Bases Loaded Episode 5: Discussing Different League and Draft Types and My Approach.

The Bases Loaded Podcast is brought to you by Mike Kurland. He is bringing you some last minute draft prep for your upcoming drafts! It is a busy couple of draft weekends and he is here to discuss different formats and the approaches he takes to them. As well as his strategies and approach to snake and auction style drafts.

You can listen to the show in the links below!

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Be sure to follow @thefsgn on Twitter and Instagram. Mike can be found on Twitter @mike_kurland and is always available to answer your fantasy baseball question. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, review and comment on the show!!

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2019 Fantasy Baseball Top 25 Second Basemen Rankings

My positional ranking series,

by Mike Kurland

 So as I sat down with excitement to start reviewing second base I realized, second base is actually worse than first base! No way there’s a position worse than first base right? I did not think this was possible. Well I was dead wrong because second base is in fact worse than first base this year. We will get through this! I believe we can do it…. maybe… hopefully. Yeah, my confidence in this position is definitely wavering.

I am giving you my top 25 second basemen rankings based on players CURRENTLY eligible to play second base. I like to reference NFBC for player’s eligibility. Keep in ind players like Moustakas, who will be eligible at second base early in the season. I love me some Mike Moustakas this season and would of loved to include him, but he does not fit the players currently eligible.  So let’s dive in, shall we?

1: Jose Altuve – He’s my number 1 at the position and it isn’t close for me. There is some concern coming off injury last year, but I think he’s an absolute value where he’s going in drafts. I think he has another 20 steal season in him among the other production expected from him hitting middle of one of the best lineups. I don’t believe the injury will slow him down this year and I’d say he will be a first round talent by end of season. 

2: Whit Merrifield – To some this may be a surprise but Whit is my #2 second baseman. He offers a solid floor for runs and steals and that is hard to come by. I would love to see him traded to a contender, but regardless he’s a solid player and provides safety and solid production in 2 of the hardest categories to fill. Not only does he manage to give you a high floor, but any player who offers me the steals and good batting average without sacrificing the rest of my categorical output I’m all over. 

3: Javier Baez – I’m a bit down on Baez coming into this year. Well, I’m not down on him, I just believe he is being over drafted and at his current cost I won’t have any shares this year. He does offer power and speed but his poor plate discipline is always a concern and last year could’ve been his career year. I do like his multi-position eligibility and he provides solid 5 category production. I just would prefer if his price wasn’t so high.

4: Daniel Murphy – I love me some Murphy this year. He is coming off a down year, mostly caused by injury. Even on a lost year, he still hit .299 and had a decent end to the season. Now he comes into 2019 healthy and ready to roll. He’s taking that hit tool and bringing it to Coors Field! If that isn’t exciting, or enticing, then I don’t know what is. He has a high, solid floor and I could see him winning the battle title this year. He is a great player to have on your team and is typically dependable.

5: Ozzie Albies – Albies started the year on absolute fire last year. He hit 9 home runs in March and April of last year. The power declined from there and he came back down to earth. He is hitting in a great lineup. He offers a bit of power and definitely speed upside. A 20/20 season is definitely a possibility. My only real concern is a potential sophomore slump. There’s definitely a high ceiling for Albies but the floor can be pretty low. You need to also be aware he’s projected to hit in the bottom half of the lineup so that certainly hurts his upside and value a bit.

6: Gleyber Torres – Torres is in this same conversation and has a similar ADP as Albies. He’s going to likely be hitting in the bottom half of the lineup. Although it’s one of the best lineups in baseball, anytime you bat bottom half of a lineup it definitely caps your upside. He came up swinging a hot bat last season before eventually coming back down to earth. I’d expect 20-25 home runs with a full season of at bats and double digit steals. However, just like with Albies, just have to watch out for a sophomore slump.

7: Johnathan Villar – This is a guy I really like this year. He’s relatively inexpensive and offers you some steals without killing you in all other categories. In 2016 he had that 19 home run and 62 steal season. Now, I’m obviously not expecting that, but it is a reminder of what his ceiling is. He is going to hit top two in the batting order for the Orioles this year. He should not have to worry about playing time. I’d expect around 10 or so home runs with 30 or so steals. This feels like a safe estimate, and he offers the chance to out produce those numbers for sure. He’s a solid target at second base in the mid rounds.

8: Travis Shaw – I am a big fan of Travis Shaw. He isn’t flashy, but he gets you the numbers you need. He has at least 30 home runs and 80 RBI the last two season. In 2018, he had big improvements in BB% and K% from 2017. He calls Miller Park his home And that’s never a bad thing I’d say. He’s just a solid contributor overall and you shouldn’t shy away from him on draft day.

9: Scooter Gennett – Ever since his breakout I’ve had a hard believing in him. He just continues to prove me wrong. Over the last two years he has hit over 20 home runs and over 90 RBI while hitting .295 or better on the year. It never hurts when a player is projected to hit cleanup, which he is per Roster Resource. He is also another player who has a very favorable home field in Great American Ball Park. The lineup as a whole has become stronger with the acquisitions they’ve made this offseason and also some young talent coming up. I think he’s in for another solid year and he’s one of the final guys on this list I have full confidence in.

10: Dee Gordon – Flash Gordon had a bad year last year. He was having a decent start, but was then derailed by injury and was not the same. I wouldn’t be surprised if he bounced back and stole 40 bags this year and hit closer to .280 or so. He’s a steals specialist but you’re getting him at a good value. Upside is limited but could return to form and be closer to what he was expected to be last season.

11: Robinson Cano – Oh, how the mighty have fallen. He once was at the top of the position and even a top player in fantasy. Now he’s slightly above average. He’s another year older, but I think there’s still some upside with him. He came off the PED suspension last season and had a solid end to the year. He’s in a good lineup and should hit right in the middle of it. I think there’s another year or two left in that tank. The best way to describe Cano, he’s like the Miguel Cabrera of second base this season.

12: Rougned Odor – I feel like Odor has been around forever and forget he’s only 25 years old. He is almost forgotten about this year compared to previous seasons. There is still upside to be had here. He almost doubled his walk rate in 2018 compared to 2016 and 2017. He’s been a free swinger over the years but with his power potential, if he developed better plate discipline he could be a real steal here. I need him to prove to me that the walk rate isn’t a fluke before I buy in to his new approach. The power and speed numbers are there so if he improves that plate approach he can be a dangerous hitter to face and provide solid fantasy upside. 

13: Brian Dozier – Here is the guy who always starts slow and then, BOOM! He has a huge second half. Well, then last year happened and never bounced back and he didn’t give the big second half he typically does. That is very concerning for him and his fantasy outlook coming into 2019. If there is one good thing about him, it is his price. He is cheap and could easily bounce back. We know the ceiling is high, but the floor is also low enough that he can be dropped. With that said, it is all baked into his price and he is worth the gamble. 

14: Yoan Moncada – I have no idea what to expect anymore from Moncada. He is aggressive at the plate and it shows in the numbers. The power/ speed combination is always appealing and this year you aren’t paying the price that comes with the hype. If he can put it together, finally, there’s a chance for a huge payoff here. He has 20/20 upside for sure but I’d bet he falls short. I don’t have much confidence in the breakout but it is low risk, high reward with Moncaada. He could have the breakout year or he could be dropped by May. Either outcome would not surprise me. 

15: Nick Senzel – It is about time Senzel gets a shot. I feel I have been waiting since late 2017 for his shot or at least a cup of coffee. Well, 2019 is the year it SHOULD happen. Of course I am assuming no injury set backs or anything. He has solid power/ speed upside. I love his upside and he will likely get eligibility in the OF as well. He is one of the cheaper rookies in redraft and could be up sooner than most. He is an absolute discount compared to other rookies and I would keep an eye on him through spring training and early part of the season. 


16: Cesar Hernandez – Hernandez is projected to hit at the bottom of the Phillies lineup. Although it is one of the best lineups in baseball, going from lead off to bottom of a lineup is just terrible for any players value. If he earns his way to lead off or gets the spot unexpectedly his value would greatly improve. I’d keep an eye on him. He has some speed and batting average which can be hard to come by late in drafts. He has a decent floor with a low ceiling. His price on draft day is appropriate. 

17: Johnathan Schoop – What happened to Schoop last year? I don’t understand why he fell off a cliff essentially. I think there’s a good chance he returns to form. He has 2 seasons, as recent as 2016 and 2017,  of 25 or more home runs and 80 or more RBI. His down year last year he still managed 21 home runs and 61 RBI in only 501 plate appearances. His lack of walks and patience at the plate is a concern. We know what he is capable of and I would think in Minnesota there is no threat to playing time. 

 18: Jeff McNeil – He made my deep sleeper list this year with an ADP outside the top 300 a few weeks ago. With injuries piling up for the Mets already, he now has a spot for sure to start the year. He doesn’t offer much for power, but his speed is legit and hits for a solid average. Those are 2 categories owners always look to find late and he seems to offer both. He has a solid track record in minors of hitting for good average and came up last year and flashed that same skill. He has also shown he can sustain a solid OBP. He is a late round target for me and I recommend all should get on board. 

19: Marwin Gonzalez – He is becoming a common player I am finding at the bottom of all these lists. He is not flashy what-so-ever, but he produces. The multi-position eligibility is a big reason for his value. The twins have a sneaky good lineup and he will likely find steady playing time throughout the season through injury or poor performance from other players. 

20: Ketel Marte – Here is another guy I will not quit on. He came in, with what would’ve been, a firm grip on the lead off spot in the lineup and the every day CF job. Then Adam Jones was signed in recent days and now I am not totally sure what to expect. There are talks of Marte being this super utility type of player for the Twins. He could be fighting for an every day spot. I am honestly unsure. I had him higher up prior to the Jones signing. I still am a believer. I still think he will lead most, if not all games and gain multi-position eligibility. He could Hit 10- 15 home runs and has legitimate 20 steal potential with his speed. He was another one of my sleeper picks this year and I am standing by it. 

21: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Gurriel Jr. has been touted by his own brother as being a better hitter than himself. That is interesting considering we all know how solid his brother is at hitting. Gurriel Jr. came up last season and hit .281 with 11 home runs. I’d say thats not too bad. He did have a K% of 22.4% but the concerning number is the BB% of just 3.4%. The biggest issue may be playing time by mid season.  The Blue Jays have a stout minor league system and have Vlad, Biggio and Bichette working their way up. If he does not hit, he could be out of a job by the ASB. 

22: Joey Wendle – He came up last year and people surprised a little bit. He wasn’t a stud or big time player by any means, but was a nice boost to batting average and steals. In 139 games he hit .300 and stole 16 bags. Brandon Lowe is working his way up and if Wendle struggles, he could be the odd man out. There is not a whole lot of upside here but he is not going to sink you either. 

 23: Adam Frazier – Frazier is quietly projected to hit leadoff for the Pirates. He has a very low ceiling but can hit for average and anytime you get a leadoff hitter you will get some decent return from them. The top half of the Pirates lineup is pretty solid so if he can get on base, he will be a cheap source of runs. The batting average and on base skills are there and he has double digit steal seasons in the minor leagues. 2018 was his first season with double digit home runs with 10, so I don’t expect much power production from him. He’s not a bad middle infield target in deeper leagues. 

24: Luis Urias – He is only being looked at in the deepest of leagues and it is totally understandable as well. He has a solid hit tool and will get on base plenty, but offers little power or speed. A lot of guys come up to majors and add some pop to their game and that’s part of what I’m hoping for. Not to mention, he’s in a lineup that isn’t nearly as bad as it’s been in previous years and if he hits he could end up leading off for this team. The ceiling seems pretty low, but with any young player, there’s always a chance for some unlocked potential. 

25: Asdrubal Cabrera – Here we are, its 2019 and somehow Asdrubal is still relevant! He is starting for the Texas Rangers and has multi-position eligibility. That’s a big deal in the leagues you’re likely rostering him. He is who he is by now. He is not going to break out at this point in his career , but he is going to provide safe numbers and could be a good injury fill in for your fantasy team. 


The left overs…


These few players are guys I considered placing here at the end. If you wanted to put them inside the #20 – #25 spots I wouldn’t argue with. There are 3 names that just missed my list and they are Brandon Lowe, Jed Lowrie and Josh Harrison. 

Brandon Lowe – He offers plenty of upside but most projection systems want him only have him projected for roughly 250 AB. He has competition for playing time and projected to hit 9th per Roster Resource. His upside and potential is capped by where he’s hitting in lineup but if he performs it could change and value could rise. There are a ton of options here in Tampa with Yandi Diaz and Daniel Robertson still hanging around. Any of which could steal and every day job from Lowe. 

Jed Lowrie – He was originally in my top 25. I loved him as a starter for the Mets and he was going to hit middle of lineup. My only concern is his injury and I am unsure when he will return from injury. If he was healthy he’d be in my top 25, but because he’s not there’s not enough upside there to put him over Cabrera or Frazier. He’s definitely a solid value once he’s back and healthy so keep an eye on him. 

Josh Harrison – For some reason that I can’t explain, I really like Josh Harrison. He was recently signed by the Tigers and is expected to leadoff. Getting a leadoff hitter this late is never a bad idea.  I’m thinking he could hit 10 home runs, grab 10 bags and hit around .270. Nothing special but going as late as he is, you can’t really ask for much more.


Well, there you have it folks. This is by far the most shallow position coming into the season in my opinion, so I would plan accordingly. I hope this helps you plan for your drafts coming. 




For more content follow me @Mike_Kurland on twitter and you can find my podcast @BasesLoadedPod on twitter and it is available on almost all podcast platforms. 



Next article will be covering the shortstop position so stay tuned! 






Bases Loaded Episode 4: The Price is Right!

The Bases Loaded Podcast is brought to you by Mike Kurland. He is bringing you guys that are priced just right but still offer upside and a chance to provide value! 

You can listen to the show in the links below!

Megaphone link:

itunes link:

Be sure to follow @thefsgn on Twitter and Instagram. Mike can be found on Twitter @mike_kurland and is always available to answer your fantasy baseball question. Also, don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!

2019 Fantasy Baseball Top 25 First Baseman Ranks

My positional ranking series,

By Michael Kurland

First base… is just… rough this year. It is very heavy at the top with talent. It’s really a wasteland compared to previous years. It once was the deepest position around and you’d even try to squeeze 2-3 minimum onto a single roster if possible. Well those days are gone, and now we’re stuck with whatever you want to call this mess. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s still value to be had. You just have to know where to look for it. That’s where this list comes in. Let’s dive into this position and see what we can find. Maybe there is some treasure at the end of the rainbow after all…. or maybe just a puddle of mud.

This list is based on players CURRENTLY eligible at the position. There will be players like Daniel Murphy, Hoskins and others who will likely gain eligibility quickly once the season starts but they’re not on this list because they are not currently eligible.

Enough talking. 

Let’s get this thing rolling!

1: Freddie Freeman – He is an absolute stud at the position. No real holes in his game. He has a safe high floor. You can’t go wrong with freeman as the number one at his position. 

2: Paul Goldschmidt He’s more like a 1.b. at the position. These two guys are going back to back in most drafts or within a few picks of each other. It’s really a preference between Goldy and Freeman. Could easily flip them. Take him with confidence and don’t think twice.

3: Anthony Rizzo He is being slightly overlooked in this first base wasteland. I have him in same tier as Freeman and Goldy, and I wouldn’t even be surprised if he out produce them this year. He’s easily in this top tier at the position and a solid value where you get him.

4: Cody BellingerWe’ve seen what he’s capable of. There is so much upside for him and I expect him to improve from last season. The dodgers did ship out a couple of players this year and only brought in Pollock. I think his playing time “concerns” shouldn’t be so much of a concern going into this year. 

5: Joey Votto Now if this is he isn’t the definition of “Steady Eddy” then I don’t know what is. I am not willing to bet against a rebound season. He has one of the best plate approaches in the game. He is in the best lineup he’s been in since I can remember. Last year we saw his floor. Sure, now he’s he’s 35 and I think his best days are behind him, but he still offers enough upside to make my top 5 at this position. 

6: Matt CarpenterHe had a helluva year last year. It was mostly a good two months that carried him to that final stat line. This is where the position gets murky. I think he has another year left in the tank. He looks healthy so far this spring and on a contending team. If he is healthy he’s a solid first baseman to have on your team.

7: Jesus AguilarHere is a guy no one is sure about. He broke out and had a great first half. After that great first half he had a, for a lack of a better word, meh second half. What is intriguing about Aguilar is that ball park mixed with hitting middle of that lineup. I’d bet this year he ends up somewhere in between the 1st half version and 2nd half version of himself from last season. 

8: Matt OlsonHe was everyone’s darling going into last year with that hot finish to the 2017 season. I think he has 40 home run upside without bottoming out your batting average. He’s definitely a post hype breakout candidate this year.

9: Jose AbreuComing off a bit of a down year last season, I think he’s in for a bounce back. His best days could be behind him but I like the chance for him to come in healthy and produce close to what we’ve come to expect from him year after year.

10: Edwin EncarnacionHe’s been on a steady decline last couple of seasons. Nothing overly drastic as far as a decline goes, but a decline none the less. The big home runs days I feel are behind him. All We can hope for is that he’s traded to a contending team sooner than later. He’s an every day starter and you know what you’re getting from him. Solid mid round guy to just plug in and forget about. 

11:  Jurickson ProfarDid he FINALLY breakout? Will he sustain it? I believe he can. He does offer 10 plus steal upside at a position where speed is hard to come by. Has the pedigree and after battling off injuries and rough start to his career, I think he’s going to continue from where he left off last season. He’s in a solid lineup but did go to a worse hitters park. The multi-positional eligibility is also a nice plus! 

12: Max MuncyThere’s definitely some risk with Muncy. He is currently a projected starter per roster resource. The Dodgers are a crowded and deep, so he will need to hit to hold his starting spot. He showed he definitely can hit last season and I think he will. He has 30 home run pop and a solid team around him. Playing time is the only question but I believe in the talent.

13: Joey GalloThe power is there, which we already know. If only he could just hit for somewhat of an average. The upside is there, but can he capitalize on it is the question. He needs to be planned for and built around in drafts. 

14: Ian DesmondHe offers you some power/ speed combo and gets to call Coors Field his home. 20/20 seasons are his game. He has now done it for 5 of last 7 years. He’s coming off a 20/20 season as recent as 2018. It doesn’t hurt that he has a good lineup around him. Oh, and did I mention his home park is Coors Field? 

15: Peter AlonsoUPSIDE! The position starts to fall off a cliff here. Right when you are ready to throw in the towel, he injects life back into the position. He can be a difference maker at the position. Could even be, dare I say, a league winner! Such a glob here, and he stands out as a potential difference maker. I’ll gladly take the upside play and you could pair him with another guy later on. He might miss first month but could light the world on fire once called up! The beauty of Alonso, is his price! You can get him after some of these other guys I have ranked behind him. He’s going late in most drafts so there is little risk but a huge reward to drafting him on your team this year.

16: Miguel CabreraHe could play some first, but I expect him to play a lot more DH this year. Which in return should help him stay a little healthier. He is obviously past his prime but he still has his plate vision and hit tool that’s just undeniably great. Little lineup support but I think, ultimately, he has one more year left in the tank. 

17: HosmerWords that come to mind when I think of Hosmer are boring and safe. He’s coming off a down year and should improve. He would benefit from some lift in his swing. He’s in a far better lineup so he shouldn’t feel nearly as much pressure to perform. If he can get back to 2017 or even close he could provide solid return. 

18: Yuli GurrielJust like Hosmer, Yuli is just safe and solid. Won’t win you your league but definitely won’t lose it for you. 

19: Josh BellI’m higher than most on Bell. I think he returns to form and gives you closer to what he did in 2017 than 2018. Walk rates and K rates improved last year. He has a great approach and it even improved last season. I think he offers some upside late at a position that lacks depth. 

20: Luke Voit: I’m afraid he isn’t going to win that job in New York. If he does, there’s always the chance at a platoon. DJ Lemahieu needs some at bats and Greg Bird is around. If I knew he had the job to himself, he’d move up into the teens in my rankings. There’s too many question marks here with playing time, but the fact remains he can still win the job and be a solid contributor. Keep an eye on that situation in NY. So for now, he sits at 20th in my first base ranks.

21: Jake BauersHe flashed a solid hit tool in minors. He came up and hit but then struggled to end the year. He is going to gain OF eligibility and does have some speed so maybe a few steals can be had here late. Because he offers steals there is definitely some upside here.

22: Carlos SantanaYou’re going to get 20+ homruns and solid rbi production from him. He’s back in Cleveland and joining a team who isn’t as good as it’s been in recent years. He is who he is by now. He will be hitting in the middle of the lineup and should still produce solid numbers.

23: Marwin GonzalesHe’s going to start for the first Month (minimum) of the year. Sano just can’t stay healthy it seems. Even when Sano is back, he still provides solid value due to positional eligibility and will get his games weekly either because of injury or rest for other players. There’s even the chance he just earns a starting spot over someone else who is struggling. There is a lot of avenues to playing time and a lot of position eligibility will help him find his his way to solid production.

24: C.J. CronHe is coming off a career year, and I can’t help but be think of a LoMo comp here. He’s coming into a more secure roll here with the twins and las year he flashed what he’s capable of. He will be hitting in the middle of solid lineup. He should have every opportunity to show what he has to offer and that last year wasn’t a fluke.

25: Jose MartinezI really wanted to put him higher. The problem is his unsure role and playing time. He’d be farther up this list without question if he had his spot secured. He’s fighting for a spot against Fowler and O’Neill for RF. I just don’t think he wins it right away. Fowler is being paid a lot of money and I believe he is going to be given every opportunity to perform because of that. If he were to win that RF job, however, then he moves up my ranks a good bit. With his playing time far from certain, I think this is an appropriate spot for him for the time being. 

The leftovers… 

The guys who just missed my list but could easily make a case for are Tyler White and Justin Smoak.

Tyler WhiteHe was a pleasant surprise last year. I think he needs to hit to hold onto the full time DH spot in what is a very crowded offense this year. Any sign of struggle and he could be out of a gig. There is no room for error with Tucker likely back in the minors ready for an opportunity to open in the majors, as well as other capable hitters on bench ready to jump on their chance for at bats. With all that said, he still offers upside and just missed my top 25. 

Justin Smoak – He just doesn’t offer enough upside for me. It really is just as simple as that. He’s safe but low batting average with mid 20’s home runs. I just think he doesn’t offer enough upside to make the top 25. 

Well there you have it. That covers my first base rankings. Hope it helps provide some guidance going forward with you drafts.

Feel free to follow me @Mike_Kurland on twitter. If you have any questions or comments feel free to come my way.

If you’re looking for additional content check out the Bases Loaded podcast. Can be found on iTunes or @BaseLoadedPod on twitter. Thanks everyone and talk to you soon!

Bases Loaded Episode 3: Relief Pitcher Review & Strategy!

The Bases Loaded Podcast is brought to you by Mike Kurland. He is bringing you his favorite fantasy baseball Relief Pitchers and his personal strategy at attacking the position. Also discussing some of the sleeper middle relievers for you!

You can listen to the show in the links below!

Be sure to follow @thefsgn on Twitter and Instagram. Mike can be found on Twitter @mike_kurland and is always available to answer your fantasy baseball question. Also, don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!

Bases Loaded Podcast Episode 2: Deep Sleepers

The Bases Loaded Podcast is brought to you by Mike Kurland. He is bringing you his favorite fantasy baseball DEEP sleepers 2019 season!

You can listen to the show in the link below

Be sure to follow @thefsgn on Twitter and Instagram. Mike can be found on Twitter @mike_kurland and is always available to answer your fantasy baseball question. Also, don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!

Bases Loaded Podcast Ep. 1 – Sleepers, Breakouts and Busts

The Bases Loaded Podcast is brought to you by Mike Kurland. He is bringing you his favorite fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and potential busts for the 2019 season!

You can listen to the show in the link below

Be sure to follow @thefsgn on Twitter and Instagram. Mike can be found on Twitter @mike_kurland and is always available to answer your fantasy baseball questions.