FANTASY BASEBALL 2012: SECOND BASE RANKINGS
For more rankings and notes around Spring Training, read the DRAFT GUIDE.
Strategy: Getting Kinsler gives you a huge advantage at 2B. He is a 30/30 guy who does not go in the 1st, sometimes even 2nd round. He is a steal. If you miss out on the big guys, there is Jemile Weeks, the only 2B option who will give you 30+ Steals. Probably end up with 40. There is also a plethora of 15/15 guys and better who will be more than fine on your roster. Second base is a bit deeper than usual.
#1. Ian Kinsler – Prediction (.280 Average. 32 HRs. 84 RBIs. 33 SBs. 120 Runs)
Kinsler is the 2B you really want on your roster. He will steal 30 Bases, he will knock in 30 HRs. He may not have the 100 RBI potential batting leadoff, but he does have the potential to match his 121 Runs on a lineup that is stacked with talent. His batting average was lousy last year at below .260, but he has shown he can hit over .300 in a season. Kinsler is the 2nd Baseman I am targeting in my draft.
#2. Robinson Cano – Prediction (.305 Average. 31 HRs. 112 RBIs. 7 SBs. 106 Runs)
Cano has never broken the 30 HR plateau, but he has exceeded 100 RBI’s two years in a row. You can also expect a batting average of over .300 easily. Cano is one of those guys you can build your entire team around as he gives you the superstar potential you need from a very thin position.
#3. Dustin Pedroia – Prediction (.312 Average. 25 HRs. 90 RBIs. 25 SBs. 110 Runs)
Pedroia finally broke into the next level with busting to 21 HRs. His 26 SB’s was also a career high to go along with a solid .307 batting average. Pedroia is showing he is increasingly getting better, which is pretty good for someone who is already great. The Red Sox lineup is stacked once again, and you can expect Dustin to continue to grow as a player.
#4. Dan Uggla – Prediction (.270 Average. 41 HRs. 102 RBIs. 2 SBs. 100 Runs)
Uggla had 12 HRs heading into July. He finished with 36. If Dan was hot all season long, he could have hit 50 with that kind of pace. His power from the 2B spot pushes him right behind the elites. You know you have huge power potential when you draft someone who has had 30+ HRs 5 consecutive seasons. He could break into the 40 if he gets hot sooner, than later.
#5. Chase Utley – Prediction (.290 Average. 28 HRs. 90 RBIs. 24 SBs. 100 Runs)
Chase has been injured the past two seasons. Before that he was a 1st round pick who dominated fantasy baseball from the 2B position. Now that he enters the season at 100% strength, why not draft him like he can still hit the ball with 25-30 HR potential? It also helps the guy can steal as he rarely gets thrown out exemplified by his 14/14 last season. A full season of Chase, count me in. But a full season, is a risk some owners are not willing to take.
#6. Michael Young (.319 Average. 14 HRs. 111 RBIs. 4 SBs. 100 Runs)
Young is a great batting average guy with some pop. If he did not have the Texas Ranger lineup his RBI total would probably be south of 100. But he does, so he is a 20-100 candidate with a .300+ batting average once again.
#7. Ryan Roberts – Prediction (.260 Average. 24 HRs. 70 RBIs. 22 SBs. 95 Runs)
Roberts is a 20/20 guy who is only getting better. With a full season slated ahead at 3B, you can expect Roberts to build off of the 19/18 in 143 games a season ago. He is already having a hot spring with 3 HRs in the first week.
#8. Danny Espinosa – Prediction (.240 Average. 23 HRs. 75 RBIs. 22 SBs. 70 Runs)
Espinosa is the real deal when it comes to 2B. He has yet to prove it over a course of multiple seasons, but he has the IT factor. This is a guy who has dominated all his life, and with a deep Nationals lineup ready to make a play in the NL East.. They are confident he is their guy, and so should you. He goes late enough to take a good risk on a 20/20 guy. If he did not have a bad 2nd half last year, he would be a top 5 guy at the position.
#9. Brandon Phillips – Prediction (.280 Average. 19 HRs. 87 RBIs. 23 SBs. 103 Runs)
Brandon appears to be falling off as an elite 2B, but do not be fooled. He still has 20/20 potential, can knock in 80+ runs, and potentially hit near .300. If he falls, take a chance on the once elite stud.
#10. Jemile Weeks – Prediction (.300 Average. 7 HRs. 40 RBIs. 44 SBs. 103 Runs)
Weeks may not hit 10 HRs this season, but he can steal 40 Bases. He is the only 2B player who should easily steal over 30. Oakland is excited about this kid as he could be their lead-off hitter for many years to come. He hits over .300 and is very aggressive on the base paths.
#11. Michael Cuddyer – Prediction (.270 Average. 27 HRs. 85 RBIs. 9 SBs. 80 Runs)
Michael popped 20 bombs in 132 games in one of the toughest ball parks in baseball. Now he goes to Coors where he should be a monster playing every day in RF. He also has the potential to steal double digit bases as he did last year with 11. In leagues he qualifies at 2B, he should go very high.
#12. Howard Kendrick (.285 Average. 20 HRs. 80 RBIs. 12 SBs. 90 Runs)
Howie semi-broke out last season going from 10 HR’s to a mammoth like 18. He should continue to improve as the Angels are a better team, which will mean more RBI opportunities. The stolen bases appear to be capped at 14, but you should still expect double digits with decent batting average. Howie will take the next step.
#13. Ben Zobrist – Prediction (.280 Average. 16 HRs. 85 RBIs. 18 SBs. 98 Runs)
ZoBeast had a good season, followed by a bad season, followed by a good season. Some players continue trends, which has Zobrist heading in the wrong direction. But you got to believe someone who can bounce back from a bad season is going to keep it going. He did have a stretch of 4 HRs, and 20 RBI’s in 5 games which helped that 20-91 total a season ago.
#14. Rickie Weeks – Prediction (.260 Average. 17 HRs. 60 RBIs. 21 SBs. 80 Runs)
Weeks in a full season is a 20/20 player with the potential for more. Problem is, he has only had one full healthy season in his 10 years as a pro. You can take him with the hope he puts it all together, and does stay healthy. But there is a risk.
#15. Jason Kipnis – Prediction (.280 Average. 18 HRs. 65 RBIs. 15 SBs. 70 Runs)
Kipnis was a monster smacking 7 bombs in 136 ABs. Over a course of a season that can easily translate to the 30 HR range. Now that would be extreme, but to expect 18 is very reasonable. He also has a bit of speed going 5/5 in the SB category over that range. Kipnis is a fantasy star in the making.
#16. Ryan Raburn – Prediction (.260 Average. 22 HRs. 75 RBIs. 3 SBs. 60 Runs)
Raburn already has 11 RBIs, and 3 HRs so far this Spring. If he can win the 2B job in Detroit, and keep it all season. Ryan is looking at a huge season as the Tigers lineup is stacked. He has always had great power potential averaging 15 HRs in 115 games. Over a course of a season, 20+ HRs is easily expected.
#17. Neil Walker – Prediction (.279 Average. 14 HRs. 88 RBIs. 10 SBs. 84 Runs)
Neil is a solid 2B option who will not wow you with power or speed, but he will be solid everywhere else. He is the safe version of Dustin Ackley, and in fantasy baseball that makes him an intriguing option once all the big names are gone.
#18. Aaron Hill (.250 Average. 14 HRs. 69 RBIs. 18 SBs. 70 Runs)
Hill had a freaky Friday moment where he switched bodies with Brian Roberts. A semi-healthy Brian Roberts where he racked up 8 HRs along with 21 SBs. This is a guy who averaged 31 HRs and 4 SBs the two prior seasons. Moving to Arizona, he gets to play in a new ball park with less pressure. He already started hitting better with the move as his average jumped from .226 to .246 in that short amount of time, while adding 5 SBs in September.
#19. Mike Aviles – Prediction (.290 Average. 15 HRs. 65 RBIs. 17 SBs. 75 Runs)
You gotta love the potential of Aviles as a full-time option in Boston. The lineup has talent all around that will leave Mike with a lot of RBI chances. Especially if he can get back to that .300 batting average form he flashed a season ago. Nice wheels, with some pop leaves him as a great sleeper.
#20. Kelly Johnson – Prediction (.240 Average. 17 HRs. 60 RBIs. 15 SBs. 80 Runs)
Playing with the Blue Jays, you can expect Kelly to be part of a monster hitting team. He has found himself as a player hitting 20+ HRs in back-to-back seasons. Though keep in mind he only hit 3 HRs as a Blue Jay which is a bit alarming entering a new league.
#21. Dustin Ackley – Prediction (.310 Average. 11 HRs. 66 RBIs. 13 SBs. 89 Runs)
Ackley is Mark Loretta in his prime. A great player you want on your team who will not hurt you in any category, while contributing a bit of everything. Don’t over spend for him as it will be hard to imagine 15+ HRs in Safeco. The key to his season is stealing 15+ Bases to be worth his value.
#22. Sean Rodriguez – Prediction (.260 Average. 14 HRs. 60 RBIs. 13 SBs. 65 Runs)
Sean Rodriguez has always had potential to be a huge player in the majors but has never had the chance to put it together for a full season. As an everyday guy last year, Rodriguez looked solid about a two RBIs a week. He did hit 29 HRs in in 365 ABs one season in the minors, so the potential is there especially getting the chance to open up as the everyday SS.
#23. Gordon Beckham – Prediction (.260 Average. 13 HRs. 60 RBIs. 8 SBs. 60 Runs)
Beckham has not really broken into the next level that all his fantasy owners in the past would have expected. So far this spring he is showing some nice speed with 2 SBs, and a HR. The good news, he is only getting more experience and soon will be the player we all hoped for. This season he needs to take a step in the right direction and get closer to 15 HRs.
#24. Brian Roberts – Prediction (TBD once we know when he will come back)
Roberts is still dealing with concussion problems. Hopefully he gets some Spring Training, so we can see where he is at as a baseball player.
#25. Daniel Murphy – Prediction (.308 Average. 11 HRs. 65 RBIs. 9 SBs. 70 Runs)
Murphy is a solid 10/10 candidate with a batting average that should be around .300. Anything more than that is a bonus, he truly does not hurt you in any category which is key for the 2B spot.
#26. Fred Sanchez – Prediction (.290 Average. 9 HRs. 60 RBIs. 10 SBs. 70 Runs)
Sanchez has double digit power somewhere in the tank. His value is really his batting average as he should be able to approach .300, possibly exceed it. Freddie is a nice back up option to have in deeper leagues.
#27. Orlando Hudson – Prediction (.260 Average. 8 HRs. 50 RBIs. 14 SBs. 70 Runs)
Hudson managed to break out and steal 19 bases, the most he has in his entire 11 year career. He did it in 119 games. Playing for the Padres, you can expect him to be in that lineup as long as they want to win. He is a solid option who will not hurt you in any category, but won’t exactly be doing you any favors either. Unless those 19 SBs were no fluke.
#28. Allen Craig – Prediction (.290 Average. 12 HRs. 50 RBIs. 8 SBs. 50 Runs)
Craig could have big fantasy value. But I see him more as a Jed Lowrie from a season ago, someone who will have trouble finding the field consistently. If he is available late in a deep league, he would not make a bad flier as he qualifies at multiple positions. In most leagues however, he is waiver wire material. Pick him up the second you hear he has a chance to start down the line.
#29. Jose Altuve – Prediction (.270 Average. 8 HRs. 44 RBIs. 14 SBs. 55 Runs)
Altuve will enter the season as the everyday 2B. Jose will give you decent average, with potential double digit pop, and double digit steals. Playing for the Astro’s you can expect him to have a long leash as he was their best player in the farm system a season ago.
#30. Johnny Giavotella – Prediction (.250 Average. 8 HRs. 60 RBIs. 7 SBs. 60 Runs)
Giavotella has maybe the best name in baseball, which will get you nowhere in fantasy. He also has solid potential to break 60 RBIs which would be great for how low he goes in all drafts. The Royals see him as their franchise, so he will be out there nearly every day. Do not let him slip too late if you need a quality backup 2B option.
#31. Mark Ellis – Prediction (.260 Average. 9 HRs. 60 RBIs. 8 SBs. 60 Runs)
Ellis somehow managed to tie his career high in SBs with 14 in his 11th season. Playing for the Dodgers, he can expect to bat 2nd and be a key player in making sure Dee Gordon is in scoring position. Not huge fantasy numbers, but a 10/10 season would be huge for the vet.
#32. Matt Downs – Prediction (.280 Average. 11 HRs. 50 RBIs. 1 SB. 60 Runs)
Downs has a quality bat that can make a noise if he got everyday PT. Right now the Astros are pretty locked at all positions going with younger talent. Downs was able to hit 10 HRs in 199 ABs. That is 1 HR in every 19 ABs, which projects to about 1 in every 5 games. Right now waiver wire option, but if he becomes a starter scoop him up before anyone else has a chance to.
#33. Darwin Barney – Prediction (.280 Average. 4 HRs. 44 RBIs. 8 SBs. 65 Runs)
Barney never hit more than 3 HRs in his minor league career. Last year in his first full season, he finished with two. So no surprise that his power potential should not be past 5 anytime soon. He does have low-end double digit SB potential in him.
#34. Omar Infante – Prediction (.270 Average. 4 HRs. 40 RBIs. 8 SBs. 60 Runs)
Infante will not steal double digits in bases. Nor will he hit double digits in HRs. What he is, is basically a gap filler in case one of your guys goes down. He will give you a solid average, with a little bit of RBI support.
#35. Jamey Carroll – Prediction (.280 Average. 3 HRs. 30 RBIs. 10 SBs. 40 Runs)
Carroll has no power and little speed. I will pass on him on draft day.