Second base has traditionally been considered thin, but with the addition of Mookie Betts at the top and Yahoo’s generous positional eligibility, the position is plenty deep in 2024. Betts, Marcus Semien, Ozzie Albies and José Altuve are going in the first three rounds of early Yahoo drafts, providing options if you want a star at the position.
It's also perfectly fine to wait before addressing second base thanks to added depth provided by players 2B-eligible who no longer play the position in real life:
— Outfielder Spencer Steer is an option outside the top 100 who is slated to hit third in the second-best hitter’s park in baseball.
— Isaac Paredes is available outside the top 175 after hitting 31 homers with 98 RBI (137 wRC+) in fewer than 500 at-bats last season, and he’s projected to hit in the middle of Tampa Bay’s lineup as the team’s regular third baseman.
In other words, don’t worry if you miss out on the top second-base options this season.
Second Baseman to Fade
Marcus Semien, Texans Rangers
There’s no particular reason to doubt Semien, but just realize that some of his substantial fantasy value comes purely through volume. He has an MLB-high five straight seasons (not counting the COVID year) with 700+ plate appearances — only one other player has that many in total since 2010.
Durability is a good thing! But Semien turns 34 years old this season, and he attempted 49% fewer stolen bases last year despite steals being way up across the league. Semien is a good, not great hitter — THE BAT X projects him to post the fifth-best wRC+ among second basemen — so drafters spending a second-round pick on him are relying on the volume (and the fleeting bags).
I’m fading a player at such a high ADP who needs to keep beating the injury odds while in his mid-thirties.
Second Basemen to Target
Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
Torres has an early ADP outside the top 100, but many projection systems have him producing more fantasy value than other second basemen going much earlier like José Altuve, Matt McLain, Nico Hoerner and Ha-Seong Kim. Torres’ power won’t ever return to his 2019 level, but he improved his walk rate while also producing a career-best K% last season. Batting average has become the most underrated category in fantasy baseball, and Torres also provides underrated help in the counting stats. He just turned 27 years old and will be playing for a new contract this season while hitting in the middle of the Yankees’ lineup.
Don’t be surprised when Torres has a better fantasy season than Semien and Altuve in 2024.
Stott doesn’t possess strong Statcast batted-ball numbers, but he has good plate discipline and was successful on 31-of-34 stolen base attempts last season. He plays terrific defense and can handle left-handed pitching, so Stott is locked into Philadelphia’s lineup (currently slated to hit sixth). Stott swiped 15 bags over the final 57 games last year, plays in a favorable home park for lefties (Citizens Bank Park has increased HR for LHB by 17% over the last three seasons) and can be drafted after Round 10.
Julien sports Juan Soto-like swing decisions, finishing with one of the lowest chase rates last season. There remains concern the Twins still sit him against some lefties, but Minnesota’s second base job opened after the Jorge Polanco trade. Julien recorded a 136 wRC+ as a rookie, is slated to hit leadoff versus righties and is a bargain with an ADP outside the top 175.
Keith is one of Detroit’s top prospects and should get a chance to start on Opening Day after signing a contract during the offseason. He hit .306 with 27 homers and 101 RBI over 126 games across the minors last season, posting a 163 wRC+ in Double-A before holding his own in Triple-A (.890 OPS). “Kool” Keith could quickly move up in Detroit’s lineup, so he looks like a top-25 fantasy second baseman who’s currently going undrafted.
Top-12 2B Draft Rankings
1) Mookie Betts
2) Ozzie Albies
3) Marcus Semien
4) José Altuve
5) Matt McLain
6) Nico Hoerner
7) Gleyber Torres
8) Ha-Seong Kim
9) Andrés Giménez
10) Spencer Steer
11) Bryson Stott
12) Ketel Marte