Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Second Base
So far through this series, we’ve touched on catchers and first basemen. We’ll keep working our way around the diamond and move over to second base, and highlight the sleepers at that position. The middle infield positions, obviously including second base, are positions where you’ll want to wait on in terms of drafting. This is nothing new and should not come as a surprise to anyone. Therefore, there are some pretty quality sleepers at the position due to this traditional draft strategy that has been practiced by many for years.
The odd part here is, after I picked my three sleepers for this article and did some cross referencing on Google, I came across one of the big name websites having the same three players listed. Now I don’t know if I should take this as a compliment that I was able to pin-point the same sleepers as the big-dogs or not, and at first I wanted to adjust my list to not reflect upon there's. After thinking a bit, altering my list would not reflect my true belief in these sleepers so I stuck with my guns and went with them anyhow. So here are my top three sleepers for second base in Fantasy Baseball.
Ryan McMahon (Colorado Rockies)
Positional Rank: 23rd
2019 Stats: .250 BA, 24 HR, 83 RBI, 70 R, 5 SB, .329 OBP. .450 SLG
2020 Projection (via RotoChamp): .249 BA, 23 HR, 84 RBI, 72 R, 5 SB, .322 OBP. .440 SLG
Let’s start this off by simply saying that, McMahon has the luxury of playing home games at Coors Field, the most hitter friendly ball-park in the league. That automatically gives him a boost in fantasy value as he’ll see 250+ at-bats at Coors. With playing in such a ballpark, his hard hit percentage and average exit velocity were both top 30 in the league last year. This dude has a lot of pop in his swing. If you take a glance at draft boards currently, you’ll notice that teammate Garrett Hampson is projected to go above McMahon. Hampson is the younger of the two and was a hot sleeper pick a year ago but didn’t fill that roll all to well. He’s a hot topic again but will be battling for playing time in a crowded outfield with McMahon locking down second base. McMahon is also first base and third base eligible.
Starlin Castro (Washington Nationals)
Positional Rank: 32nd
2019 Stats: .270 BA, 22 HR, 86 RBI, 68 R, 2 SB, .300 OBP, .436 SLG
2020 Projection (via RotoChamp): .276 BA, 16 HR, 63 RBI, 61 R, 3 SB, .313 OBP, .425 SLG
If you’ve been following along with this series, I guess you’ve noticed that I’m all over the new Nationals’ signings. First it was new first baseman Eric Thamas and now it’s newly acquired second baseman Starlin Castro. The 29-year-old spent his 2019 campaign with the division rivals Miami Marlins, where, in the second half of the season, was hitting .302 with 16 home runs. How he moves to a much more talented team that’s fresh off of a World Series title and will hit in the middle of that lineup. He’ll likely see 500+ at-bats hitting in the middle of the Nationals’ lineup. For a player you can scoop up in the 25th round of 12 man leagues, this is absolutely insane value.
Shed Long (Seattle Mariners)
Positional Rank: 52nd
2019 Stats: .263 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 21 R, 3 SB, .333 OBP, .454 SLG
2020 Projection (via RotoChamp): .247 BA, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 54 R, 8 SB, .317 OBP, .403 SLG
Let’s dig a bit down the draft board to an even deeper sleeper. Now, I may be falling into a trap here with the amount of hype this young player is getting. Recently, Todd Zola has been hyping up Shed Long, and I believe whatever Zola says about Fantasy Baseball (and you should too.) Zola is the one who put me more on Long’s trail and I’m glad he did. In the month of September last year, Long went for .289 BA, .518 SLG and four homeruns. He should see over 400 ABs this year batting behind the speedster Mallex Smith and before the likes of Kyle Seager and Tom Murphy. He has that 20/20 potential with his combination of contact, power and speed. He also has a .800 OPS in his near future. All of this may come as early as this year.