Second-base is an important, but thin position. Here’s our staff’s take on who could be a sleeper, who is underrated, and who is overrated at 2B. These were prepared independently, so the overlap isn’t intentional. Our writers tend to be united though as you can see. I like to think it just makes us that much more likely to be right…
For our composite rankings click here.
Ryan Raburn-Det: Raburn finished just off the list so I guess he qualifies as a sleeper. He’s hugely underrated so he fits in that category as well. Raburn will probably hit 9th limiting his AB but he has 20 HR potential and in that lineup should have plenty of R and RBI. In ESPN mocks he’s the 23rd 2B by ADP which is absolutely a steal. (Z)
I am going to go out on a limb here and go with Will Rhymes, who is trying to make the roster with the Tampa Bay Rays. He is a guy who isn’t real good in the field and hits for virtually no power, but he walks and gets on base. He may not play 2nd, but he should get some games somewhere in the infield. (Clint)
Ryan Raburn - Detroit Tigers: Everyone knows about Prince’s and Miguel’s power, but honestly, Raburn is right behind them. He normally is a slow starter, but becomes a hot pickup every season after the All-Star break. Raburn dominated in the postseason for the Tigers, and is off to a hot start in spring training. He has 5 bombs so far and I’d for sure take a flier on him in the later rounds. (Sky)
Ryan Raburn- The line up improved with the addition of Prince Fielder and another big bat in the middle of the order. Ryan Raburn proved to be dependable in the post season and this could boost his value this season. Since he is drafted late he would be someone worth counting on late to be a good backup or utility spot even as a 15+ HR guy and an influx in Runs which is a plus for a backup. (Brandon)
Most Underrated at 2B
Ryan Roberts-Ari: Roberts gives you roster flexibility with his 2B/3B role in Arizona. There’s not anybody currently on the roster to poach time from him like last year, and he showed that when he gets hot he can carry your fantasy team. He’s got 20 HR potential with about that many steals if all goes well. His average isn’t going to wow people but he can flat-out rake against lefties and plays in hitter friendly Chase Field.
I was shocked when I looked at what Kelly Johnson has done over the past couple of seasons. While not a good baserunner, he is a good fielder and has hit over 20 homers each of the last 2 years. He consistently puts together an above league average slash line (average/on-base/slugging) and stays pretty healthy (which seems to be a problem with second baseman in the MLB). (Clint)
Jason Kipnis - This guy is an absolute beast and injury is the only reason he isn’t ranked higher. Before his injury, Kipnis was one of the surging Indians’ top players. I think Cleveland will once again make some noise and their offense will provide a ton of runs. Because of this, Kipnis will be a top 8 second basemen this season. (Sky)
Howie Kendrick- This lineup is stacked top to bottom and Howie Kendrick was able to produce even with the lack of power the Angels possessed last year. He could be slotted in the two hole right before Albert Pujols which would allow him to face pitchers that are anticipating the big slugger to follow. He is capable of stretching for extra bases and has power as well, the runs due in part to the big bats later in the line-up will bring an increase in runs from last year and he has been dependable as an average guy. (Brandon)
Most Overrated at 2B
I was goint to write about Chase Utley, but I’ll highlight Dan Uggla since Utley’s pretty well-covered in what’s below. Uggla can be great, but remember he was absolutely horrible at the start of last year. He hit .173 pre-All-Star-break. He was great second-half to be sure, but he still is a bigger risk than a more consistent performer like the Kinsler, Pedroia, Cano elite tier. I’ve got him at the bottom of the second tier with Brandon Phillips, Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley, and Rickie Weeks. (Z)
If you can’t stay on the field, then it doesn’t matter how good you are. That is exactly Chase Utley’s problem. Eventually, health becomes a trait, and Utley clearly doesn’t have that trait and will miss opening day again (full disclosure, I had Utley ranked as 7th originally, but dropped him to 10th after the report came out that he won’t start the season). (Clint)
Chase Utley- With all the injury concerns he is dealing with along with the average draft position it would be best suited to let Chase Utley fall to you or let someone reach. Dealing with the dreaded knee tendinitis will limit some of his games and ultimately take away from the AB’s he will see. This is something to be worried about as a fantasy owner if a serviceable backup is not available in the draft and this may be the case since second base is not the deepest position. (Brandon)
Chase Utley - I think that Chase has got some of the most talent in the whole National League, but he can’t seem to stay on the field. Every season, he finds his way onto the DL and no one wants to have their IR slots filled all the time. I usually try to stay away from players with injury histories and Chase fits right into that. He hasn’t cracked .300 since 2007 and I don’t see him getting it this season. (Sky)