Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2014 Draft Prep: Second base profiles

  •  

Al's profiles: Cs | 1Bs | 2Bs | SSs | 3Bs | OFs | Ps

If you are drafting somewhere between the third and seventh spots, addressing your need for a second baseman is pretty easy. Pick Robinson Cano, if available.

If you miss the boat on Cano -- and most of us will -- finding your second baseman will not be a simple task. The position does not even have a clear-cut elite beyond Cano. Among the remaining second basemen, only Dustin Pedroia is a sure-fire early-round option in both Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues. Matt Carpenter and Ian Kinsler are not far behind Pedroia in Head-to-Head value, but both are flawed as Roto options (because of home run power and RBI, respectively). Stolen bases make Jason Kipnis and Jose Altuve rivals to Pedroia in Roto value, but Kipnis' strikeouts and Altuve's lack of walks render them as less valuable in Head-to-Head

Play on CBSSports.com in 2014!
Baseball Commissioner
Get the premium experience you deserve! Create a customized league with exclusive news and tools.
Start your league!

With each format possessing a top tier of just four players, most owners will have to settle for a lesser player to fill their keystone spot. The production thins out quickly at the position, and several of the second-tier alternatives, including Daniel Murphy and Aaron Hill, have plenty of risk to go along with their upside. As much as with any other position, it makes sense to wait on your second base pick, as middle-to-late-rounders like Jurickson Profar, Anthony Rendon and Kolten Wong offer great potential as bargains.

As players who are difficult to project due to the significant risk and reward they pose, both Murphy and Hill are profiled here. So are Profar and Wong, as both are slated to get their first taste of being a regular second baseman. Is Jedd Gyorko poised to challenge the ranks of the elite in his sophomore season, and is Kinsler no longer a top second baseman? Both questions beg for some analysis, so Gyorko and Kinsler round out our sample.

Daniel Murphy, Mets

2014 5x5 projections: .285/.321/.408, 12 HR, 74 RBI, 84 Runs, 19 SB in 645 at-bats
2014 overall value (projected): 12.7 Standings Gain Points (5x5), 5th among second basemen; 443 Fantasy Points, 7th among second basemen

Going into last season, Murphy went from being outside the top 10 second basemen to finishing among the top five in both Roto and Head-to-Head. Setting a career high in plate appearances helped, but even on a per-game basis, Murphy produced like he never had before. Part of Murphy's improvement was tied to an uptick in power, which led to a career-high 13 home runs and his highest home run-to-flyball ratio since 2009.

Given that Murphy was 28 last season, and that a power outage spanning 2011 and 2012 was preceded by a season-ending MCL tear, it's believable that he could have experienced a legitimate and sustainable power spike. Less clear is whether Murphy can build on his first 20-plus steal and 90-plus run seasons. Both of those achievements were likely aided by Murphy hitting higher in the batting order more frequently, but since he had never stolen more than 10 bases or scored more than 62 runs before, it's probably not realistic to expect a repeat. I have Murphy projected for mild downturns in those categories, but he should come close or equal to his 2013 slash line (.286/.319/.415) and home run and RBI output.

Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks

2014 5x5 projections: .277/.333/.466, 22 HR, 79 RBI, 88 Runs, 6 SB in 560 at-bats
2014 overall value (projected): 12.6 Standings Gain Points (5x5), 6th among second basemen; 443 Fantasy Points, 8th among second basemen

Because Hill missed more than two months of the season and played the last three months with a left hand that was not fully healed from being broken, owners could be tempted to toss out last season's stats and look for a repeat of 2012. Since Hill was the second-most valuable second baseman in Fantasy that year, we'd be talking about a return to elite status, should he pick up where he left off.

Apparently, owners aren't looking to Hill to reach 2012's heights, as he is currently ninth in average draft position. In fact, that was arguably Hill's best season, and owners are likely -- and rightfully -- scared off by a long-standing pattern of extreme inconsistency. Still, owners in early drafts have been selling him a little short, especially in Roto leagues. Hill's batting average and doubles rate have been all over the map, but he's been largely reliable as a home run threat. Even with last season's injury, he was close to a 20-homer pace, and he hit more than 25 homers in three of the previous four seasons. As a middle-of-the-order presence for the Diamondbacks, Hill should easily be in the neighborhood of 80 RBI and runs.

Despite success in the batting average and stolen base categories in the past, owners shouldn't count on big contributions there. Given his tendency to pop out, Hill's projected .277 batting average could be very optimistic. After going just 1 for 5 in stolen base attempts a year ago, there is no reason to expect Hill to return to double-digit territory.

Jedd Gyorko, Padres

2014 5x5 projections: .261/.322/.467, 29 HR, 83 RBI, 78 Runs, 3 SB in 570 at-bats
2014 overall value (projected): 12.2 Standings Gain Points (5x5), 8th among second basemen; 418 Fantasy Points, 12th among second basemen

Gyorko's minor league stat sheet didn't leave us with much doubt that he could hit for power. If he did need to silence critics who thought his homer totals were fueled by parks in the California and Pacific Coast Leagues, Gyorko quieted them with 23 home runs in 125 games with the Padres. Assuming he won't miss more than a month with a disabled list stint, like he did a year ago, Gyorko could approach the 30-homer threshold, simply by virtue of additional playing time.

Gyorko didn't always hit for average outside of hitter-friendly minor-league circuits, and last season's .249 mark created a cloud of suspicion that hangs over his past .300-plus seasons. Especially concerning was the role played by a 25 percent strikeout-per-at-bat ratio. Gyorko wasn't a bad contact hitter in the minors, so he could possibly take a step forward and hit .270 or higher. Owners can expect some all-around improvement, but given last season's difficulties with making contact, to draft him as anything more than a .260 hitter is too risky.

Ian Kinsler, Tigers

2014 5x5 projections: .264/.335/.417, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 93 Runs, 14 SB in 645 at-bats
2014 overall value (projected): 12.2 Standings Gain Points (5x5), 9th among second basemen; 481 Fantasy Points, 4th among second basemen

Prior to last season, a combination of power and speed made Kinsler an elite among second basemen, even when he didn't hit for average. Then in 2013, Kinsler missed time with an intercostal strain, but the four-week absence wasn't solely responsible for his slide down the positional rankings. For the second straight year, Kinsler's stolen base efficiency declined, and he converted only 15 of 26 attempts. He also saw his home run-to-flyball ratio dip for the second straight year, slipping from 12 to 7 to 5 percent.

Kinsler's move from Texas to Detroit isn't likely to do much to improve either his stolen base or home run production. He gets a ballpark that is less hospitable to home run power, and while we have yet to learn how aggressive Tigers manager Brad Ausmus will be with the running game, it's unlikely that he will send runners as frequently as Rangers skipper Ron Washington did. Therefore, I have projected Kinsler for a third straight sub-20 home run season and a stolen base total (14) that would be his lowest since his rookie season.

Despite the predicted decline, Kinsler is still an elite option in Head-to-Head leagues. The one skill of his that hasn't declined is his ability to make contact, so a low strikeout rate will help him to retain much of his value in points formats.

Jurickson Profar, Rangers

2014 5x5 projections: .255/.332/.387, 14 HR, 59 RBI, 71 Runs, 11 SB in 545 at-bats
2014 overall value (projected): 9.3 Standings Gain Points (5x5), 18th among second basemen; 364 Fantasy Points, 16th among second basemen

Profar established himself as a top prospect by displaying a combination of speed, strong contact and on-base skills and good power for a shortstop. He even maintained this profile while being the youngest player in the Texas League in 2012. Perhaps expectations for Profar were tempered last year, since he didn't have a regular role with the Rangers, but with a claim to the everyday second base job, owners could look for Profar to break out in a big way.

While that's a possibility, Profar's projection for this season puts some stock in his 2013 numbers, as well as in the gradual pattern of improvement experienced by many top prospects upon their acclimation to the majors. Not every great prospect bursts onto the Fantasy scene by the age of 21 the way that Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera did. Profar is almost certain to make some notable gains after a mediocre showing last year, and his speed in particular should make a stronger impact in 2014. He should improve on a .162 batting average on ground balls, and he could do so to the point where he greatly exceeds his projected .255 overall batting average. To do that, Profar would need to maintain last season's 23 percent line drive rate, so modest expectations for his batting average are probably more appropriate. He could also exceed his projected 11 steals, but last season's total of two make Profar a less-than-secure play for stolen bases.

If Profar delivers on his considerable promise this season, he will provide an enormous return on a mid-round pick, but his inexperience and pedestrian rookie numbers make him too risky to draft among the top dozen second basemen.

Kolten Wong, Cardinals

2014 5x5 projections: .271/.334/.400, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 70 Runs, 16 SB in 460 at-bats
2014 overall value (projected): 9.0 Standings Gain Points (5x5), 20th among second basemen; 326 Fantasy Points, 24th among second basemen

Wong doesn't project to hit for much power, though he will be a cut above the Emilio Bonifacio/DJ LeMahieu class in terms of home run clout. What Wong should be able to do is keep strikeouts to a minimum, hit for a decent average and provide double-digit steals.

In Head-to-Head leagues, Wong's value could take a hit with Mark Ellis slated to take some of his playing time away, though over the long haul, doubles, triples and a low strikeout rate should give him value in that format. In Roto leagues, Wong is a viable late-round fallback option (at least for the MI slot) as his speed and baserunning skills could help him to deliver on the upside of 20-plus steals and a .290ish batting average buoyed by infield hits. That's a best-case scenario that Wong is unlikely to fulfill as a rookie, but given the options that are still available in the late rounds, he may be one of the more appealing endgame alternatives.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al at @almelccbs .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Giants release Jose De Paula
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:58 pm ET) The Giants released pitcher Jose De Paula Friday, a week after he was designated for assignment.

De Paula had a 4.21 ERA as a 26-year-old with the team's Triple-A Fresno affiliate this season.  


Jarred Cosart making Marlins debut Friday
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:55 pm ET) Newly acquired pitcher Jarred Cosart will make his debut with the Marlins Friday, with his first start coming against the Reds. 

Cosart had a 4.41 ERA in 116 1/3 innings with the Astros before the Marlins acquired him Thursday.  


Asdrubal Cabrera not destined to help Nationals appreciably
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:55 pm ET) The two years that have passed since Asdrubal Cabrera was a premier offensive force as a middle infielder and the five years that have gone by since he played second base all but precludes him from making a major positive impact with the Nationals.

Cabrera slipped into mediocrity at the plate after earning his second All-Star Game appearance in 2012 and has stayed there. His plate discipline disappeared in a spate of overaggressiveness, causing his strikeouts to rise to alarming levels. He frustrated the Indians in recent years with his inability to hit in the clutch - he's batting .188 with runners in scoring position and is hitless in 13 at-bats with a runner on third and two outs this season.

More disturbing has been his defensive collapse. Cabrera wowed the Indians early in his career with acrobatic, dependable work at shortstop that overshadowed mediocre range. He is now among the worst middle infielders in the sport with 14 errors that was until recently the most at his position in the American League and arguably the worst range in the league. That problem will not be any less pronounced with a move to second base, where he is expected to spend most of his time in Washington.

Cabrera will be seeking to maximize his value in free agency in the offseason. He will command $10 million a year or more if he somehow reverts to the form that made him an all-star. Too much time has passed for that to be a realistic possibility.


Brad Peacock returning to rotation after trade
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:52 pm ET) The Astros will add pitcher Brad Peacock back to the rotation during the next turn according to the Houston Chronicle, after the trade of Jarred Cosart Thursday opened a spot.

Peacock was sent down last week following Collin McHugh's return from the disabled list. He could slot into the rotation Wednesday against the Phillies, though that has not been confirmed yet. 


Value hard to find among Red Sox rotation candidates
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) The Red Sox have decided to go all-in on next season, turning the rotation over to a slew of young guys after the trades of Jon Lester and John Lackey prior to the deadline. With so many innings up for grabs, Fantasy owners will want to keep a close eye on how things shake out, especially given the team's abundance of seemingly capable young starters.

Among the group of pitchers expected to get a shot at some point down the stretch are Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Brandon Workman and Joe Kelly. The latter four all have at least some major-league experience, though Ranaudo will get at least a taste of the majors when he debuts Friday against the Yankees. Of these five pitchers, who, if anyone, should Fantasy owners have their eyes on?

For now, it looks like De La Rosa, Ranaudo, Webster, Workman and Clay Buchholz have the next five spots in the rotation locked up, though a spot might open up for Kelly at some point once he reports to the team. De La Rosa, Buchholz and Kelly all have some measure of major-league success under their belts, though none profiles as a high-upside Fantasy option, given their middling track records so far. If upside is to be found, it is likely to come in the form of one of the other options. 

Webster has the best prospect pedigree among the group, and he and Ranaudo probably have the highest ceilings for now. Of course, the obvious caveats about young pitching apply. Though their upside is tantalizing, we simply don't have any record of success at the major-league level to depend on.

The Red Sox don't have a lot of sure things for their long-term rotation, and they will need to use these last few months get an idea of who they can count on next season. The question for Fantasy owners is whether they want their roster to be the team's laboratory during the most important months of the season. 

The young guys in Boston will all get their turns, but there isn't anyone in the rotation right now that screams "must-add," either due to a lack of upside or proven track record. AL-only owners might be smart to take a flier on anyone currently in the team's rotation, but it doesn't look like anyone here is worth consideration in mixed-leagues at this time. 


Jon Lester set to start Saturday against Royals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:31 pm ET) What was speculated has been confirmed - newly acquired left-hander Jon Lester will make his Athletics debut Saturday against Kansas City.

Lester will seek to maintain the momentum gained with Boston. He has surrendered two or fewer runs in each of his last eight starts and will now pitch his home games in a far more friendly park for hurlers.


Kenny Wilson heading to Double-A Midland
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:26 pm ET) The Athletics have outrighted outfielder Kenny Wilson to Double-A Midland. Wilson had been designated for assignment on Monday.

Wilson had been claimed off waivers from Toronto last month.


Trade does little for Sam Fuld's value
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:08 pm ET) The Athletics re-acquired outfielder Sam Fuld at the trade deadline Thursday, and will likely utilize him as part of a platoon in the outfield through the end of the season. He has been a solid contributor for the Twins since the A's cut him earlier in the season, but Fantasy owners have not yet taken notice. Should they?

Fuld is likely to play nearly every time a right-handed pitcher takes the mound against the A's, though he is hitting just .298 against them this season. He brings solid gap power but won't put the ball over the fence too often for you. And though he is a solid base stealer, Fuld isn't really a game-changer in that regard, with 13 in 60 games so far, but just eight in 119 games a year ago.

The A's might be smarter than everyone else in baseball, but it is unlikely they have unearthed a diamond here. Fuld is a solid player, but is unlikely to be much more than low-end AL-only Fantasy contributor in his new home. 


Report: Mike Foltynewicz promoted to Astros
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:04 pm ET) Struggles at Triple-A Oklahoma City have not prevented Astros pitching prospect Mike Foltynewicz from landing a promotion to the big league team. He is on the way to the Astros, sources have told the Houston Chronicle, which is further reporting that he will be used in relief.

The 22-year-old right-hander owns a 7-7 record and lofty 5.08 ERA for the RedHawks. He has given up 98 hits and fanned 102 in 102 2/3 innings, but he has also walked 52. He is also not a hot pitcher. Foltynewicz is 2-4 in his last six decisions and has allowed 35 runs in his last 41 1/3 innings pitched.


Diamondbacks going with platoon at third base for now
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:55 am ET) Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers has announced that the deal that shipped Martin Prado to the Yankees has Jordan Pacheco and Cliff Pennington set to platoon at third base.

Pacheco will handle the duties until Pennington returns from a thumb injury. He owns a .259/.312/.376 stat line and has yet to go deep this season.


 
 
 
Rankings