Remaining flexible targeting second base in fantasy drafts may be easier and more difficult than the surface suggests. Take a breath, not trying to get too deep here, but with shortstops, starting pitchers, and outfielders occupying most of the first two rounds in 12-team drafts, patience can be administered until the third round when looking to target a second baseman. Before delving into the position as a whole, it's striking to illustrate how many possess multiple eligibility. 

Using the average draft position (ADP) provided on Fantasy Pros as a guide, of their top 30 players at second base, 25 of them can be used at another position. Of course, be sure to know your league rules and eligibility requirements for upcoming drafts. Yahoo announced players who owned eligibility at a position entering 2020 retain it for the 2021 season. This adds players like Gleyber Torres , Lourdes Gurriel Jr. , and Ian Happ to the player pool. However, in NFBC format, seven games played in 2020 yields eligibility on their site, so it takes the three aforementioned players off the table but only eight of the top 30 selections in their ADP can only be used at second base so 22 own multiple positional eligibility. 

While this seems terrific on the surface, it also provides a false sense of depth at the position. There are pockets of value throughout the position but with some shades of gray due to potential outcomes of performance or playing time issues, especially for the bevy of Padres on a crowded roster like Jurickson Profar , Jake Cronenworth, and rookie KBO import Ha-seong Kim ()">Ha-seong Kim. Never fear, our positional breakdown can be used as a primer for draft prep. 

The Elite

No matter which ADP data, Fantasy Pros or NFBC, the first three second base eligible players taken in drafts since the start of 2021 include DJ LeMahieu , Ozzie Albies , and Whit Merrifield . LeMahieu can also be used at first base and third base in most formats making him a worthy target, especially for those wanting to build a solid base of batting average on their roster. LeMahieu led the majors with a gaudy .364 average in the truncated season but he's batting .336 from the second half of 2019 through the end of last year and .311 over his last three seasons. 

Ozzie Albies represents the pivot to LeMahieu if trying to build a solid base of counting statistics with stolen base upside. Injuries depressed his totals from last season but Albies projects to be one of eight eligible second baseman to reach double digits in home runs and stolen bases along with scoring more than 90 runs. Here are his projection sets:

Merrifield also resides in the top three courtesy of his stolen base potential in a scarce market. He also can be used in the outfield by fantasy owners. Taking his totals into account, Merrifield's stolen 19 bases since the second half of 2019 through last season with 81 runs. Over the last two years he's hitting .297 which provides a solid baseline but if the stolen bases wane, so does his value. 

Finding Value in the Middle Rounds

Second base can be used a bit like fantasy spackle, one can address needs for a roster build when addressing needs. After the big three, Cavan Biggio can be deployed at three positions and may hit second in a burgeoning Blue Jays offense. Through his first 159 games in the majors Biggio's scored 107 runs with 24 home runs, 76 RBI, 20 stolen bases and a .240/.368/.430 slash line. 

If looking for more power, Brandon Lowe played in 56 games for the Rays in 2020 scoring 36 runs with 14 home runs, 37 RBI, three stolen bases, and a .269/.362/.554 line. An injury cut short his second half of 2019 but if you take his first half results from this season combined with his 2020 numbers for an expanded sample, it yields 30 home runs, 86 RBI, eight stolen bases and a robust .273/.348/.536 slash. 

For the rebound crowd, Ketel Marte surged to a career high 32 home runs in 2019 then only hit two last year. Beneath his power outage, Marte improved his discipline metrics entering his power peak on the precipice of his age-27 season. Buying low on a player who disappointed last season could yield a 25-home run season with a bounty of runs with health. 

Searching for a more generic price while trying to protect batting average, Jeff McNeil may be your pivot from LeMahieu. Over the last three years McNeil boasts a .319 batting average and he's one year removed from 23 home runs and five stolen bases. Or trying to get power at a position it's not as prevalent, Mike Moustakas enters 2021 available in the tenth round in most drafts. He struggled last season but now acclimated to Cincinnati, he could hit 35 home runs this season for the Reds. 

It's strange to see Jose Altuve available at pick 100 or later, but fantasy owners seem skeptical of his production in light of the revelations about the Astros scandal. This represents a put up or shut up year for Altuve. If healthy and motivated, he could be an absolute steal at his price point based on where he hits in the lineup and if Houston's offense produces. Plus, his numbers do not sit too far below Albies’ if looking for a cheaper alternative across the board:

Late Round Options

Missing out on the top-12 at this position could be a gamble depending on league sizes and eligibility rules. However, one can recover with some caveats. After being traded to Cleveland, Andres Gimenez does not fly below the radar due to his speed upside with eight stolen bases over his first 49 games in the majors last year. However, his new team may send him to the minors if they cannot trade Amed Rosario before the start of the season. Patience may be required so invest with eyes wide open. 

If trying to find speed from a more reliable option, Kolten Wong presently sits outside the top-30 in ADP but may be moving up soon signing a multi-year deal with Milwaukee. Wong's one year removed from stealing 24 bases along with hitting 11 home runs with a .285/.361/.423 slash line with St. Louis. Playing for the Brewers, an aggressive team on the bases may enhance Wong's value along with his new ballpark which heavily favors left-handed hitters. Over his career, Wong owns a .308/.373/.482 slash in Milwaukee with 20 extra-base hits (12 doubles, two triples, six home runs) in 217 plate appearances. A return to double digits in home runs and 20 stolen bases would be a boon for his fantasy value in 2021. 

Depending on how the Dodgers deploy him, Chris Taylor may be in line for under appreciated statistics in a powerful lineup. He's eligible at either middle infield spot or the outfield and hit .270/.336/.476 over 214 plate appearances last year with eight home runs. Some projection systems foresee Taylor accruing 20 home runs with ten stolen bases in 2021 with a .255-to-.260 batting average, pretty good for a late round dart toss. Also, do not forget his teammate Gavin Lux either. 

Continuing his development, Mauricio Dubón  owns a .274/.325/407 slash through his first 84 games with eight home runs and five stolen bases. He represents one of ten players eligible at second base with projections for double digits in both home runs and steals. If he gets to a 15/15 season, Dubón's a steal at his present ADP. Remember when Scott Kingery appeared set to build on his breakout season? He contracted COVID-19 and never recovered last season. Still, it remains too early to give up on him since Kingery recorded 19 home runs with 15 stolen bases in 2019 with almost 120 runs plus RBI in only 126 contests. 

Texas appears set to let Nick Solak take over at second base. Through 91 games in the majors Solak's hitting .277/.351/.397 with seven home runs and nine stolen bases. If his power from the minors returns this year, he may be a breakout candidate at second base, especially if he can hit 15-to-17 home runs with double digits in steals. Need late stolen bases? Monitor where Kolten Wong ends up. Searching for 20 home runs with RBI upside? Starlin Castro feels like a forgotten commodity with an ADP greater than 300 this season. The post-hype breakout poster boy may be Luis Urías of the Brewers. 

Sleepers (Dart Throws with upside)

Colorado traded Nolan Arenado paving the way for Ryan McMahon to return to his natural position of third base. This also provides a chance for Brendan Rodgers to win the second base job at spring training. Rodgers suffered a multitude of injuries the last two years but any player who could hit 15 or more home runs with pocket stolen bases playing half of his games in Coors deserves a second chance, especially when he's free. 

It may take some time to acclimate, but Jazz Chisolm heads to camp with a chance at the second base job with the Marlins. Across two teams in Double-A in 2019, Chisholm hit 21 home runs with 16 stolen bases. He may be a batting average drain early, but if he takes off in the second half, be ready to pounce. 

Be sure to use all the components of the draft guide to your advantage and if looking for the top five in statistical measures in larger sizes, use the chart below accordingly:

This could be the year Garrett Hampson gets turned loose by the Rockies, just when many give up on his stolen base upside. One size does not fit all at second base in fantasy for 2021, remember to remain eminently flexible to maximize the position during roster construction. 


Statistical Credits:

THE BAT X and THE BAT courtesy of Derek Carty

ZiPS courtesy of Dan Szymborski

ATC courtesy of Ariel Cohe