So we keep going back and forth on this year to year. Two seasons ago we stated that there was a clear-cut number one second baseman, last season we said there was potential for a few players to take the top spot, and now this year we are saying that it is a clear choice again. Regardless, every year we say that second base is not a deep of a position and this season is following that trend. Due to this position scarcity however does not mean you have to reach to get a second baseman. If you wait there are some specialists that you can grab later to help your team whether you are looking for power or speed.
Spending an early pick on Robinson Cano is definitely a good move. Any player that can bat over .300, hit 30 home runs, knock in 100 runs, and cross the plate 100 times is worthy of a first round pick but if that player is a second baseman then you got a top 5 pick. After Cano a ton of uncertainly comes out from this position but we prefer Dustin Pedroia above the rest. At the start of the last season Pedroia was banged up but post All-Star Break he was the Dustin of old hitting .318 with a little power and 14 bags.
Aaron Hill and Ian Kinsler have both proven to be great fantasy options when on the their game, but certainly have burned owners in the past. These four players are the studs of the position but with the exception of Cano the rest of the second basemen in the league are far from a sure thing.
If you pass on these top guys both Jason Kipnis and Jose Altuve should post 30 steals so there is certainly some speed options. Which is a interesting twist, you can certainly grab your first and outfield players early, get your power, then use second base as your speed players. Even a player like Josh Rutledge you can grab very late that can help you in the speed department.
So there are options if you plan accordingly but doing your homework is key. If you want to go the opposite direction and find some power (with a terrible average) out of this position it is all about Rickie Weeks and Dan Uggla. Both could hit 25 home runs but be sure you are ok with taking the hit on the average because you will. I know Uggla had that magically batting season a few years ago but that is not going to happen again.
I cannot write about second base without talking about Chase Utley. Of course, there is a real chance of him bouncing back but we keep seeing people reaching to grab him way too early. Do not panic and see his name and do this. He might bounce back and play well but we do not see him playing a full season with all his injuries over the past couple of seasons. If you do get Utley please back him up with another second basemen to cover yourself.
Draft Day Advice
Yes, it is a shallow position but as stated if you do your homework you can wait and target players to fill holes that might be on your team. In an ideal world we would love to pass on the top four guys therefore spending those picks on shoring up other positions then grab either Kipnis or Altuve in the late middle rounds. The average and speed they bring for the price you have to pay is great, the issue is when you do that you could end up waiting too long and burning yourself. Regardless, even if this position is shallow we must reiterate reaching can always hurt a team.