETT HAMPSON FOR REAL?

Rank Name Team Prev. Rank
11 Chris Taylor LAD 14
12 Tommy Edman STL 13
13 Jake Cronenworth SD 16
14 Gavin Lux LAD 20
15 Garrett Hampson COL T-25

My final preseason rankings had Garrett Hampson tied with Ryan McMahon at 25th, with my thinking that at least one of them would get off to a good start and hopefully have the kind of season fantasy owners have been waiting. Well, not only has McMahon started hot, so too has Hampson. He didn’t hit five homers, but he did rack up six RBI while stealing four bases.

One of the worries for many fantasy owners entering the season was how much playing time was Jake Cronenworth going to get after the Padres signed Ha-Seong Kim during the offseason. Thanks to the unfortunate injury to Fernando Tatis Jr., Cronenworth owners aren’t going to have to worry about playing time, and it looks like they won’t have to worry about him producing either after posting a .364-.462-.485 slash line to open the season.

SOLANO, THE SLEEPING GIANT

Rank Name Team Prev. Rank
16 Brandon Lowe TB 5
17 Jeff McNeil NYM 9
18 Donovan Solano SF NR
19 Nick Solak TEX 13
20 Cavan Biggio TOR 8
21 Jazz Chisholm MIA 23
22 Adam Frazier PIT 24
23 Dylan Moore SEA 22
24 Keston Hiura MIL 4
25-T Zach McKinstry LAD NR
25-T Chris Owenings COL NR

Donovan Solano should have been on my list of players to watch. He doesn’t do one thing great, but after hitting .330 in 81 games in 2019 and .326 last season in 54 games, he can’t be overlooked anymore. All he has done to start the season is hit .333 for the Giants.

Brandon Lowe, Cavan Biggio, Jeff McNeil and Keston Hiura were in the top 10 rankings ahead of the season. Now, the foursome are now residing outside the top 15 as they combined to hit a paltry .140 with four homers and nine RBIs. I expect all four players to find their groove at the plate and climb the charts. However, if one player does give me pause, it is Lowe. He struggled in September and throughout the postseason last year and struck out in 10 of his first 24 at-bats this season. It is a small sample size, but if pitchers have found a hole in Lowe’s swing, he needs to fix it soon or it could be a long season.

The final two slots are to recognize the play of Zach McKinstry and Chris Owings, two utility players who took advantage of the playing time they got to open the season. McKinstry put of a slash line of .292-.308-.542 for the Dodgers while Owings put up an eye-popping .533-.588-.1.133 slash line as he collected three doubles and three triple in only 15 at-bats.

DROPPED OUT – BUT COULD BE BACK

Name Team Prev. Rank
David Fletcher LAA 18
Nick Madrigal CWS 11
Tommy La Stella SF 17
Andres Gimenez Cle 19
Kolten Wong MIL 21
 
  1. Harley Earl says:
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    No blurb on the “dropouts” ? … I’d like to know why they dropped out!

    Is it because they are injured, struggling, lost their AB’s to someone else, etc.? Seems like a worthy spot for a few more paragraphs. I’m still not clear on LaStella but I tried to tell everyone Madrigal was nothing more than a singles-hitter (Poor Man’s David Fletcher). Not sure about the others but I guess Wong’s injury was the reason?

    Anyway, good stuff. Enjoyed the article!

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      Should have had a blurb as to why they dropped out. Mostly it was because with the new players being ranked, others had to be left out of the top 25. Lack of production (though there were a lot of second basemen who didn’t produce) was the main reason.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Fred says:
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    If only because of his position eligibility, I’d like to know where does Ty France place in your rankings? I have Nick Madrigal and France as my 2B/MI but leaning toward dropping Madrigal for Jazz Chisholm. Do you think Lowrie is the priority add over France? Thanks for your input!

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      I like Madrigal, but I’d take Chisholm over him at this time as he has more speed and more power. He likely won’t have the same average by season’s end, but you have to love Chisholm’s speed.

      As for Lowrie, I just can’t trust him to ever stay healthy. As soon as you add him, he will probably get hurt. For now, I would stick with France and ride his hot start.

  3. John Hammon says:
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    I’m not completely clear on what’s being ranked? Is it the player rankings based solely on what they’ve done so far? Or is this a true rest of season rank? Like would you trade Albies for Ryan McMahon? Because if so, I think these are pretty big over-reactions to 10 days of action. If it’s a weekly matchup ranking incorporating that week’s schedule, I missed it. Don’t mean to sound critical, just wondering if I’m missing something.

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      We are one week into the season, so these rankings are really just to show who started hot. There is no chance I would trade Albies for McMahon, and I even stated in my lede paragraph that trading Albies would be nuts. But for fantasy owners who play daily leagues or have a middle infielder they stream, this helps with who is the hot hand right now.

      As the season progresses the rankings will meld who is the hot hand with who is the best overall. Albies is still the best second baseman, but not through the first week and a half.

  4. Vash says:
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    Jeff McNeil is killing me. Nothing to add.

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      He’s killing a lot of owners.

  5. Winston says:
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    Does Luis Arraez not qualify as a 2B?

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      I completely overlooked Arraez, to be honest, so that is on me. He should be ranked, not in the top 15, but in the next group of 10. Good catch, and sorry about that.

  6. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    Lowrie ahead of LeMahieu? Seriously? Hard to take this seriously.

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      As I stated in the article, this first round of in-season rankings is more a reflection of who did well and not what their worth is going forward. I have Lowrie ahead of Ozzie Albies as well, and I said you would be crazy to dump or trade Albies after one week plus a few games.

      But if you want to an instant comparison, Lowrie has scored six runs, hit one homer and driven in five while LeMahieu is 5-1-3. Lowrie has a slash line of .294-.368-.441 while DJ is at .297-.395-.459. That is pretty much the same as Lowrie while driving in two less runs.

      So, after the first week-plus of the season, Lowrie had the better counting stats by a slim margin and thus ranked higher.

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