In today's installment, we look at the top ten second base prospects in the 2016 draft. This is by far the shallowest of all positions, which is typical as most pro second basemen were amateur shortstops. With that said, there are some decent players at the top.
|Bo Bichette||2B/3B||HS||R-R||6-0||200||Lakewood||Terra Verde||FL||Arizona State|
|Bryson Brigman||2B||SO||R-R||5-11||180||San Diego||San Jose||CA|
|Carlos Cortes||2B/OF||HS||L-B||5-8||185||Oviedo||Oviedo||FL||South Carolina|
|Nicholas Quintana||2B/3B||HS||R-R||5-11||180||Arbor View||Las Vegas||NV||Southern California|
|Jake Noll||2B||R-JR||R-R||6-2||195||Florida Gulf Coast||Punta Gorda||FL|
|Cavan Biggio||2B/3B||JR||L-R||6-2||180||Notre Dame||Houston||TX|
|Tate Blackman||2B/SS||SO||B-R||6-0||185||Mississippi||Altamonte Springs||FL|
|Tommy Edman||2B/SS||JR||B-R||5-10||175||Stanford||San Diego||CA|
|Mike Garzillo||2B||SR||R-R||5-11||185||Lehigh||Wind Gap||PA|
Bichette is at the top of the second base rankings. The son of Dante has crushed the ball as a Florida prep senior. However, there are some questions with him. He's played third, shortstop and second base, but most scouts think he fits best at second. His swing, like brother Dante Jr., has way too many moving parts and needs to be simplified if he's going to succeed in pro ball. But he has some of the best bat speed in the 2016 prep class, and that's why he'll be drafted in the first two rounds.
Brigman is a draft-eligible sophomore from San Diego. He's played shortstop in college (and the outfield), and has the range and hands for it. His arm is a bit short to stay at shortstop in pro ball, however. He should be an elite defender at second base, although he could be a solid center fielder as well. He's got speed, and a quick line-drive swing that should give him good batting averages. He's hitting .372/.428/.424 this year, with sixteen walks to nineteen strikeouts, and 17 steals. What holds him back is the lack of current and projectable power - he's hit zero home runs this year. Still, he should be picked anywhere from the second to the fourth round.
Cortes is a favorite sleeper of mine in this year's draft. He's basically the duck-billed platypus of this year's draft prospects. He can throw with both hands, and changes which one based on where he plays on the field - which has been second, the outfield, and most recently catcher. Most are still trying to figure out where he goes on the field. If catcher works, that would be great for him. Personally, second base makes the most sense. His ticket in this draft is his bat, however. His swing from the left side is just purrty - maybe my favorite in the entire draft. He should be able to hit for power and average. He could go as early as the back end of the first if someone falls in love with the bat, but he should be off the board before the fourth round hits.
Quintana has been around forever. I expected him to be a first rounder this year, but he hasn't made it up there yet. It could be a case of draft prospect fatigue, and a team could get a steal because of it. The bat isn't in question - he has easy power from a short uppercut swing. He very well could stick at shortstop, but I have a feeling he will fit best at second base. He could go anywhere from the end of the first round through the third round. Any later than that, and he's going to Arizona. An interesting development is him working out behind the plate - if a team thinks he could legitimately catch, with his bat he joins Johnson and Rortvedt as a top prep catching prospect.
Solak could be one of the more underrated bats in the draft, and is the last of the top tier second base prospects in this year's draft. He's projected as more of a 4-5 round pick, but the bat is good enough to go before that. There's not a lot of power yet, but he just hits hard line drives. He gets dinged due to position. Last summer, he hit .329/.438/.393 with 24 walks and 21 strikeouts in the Cape Cod League. He's followed that up this year, hitting .377/.472/.562 with 25 walks to 18 strikeouts in 184 plate appearances - he missed some time to a hand injury after being hit while trying to bunt. He's a solid defender at second base and has efficient speed on the basepaths - he went nine for nine in steals this year, and ten for twelve in the Cape. He reminds me of what Rob Refsnyder was coming out of college with the bat, without having to learn how to play second base.
Noll can hit, period. Over three years at FGC, he hit .361/.417/.493. He's hitting .367/.427/.620 this year, with 20 walks to 29 strikeouts - a much better rate than he's shown previously, and a good sign of growth at the plate. That followed up a stellar Cape Cod League stint, where he hit .326/.366/.452. He also has good speed, although his stolen base numbers dropped last summer and this spring. There's some worry he won't stick at second, which would push him to left field or first base, but I think those concerns are a bit overblown. He should go by the end of the fifth round.
Cavan is Hall of Famer Craig Biggio's son. He's a solid if unspectacular college career at Notre Dame. He's hitting .311/.473/.454 this year, with 54 walks to 32 strikeouts. The walk rate and OBP are the strength of his offensive profile, and he combines that with nice speed and smart baserunning that has led to a perfect fourteen for fourteen in steals this year, and 28 for 30 over the past two years. He may never develop the power needed to be a starter, and he's struggled with making solid contact in college. But he will get drafted on pedigree alone, and has a chance at being a utility player at the big league level. He's probably a 4-6 round guy, but he seems likely to go back to college for his senior year in that case.
Blackman was one of my favorite high school prospects two years ago, even though he was one of the older prep prospects. Now, he's a draft eligible sophomore who is as old as some juniors. So while he has two years of leverage, the age takes some of that away. He's a solid defender, and has a nice line drive stroke that still has some untapped power potential. He's hit .329/.398/.446 this year, with 29 walks to 35 strikeouts. If he is signable, he should be gone by the seventh round. Otherwise, a team with some pool flexibility will take him after the tenth and offer an overslot deal.
Edman is a scrappy, glove-first player. His arm isn't good enough for a full-time gig at shortstop in pro ball, but he can play there as an utility player. He had a surprisingly strong Cape last summer, hitting well above anything he's done in college with a .318/.382/.405 line. If that continues into pro ball, he could surprise some folks. He might not be picked until after the tenth round, but I suspect he won't make it that far.
Garzillo has a nice bat with pop, speed on the basepaths, and defense skills that can stick at second. But he likely best profiles as a super-utility guy. He hit .313/.416/.562 this year, with a 27 walks to 54 strikeouts, which was down from his junior year. As a senior, he's guaranteed to be picked in the top ten, likely the 6-10 round range, as a senior sign that saves a team some bonus pool money.