Second base is kind of like first base in that the best prospects rarely start out there. It's sometimes a waystation for overgrown shortstops who eventually wind up at first base or the outfield. It's sometimes a crash course for utility players in training.

What it isn't is a hotbed for dynasty talent, so most of these players deserve only a passing glance. The top four are surefire prospects, albeit with obvious shortcomings, and Nos. 5-8 I've developed a personal fondness for. After that, though, it gets dicey.

The position would look rosier if the Dodgers' Gavin Lux and the Rockies' Brendan Rodgers still qualified there, but both just barely used up their rookie status in 2020, with Lux doing so by way of at bats and Rodgers by way of days on the active roster. They would likely rank first and third at the position.

Note: This list is intended for a variety of Fantasy formats and thus weighs short-term role against long-term value. Not all of these players will contribute in 2021 — most, in fact, will not — but among prospects, they're the names Fantasy Baseballers most need to know.  

1. Nick MadrigalWhite Sox

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2019: high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
2019 minors: .311 BA (473 AB), 4 HR, 35 SB, .792 OPS, 44 BB, 16 K
2020 majors: .340 BA (103 AB), 3 2B, 2 SB, .745 OPS, 4 BB, 7 K  

Madrigal is the ultimate zig-while-everyone-else-zags prospect, seemingly selling out for contact in an era when power prevails. It puts an obvious limit on his ceiling — at least outside of points leagues, where his lack of strikeouts counts for something in itself — but a cinch .300 hitter with some base-stealing prowess could still be awfully handy.

2. Jazz Chisholm, Marlins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2019: Double-A
2019 minors: .220 BA (395 AB), 21 HR, 16 SB, .761 OPS, 52 BB, 147 K
2020 majors: .161 BA (56 AB), 2 HR, 2 SB, .563 OPS, 5 BB, 19 K  

The embodiment of high-variance, Chisholm's first stint in the big leagues highlighted his worst attributes and how things might pan out if he doesn't learn to make more consistent contact, but he was rushed to provide a spark for the playoff push. He may still ultimately wind up at shortstop, but his power/speed combo would be of more help at second base.

3. Vidal BrujanRays

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2019: high Class A, Double-A
2019 minors: .277 BA (429 AB), 4 HR, 48 SB, .735 OPS, 37 BB, 61 K

If stolen bases are your thing — and in standard 5x5 leagues, they're everybody's thing — Brujan is the prospect for you, his 80-grade wheels making him a good bet to run even in an era that discourages it. And while his bat is more built for contact, the switch-hitter's occasional pop from the left side gives him a puncher's chance of a Rafael Furcal- or even Jimmy Rollins-like outcome.

4. Xavier Edwards, Rays

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2019: low Class A, high Class A
2019 minors: .322 BA (503 AB), 1 HR, 34 SB, .771 OPS, 44 BB, 54 K

Edwards is kind of a lite version Brujan, offering more like 70-grade than 80-grade speed and with virtually no hope of developing worthwhile power. He might be a slightly safer bet to excel in batting average and OBP — and he'll need to excel in them to avoid becoming just another stop in the Rays' roundabout of infielders.

5. Michael Busch, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2019: Rookie, low Class A
2019 minors: .125 BA (24 AB), .496 OPS, 7 BB, 5 K

Busch is that sort of Moneyball throwback for whom offense — and particularly plate discipline — is emphasized above all else, which works out great in Fantasy as long as his stockiness doesn't rule him out for an everyday role. Batting left-handed and playing for the Dodgers also make him a platoon risk, but the bat should deliver and move quickly.

6. Justin Foscue, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2019: not under contract

The 14th overall pick in this year's draft is another offensive-minded second baseman who should move quickly after a decorated college career at Mississippi State. We're light on data, of course, but an optimistic comp would be something like a slow-footed Ian Kinsler who combines good contact skills with a proclivity for yanking the ball over the fence.

7. Aaron Bracho, Indians

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2019: Rookie ball, short-season Class A
2019 minors: .281 BA (135 AB), 8 HR, 11 2B, .973 OPS, 28 BB, 29 K

Bracho is young and still way down the system, but he already demonstrates an advanced feel for hitting with a keen eye, a short stroke and good barrel control (made all the more impressive by him being a switch-hitter). His small size may limit his power ceiling, but the hit tool is there.

8. Nick Yorke, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 18
Where he played in 2019: not under contract

The Red Sox surprised prognosticators by taking Yorke 17th overall this year, believing so much in his bat that they weren't deterred by how little he's played since his sophomore year (losing time to shoulder surgery and the pandemic). Perhaps they see in him a little of Dustin Pedroia — a "laser show" who will occasionally muscle one over the Green Monster — though he has a long journey ahead.

9. Sheldon Neuse, Athletics

Age (on opening day): 26
Where he played in 2019: Triple-A, majors
2019 minors: .317 BA (498 AB), 27 HR, 31 2B, .939 OPS, 56 BB, 132 K
2019 majors: .250 BA (56 AB), 3 2B, .599 OPS, 4 BB, 19 K   

After he surged to the majors during the juiced-ball blowout of 2019, Neuse's services weren't required during the pandemic-shortened 2020, and he's now at an age where it's fair to wonder if an everyday opportunity is even in the offing. Still, his minor-league track record suggests that the 2019 blowout may not have been a total illusion.

10. Andy Young, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 26
Where he played in 2019: Double-A, Triple-A
2019 minors: .271 (462 AB), 29 HR, 25 2B, 903 OPS, 42 BB, 121 K
2020 majors: .192 BA (103 AB), HR, 2 2B, .767 OPS, 5 BB, 10 K  

Another bat-first middle infielder whose glove probably takes him out of serious contention, Young is at least in the mix for the Diamondbacks now and has made enough appearances around the diamond that he could possibly settle in as an offensive-minded utility man. With the right break, though, he could still be a late bloomer a la Christian Walker.