Keaton It Real: The Buyer’s Guide to 2B
I know it’s early for some to be thinking about whether to phone it in for the year or go for the title. But this series is going to span over a few weeks so I figured I’d start it now and then, as the title suggests, you can use it as a guide down the road. In this series, I’m going to go position by position and highlight a few names I would target if I am going all in for a title this year, and a few names to target for a rebuild. Here are the second basemen.
If You’re Competing:
David Fletcher, LAA, Age: 24
Fletcher has been very under the radar out on the west coast and is quietly putting up a very solid year, partly due to being utilized at a bunch of positions. He doesn’t strike out, hits for average, and draws enough walks to be effective in OBP leagues too, currently sitting at 10 walks to 9 strikeouts. He doesn’t have a ton of power, topping out at 6 taters in his best season last year in Triple-A in the PCL. Power aside, he fills up the rest of the stat line well and has been hitting at the top of the Angels’ order and has been effective. It shouldn’t take a bunch to acquire him but he’ll be solid enough to provide a boost in any league size and he’s eligible at 2B, 3B and OF.
Jonathan Schoop, MIN, Age: 27
Coming off a poor 2018 split between Baltimore and Milwaukee, Schoop has rebounded nicely in Minnesota so far this year. He was hampered while trying to play through an injury last season and doing so really hurt numbers, but he’s now healthy and he’s playing like it. Most notably his exit velocity has bounced back a couple of miles an hour to be just shy of his career best and his hard hit rate is at 38%. He’s been relatively under the radar so far this season and with age still very much on his side he should be worth the price to acquire.
If You’re Rebuilding:
Michael Chavis, BOS, Age:23
Chavis has burst into the majors like a man on fire. About Chavis in the famous Triple Play prior to the 2018 season, I wrote that he could be the power hitting the Red Sox need. I was optimistic about how he could perform, but even I was not expecting this. Everything about his batted ball profile is elite. 92 MPH exit velocity, 15-degree launch angle, 20.1% barrel rate and 45.6% hard-hit rate. Like a typical power bat he strikes out in the mid 20% but he’s walking at an elite clip of 13% too. He just doesn’t make weak contact. Probably the front runner for rookie of the year in the American league right now, there is likely some regression due. But I’d still expect .270+ and 30-35 bombs and that’s pretty darn good from a youngun. At this point, he’s probably going to be very tough to acquire- if a competing team has him they might not want to cut bait with him because he producing at the MLB level. But Chavis is worth the overpay in my estimation.
Vidal Brujan, TB, Age: 21
Brujan is my favorite player in the minors right now. He comes with a plus-plus hit tool and speed as well as a very advanced feel for the strike zone. In 337 games in the minors, he’s walked more (165) than he’s struck out (156). He’s started off this season picking up where he left off last season, hitting for average and stealing a bunch of bags. Right now Brujan hasn’t displayed much over the fence power but he projects to grow into it and could push for close to 20 dingers at the major league level. Because of his position, he’s a bit buried on the depth chart but should force his way into onto the Rays roster with ease once the time comes. Brujan burst onto top prospects list last season so this might be another prospect that you might have to overpay a bit to acquire but again should be worth the investment.
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