After looking at the two corner infield positions, it’s time to turn our attention to analyzing the middle infield. It wasn’t long ago that Second Base was a position that included Chase Utley way at the top and then, well, everybody else way behind him. Thankfully, other players have stepped up at this position as Utley has faded away but it’s still a very top-heavy position with three distinctive tiers of players.
Let’s take a look at the overall trend for second basemen this year based on 2012 projections and ADP data:
The draftable 2B are those little grey dots and the projected draft round going from left to right with the projected roto value going vertically. There’s a couple of top-shelf guys at the front of the draft then a few other good options before the position drops out in about the 6th round and maintains that relatively average production until the end of the draft with some worse options getting added in along the way.
This means nothing though unless we can compare it to the trends at other fantasy positions. Oh wait, we can!
The red line represents 2B and the other positions are those grey lines. While 2B starts in the middle of the pack as far as value, it doesn’t experience a huge drop along the way and stays towards the top in value by the end. Other positions, such as 1B, start higher but drop to lower levels than 2B by the end of the draft.
Much the same as other positions, you can find the best value in the first two rounds here with Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler. Things get silent until the 5th round when the next tier of names go off the board with a hidden gem in Brandon Phillips behind among them as he represents similar value to the players from the top tier.
However, after the 5th round is over, there isn’t a single name that is projected to deliver above average fantasy value out of this position. However, there are a lot of guys who deliver close to average value like Howie Kendrick in the 8th round and Neil Walker in the 13th round.
In the waning rounds, you can even find some decent fallback options if you are trying to fill a Middle Infielder spot such as Kelly Johnson in the 17th, Aaron Hill in the 19th and a decent sleeper in Jose Altuve in the 19th too.
While the best value can be found in the first 5 rounds, this position maintains decent value from that point on. If you don’t get anyone before Brandon Phillips is gone then you’ll probably want Phillips or Walker as a fallback. And when it comes to filling a MI position later, don’t forget about one of my favorite sleepers in Jason Kipnis. There’s surprisingly a lot of similarly valued options from the 12th to the 20th round so you don’t really have to reach too hard for anyone in that range if you’re still looking for a 2B there.
Second Base Average Draft Position and Projected Value in 12-Team League