In the third installment of our “Injured Players Draft Guide”-Dr. Jesse Morse takes a look at injured or recovering second baseman entering the 2017 season.
Jason Kipnis is entering his age-30 season and has been a well-rounded fantasy contributor for some time now. Up until recently that was not expected to change, but unfortunately now he will be sidelined for about 4 to 5 weeks with what sounds like a rotator cuff strain of his right shoulder. Kipnis is currently the 13th 2B being drafted, with an ADP of 95. With how significant shoulder injuries can affect a player’s offensive production, look at both Michael Brantley and Pablo Sandoval, it remains to be seen how significant of an impact this will have on his performance. Brantley and Sandoval were dealing with labral injuries, and from the reports Kipnis only has a mild rotator cuff injury, so he may not be as bad off. Be weary of drafting him in the first 10 to 12 rounds, but after that Kipnis has the potential to be a steal, as long as the shoulder injury doesn’t linger.
The super-versatile Matt Carpenter, slated to start 1B for the Cards but eligible for 1B, 2B, and 3B in some leagues, has been dealing with a back injury that held him out of the WBC. Carpenter is not your middle-of-the-order power hitter, but he will provide some your team with RBIs, a fantastic OBP and an BA that won’t kill you. I don’t think his back injury is anything to worry about. It was likely that his body’s was not used to the grind of spring training, and he just needed to work out the kinks. He’s being drafted as the 10th 2B off the board, with an ADP of 65. That is a very solid player at a great price, so you should draft him with confidence!
Devon Travis, the 26 year-old 2B for the Toronto Bluejays has loads of potential but has never been able to stay on the field to show it. Travis underwent knee surgery in November of 2016, but his recovery has been very slow, which has been frustrating for both the organization as well as his (dynasty) fantasy owners.
Travis has the potential to play on Opening Day if his knee decides to cooperate. In 106 games last year, Travis hit .300 with 11 HRs and .154 ISO. Due to his injury history, I would avoid Travis unless you get him after his ADP of 231. He has tons of upside but it’s hard to tell if he will be on the field long enough for it to translate to fantasy points. Let someone else draft him around the 230 mark, wait a round or two and grab Joe Panik instead.
Ryan Schimpf, currently slated to open the year as the Padres’ 2B, is essentially a 28-year-old rookie. He only played in 89 games last year, but in those 330 plate appearances Schimpf hit 20 HRs posting a crazy .315 ISO while walking nearly 13% of the time. Yes he did strike out 32% of the time, but 20 HRs from your 2B is impressive. Unfortunately Schimpf suffered an oblique injury, which have a tendency to zap power and can continue to linger if not allowed to properly heal. It’s hard to ignore what he did last year, and it easy to get excited about Schimpf’s potential. Currently being drafted as the 35th 2B, with an ADP of 376, this puts him in the same area as Howie Kendrick and Jurickson Profar. Can he come close to matching his league-leading 0.30 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio from 2016? Highly unlikely. Schimpf is a very patient hitter, so if he can cut down on his strikeouts, he will be a high-upside, low-cost option for your team. Feel free to draft him if you are scouring the leftovers looking to fill up your bench.