March, a month where the snow is hopefully gone, trees and flowers start to bud and bloom, and the days start to grow long once again. For those of in the south March just means we get to spend another weekend mowing the lawn. But as baseball fans flock or social distance in flocks to Florida and Arizona to see their favorite teams get ready for the season, March is also the month for fantasy players to draft teams and dream of winning championships.

There are numerous types of leagues, from redraft leagues to dynasty leagues. Which league you prefer will greatly influence how you draft. Redraft leagues are great, but they are more for those who like instant gratification. You draft, you win, you start over next year. Dynasty leagues are for those who like to build something and see it last. These leagues require you not to just think about today, but next year and the year after that.  Thus, it requires you to think differently when drafting your team, with potential and youth being more important than a known quantity and experience.

I have stated this before – I prefer youth over an older players, sometimes to my detriment. That is always my plan, even if it turns out I am wrong. Knowing when an older player will start to decline is a hard question that you have to guess the answer to. So I make it easy on myself – I’m going with the kid as I keep the future in mind. That said, let’s get on with the rankings.

TIER ONE

Rank Name Team Age
1 Ozzie Albies ATL 24
2 Cavan Biggio TOR 25
3 Brandon Lowe TB 26
4 Gavin Lux LAD 23
5 Ketel Marte ARI 27
6 Jeff McNeil NYM 28
7 Tommy Edman STL 25
8 Ian Happ Chi 26
9 DJ LeMahieu NYY 32
10 Whit Merrifield KC 31

So we have a top 10 and the first thing you notice is DJ LeMahieu ranked ninth. Yep, that goes back to my stated plan – youth over age. I’m building a dynasty team from the ground up and I don’t want to start with a 32-year-old second baseman who hits like Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium but like Kolton Wong on the road. When LeMahieu turns 35 in three years, is he still going to be a beast at Yankee Stadium? I wouldn’t bet against it, but I also am not a betting man and thus the slid down to 9th. Age is also a big factor for Whit Merrifield sliding to 10th. For a player who relies on speed for a lot of his value, how long will that speed last as he ages?

I know there are people who question Cavan Biggio. Obviously I am not one of them. In his first 159 games, all he has done is hit 24 homers and swipe 20 bags with a .368 OPB while dropping his whiff rate from 29% to 23%. Additionally, not only can he play second but the outfield and first base as well and will likely maintain that versatility for years.  Gavin Lux ranked fifth may be a surprise to some, or even many. But I have not jumped off the Lux bandwagon left. His first 42 career games haven’t been anything to write home about, but he was a top prospect entering the 2020 season and if he can win the starting job, it would not be surprising to see him his 25 home runs, steal close to 15 bags and hit around .270 as a career floor.

TIER 2

Rank Name Team Age
11 Jose Altuve HOU 30
12 Nick Madrigal CWS 24
13 Max Muncy LAD 30
14 Jazz Chisholm MIA 23
15 Keston Hiura MIL 24
16 Lourdes Gurriel TOR 27
17 Gleyber Torres NYY 24
18 Nick Solak TEX 26
19 Ha-Seong Kim SD 26
20-T Andres Gimenez Cle 22
20-T Marcus Semien TOR 30

Tier 2 is a mixed bag when it comes to players. Jose Altuve is at the top of this tier because I am discounting his 2020 season – at least his regular season. If his hitting woes would have extended into the postseason, there would be cause for alarm with him suddenly losing the ability to hit. But in the postseason Altuve looked like his old self, and like LeMahieu and Merrifield, should be productive for at least three years and be worthy of drafting ahead of some of the younger players in this tier.

Meanwhile, I ranked three players – Keston Hiura, Lourdes Gurriel and Gleyber Torres – who have eligibility at second base in some leagues but likely won’t be second base eligible in 2022. But if you want a big bats at second base this year and worry about a second base next season, then Hiura, Gurriel and Torres would be great selections as both will hit with power and drive in a lot of runs. If I knew Torres would be second base eligible next season and beyond, I’ve have him ranked in Tier 1 as I’m overlooking the disaster that was 2020 for him.

Jazz Chisholm is like Gavin Lux – a highly touted prospect who didn’t really show anything in his debut. Chisholm has some decent pop and good speed, but he hasn’t learned to make consistent contact. In a 12-team, he is a player worth watching. For deeper leagues, I think he is a player worth stashing, especially if you already snagged someone in Tier 1.

Max Muncy could (should?) be higher on this list. I love the power he brings and the ability to play multiple positions. But he’s 30 so I prefer to take younger players with upside such as Chisholm and Nick Madrigal. That is why Marcus Semien is listed at 20th. In a re-draft league, I have him ranked higher. However, playing on turf (when the Blue Jays are finally allowed to play in Canada again) isn’t going to help his aging body. Also, you will have to wait for him to gain eligibility to play second base, forcing you to draft someone else to hold down the fort until Semien gains eligibility.

TIER 3

Rank Name Team Age
21 Jake Cronenworth SD 27
22 David Fletcher LAA 26
23 Dylan Moore Sea 28
24 Chris Taylor LAD 30
25-T Ryan McMahon COL 26
25-T Kolten Wong MIL 30

With the Padres signing Ha-seong Kim, I’m not sure how many at-bats Jake Cronenworth is going to get. With his ability to play multiple positions, I’m thinking he will reach 400, but that doesn’t help you if you need a starter at second base. And obviously the Padres believed they could use an upgrade by signing Kim. David Fletcher will help you in runs scored and batting average/on-base percentage, but that is about it. Meanwhile, I just do trust Dylan Moore enough to ranked him in Tier 2. He had a great breakout season in 2020, but it came at the age of 27. That is pretty late to be breaking into the majors.

PROSPECTS TO WATCH

Name Team Age
Vidal Brujan TB 23
Nick Gonzales Pit 21
Xavier Edwards TB 21
Michael Busch LAD 23

Of the players on this list, Vidal Brujan is the most likely to see playing time this year. But with Brandon Lowe at second base and Wander Franco ready to take over the shortstop job at some point, the chances of Brujan getting significant playing time with the Rays this season is low. But if you are in a league where you have room to stash some players and stolen bases are valued, Brujan would be a great add.

 
  1. Mike says:
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    12-team keeper league 5×5, with usually about a 15-20% inflation rate entering our auction draft. We can keep as many as we want, with increasing money escalators each year you keep a player ($5/$10/$15). I’m trying to decide if I should keep any of these folks:

    Dom Smith ($6)
    Sano ($6)
    d’Arnaud ($6)
    Ozuna ($21)
    Montas ($6)
    Soroka ($6)

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      Do pitchers have value in your league, or is it hitter heavy? Also, what is your cap limit – $260? I like both Montas and Soroka and would keep them. Ozuna at $21 may be a stretch. I think Smith can repeat what he did last year, so $6 for him would be a good price.

      I’m honestly up in the air about d’Arnaud. In two catcher leagues, he’s probably good to keep at that price. If it is one catcher, I’d save the money.

      • Mike says:
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        It’s usually pretty hitter heavy on average, but the top pitchers go for way above all the standard pre-season auction valuations. We have a $270 budget, but also have 1 more hitter in our lineup than standard.

  2. Foxman says:
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    2B seems like the position to gain an advantage with this year.
    Power from this position seems scarce AF
    I am going to target Lux like crazy, plus my dude Lowe
    Should be easy to own both in ESPN leagues
    Thanks Jakkers

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      Thanks for reading Foxman. I love Lux. Not everyone sets the world on fire when they first join the Show. Give him the ABs and I think he will be a great add.

  3. Foxman says:
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    2B seems like the position to gain an advantage with this year.
    Power from this position seems scarce AF
    I am going to target Lux like crazy, plus my dude Lowe
    Should be easy to own both in ESPN leagues
    Thanks Jakkers

  4. King Daddy Crunch says:
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    Dynasty Keeper League advice – we can keep 5 each year in this 10 player H2H League which has played for over 20 years:

    R Acuna
    J Soto
    S Bieber
    W Franco
    Y Alvarez
    C Seager
    V Guerrero
    L Castillo
    J Kelenic

    I think the top 3 are no brainers. Trying to decide if Franco’s potential makes him worth the wait for TB to call him up. Thanks for the advice!

    • Hawk says:
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      Acuna
      Soto
      Bieber
      Vlad
      Alvarez or Seager (toss up based on how much you believe in Seager)

      In a 10 team keeper with only 5 protects, I wouldn’t use a protect on anyone who’s not helping me this year.

    • Jakkers

      Jakkers says:
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      I think Vlad and Alvarez are the two to keep. You can only keep five, and since we don’t know when Franco is going to arrive, might as well take the stats now while you can.

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