2B: Early Draft Results

After 15 rounds in Rotographs’s 12-team ridiculously early draft, 13 second basemen have been drafted. A few surprises have popped up, but again in 2013, the 2B position has it talent spread out pretty evenly.

Note: Aaron Hill was not included when the article first ran. He has been now included.

To begin with, here are the Oliver Projections for the 2B qualified players who have been drafted from rounds 1 to 15:

Draft Position Name PA AB R HR RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG
7 Robinson Cano 686 623 104 30 97 5 3 .303 .362 .525
30 Dustin Pedroia 609 538 90 16 64 17 6 .287 .358 .448
36 Ian Kinsler 662 582 110 22 64 20 6 .258 .341 .441
49 Ben Zobrist 658 560 82 17 86 17 6 .261 .357 .435
56 Jason Kipnis 536 480 69 13 58 15 4 .254 .324 .395
68 Brandon Phillips 653 598 92 18 74 15 7 .279 .328 .429
69 Jose Altuve 467 434 55 10 46 19 19 .278 .322 .407
81 Aaron Hill 547 498 73 19 64 10 4 .265 .323 .448
86 Danny Espinosa 632 567 75 20 62 17 9 .242 .312 .413
94 Rickie Weeks 598 522 84 22 59 10 3 .250 .342 .436
135 Neil Walker 588 529 65 13 79 8 5 .266 .328 .415
145 Dan Uggla 655 566 88 26 85 3 3 .238 .336 .423
165 Marco Scutaro 541 485 76 6 53 7 3 .264 .313 .353
167 Howie Kendrick 598 553 65 12 73 12 5 .275 .318 .410

Also, here are the players with their projected stats prorated to 600 PA each. I feel last year’s rookies are being overly penalized, so I evened out the playing time.

7 Robinson Cano 600 91 26 85 4 0.303
30 Dustin Pedroia 600 88 15 63 16 0.287
36 Ian Kinsler 600 100 20 58 18 0.258
49 Ben Zobrist 600 75 16 78 15 0.261
56 Jason Kipnis 600 78 14 65 17 0.254
68 Brandon Phillips 600 84 16 68 14 0.279
69 Jose Altuve 600 70 12 59 25 0.278
70 Aaron Hill 600 80 21 70 11 0.265
86 Danny Espinosa 600 71 19 58 17 0.242
94 Rickie Weeks 600 85 22 59 10 0.250
135 Neil Walker 600 67 14 81 8 0.266
145 Dan Uggla 600 81 24 78 3 0.238
165 Marco Scutaro 600 84 7 59 7 0.264
167 Howie Kendrick 600 65 12 73 12 0.275

No real surprise with Cano going in the first round. I was a little surprised it took until the end of the 3rd round for the pair of Kinsler and Pedroia to get picked. The next three taken were Zobrist, Kipnis and Phillips. Personally, I have Phillips ranked higher than Kipnis. After that point, the 2B just slowly got drafted, about 1 every round.

After looking at our draft, it looks like there are 4 tiers of 2B so far:

Tier 1
Robinson Cano

Tier 2
Dustin Pedroia
Ian Kinsler

Tier 3
Ben Zobrist
Brandon Phillips

Tier 4 – everyone else.
Jason Kipnis
Jose Altuve
Aaron Hill
Danny Espinosa
Rickie Weeks
Neil Walker
Dan Uggla
Marco Scutaro
Howie Kendrick

Looking at the 600 PA weighted projection, the first player drafted in Tier 4 was Jason Kipnis (pick #56) and Howie Kendrick (pick #167) was the last. Their projections have them producing almost the same stats.

Stat: Kipnis, Kendrick
Runs+RBI: 143, 138
HR: 14, 12
SB: 17, 12
AVG: .254, .275

Yes, Kipnis looks to be better, but not by much. He is definitely not 110 picks better. After the first five 2B go, all the rest of the players have multiple warts. Just draft the player to help your team at the time. Need power, get Uggla. Need steals, draft Altuve. Don’t care, wait to get the last one available.

One issue with looking at just these 13 is Zobrist and Espinosa have SS eligibility and they are likey to be drafted as shortstops. Even more decent, but not great 2B are available like Daniel Murphy and Chase Utley.

In 2013, 2B looks to be nice and deep, especially in 12 team leagues. If a team doesn’t get one of the top five 2B, don’t fret and worry about them for while. Fill out the other positions of need and get one of the relatively equal second basemen 8 to 10 rounds later.

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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

33 Responses to “2B: Early Draft Results”

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  1. Steve says:

    Pretty sure Aaron Hill is more than “decent”, and not just because of last year. And he’ll definitely be taken ahead of several of the players drafted above in most leagues.

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    • Nick says:

      Yeah I’d take Hill over almost everyone in this tier 4. Certainly the last 3, and probably over Weeks and Walker too.

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      • Sean says:

        It’s just a screwup, Hill went 81st in the draft he’s going off but he obviously missed him when writing up the article.

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  2. Anthony says:

    I’d put A.Hill over Scutaro for sure, and maybe a few others on the list as well.

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  3. Louie says:

    I’m confused. Can you explain to me again why Aaron Hill isn’t even really mentioned in this article, other than as an afterthought? Most rankings I have seen have him in their top 100 overall, yet he’s not given the time of day in this discussion. What am I missing? Thanks!

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    • Matty D says:

      I agree with you Louie, My projections call for a .278/82/20/74/12 fantasy line – putting him easily above of Espinosa and Kendrick especially. I am much more of a stickler on breaking up tiers in my preparation because in my opinion, tiers are set up to provide the first and last game seemingly having similar seasons and maximizing your value. According to this post the top tier 4 guy of Kipnis (.280/93/17/73/26) is not really comparable to Kendrick (.283/67/12/71/13) in my opinion. Those 13 stolen bases and 26 runs work out to approximately an extra steal and two extra runs a week. In either format (H2H or Roto), thats valuable.

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  4. Matty D says:

    I disagree with your assessment on Kipnis drawing from Bill James projections averaged out with Rotochamp. My line for Kipnis looks much closer to:

    .280, 93 Runs, 17 HR, 73 RBI, 26 SB

    The stolen bases and higher average for Kipnis seems to set him apart from Kendrick by a full tier in my projections and makes the case for him chosen over Phillips a bit stronger – though it could go either way.

    Thanks for this post!

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    • bill james notoriously loves all hitters that have ever played baseball–personally, i look at his numbers as 75th percentile or so upside projections rather than 50/50 projections. I’d be pretty surprised if Kipnis hits .280…it’s not impossible, but even the ever-optimistic James only has him at .274. Not saying that your numbers are ridiculous (other than the BA, that’s pretty much the Fans projection), but i’d be a bit cautious projecting Kipnis that high given the potential downside, whereas Phillips has a well-established floor and I feel the variance in his performance isn’t so high. If you’re in a keeper, I’d of course be more amenable to bumping kipnis up a bit.

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      • Matty D says:

        That’s why I average them out with Rotochamp along with Ron Shandler’s projections (picking up my book today). Rotochamp typically shoots for the floor so their sit calling for a .285 average bumps him up considering BJ had him at .274.

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      • Stuck in a slump says:

        I don’t know… Kipnis’ plate discipline and contact rates are well above average, I can see a .280-.290 AVG out of him.

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  5. James says:

    Oliver has Altuve with 19 SB and 19 CS… wat? He was 33 and 11 last year. 40 and 14 on his MLB career. Where is the 50% success rate coming from?

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    • jB4s7 says:

      I don’t see how a projection system comes up with that. At least I know what not to use this year.

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    • Just Jim says:

      they also have him listed with 434 AB, guess Oliver figures he’s gonna get hurt or lose playing time. Take all projections with a grain of salt.

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  6. Steve says:

    Also, Utley would surely be drafted ahead of a few of these guys. Mostly for his name value I’m sure, but if he stays on the field he’s just better than half of these players.

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    • Steve says:

      projected 7 homers and 7 steals for Scutaro. What a god awful draft pick by whoever that was.

      I’d take a flier on him at the end of my draft. I did last year. At least the other guys above have some sort of upside in them.

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  7. Jared says:

    Aaron Hill was drafted 81st overall. I figured it just had to be an oversight.

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  8. Clint Robinson says:

    Hill was drafted in the 7th round, right?

    I hate Eric Hosmer so much.

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  9. Bill says:

    Agree with someone above, Utley should be drafted ahead of a few of these guys. Sure, he’s a risk, but his upside is still pretty good. You can get Infante late/late or on waivers, murphy isn’t bad late. too bad seager won’t have 2b this year?

    Only Wong on the horizon for prospects. i’d be all over pedroia int he 24-30 range.

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  10. harpago17 says:

    “In 2013, 2B looks to be nice and deep, especially in 12 team leagues.”

    Those of us in NL-only league are staring at Dan Uggla at #5 and extending our middle fingers out to you.

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  11. supershredder says:

    Is Mark Ellis going to start for the Dodgers? He was putting up some really nice runs and avg before going down with that leg injury last year. Makes for a nice flier if he starts…

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  12. supershredder says:

    Whoa wait a second…where’s Ackley??? Am I missing something here? Did he fall off a cliff this offseason and die?

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    • supershredder says:

      Or does he just suck that bad

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    • Boras Blues says:

      Nothing so sinister. He only put up a .274 wOBA last year. He was slightly held back by a .265 BABIP, but will need to improve his plate discipline (BB% 8.8%, K% 18.6%) and power (ISO .102) to gain relevance in fantasy baseball.

      Positive gains are still possible as he has not yet turned 25 years old. But if he costs anything more than a late-round flier, he won’t end up on my fantasy bench on draft day.

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  13. Basebull says:

    May be a Kipnis homer, but I’m quite a bit more optimistic. I think his second-half last year was just the fatigue of his first full baseball season. His ISO and BABIP have room to improve and a minor league track record to indicate they can. I’m not banking on him repeating that SB performance, but I think he’s got a good chance at a 20/20 season.

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    • Pdiddy31 says:

      Not to continue to pile on the Kipnis bandwagon here, but those projections above are barely replacement level – even for 2B. I get that there may be some regression coming on the base paths, but there’s a strong minor league track record of solid hit tool and plus speed here. I know he helped me win my leagues last year, but aside from the high avg in Bill James projections (and yes, i laugh at most of his optimistic projections of all mid-level talent), nothing seems that crazy out of whack to me. particularly with the lineup upgrades this offseason. Am I nuts?

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  14. Dan says:

    I’m confused. Earlier we had an article stating that 2B was pretty thin, and that if you didn’t get one of the top guys that are in your top 3 tiers, that you might as well wait a long time. Now, you’re saying 2B is really deep. So which is it? The fact that your 4th tier is listed ‘everybody else’ makes me more inclined to feel like it’s not so deep, especially when you detailed the difference between Kipnis and Kendrick.

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  15. Ender says:

    2B is extremely deep, especially in a league that uses MI, CI and 5 OF. People confuse shallow with top end talent being thin when shallow really means the bottom end is thin.

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  16. smithjt says:

    Are the 2013 Oliver projections publicly available? If so, where would I find them? Thanks!

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