Matty Kiwoom’s Rankings Deep Dive: 2nd Basemen & Shortstops

My rankings are out now!

Link: https://couchguysports.com/matty-kiwooms-fantasy-baseball-positional-rankings/

Ladies and gentlemen, we are getting closer to opening day.  I will not speak for anyone else, but I am very excited.  So far, I have covered the relievers, the catchers, the first basemen, and the third basemen.  If you haven’t checked out those breakdowns, you can find them on the CGS website.  The middle infield is interesting in fantasy baseball.  One position is loaded and the other is well…not.  You can decide which position is which.

Keston Hiura (MIL)

Current ADP: 66.8

My 2B Rank: #6

The Brewers slugger is not going to be their everyday second baseman.  You must be asking yourself, “how can this bozo rank Hiura at 6 if he isn’t even going to play?”  Well, I never said he isn’t going to play.  He will be manning first base going forward.  I believe this will be a good thing of his fantasy game.  Hiura will be let loose.  And will no longer have to worry about his defense as much.  The kid was pretty bad at second defensively.  But on his offense?  Keston Hiura can flat out rake.  His production in the majors, is hot and cold.  In 2019, it was scorching and in 2020, the data was quite cold.  I’m looking at one metric that was consistent over what comes out to about 1 full season played.  Hiura’s barrel percentage was fantastic in 2019 and was even better in 2020.


As of now Keston Hiura is going anywhere from rounds 5-7 based on the size and format of the league.  I expect his ADP to fall a bit.  Mainly due to his lack luster spring.  He is currently only hitting .091.  Hiura does have a homer (it was smashed) but not a good showing overall.  I know that Spring Training should not be taken too seriously.  But when it compounds to the iffy 2020 campaign.  That is the recipe for some decline in average draft position.

I am buying that dip if it hits when my drafts come up.  His advanced metrics in 2019 are just too juicy.  Hiura is no rando player either.  He has the high-end prospect background and is expected to hit at the big-league level.  My main concern is hit strikeout rate.  Hiura saw his K rate increase to just about 35%.  Not great Bob.  If we see that go down and his hard rate creep back up to 2019 levels.  Boy, oh boy, we could have an offensive beast on our hands.

Jose Altuve (HOU)

Current ADP: 91.4

My 2B Rank: #9

Out of every player in my second base rankings, Jose Altuve has the steepest potential decline.  The former fantasy first round pick has seen better days. Both is his play and his popularity around the baseball world.  It is safe to say that his current status within my rankings is purely on name and career.  It would be a mistake to overvalue his batted bat data.  Altuve has never really hit the ball hard.  The biggest indicator behind his production were his xBA, xwOBA, and xSLG.  All three statistics have declined year to year from 2018 to 2020.  Check out the picture below.

His stolen bases have also dried up.  Over the past two seasons, Altuve has been caught steeling almost as many times as he successfully stole.  So he is even a major risk in category and roto leagues.  Even at his discounted ADP (compared to years prior) I will not have many different teams with Altuve on it.  There are players that I would much rather roster.

Jonathan Schoop (DET)

Current ADP: 340.3

My 2B Rank: # 18

Jonathan Schoop is a diamond in the rough in points leagues.  The second baseman is getting drafted at the end of deep fantasy drafts.  If you are 10 or 12 teamer than you can wait until the very end to take Schoop.  But the truth is you are only really looking to take Schoop if you’re in a pretty deep league.  This guy is as blah a player as you will find in fantasy baseball, but he routinely finds himself within the top 20 for second basemen in points leagues.

Admittedly, Jonathan Schoop does not smash the baseball.  That hasn’t really been an issue for him throughout his career.  He tends to be in the bottom half in terms of hard-hit rate and exit velo.  The stats are usually better than that data would suggest. Schoop batted .278 last year and was on pace to swat 22 homers.  These are his home run totals since 2016: 25, 32, and 21.  Roster resource places him at the top of the Tigers lineup.  Even if it is not a world beater, his counting stats will benefit from hitting in one of the prime batting spots.  I will gobble up this consistent power from a position without a ton of it this late in drafts of my deeper leagues.

Xander Bogaerts (BOS)

Current ADP: 30.8

My SS Rank: #5

The Red Sox short stop is entering the prime of his career.  After batting .300 each of the last two seasons, Bogaerts is implanting himself amongst the best short stops in the game.  Not only is he a batting average positive player, but he also supplies power as well.  Bogaerts has hit 23, 33, and was on pace for 30 home runs in 2020.  Xander has been on a good 3-year run.


If he remains healthy (more on healthy in a minute) Bogaerts is guaranteed to score 200 runs plus RBIs.  And what I love most about Xander Bogaerts is how good his plate discipline is.  Because he is better than 3 quarters of the MLB in strike out percentage and in the upper half of walk rate, Bogaerts is fantastic in points and on base percentage leagues.  And for all you categories team builders, X added 8 stolen bags in 2020.  Wasn’t even caught once.

I would have to say that the current knock on Bogaerts is his shoulder soreness.  That should bothered him enough to warrant an MRI.  Collectively the fantasy baseball community omitted a sigh of relief when the results came back clean.  More recently Xander said himself that his should is “pretty close to 100%,” I am not hesitating to take the short stop.  Matter of fact, I am hoping for a little bit of a nervousness discount.  I love the Red Sox lineup in 2021.  They have a real chance of being a top 3 offense and Bogaerts will be in the thick of that lineup.  Personally, I would love to see him bat 3rd.  In front of JD Martinez and behind Rafael Devers.  I am taking Bogaerts wherever I can, and if you play in one of my leagues…stay away!

Carlos Correa (HOU)

Current ADP: 119

My SS Rank: #10

First of all I have to admit to you…I cannot quit Carlos Correa.  I have been a fan of his game for a long time.  Me and the rest of the Carlos Correa fan club are still hoping to see a breakout season.  He has shown glimpses of his potential ceiling and it is an MVP candidate.  I guess I am just a sucker for talent.  Just because he has yet to realize that super Saiyan season doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Last year was so weird that you cannot fully make any decisions based on the results.  But Carlos Correa does get bonus points in my book for staying healthy.  Health has always been an issue for the short stop.  Playing 58 of 60 games can’t be a negative.  I loved what I saw in the playoffs.  He hit 6 home runs in 13 games while batting .362.  Houston will still have a good lineup even if Altuve is a lesser producer.  Correa is looking like he will bat in the upper 4 and the is another positive for me.  He is going outside the top 100 and I think he is worth the risk at that point in your draft.

Dansby Swanson (ATL)

Current ADP: 105

My SS Rank: #15

The fact that I have Dansby Swanson as my short stop 15 proves how deep the position is.  I really like Swanson entering his 27-year-old season.  He is coming off a very productive 2020 season.  The former number one overall draft selection was on pace to hit 27 home runs, 40 doubles, and score 132 runs.  This season could look very similar, but it isn’t a guarantee.  Dansby Swanson’s hard-hit rate, exit velocity, and barrel percentage have been constant over the last few years.  Looking at it that way makes me think that 2020 may be an outlier sample size.

Atlanta’s offense is poised to for another good year.  Swanson has batted in the middle of the lineup so far this spring.  That will be great for fantasy baseball production.  Grabbing Dansby Swanson in round 7 or later could be a perfect piece to complete the top half of your draft.

My rankings are always on the website and will be updated soon.  The latest episode of the High Heat Fantasy Podcast is out now.  You are going to want to tune in.  Good luck and study up.

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– Matt Desrosiers (@MattyKiwoom on Twitter)

Matty Kiwoom

My name is Matt and I'm a sports-a-holic. *pauses for warm welcome*

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