Unlike with the First Baseman, after the Top 10 Second Baseman or so, you can almost just throw a blanket over the rest of the group and hope that someone emerges. There are a few sleepers I like, and those are the guys that ended up getting the nod on this list for spots 17-20. It wouldn’t be very surprising to see one or two of the guys that went unlisted outperforming them, however. That means that you are going to want to monitor the waiver wire if you miss out on one of the better choices.
With that said, let’s take a look at how the rankings ended up going:
- Ian Kinsler – Texas Rangers
- Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds
- Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
- Brian Roberts – Baltimore Orioles
- Dan Uggla – Florida Marlins
- Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
- Robinson Cano – New York Yankees
- Jose Lopez – Seattle Mariners
- Mark DeRosa – Cleveland Indians
- Kelly Johnson – Atlanta Braves
- Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels
- Mike Aviles – Kansas City Royals
- Placido Polanco – Detroit Tigers
- Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers
- Orlando Hudson – Free Agent
- Aaron Hill – Toronto Blue Jays
- Alexi Casilla – Minnesota Twins
- Emmanuel Burris – San Francisco Giants
- Mark Ellis – Oakland Athletics
Clint Barmes, Colorado Rockies; Luis Castillo, New York Mets; Felipe Lopez, Arizona Diamondbacks; Akinori Iwamura, Tampa Bay Rays; Freddy Sanchez, Pittsburgh Pirates; Blake DeWitt, Los Angeles Dodgers; Mike Fontenot, Chicago Cubs; Kazuo Matsui, Houston Astros
- Should Utley remain at the top of this list still, even with the injury? That’s an extremely tough question to answer. There’s no doubt that he’s the best player at his position when healthy, but with him possibly missing the first two months of the season it’s tough to leave him at the top. I dropped him to #2 because of that, but since we don’t know exactly how long he’ll miss, I did not want to push him too far down.
- I did a comparison of Phillips vs. Pedroia (which you can read here), where I discussed the two and came to the conclusion that Phillips would be the guy I wanted. I know that may not be the popular decision, but when you have a player who could potentially go 30/30, and is almost a lock of 20/20, he should not be ignored.
- After not quite living up to expectations in the first half, Alexei Ramirez exploded after the All-Star Break for 14 HR and 48 RBI over 249 AB to thrust his name among the second tier of 2B available. Still, I can’t ignore the .211 average he posted in September, or the 18 walks he drew over the entire season. He’s a risky proposition, but he proved over a long enough stretch that he can hit for a solid average and plenty of power. That certainly warrants him being slotted in the Top 10, especially given the lack of depth at the position.
- I can pretty much group Orlando Hudson, Kelly Johnson, Placido Polanco and Mike Aviles into the same category. They aren’t going to offer much power or speed, but should hit for a good average and score some runs. That makes them players that I don’t want as a starter, instead a bench player to be used as a short-term fill-in. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough top options for 12 teams to enjoy. At least Johnson gives you a potential 10/10 player and one that has shown a little bit more power in the minors. He has the most potential of that grouping, by far, so he’s the one I’d take if need be. Still, he’s not necessarily an option that I love.
- Speaking of gambles, we’ve already discussed Rickie Weeks and I said that I was tired of waiting for him to finally break out (you can read the article here). Still, he has to at least be considered, since he does have the potential to pick up SB.
- Howie Kendrick is getting close to falling into the same category as Weeks. We keep hearing about all his potential, and it’s not in inability to perform that’s the problem, it’s his inability to stay on the field. His left hamstring was to blame last season and certainly derailed him, limiting to just 11 SB. Still, at 26-years old, this could be the season that he finally breaks out, if he stays healthy. A 10/10 season is a possibility, as is 20+ SB. Still, it’s a huge risk, which is why he’s on the outside of the top half of the rankings.
- As for Aaron Hill, I’ve already talked about why I think he is a good sleeper for this season (click here to read). If you get saddled with a Polanco or Johnson or Aviles as your starter for whatever reason, he seems like the perfect complimentary player. He has the potential to hit close to 20 HR and just a year ago many people would have been interested in grabbing him. Injuries have significantly lowered his value, and in my opinion a bounce back campaign could be in order. He’s a player I’m targeting in the last rounds of my draft.
- If Emmanuel Burriss wins the Giants starting 2B job, look for him to emerge as a solid end-game speed option in all formats. He’s certainly a player to watch out for.
- Mark Ellis has traded between good and bad seasons for the past 4 years, putting him on pace to enjoy a resurgent 2009 campaign. Showing double-digit speed for the first time in his career last season that could mean going 10/10 with a .280 average. It’s far from a given, but even when he’s struggled he’s managed to crack 10 HR each of the past 4 seasons.
Disagree with any of the rankings? Who to you think should be higher? Who should be lower? Let’s hear it.
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