Season Preview - Second Basemen

Examining the top second basemen for MLB Fantasy Baseball 2018. Season outlooks, projected stats and past stats to prepare you for the coming fantasy drafts. 

Yoan Moncada, 2B - Chicago White Sox Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 578 136 0.235 17 73 61 32 6 231 12 1 217 67 209.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 515 122 0.237 18 70 62 79 21 4 187 21 5 174 69 271.00 1814.23
2017 199 46 0.231 8 31 22 36 8 2 82 3 3 74 29 113.00 127.19
2016 19 3 0.158 0 3 1 3 0 0 3 0 0 12 1 9.00 -2.43

One of the most highly touted prospects in baseball the past two seasons, Moncada has 40 steal upside and is penciled in as the everyday starter for the White Sox coming into the season. But in order to make good on his promise as a speedster, Moncada is going to have to first get on base. That means significantly improving his approach at the plate. Through a little more than 200 big league at bats, Moncada has struck out at an alarming rate of nearly 40%. For a player that profiles as a top of the order hitter, his plate discipline needs to take a step forward this season. Fortunately, with the White Sox in rebuild mode it's likely the 22 year old Moncada will get every opportunity to stick, as Chicago has every incentive to let him ride out the rough spots.

Jonathan Schoop, 2B - Baltimore Orioles Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 124 25 0.202 4 16 21 4 0 41 1 1 41 7 41.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 596 165 0.277 31 82 94 100 33 1 262 2 9 135 30 347.00 1726.74
2017 622 182 0.293 32 92 105 147 35 0 313 1 11 142 35 421.00 520.34
2016 615 164 0.267 25 82 82 124 39 1 280 1 8 136 21 370.00 395.60

Schoop doesn't bring the sort of multi-dimensional ability that we often think of at the middle infield positions, as he's too much of a free swinger to ever wow with his batting average, and he's stolen just 6 bases over the course of 550 big league games. Still, he's continued to improve as a hitter in each of his first five seasons, culminating with a 32 home run, 105 RBI season in 2017. And it's a trend we should expect to continue, as Schoop seems to be anchored in the three hole in the Baltimore lineup, and even with his propensity to strike out, should put the ball in play enough to stay locked in there and produce in the range of his 2017 output. From a pure power standpoint he's atop the position.

Brian Dozier, 2B - Minnesota Twins Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 143 26 0.182 5 16 20 9 0 50 4 1 33 24 42.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 553 142 0.257 30 95 81 79 30 3 238 13 7 130 69 316.00 1668.82
2017 617 166 0.269 34 106 93 132 30 4 306 16 8 141 78 404.00 762.32
2016 615 164 0.267 42 104 99 120 39 5 339 18 8 137 61 388.00 603.95

Dozier has historically not been a player that you roster for average, but his improvement to around a .270 mark over the past two seasons has increased his attractiveness given his prodigious power numbers at the keystone position. Prior to 2016, Dozier never had a season in which he topped .245 in the batting average department, which limited his overall upside somewhat even with the homers, steals and runs he produced. Last year's .271 mark was a career high for the 30-year old second baseman who has hit a combined 76 homers over the past two seasons, driven in 90+ runs, and in addition scored more than 100 runs in each. At a position that falls off rather quickly, Dozier has achieved stud status.

Javier Baez, 2B, SS - Chicago Cubs Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 606 177 0.292 34 101 111 40 9 337 21 5 167 29 278.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 530 139 0.262 25 69 81 86 26 2 219 12 7 147 36 294.00 1662.43
2017 469 129 0.275 23 75 76 103 24 2 226 10 1 144 30 307.00 408.17
2016 420 114 0.271 14 50 59 91 22 1 180 14 11 107 15 255.00 334.55

The free swinging Baez has spent the past couple seasons as the Cubs everyday second baseman. But even though he finally logged some solid offensive production last season, he's yet to fulfill his promise as a prospect and is prone to being overdrafted because of it. He's managed double digit steals in each of the past two seasons, which is a nice addition to his power profile at a middle infield spot. Still, he's got a ways to go in the plate discipline department, as he's managed just 45 walks to 252 strikeouts in 958 plate appearances over the past two seasons.

Rougned Odor, 2B - Texas Rangers Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 474 121 0.255 18 76 63 23 2 202 12 11 127 43 197.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 558 143 0.256 30 78 91 83 27 3 236 13 8 127 31 304.00 1549.71
2017 607 124 0.204 30 79 75 100 21 3 241 15 8 162 32 303.00 342.47
2016 605 164 0.271 33 89 88 122 35 7 312 15 4 133 19 375.00 604.78

After three straight seasons in which Odor improved in nearly every hitting category (hits, 2Bs, HRs, RBIs, steals, average, slugging, and OPS) year over year, he took a massive step backward in 2017. While he did manage to play in all 162 games and record his second straight season of at least 30 home runs, Odor also managed to strike out 162 times en route to a .204 average. Even his career high 15 steals weren't enough to offset the kind of damage an average like that can do to your team. Prior to 2017 Odor had hit .264 over his first 1400+ major league at bats, so betting he can bounce back to at least a respectable mark this season and maintain similar offensive production isn't the worst gamble. He's also likely to be available at a bargain on draft day after 2017's dismal performance.

Ozzie Albies, 2B - Atlanta Braves Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 (proj) 558 149 0.267 12 73 59 102 27 8 216 21 5 118 45 324.00 1451.87
2018 639 167 0.261 24 105 72 40 5 289 14 5 116 36 272.00 0.00
2017 217 62 0.286 6 34 28 48 9 5 99 8 3 36 21 144.00 231.17

Just 21 years old coming into the season, the diminutive second baseman is one of the players at the heart of the Braves youth movement. As a 20-year old rookie last year Albies managed to hit .286 with half a dozen home runs and 8 steals in just 57 games. The power is likely to top out in the mid-teens when it comes to home runs, but Albies has always profiled as a 30+ steal candidate, and his 5 triples in just 217 at bats hint at the kind of wheels that make him such an enticing fantasy and real life prospect at such a young age.

Robinson Cano, 2B - Seattle Mariners Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 310 94 0.303 10 44 50 22 0 146 0 4 47 32 138.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 569 161 0.283 25 78 89 105 30 1 243 2 5 93 46 344.00 1395.85
2017 592 166 0.280 23 79 97 133 33 0 268 1 4 85 49 378.00 451.92
2016 655 195 0.298 39 107 103 157 36 2 352 0 8 100 47 459.00 669.96

Last year was a down season for Cano, as the veteran second baseman hit just .280 with 23 home runs, 97 RBIs, and 79 runs scored. And while that statline might not seem all that disappointing for the position, for owners who targeted him after 2016's .298-39-103-107 output, the falloff was a notably steep one. Entering his age 35 season it may just be that Cano is heading into the twilight of his career. After all, 2016 was hands down his best season since coming to Seattle and we may never seem him get back to that point again. Still, he's a durable player and a relatively safe if unexciting option at this stage of his career. He's also entrenched in the three hole of a good hitting lineup that should get even better with Dee Gordon's speed now in the mix at the top.

Jason Kipnis, 2B, OF - Cleveland Indians Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 530 122 0.230 18 65 75 28 1 206 7 7 112 60 187.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 462 119 0.258 14 68 56 74 29 2 180 10 5 105 45 261.00 1303.52
2017 336 78 0.232 12 43 35 53 25 0 139 6 2 71 28 174.00 274.64
2016 610 167 0.274 23 91 82 121 42 4 286 15 6 145 60 379.00 591.06

It wasn't that long ago that Kipnis was widely considered one of the top fantasy options at the second base position. But injuries and inconsistency plagued him throughout 2017 and he posted arguably the worst season of his career. Now healthy and heading into his age 31 season, Kipnis is a bounceback candidate that can be snagged in most leagues on the cheap.

Ian Kinsler, 2B - Los Angeles Angels Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 132 32 0.242 1 17 16 6 0 41 7 0 24 10 49.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 548 139 0.254 18 78 65 94 25 2 204 11 7 98 45 311.00 1300.99
2017 551 130 0.236 22 90 52 102 25 3 227 14 7 86 55 322.00 620.71
2016 617 178 0.288 28 117 83 139 35 4 305 11 13 116 46 434.00 589.97

The move to Anaheim won't do much for Kinsler's power numbers, but assuming the Angels plan to slot him into the leadoff spot then he's in an ideal position to improve on last year's mediocre average, score 100+ runs and threaten 20 steals. At 36 years old his best years are likely behind him, but it would not be surprising to see a bit of a resurgence hitting atop a newly revamped and much improved Angels offense.

Jose Altuve, 2B - Houston Astros Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 534 168 0.315 13 84 61 29 2 240 17 6 79 55 252.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 573 178 0.311 19 93 83 120 36 3 258 23 7 74 50 391.00 1289.99
2017 590 204 0.346 24 112 81 161 39 4 323 32 9 84 58 477.00 972.35
2016 640 215 0.336 24 108 96 163 45 7 346 32 7 69 59 486.00 878.30

The reigning A.L. MVP, Altuve enters the season as the top option at second base, and in nearly any league format a top five pick overall. Playing in one of the best offenses in baseball is just gravy for a career .316 hitter who has logged 200 or more hits in four straight seasons, with 39 or more doubles and at least 30 steals in each. But the offensive production overall has taken a huge bump in the past couple seasons, as the now 27-year old Altuve has added some pop to the equation. His 24 homers in each of his past two campaigns, and 91 and 86 RBIs, to go along with 108 and 112 runs scored in 2016 and 2017 respectively, all represent his top outputs in those categories since he reached the majors. In short, Altuve has become a true five category player. And the fact that he's doing it out of the second base position only elevates his value.

Whit Merrifield, 2B, OF - Kansas City Royals Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 636 194 0.305 12 88 60 43 3 279 45 6 115 61 282.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 538 147 0.273 12 71 52 100 31 4 210 23 4 96 32 318.00 1210.87
2017 587 169 0.288 19 80 78 131 32 6 270 34 6 88 29 380.00 659.07
2016 311 88 0.283 2 44 29 62 23 3 123 8 0 72 19 194.00 231.10

Nothing about Merrifield's minor league career ever hinted at the pop he showed at the plate last season. Already 29 years years old, Merrifield can certainly duplicate the 34 steals, but expect some regressions from last year's 19 dingers, as that total was more than double his biggest minor league output in a single season. Merrifield is also going to find himself in a far weaker lineup across the board in 2018, as Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, and Brandon Moss are all gone.

Daniel Murphy, 2B - Washington Nationals Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 138 41 0.297 6 23 13 6 0 65 2 0 23 7 64.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 512 160 0.313 18 76 80 102 37 3 239 3 5 65 42 338.00 1206.88
2017 534 172 0.322 23 94 93 126 43 3 290 2 4 77 52 392.00 554.73
2016 531 183 0.345 25 88 104 128 49 6 319 5 8 57 35 399.00 734.75

Murphy's progress this spring is something to keep an eye on, as the veteran second baseman is returning from offseason knee surgery that could slow him early in the year. But assuming he's healthy, you know what you're going to get here. He's not the running threat he was in earlier in his career back in New York, but it's hardly a concern given the .334 average, 90 doubles, 48 home runs, 197 RBIs, and 182 runs he's posted over the last two seasons with the Nats. With Murphy turning himself into one of the best pure hitters in baseball over the past few seasons, only age and injury would appear to pose a threat to him entering his age 33 season.

Willie Calhoun, OF - Texas Rangers Sn 

Season AB H Avg. HR R RBI 1B 2B 3B TB SB HBP SO BB Pts Roto
2018 99 22 0.222 2 8 11 5 0 33 0 1 24 6 30.00 0.00
2018 (proj) 386 107 0.277 20 56 61 66 19 2 170 3 1 58 28 229.00 912.34
2017 34 9 0.265 1 3 4 9 0 0 12 0 1 7 2 21.00 61.86

One of the best hitting prospects in the minor leagues, Calhoun is built more like a running back than a power hitter, standing just 5'8", but weighing in at a little over 210 lbs. But that compact powerful frame has launched 69 home runs over the past three minor league seasons, jumping from 11 home runs in 73 games in his first professional season to 27 in AA in 2016 (132 games), and finally 31 in AAA (128 games) last year. If he makes the roster out of spring training it will be because he's answered the biggest question about his big league readiness-his glove. Since acquiring him from the Dodgers, Texas has experimented with other positions, but it's been to no avail. For now he's a left fielder, but there's been plenty of speculation he'll spend time in the DH slot.

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