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Staff Post: Second basemen to avoid in 2022 fantasy baseball

The Fake Teams writers tell you who to fade at the keystone in 2022.

MLB: OCT 06 NL Wild Card - Cardinals at Dodgers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Sunday, gamers! Any day is happy when you get to rest, run your slow draft, and study up on fantasy baseball...all while drinking coffee.

If that’s not you this morning, I hope you get there. What follows are our men to avoid at second base in 2022. I like to always share that this is merely the flip side of the proverbial coin—consider each argument as a way to firm up your decision on a player in either direction. Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree. Either way, we’d love to hear why in the comments. That’s an invitation.

Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers (Mark Abell)

NFBC ADP: 44.05
Draft rank: 4th

I think a few things went his way in the home run count last year, most notably a favorable ball and some favorable contact rates. I think regression is coming and with that would be a significant decline in his home runs which became one of his most attractive characteristics last year. He is not a bust, but I won’t be grabbing him at No. 4 among the second basemen.

Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins (Skyler Carlin)

NFBC ADP: 74.19
Draft rank: 6th

It was a tale of two halves for Jazz Chisholm Jr. in 2021. From April to June he hit .264 with a .786 OPS . From July onward, Chisholm Jr. hit just .234 with a .675 OPS. The plate discipline, or lack thereof, leaves little to be optimistic about. Chisholm Jr. was 10th percentile in K-rate, 17th percentile in whiff rate, and 19th percentile in walk rate. Currently going at pick 75, the 24-year-old Marlins up-and-comer is being drafted far too early.

Division Series - Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game Three Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (Heath Capps)

NFBC ADP: 79.86
Draft rank: 8th

I don’t have a share of Lowe yet, and it’s mostly a draft strategy deal, coupled with last year’s .198 BA against southpaws and the platoon-happy nature of the Rays. Add to that that he’s just a power bat, in an area where I’m still targeting speed. Power I can find later in drafts. If it’s a second basemen I need, I’d prefer to wait a little for a guy like Jorge Polanco, or target Jonathan India’s well-rounded skill set still later. I can’t pay up for a power guy with a risk of being platooned before pick 80. For his career, Lowe has a .222 BA and a 35.7% strikeout rate against lefties. He’s still powerful no matter the handedness of the opposing pitcher, but I could see him losing too many at-bats for my liking.

Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals (Andrés Chávez)

NFBC ADP: 83.33
Draft rank: 9th

If I had the guarantee that Edman would have secure playing time for next season, I would take him gladly. This is because, as he showed last year, he can steal 30 bases—and that’s very valuable. But I think he is a below-average hitter (91 wRC+ in each of the last two seasons) and the Cards have several capable infielders, including top prospect Nolan Gorman waiting in the wings and ready to show his considerable power if given an opportunity. I respect that you like what Edman can offer, but I’d trust him more if his hit tool could match his legs and glove.

DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees (Skyler Carlin)

NFBC ADP: 114.86
Draft rank: 13th

I remember DJ LeMahieu’s remarkable 2019 season like it was yesterday. In his first season with the New York Yankees in 2019, he posted career-highs in home runs (26) and RBIs (102) while also recording an impressive .327 batting average. But just last season, we saw what could be the steady decline of LeMahieu’s production as he finished with 10 HRs and 57 RBIs in 150 games (679 plate appearances). We’ve seen LeMahieu’s hard hit rate dip in the past two seasons, and he’s averaged a barrel rate of only 3.3% from 2020-2021 after recording a barrel rate of 7% in 2019. It’s no longer the juiced ball era in baseball and LeMahieu’s days of hitting 20+ HRs and 85+ RBIs appear to be well behind him entering his age-33 season. While he’s not being taken extremely early in drafts, I don’t believe there is much upside in taking a chance on him in 2022.