In the positional spotlight series here in our Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, you’ll know that the second base position lacks elite, top-tier fantasy talent. There are near-elite options, but the depth of the second base position allows fantasy managers ample flexibility when constructing draft strategy. As your league’s fantasy baseball drafts draws closer, it’s time that we talk about my favorite value plays at second base, as well as a couple of later round dart throws at the position for the 2023 fantasy baseball season. Based on current ADP, these are players that you can get outside of the top 12 or so at the position, and there are even a few players that are drafted outside of the top 25 at the position! We’ve talked about the top five fantasy baseball second baseman for this season, as well as the overall depth at the position, so without further ado, let’s take a look at my favorite value plays and late round targets at second base for your fantasy baseball teams this season!



Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds

I’ve been banging the drum for Jonathan India all offseason, and will continue to do so. Yes, in 15-team formats, he’s being drafted as an everyday second baseman, but his current ADP of 2B14 is simply too low. Injuries got in the way of his 2022 season, limiting him to just 103 games and seven stolen base attempts, but he’ll be healthy heading into 2023, and remember, back in 2021, he hit 21 homers with 12 stolen bases, 98 runs scored, and a 269 average. Half of his games are in one of the best offensive parks in baseball, and while the overall numbers weren’t ideal last year, as the year went on, some of his peripherals evened out, mainly his O-Swing%, SwStr%, and walk rate.

India is a prime bounce back candidate in 2023, and at just 26 years old, there’s enough reason to believe in him for 2023. Health willing, he’s a 20/10 guy, and even if we temper expectations a bit, India is a .255 hitter with 15 home runs, eight stolen bases, and those that play in OBP leagues could really use India’s production in that category, especially if his 2023 walk rate is more reminiscent of his 2021 mark (11.3 BB%).

India struggled in 2022, but he posted 21 homers with 98 runs scored and 12 stolen bases with a .269 average back in 2021. After some injuries, he hit .256 over his final 44 games, posting three home runs, 21 runs scored, 17 RBI, and one stolen base. He’s only 26 years old in one of the best hitter’s parks in Major League Baseball.

Whit Merrifield, Toronto Blue Jays

Merrifield was mostly the same player as he was in years past, but the notable drops in his batting average and stolen bases were a drain on his overall value. He was dealt to Toronto at the trade deadline, and while the stolen bases cratered, he was rejuvenated a bit offensively, as he slashed .281/.323/.446 with five home runs and one stolen base across 44 games for the Blue Jays. 

Toronto’s home park has changed a bit, although that likely may not behoove a batted ball profile like Merrifield’s all that much, and maybe the bigger bags get his stolen base total up to the low-to-mid teens. However, Toronto isn’t a team that runs a ton, which is concerning for a guy whose fantasy value was boosted by his prowess on the basepaths.

Unlike in 2022, Merrifield should play a more regular role for the team, even if it means the majority of his at-bats come in the bottom-third of the order, but this a potent lineup, and if he gets on base, he’ll be on base when the likes of George Springer, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. step up to the dish. Merrifield will hit for a respectable batting average, hit 10-12 home runs, and he should reach double-digit stolen bases in 2023, although admittedly, the total likely comes closer to the 10-12 range compared to the 18-20 range. However, we don’t have to pay top dollar for Merrifield this year, unlike years past.

Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies

UPDATE: Rodgers is in danger of missing all of the 2023 season due to a dislocated shoulder he suffered in the spring.

Injuries and a lack of stolen bases compared to his minor league career have been the primary storyline of Rodgers’ career to date. All of the hype was behind him, and it almost feels like Rodgers is a forgotten guy in Colorado and fantasy baseball alike. The fact that he hasn’t attempted a single stolen base in the majors is almost comical at this point, and now that his ADP is at a more palatable level, Rodgers is a great value option for fantasy in 2023. He logged a career high 137 games played last year, and while he posted a .266 average and hit just 13 home runs, there was a lot to like from Rodgers’ 2022 campaign.

  • Improved walk rate? Check
  • Improved strikeout rate? Check
  • Better quality of contact? Check
  • Better command of the strike zone? Check

Compared to prior years, mainly 2021, his average exit velocity and barrel rate improved, and he plays half of his games at Coors Field. He’s going to hit in the top half of this lineup, and Rodgers seems like a second baseman that will hit .265+ with 16-20 HR, 70+ R, and 70+ RBI and no one is blinking an eye. Rodgers currently slots in outside of the top-25 players at this position, presenting a unique buying opportunity for 2023.

Later Round Options

Jonathan Schoop, Detroit Tigers

The 2022 season was one to forget for Schoop, as a career-worst .234 BABIP tanked his batting average to .202, though his xBA of .228 would have been a bit more beneficial for fantasy managers  if his average and expected average met. His average exit velocity was on par with recent years, and his hard hit rate was the third-highest of his career. With expected regression to the mean in 2023, it’s hard to understand why Schoop is going this late in drafts. He’s not a league-winner by any means, but he’s still the everyday second baseman for Detroit, and will likely hit in the heart of the order in a new park that figures to be more hitter friendly. Prior to last season, and also excluding the shortened 2020 season, Schoop had not one, not two, not three, not four, but five straight seasons with 20+ home runs, and in four of those years, he had a .250+ batting average. He hardly sees ball four, so his value in OBP leagues sinks a bit, but 2022 appears to be an outlier, and not the new norm for Schoop.

He’s being drafted outside of the top 40 players at the position, and routinely outside of the top 400 overall, and even if he doesn’t get to the 20-homer plateau, at his current ADP, 12-15 home runs with 60+ R and RBI is practically free money, and excellent fantasy depth.

Nolan Gorman, St. Louis Cardinals

In deeper formats, take a lottery ticket on Gorman. His raw power is legit, and at the peak of his career, he has the tools to be a 30+ homer guy. In 2023, opportunity is going to be his biggest blocker to production, because St. Louis’ offense is loaded. In his rookie campaign, a 32.9 percent strikeout rate and 16 percent swinging strike rate tanked his batting average to .226, though a measly .301 BABIP and .239 xBA may point to a different story. He needs to cut back on the strikeouts, and a strong spring could be catalyst to regular at-bats in 2023, but the batted ball profile is legit, and if he can stabilize the strikeout rate, watch out. He’s a guy to monitor throughout the spring, because he could open the year in the minors to build some confidence early on in the season, or the team may use him on the large side of a platoon at the DH spot. If he’s on the big league roster, St. Louis will have his bat in the lineup especially against right-handers. Gorman seems like the guy who will have his ADP shoot up in spring, whether it be by strong performances or coach speak.


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