Continuing around the diamond, I take a look at 2nd base auction values which were tricky to navigate. The glaring themes here are steals and potential “steals”. Remember that my valuations are based on a $3,120 budget for 276 players in a 12 team, 23 player mixed league. You won’t see negatively valued players (how do you bid a negative number?), and you won’t see 276 players adding up to over $3,120, which could lead you to overbid on some players.
Where are Jose Ramirez and Travis Shaw? Again, I am only ranking players at one position as they can’t be drafted into two or more slots. If they are eligible at another position, it will be noted after their name.
|J. Baez (SS/3B)||CHC||32|
|W. Merrifield (OF)||KC||23|
|G. Torres (SS)||NYY||16|
Looking at Steamer projections, 6 of the top 30 in stolen bases are found here at second base. In the first 10 rounds of the FSTA 14 team mixed league draft, 11 of these 2B were chosen. Speed went early and often as teams put a premium on steals.
How do you factor that into how much you should spend on these players? In an auction league it’s going to be highly dependent on your fellow comrades and how much they are willing to spend on this commodity. At some point in an auction, someone realizes they have to catch up in steals and gets into a bidding war for them. You don’t want to be this person. Overspending for a single category leads to deficiencies in others.
At the top is Jose Altuve at 37. Altuve is a legit stud who should return his value contributing in all 5 categories. Last year Altuve was being picked 3rd overall in many drafts and going for over 40 in auctions. His injuries last year kept him from fulfilling his value and he is expected to be back to full health this season. The slight uncertainty of how much he’ll run has his value down from last year. He may be a bargain in early drafts/auctions.
If you are looking to pay for steals here at second base, Whit Merrifield is someone I would be targeting. His dual eligibility also gives him added value. Coming off a year of 45 swipes, he’ll be bid up on during auction day. He lacks power, but with an excellent batting average, he can complement someone with a low BA and high HR total.
Last year Jonathan Villar was getting little love, but after his trade to Baltimore, he caught fire stealing 21 bases in just over a month and a half. Will he continue to steal at such a high rate or will he have an average year and end up in the 25-35 steal range? He could provide value depending upon when he is tossed out there for bid.
Disregarding steals, who else lends to interesting bids here at second base? Will Gleyber Torres and Ozzie Albies encounter the sophomore slump as suggested by Colin Dinsmore the other day? I think both are good players, but both suffered from slumps in the second half last year after hot starts so be careful here. I think they are being overvalued at their current ADPs, so don’t get into a bidding war here.
Daniel Murphy had a good season once he came back from his knee injury. He now gets to hit in Colorado and move to first base. Both could help Murphy be a great value this year. Brian Dozier had a down year last year that is being blamed on injury, a bone bruise. If he is fully healed from this, a return to pre-2018 numbers is possible with the Nationals. If you can get him at reasonable price, taking a chance on Dozier could pay off.
Rounding out the position for MI/Utility, an underappreciated player is Cesar Hernandez. His 91 runs and 19 steals are the type of production you want out of a late round/low unit everyday player. With an improved Phillies lineup, that still may add a Harper or Machado, Hernandez can add a bit to his production.
Later this week I get into some additional auction strategy… lending insight into how to decide who and when to call out for bid. Any questions use the comments section below or hit me up on twitter @gasdoc_spit.