RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Second Base

Maybe we all use rankings differently. Most of the time, I look at rankings and try to find where I value players differently. That’s gold! A ranking that’s too high for my liking means I can throw that player to get money on the table, or wait a round because I’m sure someone will take him. A player I like better than others is someone I can wait for.

I guess there might be a ranking out there that would be perfect for me, that I would take and use for myself without editing. Not even sure my rankings are those rankings. Because we’re getting information daily and that can nudge a guy up or down. But sure, I’ll be using my rankings in my drafts, in some form.

What you could also do is use the spreadsheet that will come at the end of these rankings, bump guys up or down a bit as you see fit, and really personalize your ranks for your needs, wants, desires and outlook on life. That might work, too.

To the second baseman!

What a crappy crew this is once you lose out on the top three. Some of you might not even like the third-best option, he’s got either a bad thumb injury or declining power that wasn’t great to begin with. The next guy has declining power *and* wheels. The next guy is all steals and runs, well he’s on the Astros so never mind those runs. And then once you’re talking about middle infielders, well it’s just take your pick. It’s obvious who I like better than everyone in the 12-18 range… who’s your guy there?

Rankings based on 5×5 roto, 12 teams, single-catcher with Middle Infield and Corner Infield spots, 14 hitters and 9 pitchers. Each ranker had their own mix of projections and intuition.

RG name Jeff Zach Mike Eno
1 Jason Kipnis 1 2 1 1
2 Robinson Cano 2 1 2 2
3 Dustin Pedroia 4 4 3 3
4 Ian Kinsler 5 5 4 4
5 Jose Altuve 3 3 6 6
6 Aaron Hill 8 9 5 7
7 Matt Carpenter 10 7 10 5
8 Jedd Gyorko 6 6 7 14
9 Daniel Murphy 11 8 9 9
10 Martin Prado 9 11 12 8
11 Ben Zobrist 7 15 8 12
12 Chase Utley 12 13 13 11
13 Brandon Phillips 13 12 11 15
14 Howie Kendrick 14 10 15 13
15 Neil Walker 17 14 14 16
16 Anthony Rendon 19 16 20 10
17 Brian Dozier 16 18 18 19
18 Jurickson Profar 15 20 19 17
19 Omar Infante 20 17 17 21
20 Jed Lowrie 18 24 16 20
21 Kolten Wong 22 21 22 22
22 Alexander Guerrero 23 19 23 26
23 Scooter Gennett 27 23 24 18
24 Marco Scutaro 24 25 26 24
25 Kelly Johnson 21 26 21 36
26 Josh Rutledge 26 22 33 25
27 Dustin Ackley 25 27 30 29
28 Dan Uggla 28 30 28 28
29 Gordon Beckham 29 34 29 27
30 Nick Franklin 30 28 32 31
31 Darwin Barney 31 32 34 35
32 Rickie Weeks 35 31 36 34
33 Brian Roberts 33 33 42 33
34 Jordy Mercer 40 40 25 37
35 Jemile Weeks 40 40 44 23
36 Mark Ellis 38 29 40 40
37 Jonathan Schoop 40 35 41 32
38 Emilio Bonifacio 40 40 40 30
39 Ryan Goins 37 37 40 38
40 Kevin Frandsen 34 38 40 40
41 Skip Schumaker 32 42 40 40
42 Donovan Solano 41 36 40 39
43 Tyler Pastornicky 36 41 40 40
44 Danny Espinosa 39 40 40 40
45 Steve Lombardozzi 40 39 43 40
46 Grant Green 43 40 40 40

Other players ranked by one analyst: Jordany Valdespin, DJ Le Mahieu, Alberto Callaspo, Eric Sogard, Ryan Flaherty, Maicer Izturis, Logan Forsythe, and Nick Punto




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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


38 Responses to “RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Second Base”

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  1. Jeremy Roell says:

    Really surprised to see Kipnis ahead of Cano. How much does moving from Yankee Stadium to Safeco have to do with this? Kipnis is good, but with only two good years, and has yet to put up a season like Cano does almost every year. Just curious as to what the rationale is behind that.

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    • stuck in a slump says:

      It looks like Steamer and the fans are projecting him for under 25 HR’s and little speed, with an average around .300. Kipnis is being projected anywhere from 15-20 HR’s (I’ll take the under on the 20 HR’s) between 22 and 32 SB’s and between a .262 and .277 average (I’ll actually take the over on the average considering the change in his approach which increased his LD% and that he was under his xBABIP last year). All projections have both with about the same amount of runs while Kipnis’ highest RBI projection is about the same as the lowest RBI projection for Cano.

      By straight projections, I’d say that Cano is the best, but if Kipnis keeps his LD% up, and can come closer to his xBABIP from last year, I’d expect that he could put a .285 90-16-80-30 line vs a .300 90-24-95-5 line from Cano. Depending on how you feel about SB’s, that makes them a bit closer. Of course, my estimation depends on where Kipnis bats, if he hits 3rd, I think that my projection is about right, if he hits 2nd he may end up with about 95-100 runs and 70 or so RBI. But with Bourn leading off I’d say Kipnis hits 3rd with Swisher batting 2nd.

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      • ray says:

        I see Cano’s and Kipnis’ runs and RBIs in the 80-90 range. Cano will hit a few more HRs than Kipnis with a higher BA, but Kipnis’ steals will be the difference maker.

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    • ray says:

      Love the Kipnis ranking. I ranked him at #1 in my rankings as well. Safeco will depress Cano’s counting stats and BA to the point that Kipnis and his steals are the difference.

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  2. Scott Clarkson says:

    Eno: you seem particularly down on gyorko. Is it just that the low avg and high K rate aren’t your thing? The HR seems sustainable (15.9 HR/FB w/ an even 39%/39% GB/FB split). If he hits less GB, gets better luck on LD (22% in 2013 despite the .231 BA), or improves his contact he could improve in 2014. I’d certainly love to grab 25HR w/ the 14th 2B off the board.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Maybe I should have had him higher. But my projection is for .261/22/3 with meh R/RBI because of that team. Useful player, not sure he’s a top option. Top-12er? Maybe he should have been. In the end, I don’t mind that I pulled him down in the consensus a bit.

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      • Scott Clarkson says:

        Fair enough. Thank you for the extra reasoning/reply! I think I’m getting influenced by LWTS points colored glasses these days….

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  3. Cody says:

    Do not get me wrong, I think Dustin Pedroia is a great fantasy option. However, the drop off after him is not as big as Eno (and the gang) is suggesting. For example, as the Rays fan that I am, he is not substantially better, if at all, than Ben Zobrist. I know wRC+ doesn’t directly translate to fantasy glory, but the breakdown for each guy is as follows the last three years:

    Name / 2011 / 2012 / 2013
    Dustin Pedroia / 133 / 114 / 115
    Ben Zobrist / 130 / 137 / 115

    I understand that these rankings are for the 2014 season, not the past three, but why should we honestly think Pedroia and/or Zobrist are going to perform much differently than the past three years indicate?

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    • Bill Ponderosa says:

      I know these stats are irrelevant for fantasy purposes, but let me use them as my sole source of comparison anyway.

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      • thecodygriffin says:

        I did not say “irrelevant”, I said that they do not directly translate (i.e. no fantasy league uses wRC+). However, I have primarily built my teams in a league that includes XBH and BB in addition to the standard five hitting categories using wRC+ as a gauge of hitting talent and I have won three out of the last four championships in a 16-team league.

        The definition of wRC+ IS measures how a player’s total offensive value, in runs, compares with league average.

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      • stuck in a slump says:

        This is based off of standard 5×5 though, your league settings are irrelevant to the discussion. Zobrist will certainly not help your AVG like Pedroia will, he likely will have fewer RBI and run opportunities than Pedroia will too. Give Pedroia a slight edge in speed and its easy to see why he’s ranked higher than Zobrist, especially if you believe that he’ll bounce back.

        Now, this isn’t to say that Zobrist is terrible, he’s not, I love the guy and if I hadn’t snagged Kipnis with my last round pick in my keeper league back in 2011, I would have held on to him as my primary 2B. However, Zobrist is like a Pedroia lite and should probably be swapped with Murphy in the rankings.

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      • thecodygriffin says:

        Fair enough.

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    • Cybo says:

      wRC+ Is a great metric for ranking hitters in points leagues. It’s my favorite!

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Points’ been made, but just for more clarity, here are their average/hr/sb/r/rbi totals for the last three years, and their age:

      Pedroia (30): .300/45/63/274/240
      Zobrist (33): .271/52/44/264/236

      Maybe they are closer than we’ve talked about. But with the age, and the fact that Pedroia played through a thumb injury and should rebound in power, while Zobrist doesn’t have a great reason to rebound this year based on his aging curve, I’m comfortable saying there’s a wide gap. I have Pedroia projected .295/15/16 and Zob at .264/14/9.

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      • Cody says:

        That is a fair explanation. I believe stuck in a slump was correct that I am rating Zobrist per my league, not the general 5×5.

        I sincerely appreciate the response Eno.

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  4. Lenard says:

    Where would Brad Miller rank? He’s second-base eligible in Yahoo leagues.
    I have Segura as a keeper, so I’d be using Miller at 2nd.

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    • ashtray says:

      I’ve gotta think he’d be in the 14-18 range, right? Admittedly I’m a bit high on Miller this year but he’s definitely got a higher ceiling than Walker/Kendrick.

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  5. Phil says:

    Saw on Eno’s chat yesterday that doing these rankings is the worst part of the job. Just wanted to say they are greatly appreciated and fun to see and think about. There will always be a few gooftards ranting and raging as if this whole thing’s not for fun. Ignore them. Thanks.

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    • Cybo says:

      We just love our baseball and nerds like us are often particular people.

      MATT CARPENTER SHOULD’VE BEEN RANKED HIGHER RAWWWRRRRR!

      Dis my only beaf. Maybe only a couple spots. Flip Altuve and Carpenter and its pretty spot on for me.

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  6. rolenkid2000 says:

    No way that Cano is not #1, even with the move to Seattle. Cano will be better in homers and BA. RBIs + runs will probably be pretty equal. Kipnis only wins in SBs but I don’t see how that is enough to overtake Cano who has been the most durable guy over the last 5+ years. I’ll take Cano every day of the week and not lose sleep over it!

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  7. Cap'n Scrappy says:

    Pedroia has to be bumped to no. 1 for my league that counts the number of times that the announcers reference a player’s “hustle,” “scrappiness,” “toughness,” and “hustling, scrappy McToughness,” right?

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  8. Two Jakes says:

    So based on this drop-off, are Cano and Kipnis first round picks? I don’t think so, but I could see someone going that route. I would, however, likely use a second round pick unless I was extremely lucky to have a first round talent fall to me.

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  9. Shah says:

    If flaherty Beats out weeks, where does he rank? Does everyone see weeks winning? I thought they had announced flaherty as the guy at 2nd base

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  10. GilaMonster says:

    I pretty strongly disagree with Kinsler at 4th. His HR/FB% has been falling (7.9% in 2012, 6.7% in 2013). He is moving from a park that boost HR power by 6%, to one that is neutral. I see him as a 15/13/.260 guy with good counting stats. You could get similar production out of Utley,Profar,Miller, or even Brian Dozier later on.

    I love Eno’s Rendon ranking however. I’m in an OBP league and I think a .350 OBP and 15 + HR are reasonable in a stacked Nationals lineup.

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  11. Jewbacca says:

    Is anyone more than a little concerned about Kipnis’ propensity to run extremely hot and cold, along with his .345 BABIP from last year? 2 years in a row he has really fallen off in the 2nd half, and even last year’s first half started off looking like a serious dud for about the first month and a half before he caught fire to finish on a high note going into the ASB, before mostly swooning again in the 2nd half (2 HR combined August/September). In Roto it all evened out for the year as a whole, but for h2h the last 2 years he has been a real drag for any contending teams in the 2nd half.

    The SB potential seems consistent, which is definitely a boon considering this crop of 2B aren’t that speedy, but seems like there is a lot of potential downside on the batting average, and maybe even HRs?

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  12. tvators says:

    Especially h2h, kipnis had been so bad he had been on the bench during playoffs, until kipnis puts together a full season instead of a hot two months then id consider taking him before cano, right now I think he it’s one of the most overrated guys in fantasy and I have loved him past few yrs but now everyone seems to want to take him 11, 12 or whatever and I don’t get it, I know eno says half season splits are not predictive but I usually take that to mean a guy who had a hot last two months is no lock to carry it to the next season, this is two straight yrs kipnis has been abysmal, not a lil slump, abysmal in the second half, plus sea is death on RH power and cano’s power was never a product of Yankee stadium short porch

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  13. Wes says:

    What about a column in the rankings that include the end of season ranks from the end of last season?

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  14. Dalman says:

    How much higher would Franklin rate if he were traded into a full time starting gig?

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  15. Jay says:

    What system do you play where Dozier ranks ahead of Carpenter? It’s not any of the 4×4 or 5×5 systems I’m aware of, that’s for sure. Mancrushes are fine, but this is supposed to be objective.

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  16. tvators says:

    KInda funny how Matt Carpenter is actually becoming under rated at this point, as he is everyone’s favorite regression candidate but if you look at his 296 AB 2012, its pretty in line with his 2013. If he stays healthy atop the Cards lineup he’l be a top option at 2b and 3b especially in H2H

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  17. Sixto Lezcano says:

    I can’t see anyway Kinsler finishes #4 now that he’s not in Arlington. He relied heavily on his home splits and he’s been declining consistently. I’m projecting him at .254, 13 HR’s and 57 RBI’s. Even with healthy runs and a handful of SB’s, he’s number 10 on my rankings.

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    • bo money says:

      Kinsler will have a big year. Hes .350 on base and .450 slugger career with speed. he could easily be the best second basemen if he stays healthy atop the tigers lineup.

      hes a better shot for 20 homers /20 steals than kipnis…

      kinsler was 30 homers 30 steals in 2011, 20/20 in ’12 and was on pace for 20/20 last year but missed games.

      kinsler has a huge season year 1 with detroit. lock it up. good luck ranking him 10th

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  18. Rick says:

    Is the customizable rankings spreadsheet you spoke of available yet?

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  19. Ballpark Frank says:

    I have either Kipnis or Altuve in all of my leagues so I am glad to see both ranked so high. Im only doing 12 team 5×5 Roto’s and I like to get my speed from the middle infield. Kipnis and Altuve are the only guys at 2nd who can get you 30 SBs and contribute in other areas.

    Kipnis at the end of the 2nd round is a steal. Cano, Pedroia, and Kinsler are all declining players. Kipnis has already proven that he can be a top guy at 2nd but he still has power and average upside.

    Houston is much improved this year IMO and Altuve stands to benefit. Villar was very aggressive stealing bases last year and should be in scoring position often and Dexter Fowler brings his on base prowess to the lead off spot. Jason Castro looks legit and George Springer should be called up sooner rather then later. If Altuve can get 650+ ABs this year he should be good for .290, 10 HRs, 90 Rs, 65 RBIs, 40 SBs

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    • Goodbread says:

      Ballpark, I like Altuve and all, but 90 runs on that team with a career .323 OBP is a very tall task.

      I put .290/8/80/57/35 as his ceiling in 2014 unless he shows a sudden and dramatic improvement in walk rate. Definitely a compelling, stable profile with good LD% and near-elite contact skills.

      Probably a lock for top 5-6 at a thin position, but let’s not get out of character.

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  20. Goodbread says:

    *first sentence is awkward… to clarify: his .323 OBP and the offense around him as you see it (Springer, Fowler, et al)

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