“Foster Your Roster” – 2013 MLFB Second Basemen Ranks

There are some productive options at second base, but once the talent drops off, it falls quickly.  I definitely wouldn’t want to be on the back-end of a second basement run in a draft.

  1. Robinson Cano:  He does everything except steal bases. If you have him, then it gives you enough time in the draft to get those SBs from someone else.
  1. Ian Kinsler:  He’s gone 30/30 twice and is a good bet to go 20/20 or better, while getting a lot of at bats at the top of the Rangers lineup.
  1. Ben Zobrist:  I may be alone on this, and I’m okay with it.  Zobrist gets the nod over Pedroia and Phillips because of his flexibility.  The three are similar players, with Zobrist having a slight OPS edge, but he’s also eligible at 2B, SS and OF.
  1. Dustin Pedroia:  Similar numbers to Zobrist and Phillips, but hitting at the beginning of the order, and getting a lot of at bats will make his high batting average more valuable.
  1. Brandon Phillips:  Year to year he’s one of the most consistent players you’ll find, and he helps in all categories.
  1. Jason Kipnis:  In the first half of the season he hit .277 with 11 HRs, 49 RBIs and 20 SBs.  If he kept that up for the second half he would have been first or second on this list.  He hit a lot more ground balls, however, and his BABIP fell from .303 to .276. I expect him to finish the year in Kinsler’s territory because the first half seems to match his minor league track record, but unless you already have a stable roster, he still has to prove himself before being drafted among the top five second basemen.
  1. Aaron Hill:  His average will likely come down a bit, but it should still be respectable.  He has 26 or more HR’s in three of the last four seasons, and can get double-digit SBs.
  1. Rickie Weeks:  He is very similar to Brandon Phillips, but with a lower average and more walks.  He would help your team more if he had the chance to hit lower in the order and drive in runs.
  1. Danny Espinosa:  If you can make up for the low average, guessing .250-ish, take him. He’s been close to 20/20 two years in a row and is only 25, so he should keep improving.  As an added bonus, he’s also eligible at SS.
  1. Jose Altuve:  Stolen bases is the category I value least, but if you need to add a significant amount to your roster, then I could see him being a couple of spots higher.  Altuve had 33 SBs and a good average, both of which should be repeated.
  1. Josh Rutledge:  He’ll need to play second base with Tulowitzki coming back. Based on his minor league numbers and last season, 15/15 is a reasonable expectation.
  1. Chase Utley:  His last full season was 2009, and knee issues are still a concern. This means the years of 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs are probably a distant memory.  He’s still very productive when he plays, but you’ll be lucky to get ¾ of a season from him, and the free agent options to replace the time he misses could do more harm than good.
  1. Neil Walker:  Should provide decent HRs and AVG with a lower SB total than most other second baseman. His upside isn’t as high because of that.
  1. Howard Kendrick:  He was a disappointment following 2011, which was his best season as a pro.  He hits in a very good lineup and, this low in the rankings, success may just be finding someone who doesn’t hurt you.
  1. Dustin Ackley:  His first full season didn’t meet expectations, but he should be able to pick up his average. Hopefully the counting stats improve with that.
  1. Dan Uggla:  I couldn’t find a reason his AVG has been down the last two seasons, which makes me think it is now the norm for him.  He can still hit for power and get some RBIs to go along with it, but that’s all he can provide.
  1. Omar Infante:  Most people don’t have their best season after turning 30, so I wouldn’t count on him duplicating last season.  With that being said, he’s a solid option as an injury replacement.

If you haven’t gotten any of the ranked second basemen and still have an open spot, my advice is to target a player that won’t hurt your team batting average (think Daniel Murphy), then consider any extra production a bonus.



Categories: 2nd Base, Position Rankings

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14 replies

  1. Marc,
    The difference between you and the “experts” at ESPN is that you actually tell it the way you feel it. There is no way ESPN would allow their writers to rank Utley, Uggla and Kendrick behind the likes of Espinosa and Rutledge, nor would they allow them to publish Peds behind Zobrist. But that does not mean that they are any smarter than you; just censored/conservative. I just traded Zobrist for Ellsbury in my contract league so I hope you are wrong on Zobrist, lol. But I still have Kinsler so I’m ok. I’m scared to see where you rank Ells now though. Good article.

  2. Pedroia should be #1 damn it! No bias here at all! 😉

  3. Marc,

    first off im not a Braves fan…second i could care less about Dan Uggla…but im going to disagree a little bit with your ranking of Uggs…for the simple fact that, unless you get penalized for K’s…he has been one of the most consistent 2b’s for the last 5 years…you can pencil him for 85/25/85…now granted he hit <30 dingers (actually <20) for the first time in 5 years (almost 6)…but in a roto league ill take the chance on 85/25/85 from a second baseman with a statistically slight chance he doesnt reach 20 hr's anyday over the likes of hill, utley, rutledge, and any of the last 5…who individually have reached Uggla's numbers once …maybe twice in thier careers (albeit some are young). i actually like your rankings for guys like me…cause if 10 people (including me) look at your rankings and follow them…9 of them will spend a higher pick on an equal or lesser second baseman than me when i grab Danny ugg's later on…just sayin' boss. thanks for the time put into your article though…some good stuff none the less..

    Jay

  4. I guess in standard roto Uggla could help you by collecting some counting stats, but you could not pay me to draft him. I would much rather have a guy who will not go 0-for the first half only to go nuts for 5 weeks then take a crap again. Yikes. His position is right where he belongs. Also, Uggla is not a guy you want on your real on the field team, let alone one of our fantasy leagues. As those who tend to catch a lot of air hurt you in real life they hurt you in Major League Fantasy Baseball. There is that old saying that nothing ever hits the tongue the same for everyone, right? 🙂

  5. Stangs – Thanks for the comment. Beyond the articles, a lot of average draft positions on Yahoo and ESPN are heavily based on their default rankings going into the draft. Since you have Kinsler trading Zobrist is probably the right thing to do. I haven’t started OF ranks yet, so I’m not sure where Ellsbury will wind up. He’s probably going to be one of the hardest guys to rank this year.

    Jay – Uggla reminds me of Adam Dunn now, except Dunn hits 40 HRs. Uggla is striking out about 25% of the time. His BABIP in 2012 was .283 which is 30 points higher than it was in 2011, but his AVG was still lower in 2012 than 2011. It all just seems like a collection of bad signs to me. With that being said, it works both ways, you might be able to get Uggla later in the draft and I can hope some people jump on him earlier allowing me to wait and get a guy I actually want.

  6. so lets compare just 2 of the guys “higher” than uggs…espinosa and weeks. neither reached uggla’s run or rbi (not even close) totals…one (weeks) had 2 more dingers…all three struck out between 28-32% of the time…uggs has a higher OBP and OPS and slightly lower slugging % and avg…ill go back to cory’s old mantra…runs…danny ugg created more RUNS per bat…per game…per year…whatev’s… than either of the 2 guys you have ranked much higher…im not bending the stats like Ray flowers or some other guys…these are straight up. and oh wait…uggla had his worst statistical year in his career…whilst weeks and espy had above average (actually one of weeks better years)…and defensively uggla was the 12th best defensive 2b…only espy on this list was higher (10th)…weeks had 16 errors…in far less chances than daniel. as far as the BABIP…uggla took 32 more walks in 75 less at bats….and finally guys, thanks for the replys…im sure we will do this again soon.

    • I think what Marc is getting at is Uggla is trending way down and I agree. I have never been a fan of his game. He is the kind of player that is too streaky, strikes out too much, and seems like he is one PED test away from suspension. Good points and I am a proponent of OBP, which Uggla was not bad in last year. If I were you Jay take that Short sale approach for Uggla and you will be fine. Dont spend for him though.

    • Jay, would you really take Uggla over Aaron Hill? While Hill’s last 4 years are a little bit of a roller coaster, I think that the real outlier was 2010. I don’t have a bunch of stats in front of me as I am at work (Working hard as hell as you can see) but I think I can safely say that over the last 4 years (and next few) Hill will outrank Uggla in BA and SB and will also exceed or at least come close to Uggs in the three main counting stats. He is also a lot younger, and while I don’t put a ton of stock in age when I am drafting, I think it is noteworthy in this case as Hill and Uggla’s careers and analytic ratios are both trending in opposite directions. Someone mentioned a comparison to Adam Dunn. Would you rather have Adam Uggla Dunn as your starting second baseman, and a lesser MI at your MI spot (which you will likely have if you wait for Uggs to land a 2b), or would you rather have Aaron Hill as your starting 2b, a BA protector like Kendrick at MI and the real Adam Dunn at CI or Util, assuming you drafted your CI’s well. I think my numbers will be better with Hill in this scenario. Feel free to prove me wrong on my stat analysis as I was shooting from the hip, as I tend to do on draft day.

    • Jay, I respect your opinion (even though I obviously disagree), since you clearly put some good thought and research into it. Fantasy sports wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun if people always viewed players the same way. I look forward to more debate.

  7. Plus, in a H to H league, or even roto to some extent, those 0fer weeks will drive you nuts to the point of benching his butt. Then, as soon as you do he will hit 3 HR in 2 days, compounding the misery. I like consistency better myself. Better for the blood pressure.

  8. That MLFS mohawked and shaded avatar is way cooler than my Mr Potato Head. Just sayin.

  9. Nice rundown, Marc. It’s more accurate than anything else I’ve seen out there so far. The only major change would be that I’d rank Pedroia slightly ahead of Zobrist. Otherwise, a spot-on recap.

    • Thanks. I know Pedroia is a consensus # 3 and within one spot is pretty negligible. For me though the added position eligibility is huge and and I think the Rays lineup may be more productive than the Red Sox this season.

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