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Staff Post: Second Basemen to Avoid in 2018

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The Fake Teams Staff discuss second basemen to avoid, including D.J. LeMahieu, Whit Merrifield, Rougned Odor and Javier Baez.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

This morning our second base targets dropped. Unfortunately, Punk disagrees with my Odor love, so you’ll get to see him play devil’s advocate here. Hey Punk—it’s you versus Brian and myself. What’s the wager?

Staff Second Basemen to Avoid in 2018

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Whit Merrifield, Royals (Heath Capps)

I brought Merrifield up in our state of the position. I’m not being an ageist, either. Merrifield’s late breakout does give me slight pause, but I’m more concerned about the poor team context and home park. I much prefer to wait until far later for Ozzie Albies or Yoan Moncada. I think it’s more possible that Merrifield offers Albies/Moncada production than Jean Segura production. Segura is a known commodity that offers a similar skill set as Merrifield, but plays on a much better team. But according to Fangraphs ADP data, Merrifield is being selected in NFBC drafts five picks ahead of Segura at pick 72. Either way I slice it (taking Segura right after Merrifield or waiting for Albies/Moncada) I am not chasing Merrifield’s 2017 numbers in Round 6 this year.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

D.J. LeMahieu, Rockies (Eddy Almaguer)

DJ LeMahieu is one of the most boring players in fantasy, and even with a 10th-round price tag in a 12-team league, he’s way too expensive. What’s his best case scenario? How about 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases? His steals have declined for the last three years and he finished with only six last season. He’s hit double-digit home runs just once in his career (11 in 2016). Yeah, his average is pretty great. But if you want this same profile with more steals, draft Cesar Hernandez 120 picks later.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Rougned Odor, Rangers (Punk is Dead)

Can I copy and paste what I said about Rougned Odor last season? Because nothing has changed. Odor has to learn to take a pitch! Despite his crazy low 3% walk rate in 2016 skyrocketing to 4.9% in 2017, his batting average (as easily predicted) took a major hit. It went from .271 in 2016 to .204 in 2017. Odor finished 2017 as the No. 30 second baseman. This season will be no different unless he changes his approach. I don’t count on it!

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Baez, Cubs (Brian Creagh)

This kills me as a Cubs fan, but Javier Baez is someone I’m staying away from in drafts. The upside of his counting stats is so limited because of his spot in the Cubs lineup (typically 7th or 8th) and the batting average and stolen bases aren’t enough to make up for it. Few players are more fun to watch play, but that is part of what elevates Baez’s ADP and makes him someone I am avoiding on draft day.

Poll

Which second basemen are you most likely to avoid?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Whit Merrifield, Royals
    (63 votes)
  • 29%
    D.J. LeMahieu, Rockies
    (102 votes)
  • 35%
    Rougned Odor, Rangers
    (123 votes)
  • 17%
    Javier Baez, Cubs
    (60 votes)
348 votes total Vote Now