While the top 5 2nd baseman get all the press, and rightfully so, the position is amongst the deepest in the MLB in 2010. Consistency reigns supreme even as you drop down to the lesser options for your fantasy team. Better yet, there are also some late upside type players that you can stash away on your bench just incase they put it all together. Only first base has a bigger assortment of fantasy relevant players. So when drafting I will surely impose one of two strategies. Either I will go early and grab one of the big dogs at 2nd base, or I will just wait and pick up the still meaty scraps at second later in the draft as I fill other positions first. Even in the deepest of leagues I doubt an owner can be shut out of a decent pick up here.
Potential sleepers: picks that you may be able to get later or cheaper in cost relative to potential value.
Potential busts: picks that will likely be draft earlier or cost more then their actual fantasy value.
1) Robinson Cano- Just in case you thought Cano got lucky in 09’ he stepped his game up even higher in 2010. No reason to doubt he can repeat those numbers, but you are going to have to pay steeply for the honor of having him do it for your team.
2) Chase Utley- While father time waits for no man, papa seems to be actively out to get Chase. Thumb and hip injuries hindered his 2010 season and this spring training his knee has been an issue. I leave him ranked here, because when healthy he is as good as they come at second. But the reality is that he now going in later rounds for owners who are willing to take their chances. If you do draft him, do it only after the other top 2nd baseman are off the board and you better draft a back-up plan.
3) Dustin Pedroia- Unless you hear that he has an issue with his foot expect him to round right back into 2009 form.
4) Dan Uggla- His batting average was unusually high last season so a regression there seems likely. Power numbers should hold and possibly increase now that he is a Brave.
5) Ian Kinsler- This man can match up with any 2ndbaseman in the game. And unlike the other top bats at second he can run too. The problem is you can’t hit or run from the disabled list. High risk/high reward thy name is Kinsler.
6) Brandon Phillips- His stats slipped in 2010, he has a horrible stolen base percentage and is completely miscast as a lead-off hitter which kills his RBI chances. But he is a second baseman that will likely go 20hrs/20sb, so stop your complaining!
7) Rickie Weeks- He put it all together in 2010 like the scouts had said he would. He is certainly inline to do it again but prior to last season he was Kinsler-esque in his visits to the DL.
8) Martin Prado- Nothing suggests any slippage from last years numbers, and he will likely be eligible for 2nd, 3rd, and the OF by mid-season. Still color me weary, as I think he may be slightly overvalued on draft day.
9) Kelly Johnson- If you pay for last years numbers you’re likely overpaying. But if you get him at a discount you may be smiling to the bank. Some regression in almost a certainty but if others expect his stats to fall off a cliff make your move.
10) Chone Figgins- If Figgins is your primary 2nd baseman then your asking for trouble. Then again he couldn’t possibly be as bad as last year…could he? Over 30 steals is a lock and I expect this year he will fall somewhere between 09’ and 2010 statistically.
11) Aaron Hill- I am trying not to take his abysmal .205 average last year personally but I know he did it to me on purpose. How else does a prime age hitter lose 65 points on his batting average? Expect a batting average rebound, as well as a slight up tick in runs and rbi’s.
12) Brian Roberts- I like him as much as I’ve ever liked a beating up, often injured, aging no power having hitter ever. Which means I am luke warm on him as best. If healthy he can give you .280 25sb’s. You just can’t expect him to stay healthy, still you could do worse.
13) Gordon Beckham- He has shown flashes but is yet to put it all together. He could be this year’s Rickie Weeks….or this years Greg Jefferies. Yeah I said it! His numbers after the break suggest good things are coming.
14) Ben Zorbrist- His .238 batting average and the fact that his stats dropped dramatically last year may cause owners to overlook what his overall stat line was last year. 10hrs/ 24sb/ 77runs/77 rbi’s. Not bad at all
15) Howe Kendrick- Not surprisingly Kendrick is near the middle of our second baseman report because mediocrity they name is Kendrick! With that said he will not hurt you.
16) Neal Walker- His major league stats all surpassed his minor league numbers which makes me skeptical of a repeat. Still at 25 it is possible.
17) Mike Aviles- Rumor has it, that Aviles may bat leadoff for the Royals. The talent is there for a solid average, 10hrs and 15-20 steals.
18) Tsuyoshi Nishioka- The Japanese import has the Twins believing, and I tend to believe in the Twins scouts. He’s projected to be their number two hitter, and that will be a good spot to produce numbers. With that said, outside of Ichiro Japanese imports have rarely duplicated their success in the Western Hemisphere.
19) Jose Lopez/Eric Young- If either of these guys actually win the Colorado 2nd base job outright they will likely be stat stuffers. Young would supply pure speed, while Lopez has shown quite a bit of pop in his bat for a 2nd baseman.
20) Bill Hall- Can supply you power at zero cost.
Others to keep an eye on
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Written by Mo Johnson