Second Base Consensus Ranks for the Second Half

The baseball world is quiet. Only the All-Stars are stirring, and even that action puts many baseball fans to sleep. 90% of the game is on a three-day vacation — but not the gang here at RotoGraphs headquarters. Given the fact that all the teams have played more than half their games, it’s time to update the consensus ranks for the rest of the season. These are built for 12-team mixed leagues with traditional 5×5 stats, but we extended the rankings as far down as we could in order to give managers of all types a reference for the second half.

You’ll disagree with the placement of some of the names on this list — we disagreed with ourselves. And that was the point. You add your opinion to the three shown on this list, and you’re more likely to understand the different ways a player is valued and how best to take advantage of those different valuations.

Like most of our rankings, the top three haven’t changed much at second base. Well, one important player has dropped like a rock — Dustin Pedroia just can’t stay healthy. And while we always liked Jason Kipnis and Jose Altuve here at RotoGraphs, it’s Kipnis’ sustained speed and Altuve’s health and consistency that have helped them rise above the fallers in the field.

If you’re like us, you’ll disagree on Michael Cuddyer and Michael Young the most — these two veterans have upset saberists at times and aren’t having great years, but they still have the skill set to make the top ten at a tough position. Aaron Hill‘s re-break-out confounds, and is worth a second and third look as the season progresses. Everybody wants Omar Infante to get a better ranking, but there’s no reason to believe he’s found power at his age. Speaking of finding power, Trevor Plouffe is number one with a bullet but you’ll find plenty of disagreement about the sustainability of that skill.

It’s a tough position. If I told you I had a second baseman with a rest-of-season projection of oh, about a .265 batting average with seven homers and five steals, you might have to go through ten or so names before you guessed my player. That’s pretty mediocre.


FanGraphs Consensus Rankings:
Second Base
New Last Player Name Eno Sarris Mike Podhorzer Jeff Zimmerman Zach Sanders
1 1 Robinson Cano 1 1 1 1
2 3 Ian Kinsler 2 2 2 2
3 4 Brandon Phillips 4 4 3 3
4 12 Jason Kipnis 3 6 6 5
5 13 Jose Altuve 5 11 4 6
6 6 Ben Zobrist 6 5 8 8
7 9 Michael Cuddyer 10 3 5 11
8 21 Allen Craig 7 8 15 4
9 2 Dustin Pedroia 9 15 7 7
10 7 Dan Uggla 8 10 11 10
11 8 Howie Kendrick 12 9 12 13
12 20 Aaron Hill 11 17 10 9
13 5 Michael Young 14 7 14 17
14 11 Neil Walker 13 13 9 18
15 14 Kelly Johnson 19 16 18 15
16 N/A Kyle Seager 16 23 16 14
17 38 Trevor Plouffe 18 19 22 12
18 23 Chase Utley 15 12 31 16
19 15 Dustin Ackley 20 18 19 20
20 10 Rickie Weeks 22 14 21 21
21 18 Mike Aviles 17 21 20 22
22 19 Danny Espinosa 21 20 13 30
23 N/A Marco Scutaro 25 24 17 27
24 24 Omar Infante 23 26 27 19
25 16 Jemile Weeks 24 25 30 23
26 17 Daniel Murphy 26 27 25 29
27 26 Gordon Beckham 29 22 24 33
28 30 Ruben Tejada 27 34 36 24
29 29 Darwin Barney 28 32 26 35
30 22 Ryan Roberts 33 28 29 36
31 31 Mark Ellis 31 33 38 25
32 36 Steve Lombardozzi 32 38 32 28
33 37 Brian Roberts 38 41 29 26
34 27 Sean Rodriguez 34 37 35 31
35 N/A Jose Lopez 30 43 23 42
36 32 Orlando Hudson 37 30 34 40
37 28 Alexi Casilla 36 31 42 34
38 35 Johnny Giavotella 39 42 28 39
39 N/A Yuniesky Betancourt 41 39 33 38
40 33 Maicer Izturis 35 40 40 37
41 N/A Skip Schumaker 37 44 41 32
42 N/A Alexi Amarista 40 36 39 41
43 N/A Robert Andino 43 35 37 43
44 25 Ryan Raburn 42 29 44 44




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


43 Responses to “Second Base Consensus Ranks for the Second Half”

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  1. dakoose says:

    How does Mike Podhozer have Jose Altuve at 11th? I can kind of understand ranking him that low for real baseball purposes, but this fantasy baseball.
    His peripherals support his production and he’ll likely finish with 90-100 runs, 50 RBI, 30 SB, 10 HR and a .300 batting average. He doesn’t walk much but his average is high enough to keep his OBP respectable, so it’s not like you lose much in an OBP league. I can see his average dipping a little bit due to a slightly high Babip, but his Babip is inline with his minor league totals and is sustainable. I see him as the 4th-6th best second baseman in pretty much any format.

    ***If Allen Craig is eligible at 2B in your league…..he’s top 3.

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    • Andy says:

      A .338 BABIP is not “sustainable.” At least not if you’re using that word correctly.

      Or, it’s very probably not. The population of players in the modern era with a true-talent BABIP that high is tiny.

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      • dakoose says:

        Of course it is…look at his career numbers. He’s got a combined 1500+ AB’s through his minor and major league career with a BABIP above .330. The rest of his at bats, all 448 of them, produced a BABIP below the .330 mark.

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      • Andy says:

        yeah, MiLB BABIP isn’t the same as MLB BABIP (really, it’s not).

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      • ccoop says:

        ZiPS ROS projects him at pretty much that babip, give or take.

        he’s fast, doesn’t hit HR…i don’t see the big leap.

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      • Andy says:

        ZiPS(r) projects his BABIP 11 points lower in the second half. Which, when most of your value comes from the fact that you hit a lot of singles, is sort of a lot.

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      • Jason says:

        A .338 BABIP is great, but hardly outrageous. And, ZiPS(r) at 11 points lower means, what, 3 less hits in the ~300 PA he’s projected to have ROS? You’re talking a 1% total difference, if you’re to buy completely into ZiPS. Not so big a deal.

        Personally, I’d love if if Podhorzer is right, since I traded for Cuddyer and other than his two homer game almost a month ago, he’s done squat for my team.

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    • The funny thing is, I was one of the biggest Altuve fans pre-season (one of my bold predictions was that he’d be a top 5 2nd baseman this year) and own him in my home league. But, he’s doing nearly exactly what I projected him to, with a slight bump in all categories. I actually valued him as the 8th best 2B before the season, but that excluded guys like Michael Young and Allen Craig, which pushed Altuve down in these rankings.

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  2. Matt says:

    Wow 2B is crazy deep. Surprised everyone is still so bullish on Kendrick – a lot of the middle of the pack guys I would take over him, but his ranking isn’t toooooo high.. Soured on Jemile, I would take Murphy over him. Rickie would be even lower if not for Mike’s confounding placement.. Good list!

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    • Weeks’ problems stem primarily from his BABIP and contact issues, but I’d bet on improved contact in the 2nd half given his career history rather than weighting one half a season of contact problems so heavily. Walk rate good, batted ball profile normal, power is down yes, but without any injury I’m aware of and at age 29, no reason to think he should continue to suck just because he did in the first half.

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  3. ted says:

    you guys have just barely enough knowledge to make you dangerous…..aaron hill is repeating his fantastic season from 2010 without the mutiple injuries that slowed him down in 2010…he should be at least ahead 6 spots…..uggla has been deemed to be a second half monster based on his track record…how amny years of 30 or more simpsons…..he has 18-20 homers in him for the second half…….pedroia is hurt….altuve a rookie with no sustainability…..craig waiting for another dl stint…..and zobrist and kendrick having down years……mike u r the worst/best of the group….keep up the good work .

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    • juan pierres mustache says:

      fortunately…ted…has…all…the…knowledge…you…guys…are…missing…as…well…as…a…typing…style…that…makes…me…read…his…post…in…christopher…walken’s…voice.

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  4. herve houchoua says:

    Daniel Murphy

    green or red color ?

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  5. Baseball Joe says:

    Allen Craig is a stud…first basemen. His power totals more than make up for any lack of speed or playing time/injury concerns that appear to be pushing him down the ranks. Even if he doesn’t play every single game, or goes on the DL at some point, his production in combo with a replacement player still makes him an elite 2B. His current numbers prorated over 300 at bats (he’s at 176 now) would be 22 HR, 75 RBI, and 54 R. I understand there may be a production regression to an extent, but if he had the 330 AB Cano had

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  6. Baseball Joe says:

    I understand there may be a production regression to an extent, but if he had the 330 AB Cano had…just imagine. Regardless of what many seem to be speculating in regards to ‘playing time concerns,’ it is likely safe to say Craig has established himself as an elite middle-or-the-order producer…at any position, but especially at 2B.

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  7. the hottest stove says:

    Jeff Zimmerman obviously has never heard of Allen Craig and is throwing out guesses. Danny Espinosa, Neil Walker, and Howie Kendrick rather than Craig? Some of his responses are so bad that they dramatically skew the whole article and make it less useful…

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Here’s the thing about Zimmerman’s rankings: they are the least guesswork of the bunch. His are based 99.9% on ZiPs Rest of Season projections, put into a calculator to get comparative value. So while the other three guys are using intuition more, he’s going by the numbers.

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      • Reverend Jim says:

        Zimmerman uses the numbers because he does not play fantasy baseball (That’s what he said in a chat session last year if I remember correctly). He has no personal bias or love for any player. I could be wrong and it might have been on of the other guys but I’m pretty sure it was Zimm so my apolgies If I’m incorrect.

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      • Jeff Zimmerman says:

        Correction: I play fantasy baseball

        I used rZiPs.

        Allen’s projections have him similar to those players ahead of him. 9HRs, 0.285 AVG. His SB values, among the 2B are his down fall.

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  8. Baseball Joe says:

    So they’re 100% irrespective of the players’ acutal skill. NBD.

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  9. Baseball Joe says:

    I’m not a SABR darling, no. But I see Craig and say, “damn that boy can hit.” I can see having him behind Cano, Kinsler, Phillips (meh), and Kipnis, mostly due to the concerns I expressed above (playing time, injury, steals), but as far as pure hitting ability is concerned, from an eyeball’s perspective, it sure seems like Craig is neck and neck with Cano. It seems clear the metrics don’t support my perception, however. If you could give a few reasons why this is the case, I’d appreciate it.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Just mostly playing time issues. He’s got a terrible glove, and he won’t play center or second unless the team forces the issue. So Berkman is back in a week or so, and then Craig might become a super utility player. That’s actually built into the projections, which have him only getting 200 more PAs in the second half.

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    • batpig says:

      I think if you could guarantee 300 PA for Craig in the second half, his ranking would be much higher… but the injury rusk and potential positional issues are real, and real life affects fantasy value. Considering the hedge against playing time risk, and the fact that he contributes nothing in SB, I think #8 at the position is pretty fair. Maybe you could wiggle him up a spot or two, but you can’t put him ahead of proven performers with good health. I think it’s a pretty fair ranking.

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  10. Baseball Joe says:

    I mean, that’s fine. I can live with that. But having Beltran, Holliday, Craig, Berkman, Freese, and Yadier in the same line up sure seems to outweigh any lack of defensive prowess. They can be an AL-powerhouse-hitting team in a light-hitting NL division. And if you think of their pitching woes, they’re gonna need to out-slug opponents, not small ball/defensively smother them. Again, I’m just a fan who sees players play, mostly.

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  11. kid says:

    I’m sorry but that #3 overall rank for Phillips is insane. His counting stats make me as hard as Richard Simmons’ handshake.

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  12. Craig says:

    I see Rickie Weeks having a big 2nd half.

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  13. gonetilnovember says:

    F all of you for hating on guys giving their rankings… Where’s your research? Where’s your postings? Where’s your website? That’s right you have none, thats why you’re here. If you don’t appreciate these guys providing quality post after quality post then don’t visit the site. F your passive aggressive opinions. Chumps.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      I can’t tell which this way this post goes but it made me laugh. Everyone has a right to their opinion of course, I’m just defending/explaining our thinking when I post here.

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  14. Baseball Joe says:

    I’m certainly not attacking anyone’s research here. Everyone has the same risk for injury, regardless if Craig has been injured or not. Cano can fall down a flight of stairs tonight, break his wrist sliding into 2nd, etc, etc. I understand his fantasy value hinges on his real life value to that team, and, if you ask me, it seems to be pretty high. What about Berkman and Beltran’s injury risk? Is that factored in? My argument is simply, assuming Craig stay healthy, which SHOULD be the assumption for all these players, he out produces every 2B handedly, save Cano, in every counting batting category besides steals.

    You can find steals easily and cheaply, not legit, power producers in their prime in a productive offense.

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    • Hawkeye says:

      Past history has absolutely no bearing on a person’s injury risk in the future? I beg to differ. Yes, we all have the potential to be injured, but some people are deemed unfit for athletic activities more than others. Maybe it’s due to poor stretching prior to exercise lack of vitamins, or just plain clumsiness. Who knows? The point being some guys breakdown on a regular basis while others are seemingly never hurt. It’s a fact of life, and one that cannot be ignored. In fantasy and real life.

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  15. TacoTruck13 says:

    I hope Uggla comes through! I just traded away Craig for Gallardo, so Im all in on Uggla.

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  16. Dustin Pedroia says:

    I have made myself so sad for drafting me so friggin early. My friend Edwin Encarnacion and AJP have kept my spirits up though.

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  17. Gus says:

    Espinoza probably deserves a little more love. On pace for 15/25, from 2b that’s pretty solid, even with the shaky AVG., I’ll take that every year. Someone has him @ 30. There are not (29) 2nd basemen w/ better counting numbers than Espinoza, Zach needs a vacation.

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  18. Gus says:

    gonetilnovember is really Zach Sanders : )

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  19. lester bangs says:

    If Zimm is going to use a formula to essentially mandate his ranks, why not put the acronym at the top of the header?

    Need to factor in health risk, too. Anyone expecting healtht and productive Pedroia lives in a dream world.

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  20. lester bangs says:

    The column should say “Zippermann.”

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  21. DG says:

    I just imagine the Cards taking a bat as perma-hot as Craig’s out of the lineup. Blast the AC, because he’s about to stay healthy rival Cano for that number one spot.

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