Author Archive

Mid-Season Review of Scott Strandberg’s Bold Predictions

With the All-Star break upon us, this is as good a time as any to take a midseason look back at my 2015 bold predictions. My goal with these is to bat somewhere around .300, which is exactly what I did last year.

Get too many right, and the predictions probably weren’t bold enough for the nature of these columns. Swing and miss on all ten? Probably need to dial back the predictive aggressiveness next time. With that in mind, let’s see how I’ve done so far this year…

1. Jorge Soler is a top-ten outfielder.

Not a chance. Soler got off to a slow start, hitting just four homers before landing on the disabled list with an ankle injury in early June. The 23-year-old just returned last week, after more than a month on the DL. At this point, there’s no hot streak in the world that would make this prediction a reality.

Read the rest of this entry »

What to Make of Rougned Odor Rest-of-Season?

You really can’t start a season much worse than Rougned Odor began 2015. The 21-year-old was so extremely bad that the Rangers sent him back down to Triple-A in early May, hoping he could figure out how to hit baseballs, which is a pretty important part of being a professional baseball player.

I wrote about Odor in late April, discussing how his poor start was really just a continuation of the way he ended 2014. As last season went on, Odor became a highly undisciplined hitter against offspeed pitches, and he began this year in the exact same fashion.

Read the rest of this entry »

2015 Second Base Tier Rankings: July

With July nearly upon us, it’s tier time here at Rotographs. Following up on my previous themes of Kurt Russell movies and vacation destinations, I have decided to assign hard rock bands to this month’s tiers. This idea came to me at about 3am on Friday night, and I haven’t thought of anything better, so here we go.

Before we get into it, please fight off the temptation to flood the comments section with “DUDE YOU DIDN’T RANK [insert band here] WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU” posts. I’ve only got seven tiers to cover the very broad genre of ‘hard rock,’ and I had to save two of them for Creed and Nickelback. Give me a break.

Brian Dozier
Jose Altuve
Jason Kipnis
Dee Gordon

Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Stash Candidate: Rob Refsnyder

At this time of the season, it’s a good idea for those of you in deep leagues to have a couple of second-half sleepers on your roster. Seeing as I cover the second-base beat here at Rotographs, I’ve identified a promising youngster with the potential for significant playing time at the keystone going forward.

One of the crucial aspects of identifying these players is finding holes on major-league rosters. So, seeing as we’re talking about second base, let’s discuss the Yankees. The days when Stephen Drew seemed like a legitimate major-league baseball player seem like ages ago, as the hapless second-sacker has followed up last year’s hilariously inept .162/.237/.299 season with a not-much-better .178/.239/.372. At least he’s hitting some homers, but that still hasn’t been enough to make him even a replacement-level player.

Read the rest of this entry »

Buying Logan Forsythe

I’ve been optimistic about Logan Forsythe all year, recommending him to AL-only owners back in April, when he was virtually unowned in fantasy leagues. This month, I ranked him 18th rest-of-season at second base, a significant jump up from where I had him in May (No. 26). I should have bumped him up higher.

One factor that has Forsythe’s stock on the rise is his production, plain and simple. The 28-year-old followed up a .282/.370/.465 April with a .297/.368/.465 May — an .835 OPS followed by .834. That’s consistency. He’s not showing many signs of slowing down either, as he’s already launched two bombs in the first week of June.

Read the rest of this entry »

2015 Second Base Tier Rankings: June

Check out last month’s rankings here.


No more bland, rote tiers from this guy! Thanks to the urging of commenter “Urban Shocker,” my eyes are now open to the fun that can be had with ridiculously labeled tiers. You see, I used to just write these monthly second-base columns with boring old numbered tiers. That is, until Urban Shocker convinced me in the comments section of my April rankings to name my tiers from then on.

To be perfectly honest, the task of doing these monthly rankings can get rather stale — for both me and you — as the season wears on. Eventually, it gets to the point where the rankings barely change, because 30-day samples don’t substantially change the way I/we think about a certain player.

Furthermore, there’s only so many ways I can say “Jose Altuve had a good month again,” or “Dee Gordon steals lots of bases,” or “Holy crap, Dan Uggla is so incredibly terrible!” (Actually, never mind on that last one. I will never get sick of making jokes about Uggla, who got paid $13 million last year to post a weighted offense 72% below league-average.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Robinson Cano Still a Viable Fantasy Option?

You don’t have to dig too deep to find an article on Robinson Cano’s early-season struggles. Everywhere from regional newspapers to, the extremely wealthy 32-year-old’s inability to hit baseballs is a hot topic. Rightly so, one would surmise, seeing as the guy’s hitting .253/.295/.337.

I still included Cano in the second tier — also known as the New Orleans Tier — of my May second-base rankings. (Spoiler alert: The tiers for next week’s June rankings will be named after Kurt Russell films.) In fact, I had Cano ranked second overall, and not a single commenter took umbrage with that ranking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Ignoring Cory Spangenberg

Over the last couple weeks, a 24-year-old former top-ten overall pick has been on fire. He has started 13 consecutive games, batting leadoff or second in 12 of those games. He slots in as the No. 6 fantasy second baseman in that stretch. Furthermore, he’s already third-base eligible in Yahoo leagues, making his sixth appearance (fifth start) of the season at third on Sunday.

On the year, this player is now hitting .262/.338/.431, with two homers and four steals. Sounds like a guy we should be jumping all over, right? Would you ever in a million years expect his ownership rates to look like this?

  • 6% Yahoo, 3.4% ESPN, 11% CBS

Read the rest of this entry »

Baltimore’s Second-Base Shenanigans Creating Unexpected Fantasy Options

Ever since Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop went down with a sprained right knee, manager Buck Showalter has been covering the keystone in some wonderfully weird ways. Without backup Ryan Flaherty — who hit the disabled list himself with a groin injury — Showalter turned to a couple of highly unorthodox options.

As Jeff Sullivan outlined last week, the Orioles called up natural second baseman Reynaldo Navarro, but used him sparingly before ultimately optioning him back to Triple-A on Friday. Instead, Showalter has relied on Jimmy Paredes — who had made just eight starts at second in his five partial major-league seasons — and first baseman/corner outfielder Steve Pearce, who had never logged an inning at the position in his 11-year professional career.

Read the rest of this entry »

2015 Second Base Tier Rankings: May

Check out last month’s rankings here.

I am, if nothing else, a man of the people. This month, I am integrating reader feedback to improve upon both the helpfulness and the overall fun factor of this feature. Regarding the helpfulness, as commenters pointed out last month, I should probably rank Mookie Betts, even though he’s not eligible in all formats.

As commenters also pointed out last month, I could have just ranked him instead of explaining why I am or am not ranking him, thus saving myself both time and effort. Still, I felt compelled to account for my actions, and here we are, several possibly unnecessary sentences later.

Now, the fun factor. I was encouraged to come up with clever names for the tiers, as opposed to my previous yawn-inducing numerical system. Therefore, I am this month grouping players into tiers based upon the relative subjective quality of cities I’ve visited. I enjoy travel almost as much as baseball, and I have strong feelings about the places I’ve been — both good and bad — that are quite suitable for comparison to second basemen. Why not.

Jose Altuve

Read the rest of this entry »