Here's something you don't normally hear about second base rankings: They're loaded with both studs and sleepers. So, to all the fantasy baseball owners who love to fill your cheat sheets with 2Bs -- 2017 is the year your ship has come in. What a feeling.
Of course, it's not quite that simple. Several of the 2Bs in our rankings are eligible at other positions, so things might be a little thinner than they first appear. Also, different players offer wildly different type of production, so just because we rank Jean Seguraahead of Matt Carpenter doesn't mean we think you shouldalwaysdraft Segura ahead of Carpenter. How you've built your team up to that point matters. We'll revisit that point in a bit.
For our rankings -- and for all rankings, really -- we took a few leaps of faith, starting with the assumption that Trea Turner's and Jonathan Villar's 2016s weren't flukes. Turner is a top prospect who looks capable of a .300 average, 15-plus homers and 40-plus steals, and Villar, who went 19-62 last year, likely has staying power because of his high BB-rate. Even if the homers and average decrease, 40-50 SBs is still on the table.
We also have to trust that Javier Baez can get (and keep)aneveryday job and Devon Travis can stay healthy. It seem crazy to rank both ahead of a steady veteran like Ian Kinsler, but keep in mind that the almost-35-year-old Kinsler hit 28 homers last year -- the first time he's been above 19 since 2011. We have our doubts about him repeating.
Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: Second Base
But doubts about one player and overconfidence in another are going to be part of any set of rankings, be it those from your favorite website or those on your personal cheat sheet. We all like some players more than we should and dislike players more than they deserve. Opposing views isn't really a big deal.
What's always important to remember when looking at players -- or, more accurately, making tiers of players -- is that you have to separate those who do different things. Second base is perhaps the most interesting position in that regard. You have elite power-speed guys, elite home run hitters, elite base stealers, elite run scorers, and middle-tier versions of all of the above.
Jose Altuve is the only "sure thing" to go in the first round, but Turner could easily go that high, and Villar shouldn't fall below the third round. From there, you can go a lot of different routes at this position. No one is going to blame you for drafting Robinson Cano early because he has potentially elite power to go along with a .300 average, but if you're willing to sacrifice the average, you can wait a whole bunch of rounds and get similar power production from Jonathan Schoop or maybe Brad Miller (or Jedd Gyorko, if he has a full-time job).
Baez, Travis, Kinsler, and Jason Kipnis are solid power-speed guys who will score a ton of runs, but DJ LeMahieu and Dustin Pedroia, despite not having as quite asmuch power and/or speed upside, can offer similar production.
The decision on drafting Dee Gordon or Daniel Murphy will likely come down to who you took with your first three or four (or five) picks. If you don't have any speed guys, grab Gordon. If you already have a good SB threat, grab the guy with much more power and RBI potential. The same is true further down the list with, say, Matt Carpenter or Jose Peraza (or maybe Peraza vs. Schoop since we seem to like Carpenter a lot less than most sites).
Bottom line is you can grab a 2B at any point in the draft and feel reasonably comfortable that you have a productive one. Some have warts, like low batting average or no speed, and others will be remarkably boring and quietly plod along in a way that will make you want to drop them (Logan Forsythe, Neil Walker, Ben Zobrist, etc.), but the stats will likely be there at the end of the year. Just make sure they're the stats that best fit the makeup of your team.
2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Second Base
Note: These rankings were compiled as if every player isonlyeligible at 2B. A player like Jean Segura will be ranked higher overall because he is also eligible at SS.
14 Matt Carpenter* Cardinals 1B, 3B
|2||Trea Turner*||Nationals||SS, OF|
|3||Jonathan Villar*||Brewers||SS, 3B|
|9||Javier Baez*||Cubs||SS, 3B|
|11||Devon Travis||Blue Jays||--|
|14||Matt Carpenter*||Cardinals||1B, 3B|
|15||Jose Peraza*||Reds||SS, OF|
|17||Dustin Pedroia||Red Sox||--|
|20||Brad Miller*^||Rays||1B, SS|
|21||Jedd Gyorko*||Cardinals||1B, 3B, SS|
|25||Jurickson Profar*||Rangers||1B, 3B, SS, OF|
|26||Hernan Perez*||Brewers||3B, OF|
|30||Brandon Drury*||D-backs||3B, OF|
|31||Steve Pearce*||Blue Jays||1B, OF|
|36||Howie Kendrick*||Phillies||1B, 3B, OF|
|37||Jorge Polanco*||Twins||SS, 3B|
*Eligible at another position
^Won't be eligible at 2B on draft day but expected to play 2B during season