Second base is often a tough position to fill in fantasy baseball. There are a handful of truly elite players but then the value significantly drops off when you get to the second tier options. Determining how valuable a second basemen will be in the upcoming season is not easy and one must look at their performance from years past, not just last season.
When it comes to second basemen in fantasy, power should be valued over average. Guys like Dan Uggla are actually quite valuable despite their low batting average because they can hit 30+ home runs a year. Steals are always a nice added bonus and while a 2B snagging an extra 10-20 stolen bases over the course of the season can be useful, it won’t win you a championship. Therefore second basemen that are solely speedsters should be ranked lower (like José Altuve who did not even make my top 10 list).
The Yahoo! experts have released their top 10 rankings list for second base but I don’t agree with many of their rankings. Here are my top top 10 second basemen for the upcoming 2013 fantasy baseball season.
I rank him: #1
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #1
2012 stats: 161 games, 627 at-bats, 105 runs, 33 HR, 94 RBI, 3 SB, .313 average
Cano has hit over .300 and scored over 100 runs in each of the last four seasons. He has also had over 100 RBIs two out of the last three years. This guy is clearly the best second basemen in fantasy right now.
I rank him: #2
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #2
2012 stats: 141 games, 563 at-bats, 81 runs, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 20 SB, .290 average
Pedroia missed a few games last season so his numbers were a tad lower than they could have been but he has 20 HR/20 SB potential and should hit at or around .300. He also scores a lot of runs.
I rank him: #3
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #3
2012 stats: 157 games, 655 at-bats, 105 runs, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 21 SB, .256 average
Back in 2011, Kinsler had over 30 homers and 30 stolen bases to go with them. Although his batting average is nothing to write home about, and his numbers dropped off a bit last season, he is still a top-tier 2B.
I rank him: #4
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #5
2012 stats: 147 games, 580 at-bats, 86 runs, 18 HR, 77 RBI, 15 SB, .281 average
Phillips is another player who consistently contributes in both power and speed categories though his stolen bases have decreased over the last few years so he’s a bit less valuable than he used to be.
I rank him: #5
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #6
2012 stats: 156 games, 609 at-bats, 93 runs, 26 HR, 85 RBI, 14 SB, .302 average
Hill is a power hitter who also usually has a pretty good batting average. That’s a rarity in of itself, let alone for a second basemen. He rounds out my top five.
I rank him: #6
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #7
2012 stats: 157 games, 560 at-bats, 88 runs, 20 HR, 74 RBI, 14 SB, .270 average
Zobrist puts up good numbers across all the major categories, though his production is slightly less than other options so he is ranked a little bit lower.
I rank him: #7
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #10
2012 stats: 83 games, 301 at-bats, 48 runs, 11 HR, 45 RBI, 11 SB, .256 average
Remember when Utley was the undisputed best 2B for fantasy? Just a few short seasons ago, Utley was a lock for 20-30 HR and over 100 RBIs. He has been marred by injuries the last few years but is apparently healthy and happy heading into this season.
I rank him: #8
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #11
2012 stats: 154 games, 523 at-bats, 86 runs, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 4 SB, .220 average
The Yahoo! Experts rank Uggla outside of the top 10 at the position but that is nonsense. Yes his batting average was horrendous the last two seasons, but let’s not forget Uggla had over 30 dingers for five consecutive seasons prior to last year. He should return to this numbers.
I rank him: #9
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #9
2012 stats: 157 games, 588 at-bats, 85 runs, 21 HR, 63 RBI, 16 SB, .230
Weeks has hit over 20 homers each of the last three seasons and also steals the occasional bag so he pretty much has to be ranked among the top 10 but I was never really a fan of his. I’m especially wary after he hit for just .230 last year. I can forgive Uggla’s average because of his power, but Weeks doesn’t hit as many home runs.
I rank him: #10
Yahoo! Experts rank him: #4
2012 stats: 152 games, 591 at-bats, 86 runs, 14 HR, 76 RBI, 31 SB, .257 average
I don’t know why the experts rank Kipnis so high right now. He did have 31 steals last season but his average nor his power were very impressive. Perhaps he can improve upon these numbers because he is only 25 years old, but I’m not going to rank him in the top five just because of potential. I need to see production from him first.