THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2021 TOP 50 SECOND BASEMEN: PLAYERS TO TARGET
This is a companion piece to our annual Top 50 Dynasty League Second Basemen posts, of which you can find 1-10 here. The opinions below are my own and do not reflect the TDG consensus.
Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamond Backs, Ranked 4th
In the hectic, shortened season that was 2020, perhaps no other player displayed more cause for alarm than Ketel Marte. A player who developed power on top of a balanced approach at the plate set Marte’s value sky high before the beginning of the 2020 season. At the Dynasty Guru, we’re still on board with the 2019 breakout. Ranking him as our fourth dynasty second baseman, which is higher than the early ADP for NFBC and Fantrax, would suggest taking him.
Though Marte swears he was healthy most of the season, I remain skeptical as he did miss some time with both back and wrist injuries. However, even if he was completely healthy, the floor on Marte remains strong. There are far worse options than a player who puts up solid rations, a bit of pop, and a bit of speed is a fine player to have at 2B. Still, I believe Marte to be capable of putting up at least 20 homers, with an ISO closer to .200, rather than the .122 he posted in 2020.
The power increase we saw from the second half of 2018 to the end of 2019 wasn’t a complete fluke. However, his 2021 slash line may look closer to 2018 than 2019. Thus with an ADP around 80, I think Marte makes an excellent target in both redraft and dynasty, as he has a high ceiling and a very serviceable floor and will likely qualify at multi-positions.
Tommy La Stella, Free Agent, Ranked 25th.
The former Cubs utility player has turned it on the previous two seasons. While La Stella has always hit for average, in 2019, he broke out in the power department before fractioning his knee cap and missing significant time with a broken leg. While La Stella didn’t have the same blustering output from 2019 in 2020, there were still quite a few similarities. For instance, his barrel percentage and exit velocity gains still stuck in 2020, though he did make considerably less hard contact at higher launch degree angles. That last part is certainly a cause for concern. He hit more fly balls than he had at any other time in his career, and though his ISO wasn’t the .192 from 2019, the 162 he posted coming off a broken leg is still encouraging.
La Stella is going quite late in drafts; his ADP is later than 250 for both NFBC and Fantrax. Finding a second baseman in that range that can hit .280/.350/.480 with 15-20 bombs’ potential is a good target. Consider him one of your “Oh sh*t; I haven’t drafted a second baseman yet!” We’ve all been in a draft where we realize our lists of “gets” for certain positions have run relatively thin. La Stela offers you a safer bet to fill the position in the later parts of the draft. La Stella remains a free agent, and the market is rather… bad. Still, I remain confident we’ll see him playing and producing in 2021.
Pay up and Get a Player in the Top Ten
Listen, while we may try to guide you towards the best bargain for your dynasty team. The truth is that if you want to have a long-term solution for second base, then you’re going to need to pay up and grab one of the top guys. Otherwise, you’ll likely be forced into a player that doesn’t hurt your team or a player that does. The position after the top ten remains a gamble, with the house pretty well-favored. Second base is a position where we would recommend that you lock-up the position.
Indeed we’d all like to find a market inefficiency hidden in the weeds of every position, but there really isn’t much other than filler outside the top players when it comes to second base. In general, I’m not one to preach position scarcity, but the truth is if you want legitimate production out of second base, you should be aiming for the guys at the top of the list. Either that or come to terms with being ok with filler.