Jedd Gyorko wants YOU to draft him and his 23 HR.
Over the last few years, the crop of second basemen has seemed to consist of Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips and everyone else. Chase Utley was always hurt and Dan Uggla could crack 30 homers while hitting around .200, but overall it’s become a pretty disappointing position.
Jason Kipnis has emerged over the last two years and now poses a legitimate threat to Cano atop the position, and a crop of young and/or formerly overlooked players are now poised to make themselves known — Scooter Gennett, Jedd Gyorko, and Nick Franklin.
Questions abound at second base, so let’s get your brain churning. Drafts will be here before you know it!
Where does Jurickson Profar fit in with the Rangers?
Does he split time, get traded (Tampa Bay?), or go back to the minors? Elvis Andrus had a deceptively solid season last year and is signed to a big contract, so it’ll be tough to move him. Profar, despite all the hype, might be the odd man out. As great as his value would be in Arlington, he’s worthless if he can’t get playing time.
Can Emilio Bonifacio A) stay healthy, and B) get enough playing time with the Royals?
I mean, come on — how can you start jobbers Chris Getz or Johnny Giovatella over Boni? The fantasy player in me wants Bonifacio to start at second and not the two above, but Giavotella is the Royals’ best option.
What can Anthony Rendon do over the course of a full season?
He started out hot but faded late. In his defense, the Nationals underachieved as a whole. Can he be better than an Omar Infante type? There’s a lot of hype surrounding Rendon, and deservedly so given his excellent plate discipline and raw talent, but without much power or speed his value in fantasy league’s is limited. Then again, Daniel Murphy up until last season, and he ended up being one of the position’s top options.
Who mans second base for the Rockies?
It’s always prudent to know who the starters are in Colorado, so is it Josh Rutledge, DJ LeMahieu, or someone else? Rutledge has more power while LeMahieu can steal bags and score runs. Colorado will probably find a way for both to get some playing time, limiting the value of each in the process.
Do prospects Eddie Rosario (MIN) and Cesar Hernandez (PHI) get chances?
Neither team made the playoffs so why not roll the dice? Rosario, 22, has only 313 PA above single-A is extremely talented, but he could use more experience. Hernandez, 23, is all contact and speed, and might find playing time in center field since switching to that position last year. He should retain second base eligibility for the upcoming season, but whether he keeps it is another matter.
Can Gyorko and Franklin deliver on their potential?
Both flashed glimpses of their potential in injury-shortened seasons – Franklin had 12 HR and 45 RBI whereas Gyorko crushed 23 HR with 63 RBI. Both are extremely intriguing and worth gambling on, but having either, particularly Franklin, as your starting second baseman carries significant risk. Their ballparks aren’t friendly.
Is Uggla done as a full-time second baseman in Atlanta?
Rumors have swirled that the Braves may look to ship Uggla to Cincinnati for Phillips, who fell out of favor with management towards the end of last season. Uggla struggled to hit over .200 the last two years, bottoming out at .179 last year with a 31.8 K% that’s reminiscent of Adam Dunn‘s.
Who starts for the Marlins?
I don’t think anyone is salivating over starting the likes of Donovan Solano or Ed Lucas. Derek Dietrich batted third for the Fish at times last year and showed flashes of value, but overall his 0.0 WAR showed he was the definition of “replacement level.” His defense is sub-par, but Dietrich does have some pop and could hit 20 HR in a full season of at-bats, potentially delivering what Gyorko did last year. Still, he needs to win the job first.
Where does Kolten Wong fit in with the Cardinals in 2014?
Does Matt Carpenter shift to third base, opening up a starting spot for Wong, who impressed in spring training last year and impressed at triple-A (10 HR, 20 SB, .303/.369/.444)? What happens with David Freese? There’s no shortage of questions for St. Louis to answer this offseason, and all of them will have repercussions for 2014.
Can anyone overtake Cano for the top spot?
If he signs elsewhere, how will it affect his value? He’ll still be a top two or three player regardless of where he plays, but there’s no denying his value is highest in New York (with that short right field porch). The Yankees probably have to retain him, but it’s not guaranteed. Can Kipnis or Pedroia steal the lighting from atop Cano’s second base Olympus?
Does Brian Dozier get the full-time job or does he, like most Twins, split time with someone?
Dozier’s 18 HR, 66 RBI, 14 SB, and multiple eligibilities certainly were appealing in much the same way that Kyle Seager intrigued just a few years ago. Dozier’s defense is above average, and his 2.8 WAR was second-best on the team (behind Joe Mauer‘s 5.2). Man, the Twins really do blow.
How legit an option is Daniel Murphy?
If he posts another 90 runs, 180 hits, 20 steals, 13 HR and 78 RBI, he’ll once again be a highly coveted (or highly underrated) player at a shallow position, but should we expect those stats again? The batting average and power are fairly easily repeatable, but in his prior four seasons with the Mets he’d only totaled 30 steal attempts in 460 games. Last year he attempted 26. It’s not like last year was Terry Collins‘ first year managing the Mets (it was his third), so why the sudden increase?