Jason Kipnis – The 26 year-old 2B has been remarkably consistent over his first 2 full seasons in the majors. The main difference was his improved batting average, which he raised from .257 in 2012, to .284 in 2013. Kipnis steals bases, hits a handful of homeruns, produces nice totals in RBI’s and R’s, and does all of that from a premium position. The 2B position is getting older with Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips, and Chase Utley all closing in on their inevitable declines. In yearly leagues, the only 2B I’m drafting before Kipnis is Robinson Cano. And in keeper leagues, Kipnis is my #1 2B target for the future. If you are looking to draft upside at 2B, look no further than Jason Kipnis. I would not be surprised if Jason Kipnis entered the 2015 baseball season as the #1 second baseman in fantasy leagues.
Jedd Gyorko – The Padres second baseman made his debut in 2013 while accumulating 23 HR’s on the year. After a somewhat slow start in April, Gyorko began to display the power potential that allowed the 25 year-old to hit 30 HR’s in the minors during the 2012 season, and 25 HR’s during the 2011 season. Some might worry about the .249 BA after his call-up, but Gyorko hit over .300 in all three of his minor league seasons. Gyorko possesses the unusual ability to rack up the power numbers at second base, and he should still be improving. If Gyorko can raise his batting average closer to his minor league marks, we could have one of the top 2B options in fantasy. And if the BA remains low, but he can still provide the power numbers that he has put up throughout his career, then we are still looking at a player in the mold of Dan Uggla in his younger days, which was an easy top 10 fantasy option at 2B. Either way, if you can draft Gyorko as the 14th to 16th second baseman off the board in 2014, as he is currently being ranked on many websites, then you could possibly have one of the steals of your draft.
Jurickson Profar – Not too long ago, this was one of the top ranked prospects in all of baseball. Even though he spent most of last year in the majors, Jurickson Profar is actually younger than Xander Bogaerts and Javier Baez. The recent trade between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers that involved Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler cleared a starting spot for Profar at 2B in 2014. After playing sporadically as a utility player in 2013, Profar should see a nice boost in his counting stats with every day at-bats, while his performance could also improve with more regular playing time. If your league settings require 15 games played to qualify at a position, then the 20 year-old will carry multi-position eligibility by qualifying at 2B and SS in 2014. If you can move him back and forth between 2B and SS, two of the weaker positions in fantasy, that just adds to his value. The former SS prospect displayed a nice combination of power and speed in the minors, which could translate to the majors soon. Jurickson Profar is capable of greatly out-producing his draft position in 2014…draft accordingly.
Rickie Weeks – The Brewers second baseman endured a very disappointing season in 2013. Last year, Weeks hit for a .208 BA along with 10 HR’s, 24 RBI’s, 40 R’s, and 7 SB’s in 350 AB’s before being placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Even before he suffered the season ending injury, Weeks looked completely lost at the plate. The Brewers called up Scooter Gennett to replace Weeks after the injury and the prospect looked like a clear upgrade at second base. Needless to say, Weeks didn’t lead any teams to their fantasy championships last year. And now, the former all-star second baseman is still being ranked as a top 15 to 20 second baseman in fantasy leagues going into 2014. The talent is still there for Weeks, but another slow start and his job will belong to Scooter Gennett. The risk of injury or poor performance are reason enough to not invest too heavily in Rickie Weeks in 2014.
Daniel Murphy – According to ESPN’s Player Rater, Murphy was the 4th most valuable 2B in rotisserie leagues last year. He even ranked ahead of Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler in 2013. Murphy’s value was driven by the nice mix of power and speed, as he hit 13 HR’s and 23 SB’s in 2013, along with the 92 runs he scored last year. Before 2013, the second baseman had hit 6 HR’s in each of the previous 2 years, and had never stolen more than 10 bases in a season. Plus, it could be hard for Murphy to replicate the run totals he accumulated last year with the lineup he has around him in New York. His batting average was about where you would expect it to be, but Murphy out-produced what was expected of him in every counting stat category. Paying for the second baseman to repeat his 2013 output would not be wise, and you shouldn’t expect Daniel Murphy to finish in the top 5 fantasy second basemen again in 2014.
Marco Scutaro – The Giants utility infielder has always been good for helping fantasy teams with their batting average. But after hitting for a .316 BA before the All-Star break, Scutaro hit for just a .262 BA in the 2nd half of the 2013 season. Scutaro has always been good for the batting average and not much else, but the counting stats were even worse than before, as he accumulated just 2 HR’s, 31 RBI’s, and 2 SB’s in 2013. If the counting stats are down even further, and we can no longer trust him for the batting average, what value will he possibly provide? Now that we can no longer rely on the 38 year-old for help with the batting average, Scutaro has lost all appeal in fantasy leagues.
Which second basemen do you think could break-out next year?
Which second basemen will be over-drafted in 2014?
Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below...