There is something satisfying about seeing the player you elevated to the No. 1 spot at second base in last year's fantasy rankings sitting atop the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings) rankings at the position for 2021.
This is what I said last year:
"Call it a gut feel, but Ozzie Albies will be even better this year. Last year's .325 BABIP might have inflated his numbers, but his stats have gone up each year since his rookie season in nearly every single metric. The trend is real and I think it continues."
His ratios went down as expected. However, if we project his counting stats to say 600 ABs, he matches his career-high 15 SBs and sets a new mark with more than 30 home runs. So yeah, I've got him listed as the No. 1 2B again this season.
I wouldn't fault you for grabbing DJ LeMahieu of course, but he's less of a pure 2B than Albies is, and depending on your league, he might lose his eligibility there this year. Gleyber Torres meanwhile should easily qualify at either MI spot this year, but he is also more of a SS than 2B. I do, however, think he bounces back closer to his 2019 numbers of .278 with 38 homers. The 38 homers might be a little optimistic of course. But Torres should be a top-five 2B again this year.
But Torres is not even the player I have the most highly elevated over the ECR; that honor belongs to Eduardo Escobar, who I currently have ranked a dozen spots higher than the ECR. He's more of a 3B to me than a 2B, but if he qualifies as a 2B in your league, he's easily a top-25 option there.
Thoughts and Other Rankings Notes:
- I was a lot more confident about 2B last year than I am in this year, especially if we take out players not often considered 2Bs like Escobar. This might be a great year to reach for one of the top 2B options.
- But you might not need to reach to obtain the services of one of my favorite 2Bs this year, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. I am basically in on all Blue Jays this year, who might not be the best team in the AL, but actually have the best lineup in the entire AL East. And that starts with Gurriel Jr., who had a wRC+ last year of 135. For those unfamiliar with wRC+, it stands for run per plate appearance but weighted for both league and park factors. 100 is considered average. Just for comparison purposes, Trevor Story and Trent Grisham, two players I think we can all agree are pretty good, had wRC+ last year of 117 and 121 respectively. Grab Gurriel while you can.
Check out my top second basemen rankings below for yourself. Let me know your thoughts!
— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.