Fantasy baseball season has begun, and that means it’s time to take a look at the best players at each position. Our focus here will be on the second basemen, a tough position to gauge given some subpar performances from some of MLB’s best from last season. So, who do we have at the top? Let’s take a look.
10. Brandon Lowe
If Rays 2B Brandon Lowe stayed healthy last season, the former Maryland product most likely wouldn’t be this far down on the list. A year after hitting 14 home runs in the shortened 2020 season, Lowe hit 39 home runs and 99 RBIs for the Rays in 2021. Lowe finished in the top 10 in the Majors in home runs that season, and second among all second basemen. But last season, Lowe only saw action in 65 games with Tampa. When the 28-year-old was one the field, Lowe hit just .221/.308/.383 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs.
Lowe could be a steal in fantasy drafts, given his production at the plate in 2020 and 2021. But, there is some risk given what happened in 2022.
9. Jorge Polanco
Twins infielder Jorge Polanco hit 33 home runs and drove in 98 runs in a fantastic 2021 season in Minnesota. Polanco followed that campaign up with a fine season overall in 2022, but did see his numbers drop. Over 104 games, the 29-year-old hit .235/.346/.405 with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs. The veteran infielder missed time last season due to back and knee trouble.
While Polanco didn’t hit home runs at the frequency he did in 2021, the 29-year-old still proved to be a valuable power hitter. And despite a dip in batting average, Polanco worked counts more than in the past, and recorded a career-high 14.4% BB%. It’s not be a great idea to expect another 30 home run campaign, but Polanco should be able to crack the 20 homer mark provided he stays healthy.
8. Gleyber Torres
The 2021 campaign was a nightmare for Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres, who struggled both at the plate and in the field. Back at second base for 2022, Torres returned back to his old form. Torres hit .257/.310/.457 for the Yankees last season, and cracked 24 home runs, third-most among all second basemen.
Set to fit right back in the middle of the Yankees lineup, Torres will look to put up similar numbers in the hitter-friendly confines at Yankee Stadium.
7. Jake Cronenworth
Padres infielder Jake Cronenworth posted career-lows in batting average (.239), OBP (.332), and SLG (.390) in 2022. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that Cronenworth still proved to be valuable for fantasy players. The 29-year-old led all second basemen in RBIs (88), and was one of just two second baseman (Brandon Drury) to have at least 15 home runs, 75 runs scored, and 75 RBIs
A versatile infielder that can play at 1B, 2B, and SS, the two-time All-Star is set to be a key figure in the Padres lineup once again in 2023.
6. Max Muncy
Dodgers infielder Max Muncy owns arguably the best power tool out of any eligible second baseman in fantasy baseball. Last year, though, was a tough one for the Dodgers star. Muncy hit just .196 with 21 home runs, the first time that the 32-year-old failed to hit 30 home runs in a full season.
The veteran infielder’s overall numbers were not impressive, but Muncy — who we named as one of the 10 players that needs a strong rebound season in 2023 — did show some promising signs in the second half. Muncy hit .247 from August 2 to the end of the regular season, much more in line with his career norms.
5. Tommy Edman
Cardinals infielder Tommy Edman has proven to be a jack of all trades in fantasy throughout his career thus far. Edman hit .265 for the Cardinals last season, cracked the double digit marker in home runs (13), and stole 32 bases for the NL Central champions. The 27-year-old’s 32 steals were second-best among all second basemen, only bested by speedy Marlins infielder/outfielder Jon Berti.
Much like with Cronenworth, Edman can play multiple positions in fantasy baseball. If you’re looking for someone who can help with the stolen base category, and can be shifted around in the lineup, Edman is a solid option.
4. Jeff McNeil
The 2021 campaign was a tough one for Jeff McNeil, but the Mets infielder returned to form last season. McNeil — who owns one of the best pure hit tools in the game — hit .326 for the Mets, a figure that gave the 30-year-old his first NL batting title. Additionally, the 2022 NL Silver Slugger winner drove in 62 runs, scored 73 times, and hit nine home runs for the Mets last season. While that home run title may not be particularly high, it was his best since a 23 home run campaign in 2019.
Don’t expect a lot of power from McNeil, but do expect runs scored, and a ton of hits from “The Squirrel.’
3. Ozzie Albies
Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies spent most of the 2022 season on the IL. Albies only saw 64 games last year, and put up uneven results during that time. When healthy, Albies is one of the most valuable second basemen in fantasy — and for good reason. In 2021, Albies hit a career-high 30 home runs, swiped 20 bases, and drove in 106 runs for the World Series champions.
A two-time Silver Slugger, Albies is one of the best power hitters at the position, and should once again be in position to produce runs for a very deep Braves lineup.
2. Marcus Semien
Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien exploded with the Blue Jays in 2021, as he hit 45 home runs with Toronto — a total that ranked as the fourth-most in the league. Semien couldn’t duplicate those gaudy numbers with Texas in 2022, but did hit 26 home runs, and drove in 83 runs. The 32-year-old also score 101 runs and stole 25 bases, both of which ranked in the top 10 of all MLB players in each statistical category.
An all-around threat in fantasy, Semien should be an elite fantasy infielder provided he stays healthy.
1. Jose Altuve
The 2022 season was yet another strong one for Astros 2B Jose Altuve, who batted .300 and hit 28 home runs for the Astros. On top of those stats, Altuve led all second basemen in runs scored (103), and swiped 18 bases for the defending World Series champions. That total marked Altuve’s most in a single season since 2018.
It’s a tough call between Semien and Altuve, as an argument can be made for either of the two to sit at the top of the fantasy rankings at second. But, we will give Altuve the edge, thanks to his ability to consistently make good contact. Unless Semien can belt 30-35 home runs — which isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but not a guarantee by any means — Altuve is our pick.