Thursday, April 15, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2B Sleepers: Second Base Breakout, End-of-Round Interceptions

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Many fantasy baseball owners consider second base to be some kind of catch-all position, especially if you’re looking for a bench sleeper or an MI behind in the drafts. In particular, 2B is the position where you can find flights, which is always coveted by fancy owners. You can also usually find one or two big 2B breakouts each year, and with almost any second baseman eligible for other positions, this is important because you can’t necessarily rely on leaderboards or cheat sheets for. know when the top or even middle level guys will come out of the scorecards.

The list below features a wide array of 2Bs, from popular sleepers in even shallow leagues (Dylan Moore, Nick Madrigal) to guys who might not be drafted even in deep leagues. It also offers a solid range of category specific sleepers, ranging from medium (Madrigal), horsepower (Nick Solak, Gavin Lux) and speed (Madrigal, Jon Berti) to a combination of all three (Moore, Solak, Jake Cronenworth).

Second base isn’t a particularly deep position, but that makes it all the more important. Getting a voucher – or at least one that helps in a specific category – can really put your team on top. At the very least, it’s always good to have bench options that you can plug in and play in multiple positions on the court, and you can find a lot of them at 2B.

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Fantasy Baseball 2B Sleepers: Second Base Breakout, End-of-Round Interceptions

Job eligibility based on Yahoo default settings

Nick Solak, Rangers (also eligible 3B, OF). Solak topped this list heading into last year after hitting 32 HR between Double-A, Triple-A and the majors in 2019. He didn’t produce as expected in ’20 (.268 / .326 / .344), but he stole seven bases in 58 games, which is promising if you project that over a full season. The 26-year-old all-round right-hander is expected to eventually rise to power, making him a legitimate 20-20 (or even 30-20) candidate. There’s a good chance the flights won’t quite hit that mark, but Solak can still be a solid producer at a great price.

Dylan Moore, navigators (3B, SS, OF). Moore is “everyone’s sleeper” this year, so he might be overrated at this point. That said, even with all the hype, Moore has the tools to really pay off, especially with his multi-position eligibility. The 28-year-old right-hander hit eight HRs and stole 12 goals in just 33 games last year, and getting that 20 HR, 30 SB potential will still be extremely valuable, even if his average is poor. Chances are he won’t steal as many bases, but Moore will be a fantastic contributor.

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Nick Madrigal, White Sox. Like Moore, Madrigal might be a bit overrated at this point, but the 24-year-old speedster should provide two stats that fantasy owners are always looking for: SBs and batting average. A .309 hitter in 163 minor league games, Madrigal hit .340 in 29 games for the big club last year. This came with a .365 BABIP, which really isn’t that high when you consider what kind of hitter he is. Mandrigal won’t strike for any power (four CF in total in minors), but after 35 robberies in 2019, he’s likely to be able to hit the 30 SB mark. However, it’s important to note that it would be a bit of a surprise if he stole 40 or 50, and with next to nothing provided in HR and RBI, Madrigal has limited overall value. Still, if you’re loaded with low to medium power hitters, getting a guy like Madrigal to play 2B or MI can really add to your roster.

Jake Cronenworth, Padres (1B, SS). The Padres have several options on the pitch, but Cronenworth plans to have a daily role as the season opens. The versatile 27-year-old southpaw hit .285 / .354 / .477 in 54 games last year, building on a 2019 Triple-A campaign where he hit .334 / .429 / .520 with 10 FC and 12 SB in 88 games. Cronenworth’s left divisions are worrisome as he could end up in a squad, but his multiple position eligibility, decent power-speed combination, and strong contact skills make him a good bench player.

Ha-seong Kim, Padres (SS). Kim doesn’t have an everyday place in Padres training, but the 25-year-old Korean import is a 20-20 type with good medium and basic skills. How that translates to for the majors remains to be seen, but if it finds its way into programming, it could be an interesting and inexpensive source of full production. Don’t write it down, but add it to your watchlists.

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Gavin Lux, Dodgers. Lux tore up the Dodgers’ minor league system, dominating particularly at Triple-A in 2019 (.392 / .478 / .719). That success hasn’t been passed on to the majors over the past two seasons (.210 / .278 / .377 in 42 games), but at just 23 years old, Lux still has time to develop. There’s no shortage of options for the Dodgers when it comes to second base, so Lux, who was particularly bad against lefties in extremely limited action (.091 / .130 / .227 in 23 appearances on the board), could find himself in a platoon, but with its pedigree, an escape at one point isn’t just possible, it’s likely.

Jon Berti, Marlins (3B, SS, OF). Berti may seem like an odd inclusion on this list since he was 31 and doesn’t have an everyday spot in the Miami roster, but over the past two seasons he’s produced when he’s been given a luck. Most importantly, he produced Fly, dropping 26 sacks in 112 games. With a solid BB score, good contact skills, and significant eligibility for multiple positions, Berti could be a poor man’s Jonathan Villar. In fact, it could be even better than that. Don’t overlook him in the deep leagues.

Brendan Rodgers, Rockies (SS). Rodgers earned the mandatory starter-in-Colorado designation here, though a hamstring injury forced him to join IL at the start of the season. Nonetheless, the former top prospect has good pop and decent speed, so if he ever finds out at the major league level, he could put up some solid numbers.

Other eligible 2B sleepers written elsewhere: Andres Gimenez (3B, SS), Ty France (3B), Mike Brosseau (1B, 3B), Garrett Hampson (SS, OF), Ryan McMahon (1B, 3B), Luis Urias (3B, SS), Dee Strange-Gordon (SS *, DE)

*Not eligible for this position on draft day but is expected to play there during the season.

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