Joseph Pytleski

As we’ve already posted our 2014 positional tiers it’s time to dig a little deeper to do the final tweaks. No projection system is perfect, although ours is pretty good, and there are some guys that I would like to give you a little bit more information on that may influence where you draft these key(stone) players for your 2014 rosters. Please note these are not dynasty rankings, just where their value lies this year so adjust accordingly.


Here are three players I like more than our projections (along with my bold predictions):


Jurickson Profar, 2B-TEX

Boy are fantasy managers fickle. Give a guy 324 MLB plate appearances and they’re jumping off the bandwagon left and right. Your negativity is brimming over into the “expert” ranks, too, as Jeff Zimmermann is already pointing out flaws in his game. Never mind the .234/.308/.336 slash last year, Keith Law thinks he’s gonna be a “superstar.” Did you hear that? “Super-star.” That’s not a word he throws out often. Josh Sickles’ likens him to a couple of former star shortstops as well. Look, there are busts everywhere in sports but let’s give this guy a break. He was jerked all over the lineup and all over the diamond last year in a desperate attempt to spark an already sputtering offense. This year he’ll get a full slew of PAs and I believe at some point Ron Washington is gonna get wise to Elvis’ Andrus career .339 OBP, and swap him out for Profar’s career minor league .363 OBP and above average walk rate. Ok, so I’m speculating but I wasn’t when I took him in the 3rd round of my 20-team dynasty league the other day. Impressed. Yeah, I thought you’d be.


(Current projection: 18; My rank: 9. Bold Prediction—Profar gets a shot in the 2nd half batting behind Choo and in front of Fielder. He becomes a top 10 fantasy 2b and doesn’t bother to look at the haters in the rearview mirror as he puts up double-digit HR and SB totals this year).


Anthony Rendon, 2B-WAS

Again, 394 big-league plate appearances does not a career make. I’m not going to even break down his major league stats because we’re still in small-sample-size (SSS) territory here. Let’s see what his track record shows in his minor league career: he’s never walked below 12.5% in any stops in the minors, he’s never displayed an ISO south of .156 (way back in Rookie ball, and no, I’m not counting the .091 in his 14 PAs in AAA last year). He may only steal a few bases, but this is a guy who will benefit you in OBP leagues, has the ability to pop double-digit HR (maybe even 20 over the course of a year), and who won’t kill you in batting average or counting stats. His injury history may scare some people off, but Dave Cameron says he’s going to be “one of the game’s better overall 2B.” You hear that? That’s the cash register and me buying in. You should, too.


(Current Projection: 19, My Rank: 13. Bold Prediction—Rendon hits 20 HR this year, just behind Cano and Gyorko, and makes H2H owners bang their heads against the wall with bouts of streaky hitting along the way).


Chase Utley, 2B-PHI

Howard Bender makes the case here somewhat for but kind of against Utley. I agree with everything he says. The batted ball distances from last year (#90 overall) was the highest in three years, the ISO has increased each of the last three years. He’s 35, playing on wonky knees, and is not on a good team. Yet, there’s something about gamers like Utley that just will themselves into being productive players. Trust me, the stats do not back me up here: his plate discipline was just bad (for him) last year, the O-swing%, Contact%, and SwStrk% all went the wrong direction—which still puts him at or above league average. I think there’s one really decent year left so for 2014 I think he’s still got value.


(Current Projection: 16, My Rank: 12. Bold Prediction—While he may have a hard time reaching double-digit steals, Utley will still outperform fantasy darling Brian Dozier this year).


Here are three players I like a little less than our projections (again, along with my bold predictions):

Jedd Gyorko, 2B-SD

This guy is the polarizing figure of in 2014. I’m already on record saying that Gyorko is overrated. Meanwhile, Dan is in all sorts of crazy love with him, predicting he goes .272 with 28 HR, and 75 runs and RBI. Wow! He is all in, moving up to take him in the 3rd round in our 20-team dynasty draft. Count me out, but we’ll see who wins this battle at the end of the season.


(Current Projection: 5, My Rank: 13. Bold Prediction—Fellow tier-mate Aaron Hill outperforms Gyorko and Dan’s unabashed man-crush for this guy costs him a shot at the fantasy playoffs.)


Jose Altuve, 2B-HOU

Read my piece about why Elvis Andrus is grossly overrated, and now substitute Jose Altuve at 2B. You now have my reasons for not liking him in fantasy. Yes, he will steal bases…and, uh…he’ll steal some bases. Somehow STEAMER thinks he’s going to double his HR total but I don’t see it. Pass for me, especially at #6 overall at the position.


(Current Projection: 6, My Rank: 11. Bold Prediction—There isn’t one. I think his upside was seen last year and he’ll still lead the position in SBs).


Daniel Murphy, 2B-NYM

Ok, what happened here:



















































 His batted ball distance of 262.32 feet (#268 overall) suggests that he got lucky with the long ball, and a quick glance at the ESPN Home Run Tracker suggests that 4 of them were “just enoughs.” I doubt he eclipses double-digit totals there again. The walk rate is still bad, but he doesn’t strike out much and makes enough contact (while maintaining an above average swinging-strike rate) to maintain the batting average. The other question is, where did the SBs come from? His previous career high was 14 in AA, so this was completely unexpected, but with an 83% success rate the past 2 years, it’s reasonable to think that he could again pick the right spots and steal double-digit bases. So, what you’ve got is a .280 hitter with 8-9 HR, maybe 10-12 SBs, capped off with a resounding .320ish OBP. It’s not bad, it’s just not worth where he’s gonna go in some drafts.


(Current Projection: 8, My Rank: 15. Bold Prediction—According to our projections I think Ian Kinsler is going to show some people why they shouldn’t have jumped ship and will outperform Murph by a mile).


Ok, time for you readers to make your comments. Where do agree and/or disagree? Who’d I miss and who are you targeting this year at the keystone?


Follow me on Twitter @agape4argentina for all your fantasy questions and customized fantasy-post ideas.

2 comments on “2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings — 2b…Determined

  1. I will always take Zobrist and his 15/15 production at 2B…not to mention his position flexibility. This could be a great year for a draft low opportunity to get Zobrist…7th round?

  2. Joseph Pytleski on said:

    Yes, he finally has value this year unlike past years.

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