TDG 2023 PLAYERS TO AVOID: SECOND BASE
This is a companion piece to our 2023 Top 50 Dynasty League Second Base series. The opinions below are our own and do not reflect the TDG consensus.
Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 29, Rank: 11)
Marte is an extremely talented player; he posts some of the top exit velocities in the game year after year (top 5% of the league in the last five years running). His 2019 season garnered serious consideration for the NL MVP (finished 4th), hitting .329 with 32 HR and 10 SB. Since then, Marte has been a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. The results just don’t line up with the skills. Based on his EV’s, launch angle, and contact rates, he should easily be a top-five second baseman, but his outcomes are pedestrian. In 2022, he managed a 69-12-52-5-.240 season in 558 PA, this ranked him 29th among qualified 2B on the Razzball Player Rater for 12-team standard roto-leagues. If these results continue, Marte will find himself moving down in the batting order quickly (the majority of his plate appearances in 2022 were from the 2nd and 3rd slots).
Arizona is a team on the rise with many top prospects knocking on the door and Marte is under contract until 2027. The Diamondbacks see him as a contributing player on their next playoff teams, but average or even below-average production won’t cut it on contending teams, especially at the top of the order. Marte also does not run very much for a second baseman, a position fantasy owners count on for speed. If Marte is being drafted as a top ten 2B in your league, steer clear; there are more trustworthy options available. (Greg Hoogkamp)
Luis Arráez, Minnesota Twins (Age: 25, Rank: 13)
Arráez is a derisive player in many fantasy circles, and it’s easy to see why. Who doesn’t want to root for a throwback player that doesn’t strike out, doesn’t walk, and just puts the ball in play? A .315 batting average? That works. A .372 OBP? Yes, please and thank you. He plays all over the diamond (mainly because he’s a below-average defender and injuries hit the Twins hard last year), so has that sweet dual position eligibility (1B and 2B, and maybe 3B, depending on how many games played your league’s requirements are – he played seven games at 3B in 2022). He even hit eight homers and stole four bases, making him the 72nd overall hitter on the Razzball player rater for 2022.
Here’s the thing though…guys who contribute in only one category are destined for bench duty on most fantasy teams, and that’s why we ranked Arráez outside the top-12 at second base. Even if he has first or third-base eligibility, you don’t want to start him there. He scored 86 runs in 2022, so did contribute in two fantasy stat categories, to be fair…but counting on counting stats can be tricky, so I weigh them less in my rankings, which caused Arráez to tumble in my personal ones. I get it, we like the throwback, and we can hope against hope he gets to ten homers and ten steals…but even then, is it worth it? (Phil Barrington)