The lack of depth at second base has been a big talking point in Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep discussions this spring, and the position just took a big hit with Jose Altuve suffering a broken thumb. Altuve got hit by a pitch from Daniel Bard during Venezuela's game against the United States, and the team announced he will require surgery to repair the injury Sunday. 

That likely means a pretty lengthy absence ahead for Altuve, with one report indicating he would miss two months while recovering from the injury. 

Altuve has been the first second baseman off the board on average, sporting a 27.0 ADP in's consensus – Marcus Semien is right behind him at 29.0. Now, with Altuve likely out until mid-May, expect Semien to be in a tier of his own at the position, with Altuve tumbling down draft boards.

But you want to make sure you don't let him fall too far. Altuve was the best player at the position in 2022, hitting .300/.387/.533, while hitting a position-best 28 homers; he also led the position in runs and was sixth in steals in 141 games. He'll miss more than that this time around, of course, and there's always some risk that he'll come back and struggle. Remember, Bryce Harper missed two months due to a broken thumb last season and hit just .227/.325/.352 – though he did have a 1.160 OPS in the postseason to make up for it somewhat. 

Of course, there's no guarantee Altuve will struggle upon his return from the injury. It just means there's added uncertainty, something Altuve didn't really have before the injury. If we knew Altuve would come back and hit as we expected him to after the injury, he probably wouldn't fall more than a couple of rounds. Probably still behind Jazz Chisholm and Ozzie Albies (both of whom carry risk of their own, to be sure, but at least aren't currently injured), but not too far behind them.

And that's probably around where I'll stick Altuve in my rankings now. Altuve could still be the best player at the position from mid-May on, and I think I'd still take him inside of the top 100 picks. Looking at my rankings for Roto leagues, Semien (No. 25 overall), Chisholm (39), Albies (44), and Tommy Edman (53) represent the first two or three tiers at the position, with a pretty big drop off to the next one, which starts with Andres Gimenez (98). I think I'd still rather have Altuve than Gimenez, who is a bust pick for me, which means Altuve only falls to sixth at the position for me. 

That means I'm dropping Altuve to 90th in light of this injury, though I'm going to keep an eye on drafts that happen Sunday – Tout Wars and NFC high-stakes drafts are ongoing this weekend, so those should give us a good sense of how Altuve is being valued. Because, while I don't want to just follow the crowds, I do want to make sure I've still got a chance to draft Altuve, because he can still give you an edge at arguably the shallowest position in Fantasy.

Of course, one thing to keep in mind here, is while second base is shallow, that's mostly true at the high end of the rankings. There aren't as many impact bats here as other positions, but as I recently wrote in my position preview piece, it's actually a pretty deep position in terms of useful options. If you're looking for a replacement for Altuve, there are some pretty intriguing names who might be available, like Jean Segura (250.4 ADP), CJ Abrams (251.8) or Luis Urias (262.8) who might be able to fill in.

And then there are names like Vaughn Grissom, Jonathan India, Brandon Drury, or Ketel Marte who have pretty high upside and cost relatively little in drafts. If you're looking to make a preseason trade to help fill in for Altuve, targeting one of those names before they (potentially, at least) break out makes some sense. You could also look into Ryan McMahon, who figures to add 2B eligibility pretty early on in the season after making the switch in the wake of Brendan Rodgers' injury. 

One place you probably won't find a useful Altuve replacement? The Astros lineup, where the likely replacement for Altuve will likely be some combination of David Hensley and Mauricio Dubon. Hensley had a decent season at Triple-A in 2022, hitting .298/.420/.478 with 10 homers and 20 steals, but he did that as a 26-year-old, so skepticism is warranted. He's worth a look in AL-only leagues, but probably not much more than that.

Pedro Leon was a potentially interesting name who could have filled in, but he underwent sports hernia surgery in January and only recently started playing in games a few days ago. He probably won't be ready for the start of the season, but he did have 17 homers and 38 steals in Triple-A in 2022, albeit while hitting just .228. If he gets off to a good start in the minors, he could be an option and would be worth a look in deeper Roto leagues.