Second Baseman Rankings (May 19, 2012): Jason Kipnis On The Rise, Rickie Weeks Struggling & More

Unlike some other positions around the league, second base has not been ravaged by injuries.  Sure, you have two well known options on the DL, but at this point in their careers can they really be counted on?  That means, despite some struggles, we have the full slate of stars to chose from.  Let’s take a look at how things currently rank:

  1. Robinson Cano – New York Yankees
  2. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  3. Ian Kinsler – Texas Rangers
  4. Dan Uggla – Atlanta Braves
  5. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
  6. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
  7. Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds
  8. Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers
  9. Kelly Johnson – Toronto Blue Jays
  10. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels
  11. Jemile Weeks – Oakland Athletics
  12. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
  13. Daniel Murphy – New York Mets
  14. Omar Infante – Florida Marlins
  15. Mike Aviles – Boston Red Sox
  16. Dustin Ackley – Seattle Mariners
  17. Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks
  18. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
  19. Danny Espinosa – Washington Nationals
  20. Marco Scutaro – Colorado Rockies

Currently on the DL – Chase Utley, Brian Roberts

Thoughts:

  • Robinson Cano hasn’t performed as expected.  It’s a statement I don’t think anyone would argue.  That said, we all know what he’s capable of and he’s already started to turn things around.  The numbers should be there by year’s end and I can’t move him out of the top spot.
  • I was extremely high on Jason Kipnis prior to the season and, thus far, he’s making myself and all the others who grabbed him look like geniuses.  In his first 157 AB of the year he is hitting .268 with 6 HR, 23 RBI, 26 R and 6 SB while settling into the second spot of the order.  The only thing that you can point to for a possible regression is his strikeout rate (15.3%), but the rest of the numbers are for real (.288 BABIP, 13.3% HR/FB).  In other words, it’s become clear that he’s one of the best options in the league at the position.  If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be in the Top 5 the next time these rankings are released.
  • I know Howie Kendrick has shown some power early on (4 HR in 139 AB), but he continues to simply drive the ball into the ground way too much.  Thus far he’s carrying a 56.9% groundball rate, up from last year’s 51.6% (a career low).  He’s just never going to be a big source of power with that type of number, so keep that in mind.  It would seem like 15-18 HR would be his ceiling, and I wouldn’t anticipate even that many (despite his 18 HR last season).
  • Jose Altuve was an option that we discussed as a sleeper prior to the season.  Thus far he’s making us look like geniuses, isn’t he?  Over his first 35 games he’s hitting .315 with 2 HR, 13 RBI, 22 R and 9 SB.  However, before we thrust him too far up the rankings, keep in mind that he’s not going to hit for much power and is currently benefitting from a .355 BABIP.  Those are two red flags, both of which cap his potential value moving forward.
  • Don’t buy into the power surge for Omar Infante thus far.  His career HR/FB is 5.2%, though this season he’s at 12.0%.  Can he be breaking out?  Maybe, but until we see him do it for a little bit longer you will want to temper expectations.

Make sure to check out some of our other recent rankings:

3 comments

  1. Brad says:

    I would rather have Kelly Johnson than Weeks or Phillips.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It’s certainly fair. I still have to go with the upside of Phillips and Weeks, though. If things don’t change, the next time we do these rankings he will definitely be above both of them, though.

  2. Me says:

    keep moving kipnis up and rickie weeks down…

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