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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Second Base Primer

February 8, 2011

We all can agree Robinson Cano is a great baseball player. He hits home runs, scores runs, gets RBIs and hits for a high average. But in terms of fantasy baseball, while he is pretty much the consensus No. 1 second baseman, he’s not head and shoulders above the rest of the second base field, as some may think.

Cano was one of five guys who scored 100 or more runs, and that doesn’t include Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler – all of whom have scored 100 or more runs multiple times. Cano was one of five to hit 26 or more homers, and that doesn’t include Utley or Kinsler again. RBIs was the only category he had a substantial lead on most of his competitors.

So you can draft Cano and feel pretty comfortable in what you’re gonna get from him. But I can’t remember a time I spent a high draft pick on a second basemen, and I’ve had my fair share of championships and successes in fake baseball.

In the last week at MockDraftCentral Cano is being selected on average as the 10th overall pick in mock drafts. Is he really worth being selected 42 spots higher than Dan Uggla, whose median season the past three years is 32 homers, 97 runs and 92 RBIs? I say no.

Many of the second basemen being drafted highly in mock drafts are well over-valued. Chase Utley’s name value outweighs his actual value now. He’s hitting more ground balls and fewer fly balls the last few years, which decreases his home run total. His average, OBP and SLG have all dropped the last three years, and his propensity for getting hit by pitches makes him vulnerable to a DL stint or two. His 17 ADP (average draft position) is not worth it.

Another guy over-valued in fantasy is Brandon Phillips (35 ADP). He does a lot of things well (Back up his talk is not one of them though) but doesn’t really do anything great. Phillips’ stats are fairly similar to Howard Kendrick’s, and Kendrick is going 185 selections later than Phillips.

Rickie Weeks finally put together the season we’ve all been waiting for last year. But his 42 ADP is too high. If he falls into the 50s and you’ve got a team with consistent producers so far, you can take a risk on him. Ian Kinsler also falls into this category.

Several guys who could be bargainsĀ are coming off injuries or were over-valued going into drafts last year and just failed to live up to the hype. Dustin Pedroia was on pace for what could’ve been his best season, but injuries derailed him. His 31 ADP is attractive especially in leagues that count doubles, hits and strikeouts. Brian Roberts (129) also is appealing in those types of leagues.

Martin Prado is going some 40 picks later than Phillips, but most of his numbers match or are better than Phillips’. Prado won’t hurt you anywhere and would make for a great pick in the 70s.

Aaron Hill’s power is for real, but he was extremely unlucky last year when he put the ball in play. He’s being selected 172nd overall now, but he could easily lead second basemen in homers this year.

Tier 1

Cano

Utley

Uggla

Tier 2

Pedroia

Kinsler

Tier 3

Prado – The most well-rounded of this group

Hill – Draft if you want homers and consistency in games played

Phillips

Weeks

Tier 4

Figgins – Had a bad year but batted .286 in the second half and his steals are still elite

Brian Roberts

Kelly Johnson – A good, late-round power play

Howard Kendrick

Gordon Beckham – Batted .310 after the break

Ben Zobrist

Tier 5

Omar Infante

Neil Walker

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