Top 25 Second Basemen for 2015 Fantasy Baseball

*The order of these rankings are based on a valuation system for a 5×5 roto scoring league with 5 games played minimum for position eligibility.  This is not necessarily the order I would draft these players in, as different factors should impact which player to choose.

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  1. Jose Altuve – Altuve had a .360 BABIP last year when overall his batted ball profile would have suggested that he was a tad worse than the previous year when he had a .316 BABIP. So yes, some regression is likely due but with the minimal amount of strikeouts, the pint-sized second baseman should still be a decent bet to hit .300 again.  With less hits (and no substantial gain in walks), Altuve can also be projected for less stolen bases, but 40 SB is certainly within reach.  And he also has room for some power growth.  Despite being so tiny, Altuve had a couple seasons of double digit HR in the Minors, topping out at 15.  So there’s some hope that he can hit double digits this year as he now has another year of growth and experience under his belt.  And with an improved offense batting behind him this year, he should see an increase in the rate at which he scores runs.  So yeah, I certainly wouldn’t expect him to do what he did last year, but I think he will still be good enough to be this year’s top second baseman.  2015 projection:  .303 AVG, 7 HR, 52 RBI, 92 R, 43 SB, 63 K, 38 BB in 650 AB
  2. Mookie Betts – I can see the confusion in your eyes.  Mookie doesn’t have a starting position locked up, but I am going to believe that he is going to earn one.  The Red Sox will gain nothing by not having him as an everyday starter.  Yeah sure, they would still be one of the best offenses in the league without him, but he has nothing left to prove in the Minors.  I think that they wise up and run him out there mostly everyday.  My projection for him is based off of 130 starts.  If he was guaranteed a starting job right now then I would project him for 145 starts and he would be the number one second baseman on this list.  I kind of love me some Mookie and there will be more to come on this stud in my “This Year’s…” series.  2015 projection:  .294 AVG, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 96 R, 30 SB, 80 K, 62 BB in 541 AB
  3. Robinson Cano – It didn’t take an expert to realize that Cano would likely have a power outage as he moved away from Yankee Stadium, as that place plays very well for left-handed power. But to see his HR total cut nearly in half from 27 HR in 2013 to 14 HR in 2014 was a bit drastic.  However, just some simple aging likely played a role as well as he just wasn’t hitting the ball as far on average as he lost nearly 13 feet on his average fly ball/HR according to Baseball Heat Maps.  Not only was he not hitting the ball as far, but he wasn’t hitting the ball in the air often at all.  His 24.7% fly ball rate ranked as the 14th lowest mark out of all qualified hitters.  It seems to me as if Cano is just in the decline phase of his career and I personally would not have him on any of my teams as his name value exceeds what I perceive to be his actual value.  2015 projection:  .296 AVG, 15 HR, 82 RBI, 85 R, 6 SB, 82 K, 51 BB in 598 AB
  4. Anthony Rendon – I am not sure where Rendon’s 2014 season came from, but he is another player that is unlikely to be on any of my teams this year. I do not think that he is a 20 HR type of hitter, as 12 of his 21 HR from last year were “just enough” – meaning that those hit baseballs barely cleared the fence.  And those 17 SB he had last year?  I’m really not sure where that came from as he stole just 1 base in 98 games in 2013.  Maybe he proves me wrong, but I render Rendon overrated.  2015 projection:  .278 AVG, 17 HR, 73 RBI, 94 R, 11 SB, 107 K, 68 BB in 607 AB
  5. Dee Gordon – The move from the Dodgers to the Marlins had no real effect on Gordon’s fantasy value. If anything, it improved as he would have had to play well enough out of the gate for the Dodgers to fend off Alex Guerrero.  With the Marlins he does not have to worry about playing time at all, and besides a little drop in his batting average I would expect him to perform very similarly to his breakout season last year.  2015 projection:  .276 AVG, 2 HR, 33 RBI, 91 R, 64 SB, 111 K, 36 BB in 620 AB
  6. Dustin Pedroia – Pedroia had an ouchie with his wrist last year, but he has had surgery to repair it and he’s feeling good about it. He also dealt with another injury that slowed him down on the base paths.  I would expect a rebound in his power and speed, but if he doesn’t then you have a premium version of Joe Panik as the downside.  2015 projection:  .287 AVG, 12 HR, 65 RBI, 87 R, 14 SB, 71 K, 59 BB in 575 AB
  7. Jason Kipnis – Another second baseman looking to bounce back, I read somewhere that Kipnis tried to hit for too much power last year. Well, talk about the ultimate backfire as he hit a career low 6 HR.  I think maybe he deserves a mulligan for last season, and I think he will fall somewhere in between his 2012 and 2013 seasons.  2015 projection:  .267 AVG, 14 HR, 73 RBI, 79 R, 27 SB, 123 K, 65 BB in 574 AB
  8. Josh Harrison – Last year Harrison went from suber-sub to All-Star. Some will say that he is a one-year wonder, but I think that he can have some nice value still.  His .315 AVG from last year was driven by a .353 BABIP, but he hit the ball hard and used his speed to leg out a lot of hits, so I feel that he certainly earned that AVG for the most part.  His AVG will probably fall but it might not dip as much as people think, and his multi-position eligibility adds to his value.  2015 projection:  .293 AVG, 13 HR, 54 RBI, 84 R, 22 SB, 93 K, 27 BB in 618 AB
  9. Brian Dozier – Dozier should approach another 20/20 season again, but what gave him so much value on top of the HR and SB was his 112 runs scored. Unless he somehow hits .320 this season, then he won’t be scoring that many runs again.  But no, he hits way too man infield fly balls to hit for a good AVG.  2015 projection:  .240 AVG, 20 HR, 67 RBI, 88 R, 19 SB, 127 K, 76 BB in 596 AB
  10. Ian Kinsler – The first five years of Kinsler’s career were plagued by injury, but oddly as he’s gotten older he seems to have had better health. But over the last two seasons, despite the relative healthiness, his skills have been deteriorating.  He is lucky that he has had the fortune of playing in such potent lineups.  At age 33, I think he keeps tailing off like Brandon Phillips has over the last few years (Phillips has tailed off so much that he is not even included in these rankings).  2015 projection:  .264 AVG, 14 HR, 67 RBI, 85 R, 13 SB, 75 K, 33 BB in 613 AB
  11. Kolten Wong – Seemingly at the expense of his batting average, Wong had a power surge last year where he hit 12 HR in 402 regular season AB and then he added 3 more HR in 28 post-season AB. It is hard to say whether or not Wong is going to continue to sacrifice AVG for power, or resemble more of his Minor League self.  The good news is that either way, he carries good potential.  The bad news is that the Cardinals traded for Jason Heyward in the off-season so Wong’s hopes of hitting at the top of the lineup have been erased for now.  At the very least, Wong should be a 10/20 player and that certainly has value at second base.  2015 projection:  .267 AVG, 14 HR, 62 RBI, 66 R, 26 SB, 93 K, 33 BB in 551 AB
  12. Daniel Murphy – After a breakout 2013 season where he had 13 HR and 23 SB, Murphy came back down and performed nearly exactly to my projections for him. And this is the part where I project him to have a stat line nearly exactly to last year’s.  2015 projection:  .281 AVG, 9 HR, 60 RBI, 81 R, 13 SB, 89 K, 37 BB in 616 AB
  13. Howie Kendrick – I know that Kendrick raked in the Minors to the tune of a .360 AVG, but that was thanks to a highly unsustainable .387 BABIP. Now he has held his own very respectably when it comes to BABIP as his Major League career mark is at .341.  But he does not hit enough HR or make contact enough to live up to the “future batting champion” hopes that were once had for him.  If only BABIP were a fantasy category.  2015 projection:  .289 AVG, 8 HR, 68 RBI, 67 R, 12 SB, 102 K, 33 BB in 551 AB
  14. Neil Walker – Walker hit 23 HR last year, which shattered his previous career high by 7. The problem with Walker besides being an utterly, statistically boring player is that he has eclipsed 140 games played once in his career and that was back in 2011.  He is certainly draftable and could be a fine fantasy second baseman, but he is quite the snooze-fest.  2015 projection:  .270 AVG, 18 HR, 72 RBI, 70 R, 2 SB, 92 K, 48 BB in 515 AB
  15. Martin Prado – Prado lands in a pretty decent spot in Miami where he will either bat 2nd or 5th.  Either way he is going to be in a good run scoring spot or a good run producing spot.  2015 projections:  .281 AVG, 11 HR, 72 RBI, 70 R, 4 SB, 73 K, 36 BB in 569 AB
  16. Ben Zobrist – Another second baseman on the wrong side of 30 in his decline years. From 2009-12, Zobrist had at least 20 HR or 20 SB in each season.  The last two years, he has barely reached 10 in each of those categories.  While he still maintains his value in real baseball, his fantasy value has taken a huge hit.  2015 projection:  .262 AVG, 10 HR, 63 RBI, 82 R, 10 SB, 88 K, 71 BB in 569 AB
  17. Chase Utley – Utley was hitting .320 at the end of May. Shabam!  The old Utley is back!  Oh wait, he hit .244 from June through the end of the season?  The old Utley is not back.  He is just old.  2015 projection:  .267 AVG, 12 HR, 66 RBI, 68 R, 8 SB, 77 K, 47 BB in 510 AB
  18. Marcus Semien – Check out my This Year’s Brian Dozier will be Marcus Semien post for more on this sleeper. 2015 projection:  .247 AVG, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 78 R, 12 SB, 126 K, 65 BB in 546 AB
  19. Rougned Odor – Odor smells like he has sleeper potential, but remember that he still is only 21 years old and is likely to bat toward the bottom of the Rangers lineup. A point of concern is that he was 4 for 11 in SB attempts last year.  Counterpoint is that he once stole 32 bases in a year.  He could go 15/30, or he could go 10/5, but I suppose I would take a flier on him to find out.  2015 projection:  .267 AVG, 12 HR, 58 RBI, 58 R, 15 SB, 92 K, 23 BB in 501 AB
  20. Asdrubal Cabrera – Asdrubal signed on with Tampa Bay this off-season, which probably gives him a slightly better outlook than if he was still with the Nationals. He also has shortstop eligibility where he is more attractive.  Not looks wise.  Just for fantasy purposes.  No, not that kind of fantasy!  2015 projection:  .249 AVG, 14 HR, 63 RBI, 66 R, 9 SB, 108 K, 45 BB in 543 AB
  21. Brett Lawrie – I want to like Lawrie, but I just can’t. I once liked him, but then he decided that he was more comfortable on the disabled list.  The guy is bound to get injured at some point, as he has not played in more than 125 games in a Major League season.  In addition, he went from Toronto to Oakland this off-season.  That’s one of the worst moves that can happen for a hitter.  I’m living wild and projecting Lawrie to play in 133 games.  2015 projection:  .261 AVG, 14 HR, 60 RBI, 59 R, 8 SB, 88 K, 37 BB in 495 AB
  22. Chris Owings – With Didi Gregorius gone, Owings claims the starting shortstop gig in Arizona all to himself. He is capable of a 10/20 season as he did at AAA in 2013, but I don’t see that happening this year.  2015 projection:  .267 AVG, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 60 R, 14 SB, 115 K, 28 BB in 540 AB
  23. Jedd Gyorko – The Amazing Gyorko and his incredible magic act made his power disappear right before your eyes in 2014! He went from 23 HR in 2013 to 10 HR in 2014.  What a Gyorkoff.  I believe in the power rebounding as he should be able to put 2014 behind him, and now he is no longer a focal point of the team’s offense.  Perhaps the pressure easing off of him will do the trick.  2015 projection:  .250 AVG, 20 HR, 65 RBI, 51 R, 3 SB, 121 K, 44 BB in 496 AB
  24. Joe Panik – Panik came on for the Giants last year and really was kind of a spark plug for the team, but as we know, there are no spark plugs in fantasy. He offers no power and relatively no speed.  How he even made the top 25 here, I am not sure.  2015 projection:  .287 AVG, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 70 R, 8 SB, 85 K, 23 BB in 134 AB
  25. Scooter Gennett – With Rickie Weeks out of Milwaukee, Scooter may see an uptick in playing time. Yay for his fantasy outlook?  No, not so much yay, as he may be put in situations more often where he will be facing left-handed pitching.  Scooter can’t hit lefties as he has .128 career AVG versus them.  Small sample size, sure.  But not exactly encouraging either.  Facing more lefties he is bound to see his batting average drop into mediocrity.  2015 projection:  .269 AVG, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 57 R, 8 SB, 85 K, 23 BB in 498 AB
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4 thoughts on “Top 25 Second Basemen for 2015 Fantasy Baseball

  1. Pingback: Top 25 Third Basemen for 2015 Fantasy Baseball | The Backwards K

  2. Pingback: Top 25 Shortstops for 2015 Fantasy Baseball | The Backwards K

  3. Pingback: Top 75 Outfielders for 2015 Fantasy Baseball | The Backwards K

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