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2020 Fantasy Baseball: Second Baseman Safest Bet

There's no such thing as a sure thing. However, this second baseman safe bet will minimize the risk for your fantasy baseball team.

Safest Bet series: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS

No matter how much you study and prepare for your fantasy baseball draft, something unexpected will inevitably happen. Maybe an under-the-radar sleeper you thought only you knew about gets drafted in the middle rounds. Maybe there's a huge positional run. Maybe some of your favorite players continued to fall, so you loaded up at positions you didn't expect to fill in the early rounds.

Whatever the case may be, things will happen on draft day that you didn't anticipate and can't adequately prepare. Therefore, it's crucial to know the point of no return at the infield positions.

While you'll field multiple players at the outfield and pitcher spots—positions that have depth—having a significant disadvantage at an infield position can be a glaring weakness in both head-to-head and rotisserie leagues. How do you combat that? How do you find that aforementioned point of no return? By finding your "safety school" player. Your safest bet and we're covering each position.

You remember the term "safety school," right? It's the one college/trade school you knew you, or a friend/family member could get into if you wanted, even if it wasn't the ideal one. The same concept applies here. Who is the last player in your positional rankings that you'd be willing to begin the season with as a starter? That's your "safety school" player.

Here’s who that player is for me at second base in a standard 12-team, 5x5 mixed league.

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Michael Chavis, Boston Red Sox

2020 Projection: 69R - 25HR - 76RBI - 4SB - .250 (480 ABs)

Chavis burst onto the scene in his rookie year with a line of 38-15-48-2-.263 through his first 69 career games entering the 2019 MLB All-Star break. Then he hit the wall. Chavis struggled in 26 games after the break (8-3-10-0-.221) before an oblique injury ended his season prematurely.

Was he trying to play through the injury? Did he just hit the proverbial rookie wall? A combination of both? We’ll never know for sure, but he should come into 2020 with a lot more confidence given the success he’s already had at the highest level.

Chavis will be Boston's starting second baseman this season and could hit sixth in their lineup. He should have plenty of RBI opportunities hitting behind the meat of a batting order that still includes Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez.

My projections have Chavis swatting 25 home runs in 2020, which would rank tied for eighth among all 2B-eligible players. His 69 projected runs would rank tied for 17th, while his 76 RBI would rank tied for 12th. Keep in mind, those rankings include players like Gleyber Torres (2B/SS), Mike Moustakas (2B/3B), and Max Muncy (1B/2B/3B) who may be starting at non-2B positions in your league.

He won't provide much in the way of steals, and he isn't an asset in batting average, but he's starter-worthy in the other three categories (plus you can play him at first base when needed).

The key to finding “safety school” players is finding value in a majority of categories while avoiding those who decimate you in the others. The average MLB player hit .248 in 2018 and .252 in 2019, so Chavis hitting .250 won’t kill you. You’re not going to find much in the way of cheap speed this season, so getting solid production in all three of the runs, home runs and RBI categories is where value can be found.

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