Everyone wants to be first. It’s all about finding that new shiny player and riding them to victory. There is simply more excitement in a prolific rookie than an old, boring, reliable veteran. But is that the right strategy?

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I guess we have to answer a question with a question here, as we need to know what the cost is. At the right price, just about any player is worth drafting but there is something else to consider with rookies; they haven’t done it before at the major league level. That doesn’t mean they can’t, or won’t, produce and make fantasy managers look good, but there is an adjustment period and that isn’t always the case. 

Ultimately, this is a balancing act, and there is more reward than risk here, but rookies shouldn’t be ignored. Let’s take a look at some rookies with second base eligibility that we have our eye on for the upcoming season with ADP’s taken from 268 NFBC drafts from February 1st through March 16th

It should also be noted that these aren’t just names you should be considering for upcoming drafts (although Draft and Holds are a different animal) but also to put on your radar for future waiver wire transactions. 

Throughout the off-season, it has become continually apparent that second base is likely the weakest position out there (excluding catcher). That scarcity also carries over to the prospect pool, and in fact, second base might really be the worst position across the board. If you are looking from help to arrive from the rookie pool, this isn’t going to be the year, and your expectations should be tempered. 

Nolan Gorman, ADP of 529

Gorman made the transition over to second base last season in the minor leagues and his bat did just fine while he was learning a new position after the St. Louis traded for Nolan Arenado. In 119 games between Double-A and Triple-A, Gorman hit 25 home runs last season while driving in 75 runs and chipping in seven stolen bases. 

In 43 games in Double-A, Gorman hit .288 while striking out 26.7% of the time before improving at Triple-A by hitting .274 and getting the strikeouts down to 19.2%. The power wasn’t a surprise as that was always Gorman’s most apparent tool, but with concerns about his batting average, last season’s performance was a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure to what level that will continue, but Gorman is at least showing that perhaps he won’t be a true liability. 

It doesn’t appear that Gorman will head north with the Cardinals, but with a strong Spring Training and continued success at Triple-A to start the season, I wouldn’t expect him to be down for long. Gorman will also have the benefit of joining a strong St. Louis lineup when he does get the promotion. If the newly versatile infielder did break camp on the major league roster, it also wouldn’t be incredibly surprising. 

Richie Palacios, ADP of 744

Cleveland has multiple options up the middle, and I fully admit to really digging deep here as this is more of an AL-only or 30-team league option. Palacios has yet to appear at the major league level, but there also isn’t much on the Guardians depth chart that truly stands in his way if Andrés Giménez struggles. 

Palacios has hit around .290/.300 in the minor leagues to this point without much power, but should he get promoted, he likely will have our attention thanks to his 20 stolen bases in 103 minor league games last season between Double-A and Triple-A. Even with a batting average adjustment down to .260/.270, those stolen bases will still have value. If Palacios does get the promotion and comes up running, it won’t take much for him to appear on mixed-league radars. 

Nick Gonzales, ADP of 746

Gonzales has been selected at the tail end of some 50-round draft and holds this winter, but that is about it. Despite being invited to major league spring training, the 2020 first round pick just has 80 games at High-A under his professional belt. 

It is abundantly clear that Pittsburgh is rebuilding, but aside from a late summer promotion, I think it still might be a little early for Gonzales to make his way to the big leagues. It’s hard to find fault with his .302 batting average, 13 home runs, 54 RBI, 53 runs, and seven stolen bases, but that also doesn’t mean we are without concerns. Gonzales did benefit from a .388 BABIP and while he did have a 10.8% walk rate, his 27.4% strikeout rate is also something to monitor. 

File the name away on your watch list, but I wouldn’t do anything beyond that. 

Tucupita Marcano, ADP of 749

From a prospect perspective, there isn’t a ton of pedigree here. Marcano doesn’t offer much in the power department, and while he’ll steal a few bases, I wouldn’t consider him much of a stolen base threat either. In 25 games at the major level last season, Marcano hit just .182, but he does walk a ton and comparatively speaking is able to keep the strikeouts down (under 20%), but there isn’t much that really stands out. 

Based on Pittsburgh’s overall roster, Marcano will likely spend some time this year with the Pirates, but aside from getting at bats and potentially having an isolated hot streak, I’m not sure how much we really can, or should, expect from him. 

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