A few days ago, Baseball Press kicked off our 2010 Fantasy Positional Rankings with catchers and first basemen. Making our way around the diamond as today, we focus on the second base position. Players are eligible for the position in 2010, if they played at least 10 games at that position in 2009. These are initial rankings heading into draft day and do not reflect the final rankings come October 2010. The statistics listed to each player are his FINAL 2009 numbers, not the projected 2010 stats.
|RANK||Player||TEAM||POS||Stats - 2009|
|1||Chase Utley||PHI||2B||BATTING - AB 571 AVG .282 OBP .397 R 112 HR 31 RBI 93 SB 23|
|2||Ian Kinsler||TEX||2B||BATTING - AB 566 AVG .253 OBP .327 R 101 HR 31 RBI 86 SB 31|
|3||Brandon Phillips||CIN||2B||BATTING - AB 584 AVG .276 OBP .329 R 78 HR 20 RBI 98 SB 25|
|4||3||Robinson Cano||NYY||2B||BATTING - AB 637 AVG .320 OBP .352 R 103 HR 25 RBI 85 SB 5|
|5||Dustin Pedroia||BOS||2B||BATTING - AB 626 AVG .296 OBP .371 R 115 HR 15 RBI 72 SB 20|
|6||2||Brian Roberts||BAL||2B||BATTING - AB 632 AVG .283 OBP .356 R 110 HR 16 RBI 79 SB 30|
|7||1||Ben Zobrist||TB||2B||BATTING - AB 501 AVG .297 OBP .405 R 91 HR 27 RBI 91 SB 17|
|8||Aaron Hill||TOR||2B||BATTING - AB 682 AVG .286 OBP .330 R 103 HR 36 RBI 108 SB 6|
|9||1||Howard Kendrick||LAA||2B||BATTING - AB 374 AVG .291 OBP .334 R 61 HR 10 RBI 61 SB 11|
|10||1||Dan Uggla||FLA||2B||BATTING - AB 564 AVG .243 OBP .354 R 84 HR 31 RBI 90 SB 2|
|11||1||Jose Lopez||SEA||2B||BATTING - AB 613 AVG .272 OBP .303 R 69 HR 25 RBI 96 SB 3|
|12||1||Ian Stewart||COL||2B||BATTING - AB 425 AVG .228 OBP .322 R 74 HR 25 RBI 70 SB 7|
|13||Asdrubal Cabrera||CLE||2B||BATTING - AB 523 AVG .308 OBP .361 R 81 HR 6 RBI 68 SB 17|
|14||new||Kelly Johnson||ARI||2B||BATTING - AB 303 AVG .224 OBP .303 R 47 HR 8 RBI 29 SB 7|
|15||4||Martin Prado||ATL||2B||BATTING - AB 450 AVG .307 OBP .358 R 64 HR 11 RBI 49 SB 1|
|16||2||Rickie Weeks||MIL||2B||BATTING - AB 147 AVG .272 OBP .340 R 28 HR 9 RBI 24 SB 2|
|17||Placido Polanco||PHI||2B||BATTING - AB 618 AVG .285 OBP .331 R 82 HR 10 RBI 72 SB 7|
|18||2||Orlando Hudson||MIN||2B||BATTING - AB 551 AVG .283 OBP .357 R 74 HR 9 RBI 62 SB 8|
|19||4||Felipe Lopez||STL||2B||BATTING - AB 604 AVG .310 OBP .383 R 88 HR 9 RBI 57 SB 6|
|21||3||Alberto Callaspo||KC||2B||BATTING - AB 576 AVG .300 OBP .356 R 79 HR 11 RBI 73 SB 2|
|22||3||Akinori Iwamura||PIT||2B||BATTING - AB 231 AVG .290 OBP .355 R 28 HR 1 RBI 22 SB 9|
|23||new||Maicer Izturis||LAA||2B||BATTING - AB 387 AVG .300 OBP .359 R 74 HR 8 RBI 65 SB 13|
|24||3||Clint Barmes||COL||2B||BATTING - AB 550 AVG .245 OBP .294 R 69 HR 23 RBI 76 SB 12|
|25||5||Casey McGehee||MIL||2B||BATTING - AB 355 AVG .301 OBP .360 R 58 HR 16 RBI 66 SB 0|
|26||2||Freddy Sanchez||SF||2B||BATTING - AB 457 AVG .293 OBP .326 R 56 HR 7 RBI 41 SB 5|
|27||5||Luis Castillo||NYM||2B||BATTING - AB 486 AVG .302 OBP .387 R 77 HR 1 RBI 40 SB 20|
|28||5||Mark Ellis||OAK||2B||BATTING - AB 377 AVG .263 OBP .305 R 52 HR 10 RBI 61 SB 10|
|29||new||Skip Schumaker||STL||2B||BATTING - AB 532 AVG .303 OBP .364 R 85 HR 4 RBI 35 SB 2|
|30||new||Kazuo Matsui||HOU||2B||BATTING - AB 476 AVG .250 OBP .302 R 56 HR 9 RBI 46 SB 19|
|31||new||Luis Valbuena||CLE||2B||BATTING - AB 368 AVG .250 OBP .298 R 52 HR 10 RBI 31 SB 2|
|FA* = Free Agent|
Lots of solid second basemen available heading into draft day next season, but as with any position, you have your top 3 or 4 to aim for in order to make your team successful. Chase Utley is the no-brainer guy at the top of the list with his ability to hit .300, 20 HR and 20 SB. Ian Kinsler may have had a low average, but he's always on base and will easily have over 100 runs scored along with HR power. Kinsler notched his first of what should be many 30/30 seasons in 2009 even though he only played in 120 games due to injuries. Ian will always have a favorable matchup because of his home ballpark. With Julio Borbon rumored to be hitting at the top of the order next season, I look for more production from Kinsler.
After Utley and Kinsler, I like Brandon Phillips because he seems to always makes something from nothing while playing for the Reds. Phillips produced his 3rd straight season of 20 HR and 20 SB while coming oh so close to driving in 100 runs (finished with 98 RBI). There have been rumors that Brandon may be traded away to free up money for Cincinnati, which would only boost his value. Phillips has decreased his strikeout totals over the past three years while increasing his walks, which is more encouraging news for owners.
I struggled with my Robinson Cano ranking, but decided to place him just after the power/speed guys. Yes, Cano had a great offensive year in which he set a career high for runs scored and hits, but he doesn't offer much speed. I guess some owners can argue that his high average will cover the lack of speed, but I'll gladly take a Brandon Phillips over Cano on draft day.
For the first time in his career, Dustin Pedroia didn't hit over .300 AVG during a season, but did have 20 SB and 115 runs scored. He's still a solid option at second base especially with the Red Sox lineup scoring a ton of runs.
I like Brian Roberts because of his ability to get on base and make something happen on the bases and is usually a lock to swipe 30 or more bases in a season and score over 100 runs. His speed helped him capture the doubles record for a switch-hitter in a single season in 2009 while knocking in a career high 79 runs. With the emergence of outfielder Adam Jones and solid second half hitting of catcher Matt Wieters, I like the chances of Robert scoring over 115 runs in 2010.
Ben Zobrist jumps up high in the rankings with the departure of Akinori Iwamura to the Bucs and his eligibility at multiple positions, which makes him very valuable for owners in 2010. Depending on your league eligibility rules, Zobrist is not only eligible at 2B and OF, but SS (13 games in 2009). Zobrist showed that given regular playing time, he can produce big power numbers and hit for a solid average. A nice added bonus for owners was Zobrist's stolen base numbers (17) in 2009, which make him a solid threat for a 20/20 season.
Aaron Hill had a surprising season in 2009, but can owners rely on the same power numbers heading into 2010? Before the 2009 season, the most HR Hill had hit during any season was 17 in 2007. I held the same issue with Hill as I did Robbie Cano, his lack of stolen bases really hurt his value. If the Blue Jays decide to move Hill down in the order, will his power numbers continue and will he have more RBI next season? Stay tuned.
Dan Uggla is a strong candidate to be traded before the start of the season, which will only help his value on draft day. Uggla is a pure power hitter who can mash 30+ HR, but will only have a .250 AVG. Never the less, I like Uggla's chances of getting 100+ RBI next season, especially if he's traded.
Once outside the top ten, some guys become attractive options at lower-round picks such as Ian Stewart and Jose Lopez. Stewart will primarily be the everyday 3B in Colorado next season, but has enough games at 2B for the eligibility, so he's ranked here and at 3B. With the homers, come the strikeouts for Stewart owners next season along with a low average, but Stewart should have a strong year of 20+ HR and 80+ RBI. Lopez put together a solid year in 2009, setting career highs in almost every major category, but can he repeat in '10? The Mariners seem to be a team on the up and up out in the AL West and surprised a lot of people in 2009.
After signing a new deal to play in the desert, Kelly Johnson looks for fresh start after a disastrous season in Atlanta. He's a strong rebound candidate next season and should fall to later rounds.
With Martin Prado as the everyday second basemen next season, I look for a high OPS next season which means nice homerun and OBP numbers. Prado is also a guy who has eligibility at every position around the infield (except SS), which makes him very valuable.
Rickie Weeks is a guy I like because he will be forgotten about on draft day because of his injury in 2009. Weeks is a nice late-round guy who can provide your team with 15 HR and 20 SB. While Weeks was out with an injury, rookie Casey McGehee played enough games to become eligible at 2B next season, but like Ian Stewart, most of his time will be at third base.
Placido Polanco is usually a lock to hit around .300 AVG during any season and will not only have second base eligibility, but third base eligibility by mid April while playing for the Phillies.
Felipe Lopez hit over .300 last season but his stolen base numbers fell off the table. Could it be the management style? Lopez found a home with the Cards, but his playing time could be in question this season. Orlando Hudson looks to lead the assault for Twins this season; look for a nice .290 AVG and 80 runs scored addition to your team.
Scott Sizemore looks to be the everyday starter with Polanco signing elsewhere, but how can the rookie stack up as a starter in the big leagues?
Towards the end of the rankings, it's hit or miss with these guys as it could be a revolving door through most of the season. Luis Castillo and Akinori Iwamura are nice cheap options in deeper leagues because of their chance to hit around .280/.290 AVG with 20 SB.
Rookie Gordon Beckham played 3B everyday for the White Sox last season, but will be shifting to 2B with the acquisition of Mark Teahen. Beckham isn't ranked right now simply because he doesn't have the eligibility. If he did have eligibility for 2B, I would rank him somewhere right around the tenth spot. Rumors have Florida sensation Chris Coghlan making a move to second base next season, which would add him to the rankings list inside the Top 25. I look for Coghlan to have a nice .290 AVG with a few homeruns.