Finding Second-Base Gems in Yahoo’s Average Auction Values

Yahoo launched their fantasy baseball site for 2017 over three weeks ago, which means that by now, there should be some solid trends to analyze in their average draft position and auction value data. There’s some surprises to be found in the early returns, so let’s dive right into the top 12 by average auction price. (When looking at the 2016 values, keep in mind that Turner and Gordon each played roughly half a season, and Carpenter dealt with an oblique injury.)

While it’s true that elite players usually cost more than they “should” in auctions, if my leagues hold true to this pricing structure, I’m not likely looking to roster Altuve or Turner this year. I’ll roll out my preseason second-base tier rankings in the coming weeks — in many ways, this piece is a primer for that one — and it’s far from a spoiler to say that Altuve and Turner are my top guys. They’re pretty much everyone’s top guys.

I still cannot personally justify that sort of cost differential. $49 is way too rich for my blood on Altuve, as that’s essentially betting on him to maintain last year’s power surge, while also re-upping his stolen-base numbers to 2014 levels. I love Altuve as much as anyone else, but I’m not dropping fifty bucks on him in an auction.

Spending north of $40 on Turner is equally excessive. I don’t believe for a second that he’ll come close to repeating last year’s power output, which means he’d likely have to steal 50+ bases and compete for a batting title to justify that price tag.

The biggest problem with spending so much on Altuve or Turner is that there are a bunch of entirely reasonably priced players going in that $25-$28 range. I probably like Cano and Murphy the best of that bunch, and Dozier’s at a fair price as well. Think of it this way: Would you rather have Murphy and $24 to spend elsewhere, or Altuve? How about Dozier and $15, or Turner?

This brings us to possibly the most important point of all: Promise me you’ll spend more than $16 on Carpenter. I don’t get the low projections on his power — Steamer has him at a .177 ISO, ZiPS at .189 — after he posted two straight seasons of an ISO right around .234. If he stays healthy, there’s no reason he shouldn’t challenge for a spot among the top 5-6 second basemen.

Past the top 12, we encounter the following list of leftovers:

Jeff Sullivan wrote an article titled “DJ LeMahieu Gets No Respect” last week, and it appears that remains true for fantasy owners as well. Ten bucks is an absolute steal, when you consider he’ll hit over .300 with tons of runs and ~25 HR+SB.

Much like the elite players usually cost more than they should in auctions, lesser options are normally a bit cheaper than their projected output. Still, Pedroia, Zobrist and Schoop all look like strong values.


I’ll expand on all of this when I post my preseason second-base rankings, but for now there’s certainly some preliminary trends worth discussing. I already knew this was a deep position this year, and looking at the prices solidifies my preferences a bit. Every auction is different, but taking these prices in a vacuum, I like Carpenter much more for 2017 than I thought I did. I also don’t think you can go wrong with someone from the Cano/Murphy/Dozier group. And, of course, LeMahieu is significantly undervalued. As is tradition.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think it’s worth spending up for Altuve or Turner? If so, you’re more than welcome to try to change my mind in the comments section.

We hoped you liked reading Finding Second-Base Gems in Yahoo’s Average Auction Values by Scott Strandberg!

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Scott Strandberg started writing for Rotographs in 2013. He works in small business consultation, and he also writes A&E columns for The Norman Transcript newspaper. Scott lives in Seattle, WA.

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Nasty Nate
Nasty Nate

Won’t everyone be using Trea Turner as a SS this year? Isn’t that why his auction value is that high?

The Truth

SS is no longer shallow.