At the Dynasty Guru we continue highlighting our top players at every position, moving from First Base last week to Second Base this week.  If you value our work here, please consider donating to help the cause!

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1. Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 1)

Honestly, not a whole lot that one can say about Ozzie that he does not already say with his bat and resume. Add World Series Champ to his already plentiful collection of awards, which includes two All-Star appearances and two Silver Sluggers. If you have Albies on your team, enjoy not having to worry about your 2nd base slot for the next decade. The 5’8” monster, while showing both his average and OBP drop below his career average, found a way to show us that he is finding other ways to improve by enjoying career highs in steals and stolen base percentage. The 24-year old has not even hit his prime years. With the counting stats he put up last year with 103 runs, 106 RBIs, 40 doubles, 30 home runs, and 20 steals, there are not many better options out there to fill up every category as he does. Who knows what he will be able to accomplish in the future on a team that plays to his strengths and a city that loves him. (Grif Case)

2. Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 19 at SS)

Ok, raise your hand if you were surprised where Semien landed in free agency. No, don’t put them down yet, keep your hand up if you think that Texas lineup is going to be an absolute gold mine for stat production this year.  If the young components of his lineup produce like the Rangers are hoping (like Taveras, García, Kiner-Falefa, Solak, and Lowe), both Semien and Seager have the potential to produce very similar numbers than they did on their previous teams. Now, comparing the Rangers’ to the Blue Jays’ lineup is a bit of a stretch, however when surrounded by a competing team, Semien has absolutely flourished, and this team is going to be looking to compete. Last year he added multiple awards to his resume, including a Gold Glove, an All-Star appearance,  third-place finish in MVP voting, and ending with a slash line of .265/.334/.538 with 115 runs scored, 102 RBIs, and 45 home runs. This earned him his blockbuster contract of 7 years, 175 million on a team that is young and has good potential. (Grif Case)

3. Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 6)

The all or nothing swingers are growing and the days of caring about high strikeout totals are mostly a thing of the past. Some players absolutely succeed at it and put up monster years like Lowe did this year. Not a whole lot of 2nd basemen can hit 39 dingers a year, and pair that up with a strong supporting cast the 27 year old looks to produce top-tier counting stats for the future. We are seeing this hard pull hitter develop into a true power source, but keep an eye on his average. It would be nice to see him push it back up closer to what he had in 2019 and 2020, any further droppage and we will see him get closer and closer to the Mendoza Line. In spite of that, enjoy all the career highs he posted in 2021, if he somehow beats them this next year don’t be surprised if he claws his way higher in the ranks. (Grif Case)

4. Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 31 at 3B)

For someone that did not even know Jonathan India’s name before the season started, I would like to apologize to the reigning Rookie of the Year for the disrespect. First year in the league and played for 150 games? Posting a .835 OPS, my gosh how much better can you start your career? Showing veteran patience at the plate with a stellar walk rate, India excelled with a .376 OBP. With 34 doubles and 21 dingers, he filled every single stat you could ask for. Now I don’t know how he ended up on your team, but if you landed him somehow you should be happy. You could either sell him high right now, or hold onto him for a rare type of hitter. (Grif Case)

5. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 8)

After 11 years in the league, Altuve’s value has not changed all that much. He seems to have passed his prime years of averages of .300+ with 30+ stolen bases but he has posted 31 homers in both 2019 and 2021 showing that he is still just as invaluable to the Astros. No matter what you think about him, he still is going to put up numbers that rival the best second basemen out there. Somehow he is still in his early 30s and he isn’t going anywhere for quite some time. It would be nice if he regained his ability to swipe bags, as it looks like he has not even tried in that category for the past 3 years. The guy has a real chance at surpassing 3,000 hits at the end of his career, you should feel confident in sticking him in your second base slot and forgetting about him for the rest of the year. (Grif Case)

6. Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 23)

Ok, pros for Chisholm? 23 years old (will be 24 on Opening Day), top tier speed, good power, looks like it’s his job to lose for the foreseeable future. Cons? Well first of all being on the Marlins, but he struggles mightily in Whiff%, K%, walk%, and chase rate. This young kid could be the number one 2nd baseman, he has all of the tools. If he manages to increase that walk rate, more opportunities for stolen bases. If he improves that strikeout rate, obviously more chances to do something positive for his team. He does not have the raw power that Brandon Lowe has, he should not be striking out at a higher rate. If he is able to pump that average up and his OBP, as they only sit at .248 and .303 respectively, we could see him achieve 40+ steals and really increase his value. Chisholm could be severely undervalued right now, yes, even at 6 in our rankings. But with a little more experience in the league we could see him turn into something truly special. (Grif Case)

7. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 37 at OF)

Who doesn’t love an actual plug and play player? Meaning someone that you don’t really have to worry about only playing 75% of the games. In the last FOUR years Merrifield has missed FOUR games. In that four year span he has played in 542 games and has been a stat machine. 652 hits, 201 XBHs, 328 runs scored, and 117 stolen bases. While his power numbers dipped slightly in this last year, he enjoyed his best stolen base percentage of his career with 40 stolen bases and only 4 times caught stealing. How refreshing it was for him to focus on that craft after seeing him only swipe 32 bags and getting caught 13 times in the previous 2 years. The Royals don’t always allow for lucrative stat production, however don’t worry about the 32 year old’s ability to fill out your second base(and even outfield) slot for quite some time due to his durability and consistency. (Grif Case)

8. Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 12)

As a San Diego native, I would want Cronenworth as the captain of the Padres.  I want this man who was absolutely STOLEN in a trade to be kept long-term to solidify a dominant core with Machado and Tatis Jr. One of the better super utilities in today’s game, which helps him stay in the Padres lineup every day as well as giving you more freedom with moving him around in your fantasy lineup. Cronenworth enjoyed his first full season, playing in 152 games and slashing a strong .266/.340/.460. A fantastic whiff rate, K%, and chase rate helped make up for his less than average hard hit percentage, giving him more opportunities to put the ball in play. What I personally would like to see is an increase in his mediocre walk rate, but being aggressive is what the Padres like to do. There is a lot of room to grow for the young Padre, be excited if you have him on your team. (Grif Case)

9. Nick Yorke, Boston Red Sox (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 31)

The 17th overall pick in the 2020 draft enjoyed a strong season in the minors in the 2021 season, ending up in High-A and filling up all the categories that you could hope for. Yorke, through both of the leagues that he played in last season, posted a .325/.412/.516 slash line. His success in stolen bases is something that he may look to improve this next season, however he showed why you should be excited about his future with his first season in the books. He is only 19 years old, don’t expect the Red Sox to rush his development any time soon, there is quite a lot more that he is able to polish. (Grif Case)

10. Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 21 at SS)

There are two types of Jorge Polanco commentators: those that will die defending him and those that wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole. Let me tell you the truthers may have won a Championship last year with his help, and everyone else can go kick rocks. Polanco was incredibly productive in 2021, throwing up 97 runs scored, 98 RBIs, 35 doubles, and 33 home runs. Which is most likely attributed to his highest Barrel% of his career. While his hard hit% is relatively low compared to the league average, it was the highest of his career showing even more improvement. Polanco has seen games in the majors since he was 20 and for the past 8 years so his career is just starting. It has been somewhat tumultuous so far with inconsistent stat productions, but what he produced in both 2019 and 2021 are why he is ranked so high. Take this promising young switch hitter and don’t let him go. (Grif Case)

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Grif Case

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