Hello and good morning! Last week we addressed who to avoid at the first base position. Today I am going to give the second base spot a good, hard look as we make our way around the diamond.
As far as second base value goes, the position is a little deeper than in years past. There are arguably twelve or so players you could feel comfortable with slotting in daily. There is also a lot of young talent that hasn’t quite showcased their full potential, but have a very high ceiling. Narrowing the list down this week was a little tougher based on the simple fact there aren’t a lot of players at this position that I “love,” but not a lot that I truely hate either. With thata said: here are my top candidates to avoid this year at second base:
Dee Gordon, Mariners
As a Dee Gordon owner in a dynasty league, it’s a little hard to place him here. I have Gordon ranked just outside my top five (6th). He has the tools to help in any format, but in category leagues he’s going to be the go-to guy for steals. As far as points leagues, he did finish as a top-10 player at the position last year and his ability to get on base and swipe bags will help the lack of power Gordon brings to the table.
The one thing with Gordon that worries me a bit heading into this season is the move to center field. I’ve mentioned it previously, players moving positions could result in struggles at the dish. Gordon has never made in appearance in the outfield in his major league career. This could be an utter disaster, which would result in a loss of at-bats for Gordon should those struggles force the Mariners to move him down in the batting order.
I mentioned above that I’m a Dee Gordon owner in a dynasty league, and in deep dynasty formats I still view Gordon as a keeper, but on draft day you should be able to get equal value much later in the draft.
Javier Baez, Cubs
On a personal level Javier Baez has never been a favorite of mine, but man can he sling some leather in the field. Luckily none of that pertains to fantasy value. There are a few different things that have Baez a part of my “do not draft” list this year.
Baez is part of a plethora of middle infielders the Cubs have rostered. Anybody with any baseball sense would’ve put good money down that the Cubs would have cleared a player or two out this offseason. Baez is looking to share time up the middle with Russell, Zobrist and Happ. Any signs of struggle from Baez could lead into a platoon among all these players. Even if he doesn’t struggle, if every one of those players hit the Cubs will find room for them which means somebody will sit on any given day.
Another reason to steer clear of Baez is how free swinging he has been to start his career. He has improved upon his 41% strike out rate in his first season (2014), but he struck out nearly 30% of the time last year. That doesn’t play well in leagues that deduct for strikeouts, and those K’s could eventually lead to a lower batting average which will affect counting stats.
Josh Harrison, Pirates
I liked Josh Harrison heading into this season as a sleeper candidate, until the Pirates decided to go into full sell mode shipping Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen out of town (who’s next?). My how quickly he has fallen in my regards (ranked 21st).
Harrison will still have some talent surrounding him in Pittsburgh, but I don’t feel that will help his power numbers increase from last season. Harrison hit a career high 16 home runs in 2017, only the second time in his career he has reached double-digit numbers in that category, the first time being his breakout campaign in 2014. Harrison’s career high in RBI totals is 59, which was reached in 2016.
There is enough value at the 2B position that Harrison might not find himself owned in more than 45% of leagues throughout the 2018 season. If you’re looking for a guy to get you roughly 12 HR/60 RBI in a season I’d rather explore a late-round pick with a much higher ceiling.
Let’s roll the dice – guys to take a late round flyer on
- Yoan Moncada, White Sox
- Ozzie Albies, Braves
- Joe Panik, Giants
Now that I’ve given you my side of the second base position, let’s hear yours! Leave your fantasy questions in the comment section below or on Twitter, @KennyGarvey. Catch you next week as I give you my “do not draft” list of third base options!
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