Fantasy Baseball 2015 Second Base Preview

by Michael Seng
Position Previews C 1B 2B 3B SS OF SP RP

After what looked to be a very dis-interesting season for the second base position, 2014 turned out to be quite an impressive year for the position, but can we expect to see more of the same in 2015? Only time will tell but I don’t believe this group will be as dynamic as they were last year. Still, there is a wonderful blend of power and speed and guys who have a combination of both. If you’re stuck in the late-teens and don’t have a second baseman you might still be OK…although please don’t wait until then. For once there seems to be depth at the second base position, more than in years past.

1. I already have power hitters at the corners, do I really need a second baseman with power?

Credit: Keith Allison

Credit: Keith Allison

It can’t hurt. In all honesty it never hurts to have a second baseman with power upside. I know Robinson Cano’s home run numbers were down to 14 from 27 the year before, but he still had 82 RBIs. As far as second base goes, that’s a whole lot. If you are lucky enough to secure an elite 1B/3B in the first round then I say go for Cano or Anthony Rendon (21/83) in the second. If someone beats you to the punch on one of those, do

not worry, there were plenty of second baseman with power last year. Neil Walker (23/76), Brian Dozier (23/71), and Ian Kinsler (17/92) would be excellent pickups in later rounds with power upside. During the 1B/3B cold streaks it’s always nice to check in and see power from your second baseman.

2. Can Jason Kipnis bounce-back and be a top second baseman?
While I don’t believe he can match his 2013 season (149 games, 17/84/.284 with 30 SB), he should definitely improve on an injury-plagued 2014 campaign in which he only hit six home runs and 41 RBIs over 129 games. Kipnis was a Top-20 pick on both Yahoo! And ESPN last year and he wildly underwhelmed, especially since some were taking him over the tried-and-true fantasy option of Cano. I think if Kipnis stays healthy, he could definitely be a top-10 second baseman again and possibly a top-5. The speed is still there, he stole 22 bases last season, only eight less than his 2013 total with 20 less games played. That only put him behind the blazing speed of Dee Gordon (64) and Jose Altuve (56). That alone puts him in the top-10 conversation in my opinion. In the very early mock drafts he is going mid-seventh, late-eighth rounds. In a 5x5 league, he very well might be worth the add there because Gordon and Altuve will most likely be long gone by then.

Player(s) on the Rise
Dee Gordon (MIA) - After snagging 64 bags with a .289 AVG last season, Gordon is high on many people’s lists including my own. And all of that is before he was traded to the team who had the 8th most attempts last season. The opportunities are there for him and he should definitely steal a significant amount of bases.

Daniel Murphy (NYM) - Daniel Murphy is the definition of an all-around second baseman. He isn’t going to be extremely dominant or extremely weak in any of the five categories of standard 5x5 and Roto leagues. He will get decent numbers in all categories. He is not an exciting option but he is a quality option nonetheless. He finished last year with a line of 79 R/9 HR/56 RBI/13 SB/.289 AVG. Solid numbers for only 596 AB.

Player(s) on the Decline
Brian Dozier (MIN) - His power outburst and speed combo was a wonderful story-line for fantasy players everywhere last season, including myself. I owned him in several leagues. His overall 2014 stat line is impressive: 112 R/23 HR/77 RBI/21 SB/.242 AVG. He finished as ESPN’s 3rd overall second baseman. I highly doubt the Twins will muster enough offense to have him scoring 112 runs and he just isn’t consistent enough in the HR category for me to rank him high this year. He might start the year hot but sooner or later he’ll hit a cold spell that will have fantasy players dropping him very quick. I don’t necessarily hate his overall potential but I just don’t believe he’ll be able to produce on the same level he did last year.

Player(s) on the Horizon
Javier Baez (CHC) - This very well could be his last year where he has both SS and 2B eligibility on Yahoo! and ESPN. He seems to be a power or nothing kind of hitter but he’s young. Over time he could develop into a disciplined hitter. His bat speed is nothing to shy away from and he can only benefit from an energized and rejuvenated Cubs team this year.

Jurickson Profar (TEX) - He only has one half-season under his belt and missed all of 2014 with injuries and because of that will most likely start out the 2015 at Triple-A. When he is inevitably called up (fingers crossed) he is a quality option for somebody in need of a good 2B. A full healthy season could do wonders for his fantasy stock.

Player(s) to Avoid
Brandon Phillips (CIN) - He has declined in AVG and OBP in each of the last few seasons, as well as other key categories, and although last year was an injury-shortened season he just doesn't seem like he’s got solid production left in him anymore. He could be an option if he hits a hot streak at some point in this season but as of right now I would declare him as un-draftable.

 

Comments? Questions? Hit me up on Twitter @MichaelS_F6P. I love to talk fantasy baseball and look forward to hearing from you!

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