It’s tough to look at this position and say, “I can’t wait to load up on some second base sleepers!” Even for the 2016 Fantasy Baseball season, this position remains an ever-shallow group, and it’s pretty easy to understand why.
More often than not, second base is a position filled by below-average fielding shortstops that happen to have speed. It’s also a spot where teams hide players that might not be athletic enough to play in center field, with too little power to man a corner infield or corner outfield spot. (Obviously, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, but I would say this is how a majority of second basemen come to be.)
With all of that said, don’t look down your nose at this position, as it has provided the hobby with some standout hitters over the past decade or so, including Alfonso Soriano, Chase Utley and now, Jose Altuve.
I like to bookend my drafts with good middle infielders. In other words, I like to take one of the top middle infielders in the early rounds, and another good middle infielder a round or two later, then avoid the second base and shortstop positions until the very end of the draft, when I fill my “middle infielder” position.
My reasoning for doing this is that – I just don’t like the players in the middle at this position. In other words, I feel like whomever you plan to draft in the middle rounds, he’s likely not THAT much of a better player than the one you can get with your final draft pick.
Second Base Sleepers
Mixed League Sleepers
For the most part, the second base sleepers I’m mentioning here are ones you would find ranked between 15-22 of most Average Draft Position rankings you find on your league’s service.
Neil Walker, New York Mets
Walker is one of those forgotten players that people sometimes settle for when the draft gets into the deeper stage, but I think this is a good thing for those that end up with him in 2016. Sure, a move to Citi Field might not be much of a positive move from his PNC Park days with the Pirates, but a closer look shows that this could be a good thing for the 30-year-old.
The Mets added Walker when they lost out on Ben Zobrist, and he has a great chance at replacing Daniel Murphy’s talent – and then some. Rotisserie owners will be happy with Walker’s power production, which is better than Zobrist’s, and his batting average is going to hover near a non-dangerous .270.
Let that sink in – he’s a power-hitting switch-hitter, batting second in the Mets’ lineup near Curtis Granderson and David Wright, with numbers that won’t kill you in batting average. And you can draft him after about 230 players are off the board.
Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants
“Panik at the Disco” was one of my favorite plays in FanDuel cash games in Daily Fantasy Baseball last season because he always seemed to get on base at least once a game. For seasonal Fantasy Baseball players, that doesn’t really mean a whole lot, since a guy could get on once a game for 162 games in a row, and still bat .230.
But Panik battled back issues in the second half of last season, so his stock dipped entering autumn. Fantasy owners should be more than happy adding a .300 hitter with their final pick in the draft – especially one that’s likely going to bat second in a lineup that’s ranked top 10 in total at-bats last season.
Deep League Sleepers
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