You see a lot of offensive production out of second basemen nowadays. In fact, not only do a ton of these guys hit for power, but they also make for some of the most well-rounded ballplayers. However, I will tell you this much: after the controversy surrounding Jose Altuve, there is no way I am reaching to draft him. We have yet to see how he will perform without the Astros’ system, or in a stadium full of boos every city he travels to. He also does not steal nearly as many bags as he used to. There are still a ton of quality second basemen behind him, but he is a stay away for me at his current ADP as the first second baseman off the board. If you do decide to wait at second base and take a guy outside of the top 10 options, that is why I am here to help.
On the surface, it is crazy to think about Jeff McNeil’s ADP being all the way back at 98th overall after his All-Star season. But it also makes a bit of sense: he is coming off a wrist injury, and many do not believe that he will be able to replicate his power output from last year. Well, McNeil’s wrist is already reportedly at 100% months before the season begins. And assuming the MLB is still using the same baseballs, he is in good shape. Will McNeil hit 23 or more homers for the duration of his career? The answer is likely no, but he is also one of the few players in baseball who seems like a lock for an above .300 average.
McNeil was an extra-base machine last year with 38 doubles, and that is not changing anytime soon. He is a career .321 hitter after two seasons in the bigs and is continuing to improve. A lot of people faded McNeil last year, but the smart people picked him up for free. That won’t be the case this year, but right around the 100 range is where you may want to consider adding some contact to the mix to help with team average. Even if McNeil does suffer from negative regression, he remains a value at this spot.
The son of the great Craig Biggio is being drafted 142nd overall on average. At this point, you are looking for upside flyers, and that is what he brings to the table. Biggio struggled to hit for average as a rookie, and he will likely never hit for above-average contract, as he struck out at a 28.1% clip last year. However, he racks up a lot of walks and presents a ton of upside in nearly every other category. He can hit for power, smacking 16 homers in 100 games last year, but at the same time, he also swiped 14 bags. In an age where stolen bases are hard to come by, Biggio is a guy available late in drafts who — assuming a clean bill of health — should be able to offer 20-20 production. For many owners, that may be a fair tradeoff for the high number of K’s, and they will hope he improves upon an impressive rookie campaign.
Though he only appeared in 82 games last season, Brandon Lowe impressed enough voters to finish 3rd in the AL Rookie of the Year Race. In just 296 at-bats, Lowe hit .270 with 17 homers and 51 RBI. If you were to prorate his career numbers, including his first stint in 2018, Lowe is a 30 homer, 100 RBI guy coming off the board at 199th overall! Talk about a steal. This type of production is welcomed at every position, but that is quite the commodity at second base. Though a relatively slept-on prospect, Lowe has hit well at every level of the minors. Of course, he is not immune to having baggage. He had a super high BABIP of .377 and a concerning 34.6% strikeout rate. Lowe could be due for some regression, so he is best served as a bench bat on your team to start the season. But if you are desperate and looking for a power source from a late-round second baseman, Lowe is your guy. He is an incredible young talent that is hard not to buy in to.
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