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Top 20 MLB Prospects: Second Base

Who will help you this year and beyond?

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-All Star Game Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Top 10 Fantasy Second Basemen Prospects for 2019 Redraft Leagues

Player Team Opening Day Age Highest Level
Player Team Opening Day Age Highest Level
Garrett Hampson COL 24 MLB
Keston Hiura MIL 22 Double-A
Nick Senzel CIN 23 Triple-A
Brandon Lowe TBR 24 MLB
Luis Urias SDP 21 MLB
Cavan Biggio TOR 23 Double-A
Isan Diaz MIA 22 Triple-A
Eli White TEX 24 Double-A
Kevin Kramer PIT 25 MLB
Jahmai Jones LAA 21 Double-A

Second base is a haven for shortstop prospects blocked at the MLB level. Brendan Rodgers is blocked by Trevor Story, Gavin Lux is blocked by Corey Seager, and Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia are blocked by Trea Turner. However, these four prospects I consider shortstops for now. I will get right to the dynasty listing of which 30% belong to the Padres or Rays.

Top 20 Long-Term Second Base Prospects

1. Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds (23, Triple-A) – Conceivably, he could have been in the MLB as early as September 2017. However, he’s had some injuries and the Reds have not been competing. Not only is the Reds infield full, but they will struggle to find room for Jesse Winker in the outfield. I hope that they don’t give him the Ian Happ treatment as he is more talented than Happ. He has above average plate discipline, power, and hit tool which makes him an elite prospect. However, I do not foresee him having first round upside.

2. Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers (22, Double-A) – Hiura plans to pick up where he left off, as he dominated the Arizona Fall League by earning MVP honors. He will likely begin in Triple-A, but the competing Brewers would be wise to bring him up post-haste.

3. Garrett Hampson, Colorado Rockies (24, MLB) – Overshadowed by Brendan Rodgers, Hampson has only hit .300 every step of the way with big-time stolen base numbers. Also, his stolen base efficiency is excellent. He has never struck out more than 20% of the time in the minors, and 10 homers and 30 steals could be a floor with everyday at bats in Colorado.

4. Vidal Brujan, Tampa Bay Rays (20, High-A) – Listen to what he did in Class A last year in 95 games: .313 average, 43 steals, 86 runs and almost walked as much as he struck out. He got promoted to High-A and in only 27 games he had a 1:1 walk-strikeout ratio, stole 12 more bases and popped four homers. He’s the most exciting fantasy prospect on this list.

5. Nick Madrigal, Chicago White Sox (21, High-A) – The fourth pick of last year’s draft made it all the way to High-A in his first season. This is perhaps because he did not strike out once in his 66 plate appearances in the first two stops. He only struck out five times in 107 appearances in High-A. He’s got an elite hit tool and his great speed could put him on the fast track to the Majors.

6. Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (24, MLB) – Slugged .613 in Triple-A with 14 homers, but only batted .233 in about 25% of a season’s worth in the MLB last year. A BABIP of .279, well below his career mark, was likely to blame. I see a potential 20-homer, 90 RBI player in the MLB.

7. Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays (23, Double-A) – The son of a Hall-of-Famer not named Vlad led the Blue Jays Double-A affiliate in home runs and RBIs. He also walked 100 times and stole 20 bases! Sure he has some swing and miss, but he took an enormous step forward last season. With the fragility of Devon Travis and Biggio’s ability to play first base or outfield, we could see him in a Scott Kingery type of role for the Jays very soon.

8. Esteury Ruiz, San Diego Padres (19, Single-A) – 12 homers as a 19-year-old listed at 169 lbs is pretty good. He does strike out a lot, but managed to hit over .300 in both years at the rookie level, thanks to profiling as an extremely high BABIP player with an off-the-charts speed score. In 137 non-homer hits and walks last season, he stole 49 bases in 60 attempts. The Padres have Luis Urias, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Xavier Edwards up the middle already. By the time Ruiz is ready to go, the Padres may find themselves very competitive. I see Ruiz as a future trade chip rather than a future outfielder.

9. Luis Santana, Houston Astros (19, Rookie) – Acquired in the J.D. Davis deal, we all love 5’8” youngsters who already walk more than they strike out. He’s been hitting .300 since he was 17 years old with a .400 plus OBP.

10 Jeter Downs, Los Angeles Dodgers (20, Single-A) – 13 homers and 37 steals while striking out less than 20% of the time. Should have plenty of time to roast in the minors behind Seager and Lux.

11. Kody Clemens, Detroit Tigers (22, High-A) – The Conference Player of the Year hit .302, earning a promotion to High-A. The power is real and he should reach the show around the time his pops falls off the Hall of Fame ballot.

12. Nick Solak, Tampa Bay Rays (22, Double-A) – A very solid almost 20/20 season with a .282 average. Acquired in the three-way deal involving the Yankees and Diamondbacks, the Rays netted the second round pick who deserves more attention than he gets behind Brujan and Lowe.

13. Jahmai Jones, Los Angeles Angels (21, Double-A) – A second round pick with good plate discipline with speed. He could debut this season if he can show enough improvement in his hit tool. He is athletic enough to make the adjustments necessary.

14. Luis Urias, San Diego Padres (21, MLB) – Urias has great plate discipline and rarely struck out throughout the minors. However, that rate steadily increased in Triple-A and the MLB. He has little power and does not steal much. His fantasy value is related to his batting average and run scoring ability. In the long-term, Urias will have to fend off a lot of young talent for the leadoff or number two slot including Margot, Edwards, Mejia, Myers, and Tatis Jr. Unfortunately, if he does not hit atop that lineup, his career is shaping up to be what Swanson’s has been so far. Low ceiling.

15. Shed Long, Seattle Mariners (23, Double-A) – Excellent trade for Long’s value to remove himself from the logjam in Cincinnati. He hit 12 homers and stole 19 bases with a double-digit walk rate.

16. Eli White, Texas Rangers (24, Double-A) – Acquired in the Profar trade, hitting nine homers and stealing 18 bags while batting over .300 might actually translate to an upgrade over Odor in the Majors.

17. Tucupita Marcano, San Diego Padres (19, Low-A) – In a farm system littered with middle infield prospects, he’s making a name for himself with a good approach, plus speed, and good results.

18. Nathan Eaton, Kansas City Royals (22, Rookie) – An older rookie, but we won’t hold that against him because he was the only second base prospect to have an OPS over 1.000 across all levels of the minors. He stole 19 bases, however, with a .435 BABIP supported a .354 average.

19. Isan Diaz, Miami Marlins (22, Triple-A) – Took a step back last year as his power, speed and average dropped. Diaz has displayed plus patience and power throughout the years, but never efficiency on the basepaths. I see him in Miami this season at some point, getting a chance to prove that he can play at the highest level. However, I do not foresee him hitting for a high average with a strikeout rate that projects to nearly 30%. Moreover, he does not project to be a plus base stealer and his home park will not do him any favors in the power department.

20. Kevin Kramer, Pittsburgh Pirates (25, MLB) – 15 homers and 13 steals in Triple-A before striking out 50% of the time in the MLB (only 40 plate appearances). But hey, Aaron Judge also struck out about half the time before he won Rookie of the Year.

Safest Stud - Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds

Senzel’s most likely position, if not in the outfield, is second base given that Eugenio Suarez is locked in at third. The second overall pick in 2016 has all plus tools. He appears to be in the Alex Bregman mold even if he does not have quite as high a ceiling. In a dynasty league, his hype has died down due to injury and playing time concerns. Regard this as a buy low opportunity, not as a time to hesitate. Five tools.

Boom or Bust - Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays

Biggio has Hall of Fame bloodlines, but only one excellent season as a pro. He hit more home runs than Vlad Jr. last season and walked more than the No. 1 overall prospect. However, his ceiling is tied to the opportunity he is given and his ability to make consistent contact in the MLB.

Highest Ceiling - Vidal Brujan, Tampa Bay Rays

A high on base player with double plus speed, which ticks off the two scarcest fantasy stats. He walks as much as he strikes out and actually hit nine homers last year across two levels. At 160 lbs soaking wet, if he can generate double-digit stolen base power, he has the potential to be Trea Turner in the most optimistic scenario.

Fastest Riser - Nick Madrigal, Chicago White Sox

He tore through three levels last season and surely will be the reason Yoan Moncada relocates from second base in the not too distant future. The kid does not swing and miss! Tim Anderson dynasty owners, you have been warned. If Manny Machado signs with the White Sox, there are three spots for Madrigal, Moncada and Machado. If you are any good at math, you’ve already figured out that it leaves exactly zero positions for Tim Anderson by the year 2020.

Let me know who’s missing in the comments below. And check out Second Base Week if you haven’t already.