TDG’S 2024 TOP 50 CONSENSUS TOP 50 SECOND BASEMEN: #11-#30
The Rankings continue!
Starting us off in this section is Nolan Gorman. Gorman had solid metrics in many areas last year. His barrel percentage was in the top two percent of the league. His average exit velocity, sweet spot percentage, hard-hit percentage, and expected slugging percentage metrics were through the roof. Gorman was also able to draw a good amount of walks. He does need to improve in chasing pitches out of the zone and striking out in general, but other than that there is much to be excited about long term. I would not be surprised if Gorman jumps a couple of spots this time next year.
Next, I want to talk about Bryson Stott. I would personally slot Stott back to at least 17. I respect Stott and he definitely has great fantasy value, I just don’t think he should be over Arráez for one. Arráez has too much value for the stat line leagues. I also don’t know if what we saw in Stott will be the standard moving forward.
Just for candidness, to begin, Stott doesn’t walk much. In both seasons he hasn’t been able to draw walks. Going one step further, he has only performed decently in his ability to hit in just one season. And the metrics aren’t screaming to me draft this guy. Let’s see what he does in 2024 but consider this me tempering expectations.
Let’s talk about this rookie Colt Keith, too. Never played a game at the major league level but just signed a six-year, 29-million-dollar deal. There haven’t been any signs of regression in each of his promotions and the power exploded in 2023 for Colt between his stints in Double-A and Triple-A. I join in the excitement to see what Colt can achieve at the major league level but I am cautiously optimistic. In the event that Colt demonstrates consistent power at the major league level then I wouldn’t be surprised if the hype around him continues to grow.
One last guy I will mention is Arráez. I know I already mentioned him briefly a moment ago but let me put him in the spotlight for a second. He just had his highest home run total in a season. His on-base percentage was a few points under .400. He had an .862 OPS. What more do we want from him? In some fantasy leagues, you have to get guys who can stabilize the average, OBP, and SLG stat lines. I can get power somewhere else, and he’s also only 26 years old. This guy is going to be like a fine wine and only get better with age.
This is a good tier to go shopping from for 2023 since it provides a little taste of everything: you have your upside minor leaguers (Amador, Mauricio, Johnson, Westburg, Saggese) your vets looking to bounce back (Polanco, Lowe, Donovan, McMahon) and one post hype prospect, looking to survive in Chavez Ravine in 2024 (Vargas). In a startup draft, all five of the prospects, and probably Vargas, would be drafted ahead of the vets, so note that if you’re going to join a startup or are in the middle of one.
The 20-year-old Adael Amador is ranked as high as the 8th overall prospect and as low as 49th in the nine prospect lists I viewed before writing this, so is still a high-end top prospect, but a few may have dropped him due to a rough 10 game stretch at Double-A. Amador did well at High-A Spokane, hitting nine homers, stealing 12 bases and slashing a very fine .302/.391/.514. All signs point to a debut sooner than later, but his 2024 season at Double-A will be telling.
What do we do with Miguel Vargas? The hype machine last offseason was getting a bit out of control, and now, he doesn’t have a starting spot (and barely a bench spot). If you have him, you must hold, as he is only 24, but another season at Triple-A wouldn’t help him. He knows how to take a walk, so OBP leaguers should rank him higher (as we have), there is still time for him to get to 25/10 with a .350 OBP, so I would hold as well.
Jorge Polanco had his 2024 $10.5 million option picked up, so the Twins want him around, but they need him healthy, as he hasn’t been the last two seasons. Only 30 years old, it would be surprising if Polanco was finished, however, it appears the 33 homers he hit in 2021 were an anomaly. Expecting 20/5 with 150 Runs + RBI seems right. An interesting trend to note is two straight seasons of a 10%+ walk rate, though the K rate is also increasing.
You know who else may be proving to have had an anomaly season? The Rays Brandon Lowe, who hit 39 homers in 2021 and 29 the last two seasons. Now, he is a 25+ homer bat, but he’s in strict platoon territory, so those in weekly leaguers should look elsewhere. Brendan Donovan will bring a .280+ batting average and .360+ OBP and multi-position eligibility (1B, 2B, OF) but that’s about it.
California native Thomas Saggese, acquired by the Cardinals at the trade deadline last year from the Rangers, was originally a 5th rounder out of Carlsbad (CA) HS in 2020. He worked his way up through the Rangers system, seeing time at second, third, and shortstop along the way. Saggese played most of 2023 at Double-A (before and after the trade) and compiled 26 homers, 12 steals and a .306/.369/.530 slash line. He even made it to Triple-A for 13 unremarkable games, so that should mean he’s a Memphis Redbird again to start 2024. A 25/10 bat with multiple position eligibility? The Cardinals have a type.
Ryan McMahon also knows how to take a walk, with a big-league career walk rate of 10.2%, but everywhere else he’s gotten worse with a purtrid 31.6% K rate last year and a declining batting average for three straight seasons (.254-.246-.240). He does provide consistency in the form of home runs and games played, averaging 22 homers and 152 games played over the last three seasons, and is good enough to play every day at 3B, so in a league with Infielder spots, McMahon deserves a roster spot, but that’s about it.
Jordan Westburg looks to be the O’s starting second baseman and has 25/10 ability, so let’s hope the O’s give him a chance to show it. As he’s currently penciled int the 9th spot of the lineup, expecting a lot of Runs + RBI would be ill-advised. As his value is pretty low overall, his price may be as well. A middle draft pick to take a shot on Westburg may prove to be a prudent move.