I want to get something off of my chest. I want to admit to you, the reader, that I was shocked. I was shocked to see how few second basemen actually offer any real value with the bat. I have around five second basemen that offer real value and then everyone else is…meh. Twenty to forty second baseman that are all going to offer you approximately the same value, if you don’t have the top five (three of which are still negotiable.
Imagine the “Pick a Duck” game at the carnival. You have about a 1 in 40 chance of picking a duck with a five on the bottom and receiving a prize from the best bucket. Chances are, though, that you are going to pull a one, two, or three, just like the previous fifty kids and you are going to get stuck with wax teeth as a prize. Novel, until you realize that everyone else has wax teeth too.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t find value in said ducks, but when 20 to 40 players offer you around the same value as an “offensive force” (The quotes are included to hint that “offensive force” is meant with a hint of sarcasm, the parentheses are included show this thought as an interruption to the previous one), then sometimes you just have to go with your gut. There’s just not a lot to separate the middle of the pack from the bottom of the pack.
The following is an Organizational Positional Power Ranking for the second base position for the 2015 season. Disclaimer: These rankings are done as of the date of this post, March 26th, 2015. Any roster changes afterwards are not accounted for. The position is being evaluated by all players in the organization, how much they are likely to contribute and ranked against the other teams in the league. This ranking ignores the utility spot and as well as other eligible positions, only considers what is the most a team can expect to get out of a single position on their roster.
1. Capital City Impalers
Options: Robinson Cano, Brett Lawrie, Martin Prado, Arismendy Alcantara, Brendan Rodgers
Robinson Cano is enough to take this #1 spot handily. Even with the dip in power, he’s been able to show that he’s just the best all around hitter at the position. In addition to Cano, Brett Lawrie has some of the highest upside in the position and his his bad back won’t be playing on the turf anymore. Hopefully it will help keep him healthy enough to produce.
2. Clown Question Bros
Options: Anthony Rendon, Justin Turner, Brad Miller
Rendon and Cano actually finished with exactly the same wOBA in 2014, but I like Cano better because of the higher walk rate and lower strikeout rate. Not to say that Rendon can’t peak into more, but the one year sample isn’t enough to convince me to put him above Cano. Justin Turner had a career year in 2014, but it was aided handily by a .404 BABIP, way out of line from his career .322 line. Not to say that Turner doesn’t have value, but regression to the mean is coming, and it’s going to be coming sooner than later.
3. Homerun Mafia
Options: Ben Zobrist, Ian Kinsler, Jedd Gyorko
I had a hard time ranking Zobrist and Kinsler. My valuations have Zobrist significantly more valuable than Kinsler (seven spots to be exact), but when I looked deeper, I realized that it was just that Kinsler has more name value. We’ve spoken at length on the podcast about Kinsler and the Tigers’ influence on hitting approach, so there isn’t much to be said here. Zobrist it is. And Jedd Gyorko. Is he 2013 or 2014? I’ll say somewhere in the middle…but only going to be around a the most replacement level of replacement-level players.
4. Who’s Your Haddy?
Options: Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brian Anderson, Dan Uggla
5. You Down with OBP?
Options: Josh Harrison, Jason Kipnis, Rob Refsnyder, Roberto Baldoquin, Hector Olivera
6. Fighting Banana Slugs
Options: Mookie Betts, Derek Dietrich, Javier Baez, Jose Miguel Fernandez
7. Cheating Brew Crew
Options: Jose Altuve, Devon Travis, Omar Infante, Josh Rutledge
8. Pottstown IronMen
Options: Dustin Pedroia, Aaron Hill, Odubel Herrera
9. Gardner Variety
Options: Howie Kendrick, Luis Valbuena, Nick Franklin, Joe Panik, Alex Yarbrough, Domingo Leyba
10. Quad City DJs
Options: Daniel Murphy, Dilson Herrera, Roughned Odor, Brandon Phillips, Wilmer Difo
11. Beach Bum
Options: Chase Utley, Chris Owings, Stephen Drew
12. Philadelphia Flartners
Options: Brian Dozier, Wilmer Flores, Didi Gregorious
13. Unicorns & Glitter
Options: Yangervis Solarte, Delino DeShields, Forrest Wall, Jurickson Profar, Dansby Swanson
14. Rocky Mountain Oysters
Options: Marcus Semien, Micah Johnson, Jonathan Schoop, Andy Ibanez
I’m starting to feel like I’m being mean to RMO, but I’ll just deflect it back to the formula. I have Marcus Semien as the 11th best “starting” DyNasty shortstop (in terms of comparing starting shortstops on DyNasty squads) and the prospects of having to start Micah Johnson or Jonathan Schoop are terrifying. Johnson has speed but no power, Schoop has power but no contact. Here’s to hoping some Billy Beane-ing helps out Semien and makes him better than my projections.
15. Lafayette Hill Haters
Options: Scooter Gennett, Kolten Wong, Brock Holt
Remember when were were talking about Jedd Gyorko earlier? Scooter is better than him, but not by much. He’ll have the full-time gig in Milwaukee thanks to a nice season last year, but the sub-5% walk rate doesn’t do anything to get you pumped up. Without a high BABIP, Gennett is…fine.
Wong, Kolten – See: Scooter Gennett
16. E-Ville Kodiaks
Options: Dee Gordon, Alexi Amarista, Yoan Moncada
Speed just doesn’t play in our game. Dee Gordon is the better play over Amarista…as long as he keeps his job. E-Ville will be waiting with bated breath for Moncada to be promoted.