Top 15 Second Baseman For 2011

The 2010 season saw a changing of the guard atop the second base rankings, with Robinson Cano overtaking Chase Utley in what has become an extremely deep position.  That was just one tough decision among many when it comes to our early rankings.  Let’s take a look at how things currently look (and keep in mind that these will be updated throughout the offseason):

  1. Robinson Cano – New York Yankees
  2. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
  3. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
  4. Ian Kinsler – Texas Rangers
  5. Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds
  6. Dan Uggla – Florida Marlins
  7. Aaron Hill – Toronto Blue Jays
  8. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
  9. Martin Prado – Atlanta Braves
  10. Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers
  11. Brian Roberts – Baltimore Orioles
  12. Kelly Johnson – Arizona Diamondbacks
  13. Eric Young Jr. – Colorado Rockies
  14. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels
  15. Gordon Beckham – Chicago White Sox

Thoughts:

  • Brandon Phillips is the toughest player on this list to value at this point, as his role on the Reds will be determined by their offseason activity.  Will he continue to be used atop the order?  Will he be shifted back down to cleanup spot, where he can drive in significantly more runs?  Time will tell, and it will also ultimately help determine his spot in these rankings.  He’s number five for now, but that certainly can change.
  • Can Ian Kinsler stay healthy for the entire season?  Of course, it’s not like he was all that impressive in 2010 anyways, hitting .286 with 9 HR and 15 SB.  Still, we all know what he’s capable of, so for now he’s going to remain near the top of our rankings.
  • I discussed just how unlucky Aaron Hill was in 2010 (you can view the article by clicking here) and I would fully expect him to rebound in 2011.  Just to refresh everyone’s memory, I researched back to 1995 and no other hitter in that time has posted a BABIP below .220 (he was at .196 in 2010).  While he’s not likely to repeat his 2009 success, he still has plenty of value.
  • I know Rickie Weeks finally stayed healthy and showed what was possible, but do we really expect him to replicate his success?  He benefited from a .332 BABIP and strikes out a ton.  There’s a good chance he struggles in the average department (especially if his 17.3% HR/FB regresses) and therefore loses a lot of value.  As I do more research, he could be moved up, but we’ll get more into him as the offseason progresses.  At this point, he has potential bust written all over him.
  • Brian Roberts is getting up there in age and has seen his stolen base total, his one real redeeming quality, consistently decline over the last few years.  At this point, he’s a low-end option at best.
  • The inclusion of Eric Young Jr. is speculative and solely based on the idea of him winning the Rockies second base job.  We all know he has a ton of speed, but if he fails to win the job his value will be nil.
  • Ben Zobrist’s spot at #8 will probably be one of the more debated rankings on this list.  We’ll discuss his ranking in much more detail in the coming weeks, but I’m not a believer in his 6.0% HR/FB.  If that returns, with the speed he showed, he has the makings of a tremendous steal on draft day.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Whose too high?  Whose too low?

Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings:

14 comments

  1. carlito says:

    PHILLIPS HAS PEAKED IMO. I think his best days are behind him. Look for Beckham to fly up the list as he should regain the 2 hole at some point.

  2. big o says:

    what does dan uggla have to do to get some respect from fantasy baseball experts ? hit 40 HR’s ??

  3. turk99 says:

    You have Phillips at 5 and but do you think that is the farthest down he can go?

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    No, I think there is room for him to move down a spot or two, depending on how the Reds roster comes together. If he’s hitting leadoff, I like him less, so we’ll get a better feel for that by the end of December.

    Big O, how high do you want Uggla to be on the list? I could see moving him to #5, but I wouldn’t put him past there. There’s always that threat of a bad average, which does hurt his value some.

  5. ClayHenry says:

    Nice work in placing Pedroia at 3rd. It is easy to forget about players who miss 1/2 of a season. If he played a full season, we would be talking a 2nd round pick in 2011.

  6. La Posse says:

    I agree with Big O, Uggla is hugely undervalued due to everyone overvaluing the Pedroia’s and the Kinslers. Steals are cheap these days but raw power isn’t at a thin position. I’d much rather place my money on Uggla delivering 30 homers, 100 runs and 100 rbi’s than Kinsler playing a whole season without 6 weeks on the DL.

  7. carlito says:

    7-12 is like a crap shoot. johnson could be 7 but so could weeks. prado comes back to earth zorbrist style.

  8. K says:

    I think the only knock you can put on Weeks is his injury history. Yeah his BABIP was slightly high, but for his career he’s at .309. That with the high K% means low BA upside, he again, he’s a career .250 hitter. Expecting anything considerably higher than that is foolish.

    He’s performed this well for years now (when healthy) so why is it a surprise that he was able to have nice stats while playing a full season? If he’s healthy next year, expect similar numbers, but with maybe a 10-15 pt drop in BA. But so what? That’s still a top 50 overall player and a premium position. I’d put him at 5 or so, while really thinking hard about slotting him right behind Pedroia.

  9. Pretty Toney says:

    Gordon Beckham’s wrist is reportedly still bothering him. Have you taken this into consideration with your 15 ranking or would that bump him off of your list. What do you think Beckham’s eventual upside is? I’m having trouble deciding whether to keep him or not in a 12-team mixed league, keep 10 players no other restrictions. Thoughts?

  10. marco says:

    why is Rickie Weeks behind Aaron Hill and Ben Zobrist?

  11. Rotoprofessor says:

    Sorry for the delayed response on a few of these, they just got lost in the shuffle.

    Toney – Right now the injury is not of the greatest concern to me, since there is so much time between now and the start of Spring Training. If it’s still an issue or not later on, then I’ll worry about it.

    What are your other choices to keep? That will go a long way in helping decide if he’s worth it or not.

    marco – I just don’t trust Weeks and think Hill & Zobrist are both inline for bounce back years. I’ve talked about it a lot already here, but Hill’s 2010 struggles were at historic levels. There’s a good chance he comes back strong.

  12. Fresh says:

    I still think Utley is the best second basemen in the game, period.

    Utley
    Cano
    Pedroia
    Kinsler
    Phillips
    Uggla
    Weeks
    Prado
    Hill
    Roberts

  13. With what seems to be a fair amount of depth at second and a growing lack of detpth at 3B how much would you value 3B over 2B? For example would you take Utley or a guy like Zimmerman or Wright since options at 3B appear far more slim

  14. nick says:

    Cano
    Uggla
    Utley
    Kinsler
    Phillipp
    Roberts
    Pedroia
    Hill
    Prado
    this is the top 10

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