As baseball season nears, eDraft sports gets you ready for the start of another wonderful fantasy baseball season. After an exciting 2017 season, we're back again for 2018 with lots of exciting and in-depth content to come. Stay tuned for a series of fantasy baseball articles, rankings , sleeper lists and more to help prepare you for your 2018 fantasy season.
First, we'll start off with our fantasy baseball content with positional rankings. We've already covered our top-20 catchers and top-25 first basemen for the 2018 season, now we'll examine our top-25 second basemen rankings for the coming season.
Second base is certainly a position that experienced a lot of change in a few years. Once a position that lacked great fantasy production, fantasy players can now find quite a few elite sources of production at second.
Now let's jump into the tiered rankings and provide you a look at eDraft's top-25 second basemen for this season.
Tier 1 - Platinum
1.) Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
A consensus top-three selection in fantasy drafts, Altuve delivers everything fantasy owners could dream of. 20-plus home runs, 30-plus stolen bases, a ..390-plus OBP, 190-plus runs produced and a yearly candidate for the batting title. Whether you're in a H2H points, cats or roto league, Altuve is a fantasy MVP player and you can't go wrong selecting him first or second overall.
2.) Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
No longer can anyone say Ramirez is a fluke. After a 2016 season where he slashed .312/.363/.462 with 22 stolen bases, 11 home runs and 46 doubles, the 25-year-old took things even further in 2017. Across 645 plate appearances, Ramirez nearly tripled his home runs (29), pushed his slash line to .318/.374/.583 and swiped 17 bases with 190 runs produced. He's unlikely to reproduce his 14.1 percent HR/FB rate, he is still fully capable of a 20/20 season with 170-plus runs produced and a great slash.
Tier 2 - Gold
3.) Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
In his past two seasons, Dozier combined to hit 76 home runs, score 210 runs and steal 34 bases in 307 games. Now as he enters a contract year, there will be even more incentive for the 30-year-old to produce in hopes of landing his last major contract. He's fully capable of a 30/10 season with 180-plus runs produced and a strong OBP, though a sub-.270 batting average will be a slight hit compared to those in the tier above him.
4.) Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners
Only six players in the majors stole 30-plus bases last season and only three swiped 40-plus bags. Meanwhile, Gordon stole 60 bases, the third time he stole more than 50 bases in the past four seasons. Runs, batting average and stolen bases at second base and soon to the outfield, Gordon could easily surpass 50 swipes if he stays healthy and is fully capable of another season with 80-plus runs scored.
5.) Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
Like Dozier, Murphy enters a contract year and what will certainly be his last chance to cash in with a sizable contract. Unfortunately, Murphy comes with the red flag of recovering from microfracture surgery as a 32-year-old. He's still capable of posting a .300-plus batting average, contributing 150-plus runs produced and hitting 20 bombs, but potential limitations upon his unknown return from knee surgery add some risk to his profile.
6.) Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
A year after he hit 39 home runs and finished with 210 runs produced, Cano showed signs of aging in 2017. His BABIP remained close to 2016, but he hut 16 fewer home runs, his batting average dropped .018 points and his slugging percentage dropped .08 points. If he can cut down on his ground ball rate (50 percent in '17 versus 45.9 percent in '16) and drive the ball into the air more, Cano's hard-hit rates and HR/FB rate (14.5 percent career) could push him to 25-plus home runs, 170-plus runs produced and a .290 batting average.
7.) Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles
The breakout finally came for Schoop last season. 32 home runs, 197 runs produced and a .290 batting averaged all obliterated his '16 marks. The home runs, batting average and OBP are all likely to come down given last season's unsustainable .330 BABIP and his penchant for strikeouts. That said, Schoop's power and half of his games played at Camden Yards should still be enough for 28-plus home runs and 160-plus runs scored, though his BA and OBP could drop by 30 points.
Tier 3- Silver
8.) Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
While many fantasy owners may not have heard of Merrifield before the 2017 season, he made his name known. A 19-homer, 34-steals season helped Merrifield establish himself as a top-10 fantasy second baseman in all formats. While it may not seem repeatable, given it came out of nowhere, Merrifield's 9.4 percent HR/FB rate, .308 BABIP and 30.6 percent hard-hit rate can all be duplicated this season. As a result, he seems fully capable of a 15/20 season with a respectable slash line.
9.) Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs
Happ will find himself battling for plate appearances throughout the year, but his versatility on the field and his powerful swing should allow him to see 500-plus trips to the box. Last season in 529 plate appearances between Triple-A and the majors, 412 coming in Chicago, Happ hit 31 home runs and compiled over 160 runs produced. He'll spend time at third base, second base and scattered around the outfield this season with the potential to hit 25-plus home runs and steal 10-plus bases. He'll strike out a lot and the batting average will hurt you, but his positional versatility and power is tantalizing if given regular playing time.
10.) Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
Slotted between Ender Inciarte and Freddie Freeman, Albies finds himself in about the perfect situation. He certainly earned the position after he posted a .286/.354/.456 slash line, .347 wOBA and scored 34 runs in 57 games last season. He displayed a nature hit tool and eye for the plate with an 8.6 walk percentage. He is fully capable of a 10/20 season and with an MVP-caliber bat behind him, he could tack on 80-plus runs scored and see plenty of quality pitches to hit.
11.) Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox
Just 22 years old, Moncada's potential is tantalizing. With 70-grade speed and 60-grade raw power, baseball fans and fantasy owners dream of what could happen in a full season if Moncada made contact consistently. Last season he didn't and it resulted in a 32 percent strikeout percentage, 70.6 percent contact rate and 12.6 percent swinging-strike rate. Yet even if those numbers only showed slight improvement this season, this is still a player with the potential for a 20-20 season. While his batting average will hurt and the RBIs may not be a difference maker, Moncada's HR/SB/OBP/runs upside is worth the gamble.
12.) Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers
Odor isn't this bad of a fantasy player. Even if he never learns to walk in more than five percent of 650-plus plate appearances, Odor is capable of greater than a sub-.270 OBP and just hanging above the mendoza line. If his .224 BABIP can correct itself closer to his .283 line, then he offers 30/15 potential with an OBP and BA that won't cripple fantasy owners as much as it did last season.
Tier 4 - Bronze
13.) Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers
Another Los Angeles reclamation projected resulted in an incredible return and a career saved. Taylor went from spending the past three seasons in Triple-A to a 21/17 combo with a 126 wRC+ and .361 wOBA. While his 15.8 HR/FB rate is notably different from recent seasons in the minors, he also hit the ball significantly harder than he used to thanks to a change in his swing. He might be limited to 15/15 upside but with 130-plus runs produced and a OBP over .330 along with his versatility, Taylor is a commodity in fantasy.
14.) Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
If it was possible, Baez would swing at an intentional walk and try to put the ball in play. But while he may almost never walk, Baez shows consistent ability to put his bat on the ball. His raw power became all the more real last season with23 home runs to back up a .273 batting average along with 10 stolen bases. That's about where his line should be this season, perhaps with a slight dip in BA as his .345 BABIP returns to normal. But a 20/15 season with his versatility keeps him in the top 15 at second base.
15.) Eduardo Nunez, Boston Red Sox
A king of versatility, Nunez's return to Boston is what fantasy owners should have wanted. The super utility veteran should see time all over the field for Boston this season and in a deep lineup, the veteran is a solid producer in every category. A better play for daily lineups, Nunez requires an active owner willing to make adjustments and will be rewarded when they do.
16.) DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
While LeMahieu fell short of matching his incredible '16 season, his .310 batting average, .374 OBP and 95 runs scored in 2017. One of the game's most consistent spray hitters, LeMahieu relies heavily on singles (78.8 percent of his hits) as part of his profile. Coors Field helps elevate him to high single-digit home runs and he does offer a best-case scenario of 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases. While he likely won't ever crack a .330 BA/.400 OBP again, his high average and runs scored can help fantasy owners who want to balance him with a heavy-power, low-average bat.
17.) Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
Gennett, who was waived by the Milwaukee Brewers in March and then delivered a four-homer game a few months later, nearly doubled his home run (27) and RBI (97) totals from 2016 to '17 in 45 fewer plate appearances. His 20.8 percent HR/FB rate and .339 BABIP are unsustainable, meanwhile he'll also face a platoon quickly this year if he's unable to correct his issues versus southpaws. That said, Gennett is a hitter capable of 15 home runs, 110-plus runs produced and a .265 batting average, not great but good enough in deep leagues.
18.) Marwin Gonzalez, Houston Astros
Like Nunez, Gonzalez will enter 2018 with plenty of positional eligibility. With OF, SS, 3B, 2B and 1B eligibility, Gonzalez doesn't need to dominate with the bat to sustain real fantasy value. A hitter capable of double-digit home runs as his floor and a ceiling of 20, Gonzalez further contributions in runs produced (120-plus) and stolen bases cement him as an excellent fantasy asset to own.
19.) Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
At this point red flags are generally expected and Kipnis' durability is a significant concern. It's also worth stating how unbelievably unlucky Kipnis was last season. Kipnis' .329 BABIP crashed to .256 last season and .100 points from his .356 BABIP in 2015. Yet despite all of this and the injuries, Kipnis still finished with 12 home runs in 90 games. With a few good years left in him, Kipnis should return to a .310 BABIP this season and with it will come a 40-point jump in his batting average, more home runs and the potential for double-digit steals. It's a near certainty he misses games throughout the season, but 17/10 upside with 130-plus runs produced makes him worth a draft pick.
20.) Ian Kinsler, Los Angeles Angels
Projected to hit atop the Angels' lineup, the 35-year-old should provide fantasy owners with double-digit home runs, stolen bases and could score 80-plus runs scored thanks to the bats of Mike Trout and Justin Upton behind him. Even with his skills in decline, a .244 BABIP was uncharacteristically bad for Kinsler. So we should see it climb back close to his .286 BABIP and a rise in his BA and OBP should follow. If he reaches his upside, 15 home runs, 15 stolen bases and 85-plus runs scored, Kinsler could find his name amongst the top-15 second basemen in fantasy.
Tier 5 - Consolation
21.) Starlin Castro, Miami Marlins
22.) Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates
23.) Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies
24.) Jonathan Villar, Milwaukee Brewers
25.) Yangervis Solarte, Toronto Blue Jays