By: Nate Leer
The 2B position is as strong as it has ever been for fantasy drafts. Start with arguably the most valuable fantasy asset from last year, Jose Altuve, move right into possible up-and-coming super-stud Tre Turner and follow them with 2 older players who had monster years last year, Robinson Cano and Daniel Murphy. However, the talent doesn’t end there. Players such as Brian Dozier, Jason Kipnis, Dee Gordon, Rougned Odor and others have put up excellent numbers in recent years and seem to be in their physical primes.
Last month I broke down the top 20 1B for fantasy baseball this year.
Let’s jump right into the top 15 2B for fantasy baseball 2017:
- Jose Altuve – Hou: Altuve’s elite all around game at a lesser offensive position made him one of fantasy Baseball’s top players. Expect more of the same in 2017.
- Trea Turner – Was (OF/SS): Not too proud of it but I’ve caught the hype train on Trea Day. I worry about the small sample size as I prefer to draft guys with at least 1,000 ABs early in drafts so I know what I am getting. However, this kid has all the talent in the world and should be easily in the top 50 players by the end of 2017 and could be as high as number 1. Plus, he has the versatility of being OF eligible and probably gaining SS eligibility early in the season – always a nice bonus early in drafts allowing for taking the best player available more often later in the draft.
- Robinson Cano – Sea: Cano reaffirmed his status as one of the best offensive players in baseball last year. With a solid lineup around him including table setters and protection, expect him to keep it going.
- Daniel Murphy – Was (1B): Murph had a huge breakout year after dominating pitching in the 2015 postseason. While he may be due for some regression, the sample size is pretty big at this point and he was certainly a stud last year.
- Brian Dozier – Min: Even though I am a Twins fan, I do not expect Dozier to have a repeat of the powerful season he had last year. That said, he could reduce his HRs by almost a third and still hit 30. The bigger question is whether he can maintain his average with a dead-pull approach and a questionable lineup around him. He also is a candidate to be traded which could have an impact on his value up or down.
- Rougned Odor – Tex: Get The Smelling Salts had an excellent year and is young enough to have more improvement left in his game.
- Jonathan Villar – Mil (3B/SS): Villar was fantasy baseball’s best SB option last year as he hit well and ran all the time. He could easily top 50 steals again, hit well enough to not hurt in other areas and provide sweet versatility for fantasy teams. Only his lack of a track record and the quality ahead of him pushes him down this far.
- Matt Carpenter – (1B/3B): Carpe Diem is coming off back-to-back years limited by injury. If the Cards stick to their plan of having him play exclusively at 2B, he should be able to play more games and be even more productive.
- Jean Segura – Sea (SS): Segura was great last year but his up-and-down career worries me. If you can get him in the middle of the draft, he is a solid risk though.
- Jason Kipnis – Cle: Kipnis built on a solid if unspectacular 2015 by improving his counting stats across the board. His average suffered a bi8t but was still acceptable and, if he puts it all together, he could be and excellent value at the right draft slot.
- DJ LeMahieu – Col: Yo DJ came out of nowhere to hit almost .350 last year. He needs to keep hitting at that level to make up for a lack of great power or speed but at Coors field, anything is possible.
- Dee Gordon – Mia: Dee came off his half season suspension and struggled to get on base consistently. If he can hit close to .300, he will steal well over 50 bases as no one wants to run more than he does.
- Ian Kinsler – Det: Kinsler had a big power year but I do not think that is sustainable. Be cautious as he is an aging player.
- Jose Peraza – Cin (SS/OF): Peraza is on the other end of the age/experience spectrum. I view him as one of the best upside plays in fantasy baseball this year. The Reds cleared ABs for him by trading Brandon Philips, he performed well in limited action last year with a great speed tool and the Reds lineup is their one strength in a hitters’ park.
- Jonathan Schoop – Bal: Schoop There It Is rounds out the top 15 2B. He hits for power and any uptick in his offensive game will easily leapfrog him into the top 10 2B.
The depth at 2B allows drafters to wait until late to take a flier on a young player with upside, formerly highly productive vet coming off injury or solid player who won’t hurt you anywhere. Here’s 10 more players to consider with a late pick in your draft:
Ben Zobrist – ChiC (OF): established vet in prime line-up and role but little upside, Dustin Pedroia – Bos: established vet in prime line-up and role but little upside, Javier Baez – ChiC (SS/3B): still elite upside prospect with versatility, Devon Travis – Tor: young with excellent upside if stays healthy, Brad Miller – TB (SS/1B): reportedly moving to 2B full-time and has some pop, Neil Walker – NYM: started off HOT last year and could be sleeper if regains health, Logan Forsythe – TB: solid vet coming off big year but don’t expect repeat, Yongarvis Solarte – SD (3B): solid vet, Starlin Castro – NYY: established vet but just a little power upside, Jed Gyorko – StL (1B/3B/SS): has value as a useful utility player even if he doesn’t get a full-time role.