It’s all about finding value. There are many factors that go into having a good draft, but one of the simple tenants to follow is to draft good players. I know that is an overly simplistic statement, and there are a lot of things, such as overall roster construction, which go into having a strong draft, but we want players to ultimately outproduce their price. 

Under that tenant, let’s take a look at five players with second base eligibility who I project to outperform their ADP (taken from NFBC drafts from February 1st through March 4th) based on a sample size of 184 drafts. 

Something to keep in mind here, that is more exclusive to second base than most other positions, is the relative weakness of the player pool. That scarcity generally pushes the second baseman up a little higher in drafts than they would otherwise normally go, and this makes finding sleepers a little more difficult. 


Max Muncy, LAD - ADP of 151

There are no questions here about Muncy’s skill set or performance. After hitting 35 home runs in his last two full seasons, Muncy went deep 36 times in 2021 while driving in 94 runs and scoring 95 times. At this point, he has established that as his baseline to go along with a .250 batting average. There is nothing wrong with that production out of the second base position, Muncy is also eligible at first base but in most cases, he won’t be used there. In fact, it’s very possible that a healthy Muncy leads all second baseman in home runs this season. 

But it is the health or potential lack thereof, that is the problem. Muncy’s ADP has dropped throughout draft season as reports of his October elbow injury were not good. The tables have begun to turn now, and in the beginning of March, Muncy was just about ready to begin swinging a bat. Now that the start of the season will be delayed, there is a possibility that Muncy will be ready to go (at best) and if he is forced to miss time, it will be minimal. I haven’t drafted any shares of Muncy to this point due to health concerns, but with the decreased price and the optimism surrounding his elbow, there is value to be found here. 


Rougned Odor, BAL - ADP of 454

Granted Odor did hit .205 in 2019, but we should also note that he hit 30 home runs. Since then, Odor has been released by Texas, ended up as a utility player for the Yankees last year, and is now slated to start at second base for Baltimore. At this point in the draft, we aren’t looking for all that much, and regular playing time really means something here. 

In 361 plate appearances last season, Odor did hit 15 home runs to go along with 39 RBI and 42 runs scored, so with regular playing time, he could get back to his previous performance levels with Texas. We still can’t expect anything from the batting average, but between the price and production in the other three categories, I am on board. With a 19.6-degree launch angle last year, Odor’s swing is still geared for the long ball, and with a 9%-barrel rate, he does make solid contact when he puts the bat on the ball. It should also be noted that this is only going to be Odor’s age 28 season, so there is still a lot of baseball left to be played for him. 


Adam Frazier, SEA - ADP of 343

I know we are going after low-hanging fruit here because at the price, players are fair game to be cut in the first waiver period of the season, and there isn’t a high bar to climb. But at the same time, Frazier is projected by Roster Resource to bat second for Seattle and that should count for something. 

Frazier hit .305 last season, partly thanks to a .339 BABIP while scoring 83 runs in 155 games. There is a minimal, at best, amount of power here, but Frazier did chip in 10 stolen bases as well. The good news is that Frazier only strikes out 10.8% of the time while walking 7.5% of the time, so we get a strong on-base percentage. Another thing that Frazier has going for him, is his versatility, so consistent playing time shouldn’t be an issue here and that is a plus at this point in the draft. 


Eduardo Escobar, NYM - ADP of 190

Escobar also has eligibility at third base, and while this helps to keep him in the lineup, you’ll likely be using him more at second base, although at this price, either position works. Over the last four seasons, Escobar has been a consistent part of the lineup, and while the batting average will remain around .250 and he doesn’t run, the production in the other three categories certainly will be there. 

Last season that production came in the form of 28 home runs and 90 RBI which was generated in part from a career-high 20.8-degree launch angle. Escobar also posted a career-high 8.9%-barrel rate, and while it’s not off the chart, we have a solid and stable skill set and track record here. The problem though is that Escobar doesn’t run, have upside, or really do anything to really stand out from the pack. 

Drafting Escobar is more of an exercise in roster management than anything else, and he’s not someone you are really going to have to reach for, but it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to outperform this draft spot by two or three rounds. 


Garrett Hampson, COL - ADP of 269

We have been waiting long enough for this to happen, so maybe 2022 will be the year? After playing 147 games last season, 494 plate appearances, Hampson is currently projected to be the starting shortstop for Colorado, and that means he’s instantly on our radar for one reason; stolen bases. 

Hampson is going almost 200 picks after Tommy Edman, and while there are clear differences between the two, how big are they? Last season, Hampson did strike out 24% of the time and hit .234, but with a lot of projection systems bringing him closer to .250, things start to look a little better. Batting ninth isn’t great here, but Hampson did steal 17 bases last year while scoring 69 runs. 

As stolen bases get increasingly rare, Hampson’s become that much more valuable, and not much more needs to happen for him to hit .250 with 25 stolen bases. 


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