Farm Futures: Second Base Tiers

Farm Futures: Second Base Tiers

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

You will see other sites releasing position rankings where players are slotted into the positions they play in the minors. My position rankings focus on which position I think these guys will play in the majors, which seems to be the only sensible way to do these for fantasy. So while a lot of these guys are capable of playing other positions or are perhaps still playing shortstop every day in the minors, I put them in the second base tier because I think that's where they will qualify in fantasy. 

Reminder: these tiers are for dynasty leagues, not redraft leagues.

TIER ONE

1. Wander Franco, Rays

Franco could probably play anywhere on a diamond other than catcher and has only ever played shortstop in the minors. However, I believe in Willy Adames as a 3-to-5-win player over the next 4-5 years, and a lot of that value is tied to his high-end defense at shortstop. This could mean Franco moves to third base or second base, and I think the keystone makes the most sense given his size and range — the Rays could wind up with the best defensive double-play duo in the league. 

TIER TWO

2. Gavin Lux, Dodgers

Lux has always profiled as a better fit at second base than at shortstop due to an average arm. He will hit enough to profile anywhere.

TIER THREE

3. Jeter Downs, Dodgers

4. Nick Madrigal, White Sox

5. Vidal Brujan, Rays

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You will see other sites releasing position rankings where players are slotted into the positions they play in the minors. My position rankings focus on which position I think these guys will play in the majors, which seems to be the only sensible way to do these for fantasy. So while a lot of these guys are capable of playing other positions or are perhaps still playing shortstop every day in the minors, I put them in the second base tier because I think that's where they will qualify in fantasy. 

Reminder: these tiers are for dynasty leagues, not redraft leagues.

TIER ONE

1. Wander Franco, Rays

Franco could probably play anywhere on a diamond other than catcher and has only ever played shortstop in the minors. However, I believe in Willy Adames as a 3-to-5-win player over the next 4-5 years, and a lot of that value is tied to his high-end defense at shortstop. This could mean Franco moves to third base or second base, and I think the keystone makes the most sense given his size and range — the Rays could wind up with the best defensive double-play duo in the league. 

TIER TWO

2. Gavin Lux, Dodgers

Lux has always profiled as a better fit at second base than at shortstop due to an average arm. He will hit enough to profile anywhere.

TIER THREE

3. Jeter Downs, Dodgers

4. Nick Madrigal, White Sox

5. Vidal Brujan, Rays

This is a fun tier. Downs has the highest five-category ceiling of the three, while Madrigal and Brujan's ceilings are tied to them becoming three-category monsters (AVG, R, SB) who will leave a lot to be desired in HR + RBI. I think Brujan will hit for more power than Madrigal, but Madrigal is a much safer bet to be an everyday player, largely due to the depth in their respective organizations. Madrigal is also the only guy in this tier who is a good bet to reach the majors this year, likely debuting in late April if he doesn't sign a long-term extension.

TIER FOUR

6. Nico Hoerner, Cubs

7. Brendan Rodgers, Rockies

8. Xavier Edwards, Rays

9. Luisangel Acuna, Rangers

Hoerner should take over as the Cubs' everyday second baseman sometime in the first half, but I think he'll have to really impress in spring training to break camp on the big-league roster. Rodgers is behind Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson, both in fantasy and real life. A Nolan Arenado trade would really benefit him. Edwards is a tough guy to place, because I could see him ending up in center field or as a super-utility infielder, but second base would be a good fit if they give him a steady position on the dirt. Acuna has clear five-category upside and could move quickly through the minors. He's still being tried out at shortstop, but I think second base is his most likely home.

TIER FIVE

10. Luis Garcia, Nationals

11. Will Wilson, Giants

Garcia, who spent the whole year at Double-A, is almost two years younger than Wilson, who has not yet made his full-season debut. Both of these guys have the potential for a 60 or better on the hit tool — Wilson has more power potential, but given park factors, they may settle somewhere close in that category if Garcia is able to make the necessary adjustments.

TIER SIX

12. Jorge Mateo, Athletics

13. Michael Busch, Dodgers

14. Brayan Rocchio, Indians

15. Aaron Bracho, Indians

16. Zach McKinstry, Dodgers

17. Jeremiah Jackson, Angels

18. Jake Cronenworth, Padres

19. Andres Gimenez, Mets

20. Ji-Hwan Bae, Pirates

21. Ezequiel Duran, Yankees

This tier is a mixed bag. There are the speedsters like Mateo, Gimenez and Bae. There are the sluggers like Bracho, Jackson and Duran. Rocchio and Cronenworth are more well-rounded while Busch and McKinstry are being groomed for multiple positions, with second base being the place they are likely to get the most playing time.

Honorable Mention: Andy Young, Tyler Callihan, Keithron Moss, Angel Martinez, Dauri Lorenzo, Josh Smith, Owen Miller, Travis Blankenhorn Chase Strumpf, Jose Fermin, Ernie Clement, Sheldon Neuse, Yohander Martinez, Glenallen Hill Jr., Eddy Diaz, Yeison Santana, Otto Lopez, Jose Tena, Rodolfo Castro, Tucupita Marcano, Jehisbert Sevilla, Domingo Leyba, Jonathan Ornelas, Omar Estevez, C.J. Chatham, Albert Inoa, Mauricio Dubon, Luis Santana, Terrin Vavra, Curtis Mead, Ivan Johnson, Spencer Steer, Esteban Quiroz, Christian Koss, Viandel Pena, Yonny Hernandez, Alexeis Azuaje, Rylan Bannon, Osiris Johnson, Mark Mathias, Mason McCoy, Devin Mann, Junior Sanchez, Carlos Cortes, Thairo Estrada

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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