We continue our prospect rankings with a look at the future of the second base position. As he will be throughout this series, Andy Germani joins me to rank the top second base prospects for 2016. Our rankings will be consolidated to give you our final site rankings, but you can see where Andy and I ranked them in the table as well. These are fantasy rankings, and I remind you that Andy and I are not scouts, just simply heavy followers of baseball prospects. We hope you enjoy the rankings!
|1||Yoan Moncada||Red Sox||20||2017||1||1|
|T15||Wendell Rijo||Red Sox||20||2018||19||15|
The following players received one vote: Maxx Moroff, Pirates (Andy 23), Kevin Kramer, Pirates (Paul 23), Omar Estevez, Dodgers (Andy 24), Avery Romero, Marlins (Andy 25),
Who is your favorite second base prospect to break out in 2016?
Andy: Forrest Wall is pretty high up on second base prospect lists, but I don’t expect to see him high on too many overall prospect lists. Through his first two seasons, Wall has shown good plate discipline with both his strikeout and walk rates at good levels. I think Wall can make a jump and keep an average around .300 average and hit 12-15 homers to vault himself into the best second base prospect not named Yoan Moncada. By the end of 2016 he could find himself as a top 50 fantasy prospect.
Paul: Other than the top three guys here I don’t see any real difference makers for fantasy, so my “breakout” I suspect will simply build on his 2015 and perhaps find himself on some more fantasy rosters. Jamie Westbrook hit .319 last year in High A with 17 HR, 14 SB and just a 13% K rate; he did it mostly as a 19-year-old. The sky isn’t the limit here, but the bar is set pretty low for second baseman making him someone to at least pay attention to.
What prospect could make a surprising contribution to fantasy teams in 2016?
Andy: I considered Max Moroff for all of the first three questions on this list In his first year in AA he hit .293/.364/.409 with an 18 percent K rate and a 11 percent walk rate. He doesn’t have great speed like a good number of second base prospects will (he was only 17 for 30 on stolen base attempts), but he has some nice extra base ability. He followed up a 30 double, 6 triple, one homer season in high-A with a 28 double, 6 triple, 7 homer season in AA. If he gets off to a solid start in AAA he should get a call to the big leagues, and don’t be surprised if he gets a call before Alen Hanson. The pirates are pretty depleted in the infield with a potential opening day infield of Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, and Sean Rodriguez – until Jung Ho Kang comes back.
Paul: “What’s on Second?” might not have the same notoriety as “Who’s on First?”, but in Philadelphia it may be the burning question of the day. Darnell Sweeney only got 9 games at second base in his brief debut last year, but as we saw last year with Odubel Herrera, the Phillies aren’t afraid to plug in a rookie everyday. He’s got some speed, a little bit of pop and can draw some walks. Heck. If things break right he could be a solid MI play with enough at bats.
What lesser-known prospect should fantasy owners put on their radars now?
Andy: Willie Calhoun made his debut in 2015 and didn’t disappoint. Like Moroff, he isn’t going to do a lot on that basis, but in 73 games across Rookie, low-A, and high-A he hit .316 with 11 homers. He is buried in every way by being in the Dodgers system so it might take a trade for him to get any chance at playing time in the next three years.
Paul: Chad Pinder got a little more attention last year, but he’s now knocking at the door for a big league promotion and it’s time to take notice even in seasonal leagues. Pinder has just enough pop and speed that he could be a decent fill-in at second base for deep leaguers. He’s no future star, but if he can improve his approach he could be a solid top 15 option for second base.
What prospect would it not surprise you if he fell significantly in the next year?
Andy: Speed is something fantasy owners love to have on their team with how the stolen base landscape is now. With that being said I think Micah Johnson can still fall off the fantasy radar soon. The defense isn’t great, and in a cup of coffee in the majors last year he hit .230 with 30 strikeouts in 114 plate appearances. His main upside is to be a Billy Hamilton type which is nice in rotisserie leagues, but he carries a good bit of risk. With Hamilton he at least provides the Reds with some nice defense in center and is a lot more electric on the bases. Another thing to monitor with Johnson is since his 2013 breakout season where he stole 84 bases in 110 attempts, he has only stolen 53 in 76 attempts.
Paul: I’ve been riding the Travis Demeritte train for a long time, but after his latest 80 game suspension it’s getting harder and harder for me to hold on. Add in a 35% K rate in A ball, and there’s more than enough red flags to be concerned. The power is so enticing though at second base, and while he is still young at 21 years of age it’s time to put up or shut up.
Come back next Wednesday when we will publish our Top 25 Third Base Prospects.
Still need more rankings? Head on over to Fantasy Rundown, where Goose has compiled Prospect Rankings from all the top sites on the web along with rankings for the 2016 season and the best baseball links available.