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2020 Fantasy Baseball: Eisner's Second Basemen Rankings

Fantasy baseball expert Jaime Eisner ranks and projects each of the top 50 second basemen heading into the 2020 MLB season.

Second base is the second-most thin position for my money, but an interesting trend is developing. With so many quality shortstops available and slotting into MI spots, the lack of depth at second base isn’t too much of a burden on fantasy managers. Some may find it beneficial to fill out all other starting positions first because there will likely be a Top 15 second baseman going outside of the Top 200. Which second basemen should you target in 2020?

Players are ranked based on Standings Gain Points (SGP) for their projected stats relative to every other player’s projections. You can read more about the idea of SGP here. For these rankings, SGP is calculated assuming a 12-team, 5x5 mixed league with default positions and is based on information from leagues of that type from the last two seasons. My projections are derived from a composite of several projection systems weighted by their accuracy in previous seasons.

1. Jose Altuve (2B - HOU) — ADP: 30.2

If your league doesn’t penalize you for bad tattoos, Altuve should be the top 2B off the board. There isn’t much difference between him and the No. 2 player on this list, but we’ve got more of a track record of what to expect here. Just add a few more hit-by-pitches.

2020 Projection: 94R - 23HR - 90RBI - 11SB - .299 (601 ABs)

2. Ozzie Albies (2B - ATL) — ADP: 39.8

His plate discipline stats are somehow getting worse, yet he continues to produce. Luckily, he’s walking a lot more. If he ever improves his Chase and Whiff rates his ceiling may be astronomical. Right now just settle for really freakin’ good. If we had to split up the elite tier of 2B, Altuve and Albies would be alone at the top. There’s a small drop after here.

2020 Projection: 95R - 24HR - 81RBI - 15SB - .288 (590 ABs)

3. Gleyber Torres (2B/SS - NYY) — ADP: 28.6

Regression against Baltimore plus some progression against everyone else equals a very similar season to 2019. I truly don’t believe Torres will be a .300 hitter, so I don’t think there’s much more batting average upside. My only issue with Torres this season is his ADP.

2020 Projection: 89R - 34HR - 98RBI - 6SB - .270 (552 ABs)

4. Keston Hiura (2B - MIL) — ADP: 48.6

Sophomore slumps are real and it has me a little nervous that this projection is a bit overzealous. However Hiura is an elite talent whose ceiling is well above this. If he falls into Round 5, that’s where I’d be comfortable taking him.

2020 Projection: 81R - 29HR - 91RBI - 13SB - .270 (555 ABs)

5. Ketel Marte (2B/OF - ARI) — ADP: 46.2

I expect some regression across the board, but nothing too crazy. He’ll still be more than solid in most categories and should flirt with a .300 batting average again. If you prefer safety over upside, you can take Marte over Hiura (especially since Marte’s upside is pretty significant too).

2020 Projection: 90R - 24HR - 81RBI - 9SB - .296 (578 ABs)

6. Jonathan Villar (2B/SS - MIA) — ADP: 51.8

He should have plenty of opportunities to steal in Miami when they’re down three runs in the third inning. Although he did show he can hit for average in 2015 and 2016, I don’t see a repeat of his .274 mark from last season. Be happy somewhere around .260.

2020 Projection: 79R - 17HR - 63RBI - 34SB - .256 (585 ABs)

7. Whit Merrifield (2B/OF - KC) — ADP: 48.0

Stolen bases will define Merrifield’s 2020 fantasy season. If he can get back to 45 like he did in 2018 or even 34 like in 2017 he’ll far exceed his draft day price. If he’s around 20, then he’s a solid 5th or 6th rounder player. Attempting only 30 steals and getting caught on one-third of them last season was not encouraging.

2020 Projection: 89R - 14HR - 65RBI - 21SB - .288 (624 ABs)

8. D.J. LeMahieu (1B/2B/3B - NYY) — ADP: 64.0

LeMahieu is still a better real life player than fantasy player, but had an amazing first season in the Bronx. He fits in well at any of his eligible positions. Expect a drop in home runs and regression from his .327 batting average. Otherwise, he’ll continue to be a better version of the player he was in Colorado.

2020 Projection: 94R - 19HR - 75RBI - 6SB - .288 (605 ABs)

9. Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF - NYM) — ADP: 96.0

As everyone waited for McNeil to regress late in the season, he simply decided he didn’t want to. While I expect some small regression in the power stats, he should be able to maintain the high batting average and add about 10 more runs to his season total from last year.

2020 Projection: 91R - 20HR - 71RBI - 8SB - .295 (594 ABs)

10. Max Muncy (1B/2B/3B - LAD) — ADP: 74.2

Projection systems have him dipping below the 90-run and 90-RBI marks. Everything else seems on par. Only issue I have is the runs total, which I can see pushing 100 for the second straight season. This is where the SGP puts him value-wise (partly because of his under-500 ABs), but given his triple-eligibility and high ceiling for runs, his current ADP is 100% justifiable.

2020 Projection: 88R - 33HR - 88RBI - 4SB - .251 (495 ABs)

11. Mike Moustakas (2B/3B - CIN) — ADP: 103.0

I don’t see why he can’t just replicate last season’s numbers and add a few more RBIs. It’s possible he spikes to 40 home runs at Great American Ball Park, but I think the projection below is quite safe.

2020 Projection: 80R - 35HR - 95RBI - 3SB - .256 (563 ABs)

12. Eduardo Escobar (2B/3B - ARI) — ADP: 114.2

I’m buying some significant regression here, but I’m still expecting a better season than any he had before 2019. His 15.2 percent HR-to-fly-ball ratio will drop significantly (probably near his career average of 10-11%), but as long as you’re not paying for last year’s numbers you’ll be happy.

2020 Projection: 80R - 26HR - 90RBI - 4SB - .259 (590 ABs)

13. Cavan Biggio (2B - TOR) — ADP: 139.6

He’s closer to a mid-level starting 2B in OBP leagues, but he lands here in the teens for standard 5x5 formats. A 20-20 season isn’t out of the question. However, if you haven’t grabbed a 2B by now you’re just settling for pretty good.

2020 Projection: 75R - 21HR - 77RBI - 15SB - .238 (499 ABs)

14. Tommy Edman (2B/3B - STL) — ADP: 143.6

The Cardinals aren’t going to trade for Nolan Arenado or find someone to replace Marcell Ozuna so Edman’s got an everyday spot. Aside from the next player on this list, this is the steals and batting average portion of the 2B rankings.

2020 Projection: 68R - 13HR - 54RBI - 19SB - .278 (561 ABs)

15. Rougned Odor (2B - TEX) — ADP: 267.2

New ballpark won’t help his stats. I guess he could spike a .271 batting average again, but I think .171 is more likely at this point. If you’re punting batting average, Odor can be a low-end starting 2B for you. If not, you better hope you can make up for it elsewhere.

2020 Projection: 70R - 28HR - 77RBI - 12SB - .227 (515 ABs)

16. Kevin Newman (2B/SS - PIT) — ADP: 211.2

If you miss out on Edman, Newman’s your man. He’s solid, but you’re paying for the steals and the high batting average. If he flirts with .310 again there’s some value here. Otherwise, you’re getting what you pay for. That’s perfectly fine, by the way.

2020 Projection: 65R - 9HR - 55RBI - 17SB - .285 (530 ABs)

17. Kolten Wong (2B - STL) — ADP: 265.0

If you miss out on Edman and Newman…

2020 Projection: 67R - 11HR - 62RBI - 17SB - .270 (504 ABs)

18. Brandon Lowe (2B - TB) — ADP: 195.2

Another solid player that you’d snag if you need to boost HR and RBI over SB and AVG. Although, if he hits leadoff his RBI totals could drop below the projection.

2020 Projection: 71R - 25HR - 75RBI - 7SB - .251 (542 ABs)

19. Ryan McMahon (2B/3B - COL) — ADP: 203.8

I never trust the Rockies to give the proper players playing time so I’m cautious here. There’s significantly more upside than what the projections show, but even at CI I’d be a little wary. Something to keep in mind: If we turned SGP into auction dollar values, there’s about a $2 difference in a $260 budget between Nos. 13-19 on this list. Lean toward the player who fills whatever categories you’re weaker in.

2020 Projection: 68R - 23HR - 78RBI - 5SB - .262 (474 ABs)

20. Gavin Lux (2B - LAD) — ADP: 147.0

Getting way overdrafted for my liking. I think he’ll put up solid numbers, but I can’t take a bench player in the 13th round. I don’t see a likely path to getting a return on Top 150 value.

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2020 Projection: 68R - 17HR - 65RBI - 10SB - .265 (494 ABs)

21. Michael Chavis (1B/2B - BOS) — ADP: 263.6

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

22. Jonathan Schoop (2B - DET) — ADP: 336.8

2020 Projection: 66R - 26HR - 76RBI - 2SB - .256 (515 ABs)

23. Cesar Hernandez (2B - PHI) — ADP: 305.8

2020 Projection: 72R - 12HR - 58RBI - 10SB - .275 (506 ABs)

24. Mauricio Dubon (2B - SF) — ADP: 384.5

2020 Projection: 60R - 14HR - 57RBI - 13SB - .269 (517 ABs)

25. Starlin Castro (2B/3B - WSH) — ADP: 280.2

2020 Projection: 61R - 18HR - 70RBI - 3SB - .278 (486 ABs)

26. Hanser Alberto (2B/3B - BAL) — ADP: 363.5

2020 Projection: 65R - 13HR - 57RBI - 5SB - .289 (550 ABs)

27. Niko Goodrum (2B/SS/OF - DET) — ADP: 332.0

2020 Projection: 68R - 17HR - 63RBI - 13SB - .244 (570 ABs)

28. Luis Arraez (2B/OF - MIN) — ADP: 277.0

2020 Projection: 63R - 6HR - 51RBI - 5SB - .312 (490 ABs)

29. Nick Madrigal (2B - CHW) — ADP: 287.4

2020 Projection: 52R - 5HR - 39RBI - 19SB - .289 (402 ABs)

30. Robinson Cano (2B - NYM) — ADP: 338.8

2020 Projection: 64R - 18HR - 69RBI - 1SB - .266 (515 ABs)

31. Adam Frazier (2B - PIT) — ADP: 410.0

2020 Projection: 65R - 10HR - 54RBI - 7SB - .278 (508 ABs)

32. David Fletcher (2B/3B/SS/OF - LAA) — ADP: 302.0

2020 Projection: 69R - 6HR - 51RBI - 8SB - .282 (500 ABs)

33. Jurickson Profar (2B - SD) — ADP: 347.6

2020 Projection: 61R - 18HR - 64RBI - 8SB - .241 (464 ABs)

34. Howie Kendrick (1B/2B - WSH) — ADP: 332.4

2020 Projection: 48R - 13HR - 51RBI - 3SB - .306 (353 ABs)

35. Shed Long (2B - SEA) — ADP: 418.3

2020 Projection: 56R - 14HR - 54RBI - 10SB - .247 (348 ABs)

36. Tommy La Stella (2B/3B - LAA) — ADP: 295.0

2020 Projection: 56R - 14HR - 57RBI - 2SB - .280 (382 ABs)

37. Freddy Galvis (2B/SS - CIN) — ADP: 341.0

2020 Projection: 60R - 16HR - 62RBI - 6SB - .244 (581 ABs)

38. Isan Diaz (2B - MIA) — ADP: 463.0

2020 Projection: 60R - 19HR - 62RBI - 6SB - .233 (506 ABs)

39. Nicky Lopez (2B/SS - KC) — ADP: 500.0

2020 Projection: 53R - 7HR - 50RBI - 9SB - .269 (490 ABs)

40. Jose Peraza (2B/SS/OF - BOS) — ADP: 354.2

2020 Projection: 44R - 9HR - 38RBI - 12SB - .277 (375 ABs)

41. Garrett Hampson (2B/OF - COL) — ADP: 177.0

2020 Projection: 41R - 8HR - 36RBI - 16SB - .266 (323 ABs)

42. Dee Gordon (2B - SEA) — ADP: 272.2

2020 Projection: 39R - 3HR - 36RBI - 19SB - .270 (493 ABs)

43. Luis Urias (2B/SS - MIL) — ADP: 329.2

2020 Projection: 53R - 13HR - 55RBI - 4SB - .253 (431 ABs)

44. Wilmer Flores (2B - SF) — ADP: 531.5

2020 Projection: 40R - 13HR - 45RBI - 1SB - .282 (347 ABs)

45. Brian Dozier (2B - N/A) — ADP: 493.0

2020 Projection: 50R - 17HR - 48RBI - 5SB - .235 (346 ABs)

46. Joey Wendle (2B/3B - TB) — ADP: 466.3

2020 Projection: 39R - 6HR - 35RBI - 9SB - .258 (329 ABs)

47. Chris Taylor (2B/SS/OF - LAD) — ADP: 389.8

2020 Projection: 42R - 10HR - 40RBI - 6SB - .246 (342 ABs)

48. Eric Sogard (2B - MIL) — ADP: 542.5

2020 Projection: 45R - 8HR - 36RBI - 5SB - .257 (335 ABs)

49. Jason Kipnis (2B - CHC) — ADP: 597.0

2020 Projection: 41R - 11HR - 44RBI - 4SB - .243 (337 ABs)

50. Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/3B - WSH) — ADP: 350.8

2020 Projection: 40R - 10HR - 40RBI - 2SB - .264 (288 ABs)

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