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):
- Robinson Cano – New York Yankees
- Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
- Ian Kinsler – Texas Rangers
- Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds
- Dan Uggla – Florida Marlins
- Aaron Hill – Toronto Blue Jays
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Martin Prado – Atlanta Braves
- Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers
- Brian Roberts – Baltimore Orioles
- Kelly Johnson – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Eric Young Jr. – Colorado Rockies
- Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels
- Gordon Beckham – Chicago White Sox
- 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: