Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen 2012
Second base is an interesting position for fantasy owners. It isn’t a deep position so owners need to make a choice between drafting a top second basemen or filling their team with late talent and sleepers in later rounds. Neither strategy is bad but an owner must feel really good about .
I noticed a disturbing trend in these early picks though. Fantasy owners often panic when the top 3-4 second basemen are drafted. They look ahead at who is left and worry that they missed out. This is when they stretch for players and draft guys two or three rounds ahead of where they belong. A smart fantasy owner uses their mistakes to draft better-quality players and find late round talent in the middle-infield.
Because this position has less talent I’m only going to rank my top 10. The list begins with:
10. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
Walker is a very safe option at second base. Last season he batted .273 with 12 homers and 83 RBIs. It isn’t great but I already mentioned that this wasn’t a deep position. Last year he struck out 112 times to only 54 walks but I think he’ll have a much better K/SO ratio this year and his average & OBP will come up.
The problem I have with Walker is his lineup. It isn’t very good. I wonder how many players will get on base for him to bring home and how many times someone will have a timely hit to score him. I see runs and RBIs being a problem and that is why I ranked him this low.
9. Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers
Weeks showed great power for a leadoff hitter by hitting 20 home runs in 128 games last season. He crossed the plate 77 times and hit .269.
My concern lies in a potential new role for Weeks. He only scored 77 runs last season with Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun batting 3-4 in the lineup. Now Fielder is gone and Braun doesn’t have as much protection in the lineup. I wonder if his run total will decrease without the an RBI machine like Fielder behind him.
8. Howard Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels
Kendrick had a solid season in 2011. He hit .285, 18 homers, 6 triples, 14 steals, 86 runs and 63 RBIs. That stat line shows how versatile a player he is and that’s exactly what fantasy owners want. He’ll contribute to every category and will get plenty of at-bats from hitting early in the lineup.
Kendrick also has Albert Pujols batting behind him now. If Pujols isn’t walked too often it seems obvious that his run total will skyrocket.
7. Ryan Roberts – Arizona Diamondbacks
Roberts is one of those guys that will not play second very often but becomes a more valuable fantasy option because he has 2nd/3rd base eligibility.
He was a big force in the Diamondbacks’ improbable playoff run and I expect a much bigger season from him this year. He hit .350 with two home runs and six RBIs in five postseason games last season. Those numbers tell me that he likes success and doesn’t crumble on a big stage.
This year the DBacks aren’t going to sneak up on anyone and I bet he improves his regular season numbers to help his team back into the postseason.
6. Dan Uggla – Atlanta Braves
Should I become the millionth blogger/reporter to use the phrase “Uggla was ugly in 2011?” I guess I kind of did but it’s true.
Uggla had a hot hitting streak and played very well in July (batting .293, 8 homers & 19 RBIs) and August (.340, 10 & 21) but was abysmal from March-June and below average in Sept. & Oct. Uggla was so bad that he hit .194 in March/April, .160 in May and .179 in June. He only had 12 homers and 28 RBIs in those months combined.
I know it seems strange that I just spent a paragraph ripping Uggla but ranking him ahead of several good players but that’s because I’m cautiously optimistic this season. I don’t think he’ll have a career year but I do think he has top 5 potential.