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The second pick in drafts normally comes within 30 to 45 seconds, depending on where you draft.

Jose Altuve at the second pick is the most debated pick since Bryce Harper and Mike Trout last year (spoiler, Trout was the way to go).

Should you consider these other options at the second pick? Paul Goldschmidt and his versatility. Mookie Betts and the power/speed combo. Kris Bryant and the juggernaut Chicago Offense. Nolan Arenado and the Coors impact.

We’re going to break this down by analytics, position, team, and the players themselves.

Here’s why drafting Jose Altuve, not only is the best pick out of all these, but will help you and your title hopes.

 Why Jose Altuve Should Be The No. 2 Pick In 2017

Strictly analytics 

During his five years in the majors, 2016 was his lowest SB total at 30. Altuve has been in the Top 3 of the consensus six (Trout, Bryant, Arenado, Altuve, Betts, Goldschmidt) in OPS for the last two of three years, with fourth place being the outlier. According to Fangraphs, Altuve has batted over .300 the last three years; as well as a .300 BA away from home with a .376.

Altuve should get better at home, as he bats .299 on his home turf. If his average continues to trend upward at home, he could really threaten the all-time season average as his splits are amazing; batting over .300 away vs. left and right handed pitchers and at home vs. right handed pitchers.

Deeper Dive

Of the consensus Top 6 hitters, Altuve had the lowest K% (Strikeout Rate). Altuve has been in the Top 3 of wOBA the last two of three years and has had five 200 hit seasons. On top of that, since his call up, he has 67 hits more than any other active player. The 45% pull rate is outstanding, as that will kill most types of defensive shifts that some players face. Also, Altuve dropped his GB% to 5%, which is great because it limits ground outs/double plays.

chart

Data courtesy of Fangraphs

Second base is good, but Altuve is elite

Altuve is the only second baseman who has produced in all five categories consistently. The last three years looked something like this, among all second basemen:

 RunsHitsSBAVGOBP
20144th1sst2nd1st2nd
20154th2nd2nd2nd6th
20162nd1st2nd3rd2nd

It should be noted that in 2015, Dee Gordon finished first in hits, Avg, SB, and OBP among second basemen. This was also the year that he was suspended for having illegal substances. 

Here are a few more key stats, among all positions:

  • 2014: Led the league in hits, AVG and was second in SBs.
  • 2015: Ranked second in hits
  • 2016: Led the majors in hits and third in SBs

How do the other second basemen add up? While they have been consistent, Robinson Cano, Daniel Murphy, and Ian Kinsler are all over 30, and arguably past their prime. Brian Dozier’s team is not going to help him with RBIs and runs. Also, Dozier is not known for his power, which he excelled at last year, blowing his previous career high by 14. Gordon will give you all of the SBs, and maybe some Avg, but is a one-trick pony at this point in his career. Jonathan Villar is the riskiest, because his analytics suggest regression.

Altuve and the Astros

According to RotoChamp, George Springer and Alex Bregman will be batting one and two. Altuve will be in line for an uptick in RBIs. Bregman’s Avg will jump up a bit more this year as he continues to develop. Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran batting right behind Altuve will give him the best situation for a career high in runs.

Why is this so important? Well, these are the two categories that Altuve has not consistently been in the Top 3 at his position. Those types of numbers could dethrone Trout as the number one player in Fantasy.

 Altuve Prime?

Jose Altuve is entering his prime, and his ceiling could not be higher. The power aspect of a MLB player’s game is usually the last to develop. At 26, he could be just entering the heyday of his power. Adding that could topple any player, as he’d become the ultimate five-category player. In a recent interview, Altuve said that he still wants to hit 30 HRs. That line would be huge, and could look something like this: 215 hits, 115 runs, 100 RBIs, 35 SBs, 30 HRs and a .320 avg.

A player who is just entering their prime while already being a five-category player has all the reason to be selected Nol. overall. Altuve is a unique player, with a unique team, who could post historic numbers and statistically, is already one of the best players in the world. Taking Altuve No. 2 may be better than taking Trout No. 1.

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2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit
Fantasy Baseball Rankings | Sleepers & Busts | Player Analysis | Draft Strategy | Spring Training Updates | Mock Drafts | Fantasy Baseball Tools

Scott Guthrie

Scott Guthrie

Scott's been playing fantasy sports since before Eminem was cool. He loves to relentlessly mock draft until the 9th person finally drops out. He takes pride in the fact that he was drafting Yelich before it was cool. Also, he was drafting three WRs in the first four rounds before the "Zero RB" strategy came about. He's been writing for a few years in his basement, and now wants to share it with the world.
Scott Guthrie

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