Consensus Position Rankings/Projections: Top 30 Second Baseman for 2014, Part 2

Jeff Gross

It's Second Base Week at Fake Teams, and today we publish part 2 of our consensus Top 30 fantasy second basemen rankings for 2014. Check out where the Fake Teams writers rank Alexander Guerrero, Brian Dozier, Kolten Wong and others.

We published part 1 of our consensus Top 30 second base rankings on Monday, and today we bring you part 2 of our consensus second basemen rankings for 2014. We used a points system for each of the 30 second baseman ranked by each of the Fake Teams writers who participated in the consensus rankings series.

We feel that providing you our consensus position rankings, you get an average ranking from the Fake Teams writers, rather than hearing me spew my rankings thoughts throughout the offseason. You will see some players ranked higher by one Fake Teams writer than the others, so this helps the reader see both sides of the argument for/against a certain player who might be getting too much love this offseason.

Each of the position rankings will be split into two parts, rankings, player profiles and projections for second basemen ranked 1 - 15 in part 1, and rankings, player profiles and projections for second basemen ranked 16 - 30 in part 2 to be published on Wednesday morning. Consensus rankings should bring about discussion amongst you, our readers, and the Fake Teams writers who participated in this series.

In addition to the rankings, we are now offering your 2014 projections for each player ranked, courtesy of Dan Schwartz from Fake Teams and Rotobanter. He has spent all offseason on his projections, and to learn more about how he calculates his projections, you can read his explanations here: Part 1| Part 2| Part 3. Part 1 details his projection approach, Part 2 details how he calculates his hitter projections and part 3 details how he calculates his pitcher projections.

We didn't stop at just providing you rankings and projections, as we are also providing you with auction values, courtesy of Dan, along with the Equivalent Fantasy Average for each player ranked, courtesy of Daniel Kelley. The equivalent fantasy average can be used to compare players at the same position.

Here is a brief explanation of Equivalent Fantasy Average, from Daniel's Fantasy Average Positional Breakdown piece a few weeks ago:

Those who have been around the last week or two probably saw my Fantasy Average piece, in which I attempted to use standard deviations to present every offensive players' fantasy contributions in terms of a batting average-like number. That presentation is a useful ranking tool and, since it's on a scale we're all familiar with, is a heck of a shorthand for overall strength. If your guy hit ".300" by Fantasy Average, he's a heck of a player.

And all of this is consolidated, with player photos, into statistical tables thanks to the work of Jason Hunt.

2014 Second Base Rankings

Now let's take a look at part 2 of our Top 30 Fantasy Second Base Rankings for 2014:

Rank Player Team Ranking Points Ray Matt Brian Alex Daniel Joe Jason Zack
16 Howie Kendrick LAA 143 14 15 13 16 15 18 11 19
17 Neil Walker PIT 135 17 22 12 14 17 19 13 15
18 Jed Lowrie OAK 134 15 18 26 17 10 17 14 13
19 Brian Dozier MIN 131 19 16 19 20 12 15 16 16
20 Omar Infante KCR 113 20 20 22 19 13 20 17 20
21 Kolten Wong STL 69 22 26 23 21 24 22 24
22 Nick Franklin SEA 69 21 21 20 25 24 25 26
23 Dan Uggla ATL 61 26 24 21 27 27 26 28 24
24 Kelly Johnson NYY 55 25 27 24 25 23 30 22
25 Alexander Guerrero LAD 53 17 22 20 26 27
26 Gordon Beckham CHW 51 28 25 29 21 27 29 21
27 Scooter Gennett MIL 41 23 15 28 25
28 Marco Scutaro SFG 38 28 23 23 23 30
29 Jonathan Schoop BAL 38 29 29 24 30 29 27 25
30 Rickie Weeks MIL 33 23 30 26 28 30 28

Also receiving votes: Dustin Ackley (30), Josh Rutledge (21), D.J. LeMahieu (16), Alberto Callaspo (12), Emilio Bonifacio (11), Maicer Izturis (9), Jemile Weeks (6), Leury Garcia (4), Brian Roberts (3)

Player Profiles

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# 16 Howie Kendrick (LAA)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.297 55 13 54 6
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
513 0.335 0.439 4.48% 17.35%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.290 67 12 62 9
Auction Value: $ 8.7 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.273

Kendrick doesn't have the power that Robinson Cano and Jedd Gyorko provide fantasy owners, or provide the stolen base totals of guys like Jason Kipnis or Jose Altive, but he is one of the more consistent fantasy second baseman out there. What Kendrick does provide is an excellent batting average with low double digit power, 60 runs and 60 RBI on a consistent basis. He will also throw in double digit stolen bases in most year, yet he failed to reach that level in 2013.

His batted ball profile shows that he rarely hits fly balls, but is still capable of low double digit home runs. His line drive rate is usually in the high teens to low 20's, but last year it rose to 27%, resulting in a bump in his batting average to just under .300. I see the Angels lineup scoring more runs this season, as they have a healthy Albert Pujols and I see Josh Hamilton building on his strong second half last season. Kendrick is one of the more consistent fantasy second baseman out there, and he won't hurt you in any category.

20130217_jla_ah6_043.0

# 17 Neil Walker (PIT)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.251 62 16 53 1
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
551 0.339 0.418 9.07% 15.43%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.271 64 14 64 6
Auction Value: $ 5.55 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.269

Walker is another second baseman who doesn't put up the eye gawking numbers that others do, but he is a solid get late in drafts, as he provides solid production in four of the five fantasy/roto categories. Last season, Walker hit .251-.339-.418 with 16 home runs, 62 runs and 53 RBI in 133 games for the surprising Pirates. I think Walker has a 20 home run season in him, as his batted ball profile shows he is hitting more fly balls, but not at the expense of his line drive rate. Let's take a look at his batted ball profile from the last few seasons:

Year: LD%/GB%/FB%

2011: 21.2%/43.9%/34.9%

2012: 24.0%/42.3%/33.7%

2013: 23.0%/38.5%/38.5%

We have also seen his HR/FB% in the 11% range the last two seasons, up from 7% in 2011. As as result, we have seen his home run totals rise from 12 HRs in 2010 and 2011, to 14 HRs in 2012 to 16 in 2013, so he could approach 20 bombs in 2014. He was drafted in the 22nd round of a recent industry mock draft I participated in last week, and I think that presents great value for Walker owners, as he could jump into the top 12 fantasy second baseman talk this season.

20130218_kkt_st3_062.0

# 18 Jed Lowrie (OAK)

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.29 80 15 75 1
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
662 0.344 0.446 7.55% 13.75%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.273 74 15 73 2
Auction Value: $ 8.09 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.273

Lowrie was able to finally stay healthy for a full season in 2013, and he showed fantasy owners how valuable he can be when he does so. Lowrie hit .290-.344-.446 with 15 HRs, 80 runs and 75 RBI in a career high 154 games. His BABIP was .319, above his career rate of .293, so we could see some batting average regression in 2014. Then again, his line drive rate is in an uptrend, indicating the high batting average could be an indication a change in approach at the plate. Let's take a look at his line drive rates over the last four seasons:

2010: 16.4%

2011: 17.6%

2012: 19.3%

2013: 23.4%

So, maybe the days of a high batting average are here to stay. If so, he could outperform his draft day value. One concern, though, is the drop in fly ball rate last season from 51.3% to 43.2%. If this was a result of a change in approach at the plate, to substitute line drives for fly balls, then I would take that, since he still managed to hit 15 home runs last season.

There is talk that the A's could call up shortstop prospect Addison Russell at some point during the season, so a shift to second base on a full time basis could be in order for Lowrie.

20130219_jla_ah6_069.0

# 19 Brian Dozier (MIN)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.244 72 18 66 14
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
623 0.312 0.414 8.19% 19.26%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.246 75 17 67 13
Auction Value: $ 6.68 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.273

Dozier had a break out season last year after not being drafted in many leagues. Despite slashing .244-.312-.414, Dozier hit 18 home runs, scored 72 runs, drove in 66 and stole 14 bases after never reaching those stats at any level in the minors.

How did he do it? Well, his batted ball profile shows that his fly ball rate jumped from 38% to 41%, and his HR/FB rate jumped from 6% to 10%, resulting in the power breakout. His home run split shows he hit 8 home runs at home and 10 on the road last season, so the pitcher-friendly Target Field is not suppressing his power in any way.

The problem with Dozier is that he didn't hit higher than .250 in four of six months last season, so his batting average won't help you. The other issue with Dozier is whether we can expect a repeat in his performance, or will we see regression across the board. I think we see some regression.

20130219_jla_sv7_268.0

# 20 Omar Infante (KCR)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.318 54 10 51 5
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
476 0.345 0.45 4.20% 9.24%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.29 62 10 54 5
Auction Value: $ 4.60 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.267

Infante signed a 4 year deal with the Royals this offseason and solves the mystery that has been second base for the up and coming Royals. Infante does one thing well for fantasy owners, he hits for a high batting average and will run into low digit home runs from time to time. He's a high contact hitter who should be a steady bat in the Royals lineup this season.

Infante is draftable in deep mixed leagues and AL-only leagues, but is nothing more than a late round pick in drafts. i could see drafting some of the less known names, like Kolten Wong and Alexander Guerrero, before Infante with the hope you catch lightning in a bottle.

20130219_jla_su8_004.0

# 21 Kolten Wong (STL)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.153 6 0 0 3
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
62 0.194 0.169 4.84% 19.35%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.268 54 6 44 19
Auction Value: $ 0.13 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.26

When the Cardinals traded third baseman David Freese to the Angels this offseason, it signaled their plan to make room for Wong to take over the second base job. With Wong taking over second base, Matt Carpenter slides over to third base, a move that could hurt his fantasy value come 2015.

Wong has a chance to outperform his draft day value in 2014, as he is a high contact hitter, who could provide a high average with double digit home runs and 20+ stolen bases. In AAA last season, Wong hit .303-.360-.466 with 10 HRs, 68 runs, 45 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He has a good idea at the plate, as he doesn't strike out much and has a solid walk rate as well. He will probably begin the season as the Cardinals 7th or 8th hitter, but could rise to the two spot in the order if he shows he can be as successful handling big league pitching as he was vs AAA pitching.

162137266.0

# 22 Nick Franklin (SEA)

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.225 38 12 45 6
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
412 0.303 0.382 10.19% 27.43%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.237 23 5 22 5
Auction Value: $ -15.01 Equivalent Fantasy Average: N/A

The Mariners signed Robinson Cano to man second base this season, and for the next nine years after, so Franklin will slide over to shortstop if he gets playing time. Or, the Mariners could deal him to fill a need in the outfield. Could a trade to the Dodgers for Andre Ethier make sense for both teams? Either way, he is a trade candidate in 2014.

Franklin provides owners solid power for a second baseman and a chance for 10-14 steals. Last season, between AAA and the big leagues, Franklin hit 16 home runs, scored 66 runs, drove in 65, and stole 13 bases, but that came with a low batting average in the big leagues. I think he could hit for league average or better if he can cut down on the strikeouts, as he struck out 27% of his plate appearances in 2013. If he can repeat the 24% line drive rate in 2014, we could see the batting average rise with a little more luck. A move out of Safeco would improve his fantasy value, and he might be a solid $1 player to grab in auction keeper leagues in a bet that he is eventually traded.

20130220_jla_sv7_334.0

# 23 Dan Uggla (ATL)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.179 60 22 55 2
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
537 0.309 0.362 14.34% 31.84%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.209 53 19 48 1
Auction Value: $ -6.07 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.251

Uggla experienced his worst season as a professional in 2013, hitting just .179-.309-.379 with 22 HRs, 60 runs and 55 RBI. Uggla can look to his career low .225 BABIP and 13.2% line drive rate as reasons for his abysmal performance at the plate last season. That, combined with an extremely high infield fly ball rate of 13.6% and you have to wonder if 2013 was a one year fluke for Uggla. His season was so bad that the Braves signed Elliot Johnson to play second base during the playoffs, and didn't bother to add Uggla to their playoff roster. I see Uggla as a legitimate bounce back candidate as I see his BABIP and line drive rate regressing back to his career average .287 BABIP and 16% line drive rate. He could return to the .240 hitter he was before 2013, and we could see another 25 home run season from him. He has two more years on his five year contract, so the Braves will play him as much as possible this season.

20130221_mje_sv7_1019.

# 24 Kelly Johnson (NYY)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.235 41 16 52 7
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
407 0.305 0.41 8.60% 24.32%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.236 48 16 57 7
Auction Value: $ -2.01 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.257

The Yankees signed Johnson as a their backup plan in case Robinson Cano signed elsewhere this offseason, and with Cano signing with the Mariners, it appears Johnson will be the Yankees starting second baseman (or third baseman with Alex Rodriguez suspended for the season) this season. The Yankees signed former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts as well, but Roberts injury history says he may not play much. Johnson moves from Tampa Bay to the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium in 2014, where he should provide fantasy owners with another 15-20 home run season. Johnson is a fly ball hitter (46.1% in 2013), so a few more of his fly balls could land in the right field seats this season. While he provides solid pop for a second baseman, his batting average will not provide value to your fantasy roster. He doesn't run anymore either, so he is more of a two category producer for fantasy owners.

# 25 Alexander Guerrero (LAD)

2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
DID NOT PLAY
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
NO PROJECTION

I wrote about Guerrero a few times this offseason, here and here. Brian Creagh wrote about him yesterday as well. Here is an excerpt from Brian's profile:

Guerrero amassed 102 HRs, 392 RBIs and a .308 AVG, which could translate into a decent AVG, double digit HR threat in the MLB. AVG is one statistic that does not consistently translate so there's a wide range of outcomes there, but some scouts are confident that the bat can handle big league pitching.

Brian also mentioned the optimistic ZiPS projection which I wrote about earlier this offseason. ZiPS projects Guerrero to hit .259-.324-.386 with 18 HRs, 85 runs and 82 RBI. I doubt he reaches that projection, but he could be a 15 HR, 60 run, 60 RBI hitter in the big leagues.

20130219_kkt_st3_012.0

# 26 Gordon Beckham (CHW)

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.267 46 5 24 5
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
408 0.322 0.372 6.86% 13.73%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.254 54 10 40 5
Auction Value: $ -4.18 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.253

This season might be Beckham's last chance to show the White Sox that he can be a valuable contributor to their every day lineup. Last season, he hit .267-.322-.372 with 5 HRs, 46 runs, 24 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 103 games, not what you expect from the former top prospect. He was serviceable in 2012, when he hit 16 HRs, and scored and drove in 60+ runs, but 2013 was another disappointing season for Beckham. The White Sox are in a rebuild and I could see them giving prospect Marcus Semien a chance to show what he can do on a regular basis.

20130217_jla_ar5_383.0

# 27 Scooter Gennett (MIL)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.324 29 6 21 2
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
230 0.356 0.479 4.35% 18.26%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.281 49 5 32 6
Auction Value: $ -4.77 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.253

I wrote about Gennett yesterday. I think he is a decent late round pick who could provide double digit home runs and stolen bases in 2014.

20130220_kkt_st3_095.0

# 28 Marco Scutaro (SFG)

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.297 57 2 31 2
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
547 0.357 0.369 8.23% 6.22%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.288 56 3 36 3
Auction Value: $ -3.38 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.255

Scutaro is a better real baseball player than he is for fantasy, as he is really just a one dimensional fantasy contributor, offering his owners an empty batting average every year. Last season, he hit .297-.357-.369 with 2 HRs, 57 runs and 31 RBI in 127 games for the run-starved Giants lineup. The little power he provided owners in prior years end up in outfielders gloves in cavernous AT & T Park. He is only rosterable in NL-only leagues and the deepest of mixed leagues, and is more of an injury replacement in most 15 team leagues.

20130222_mje_ah6_123.0

# 29 Jonathan Schoop (BAL)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.286 5 1 1 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
15 0.333 0.5 6.67% 13.33%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.259 19 4 18 1
Auction Value: $ -16.79 Equivalent Fantasy Average: N/A

Schoop is part of the reason why the Orioles did not re-sign Brian Roberts this offseason, as he is the future at second base. Schoop was limited to just 70 games in AAA in 2013 as he dealt with a back injury, hitting .256-.301-.396 with 9 HRs, 30 runs and 34 RBI. With guys like Ryan Flaherty and Jemile Weeks ahead of him in the Orioles depth chart at second, it probably won't be too long before we see Schoop's name in the big league lineup. He would need to blow up to go north with the big league team out of spring training, so he will start the season in AAA once again. Once he is eventually called up, Schoop should provide double digit power and a decent batting average for his owners, but he is more a midseason addition or stash candidate for those of you in leagues where you can stash prospects on your bench or with minor league rosters.

20130217_jla_ar5_307.0

# 30 Rickie Weeks (MIL)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.209 40 10 24 7
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
399 0.306 0.357 10.03% 26.32%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.224 26 6 18 4
Auction Value: $ -15.86 Equivalent Fantasy Average: N/A

Like Beckham, Weeks is on the outside looking in for the Brewers second base job, as it appears the team will go with prospect Scooter Gennett, as he is a better all-around player and has a cooler name. Should Gennett struggle to start the season, Weeks is the fall back option, and can provide value to fantasy owners who can deal with this low batting average. He is a year removed from a 21 HR, 85 run, 65 RBI, 16 stolen base season, so he still has the skills to help fantasy rosters, but seems to always get injured. His low line drive percentage will keep his average down once again, but a rebound in his fly ball rate could produce double digit home runs once again in 2014.

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more position rankings, or plain old fantasy baseball goodness, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one place to get all things fantasy.


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