This time we’re looking at the 2B position. An often shallow fantasy pool to dip into, though deeper this year than in the recent past. Several promising new players are moving up; names like Zobrist and Hill have climbed the ladder, while guys like Uggla and Weeks have fallen.
So here we go, our various picks for 2010 Fantasy MLB Second basemen…
Tab Bamford (Turned down Paula Abdul’s job on American Idol for political reasons)
Breakout: Chris Getz, KC – Getz was traded to KC from the White Sox in the Mark Teahen deal and was actually a pretty solid rookie in Chicago last year. He can run, and could factor into the top of the Royals’ batting order. Getting an everyday shot could mean a lot to his numbers.
Bust: Ben Zobrist, TB – Zobrist had a magnificent year, and will be a trendy pick up because he’s available to play multiple positions… but the Rays haven’t committed to him playing one position yet. It’s hard to buy a one-year-wonder, and Zobrist runs that risk.
Sleeper: Jeff Baker, CHC – Baker is going to get a chance to be the everyday second baseman for the Cubs and could find himself in good run-scoring or run-producing situations throughout the year. He batted .305 with a .368 OBP as a member of the Cubs in 69 games last year, and will get a full year in Chicago. He established career highs of 12 home runs and 48 RBI in Colorado in 2008, and could pass those this year.
Ray Tannock (Battery operated and has the shelf life of a Twinkie)
Breakout: Ben Zobrist, TB - Well this is it, Zobrist will enter 2010 as a bona-certified starter no questions asked, and with that comes a huge ceiling for a break out year ( heck, there’s a strong chance Zobrist could lead all second baseman this year to be honest ). Zobrist showed us in 2008 his potential by storming onto the scene late, and backing it up in 2009 with a VERY well rounded season. He’s a must have in 2010: Proj: .305 AVG 30 HR 100 RBI 107 R 20 SB 30 DBL
Bust: Rickie Weeks, MIL - Weeks is in interesting case in the sense that, there are a lot of people who think this is the year…please don’t be one of those people. Look, Weeks is a speed guy, but that’s pretty much it. You can’t rely on him to produce runs or extra base hits or even count on his health and you can’t win your league with one category alone. A sure bust.
Sleeper: Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE - Cabrera turned a lot of heads last year in Cleveland and you can expect more of the same in 2010. There have been some changes to the batting order which will benefit Cabrera and fantasy owners. Some people will scoff at his OPS and low HR count, but let’s not forget he wasn’t 100% healthy in 2009. This year, he will be the lead-off hitter ( he hit .301 in 131 lead off appearances last year ) and he is completely healthy; a definite sleeper year for Cabrera.
Jon Schuman (Turned down job coiffing Donald Trump’s hair for religious reasons)
Breakout: Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE - For some reason this guy just doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He will post a very good average, score and drive in a good number of runs, and steal double digit bases. If that isn’t enough, he qualifies at SS too!
Bust: Dan Uggla, FLA – It’s not that I think he’ll be worse than he was in 2009. It’s just that year after year he contributes the most empty 30 plus homeruns and 90 plus RBI in the game. His average will kill you. I just don’t like the guy. He’s a living breathing bust.
Sleeper: Scott Sizemore, DET – The guy is slated to play every day in Detroit and could end up collecting double digit homeruns and stolen bases, while posting a solid average. The best part is that the investment to get him will be small.
Mike Sholty (I said condom not condiment)
Breakout: Howie Kendrick, LAA – Kendrick is a great Breakout candidate. He’s always had the potential to contend for a batting title with his style of hitting and he has the tools to get 20 HR and 20 SB. He just needs to pull it together for a whole season. This is the season where he hits .320 and hits 22 HR while stealing a very surprising 28 bases. Expect around 90 RBI and runs from him too.
Bust: Brian Roberts, BAL – It was hard for me to find a bust candidate out of the top ten 2Bs, but Brian Roberts is the guy I like the least from that list. He’s starting to get older and I just don’t like aging speedsters. He’s never been a great source of power either. I just have a bad feeling about this year, and I’d rather take someone younger at the price you need to pay to get Roberts…like…
Sleeper: Gordon Beckham, CHW - This is the last time you’ll be able to draft Gordon Beckham outside the first 5 rounds in a draft. You can just tell by looking at him: Beckham has “the face”. This kid was born to play baseball. His production last September (6 HR) is a hint of great things to come this year. This kid is going to blow everyone’s expectations out of the water this year: .310 avg 25 HR 110 RBI 101 R 12 SB. Don’t pass him up for anything.
Rustyn Rose (Set down the Spam, take a step back, and nobody has to get hurt.)
Breakout: Ian Stewart, COL – You could easily list him as a sleeper, but in reality, no one in a serious league is gonna be sleeping on this kid. Fantasy owners and Rockies fans have been waiting for a couple years to get Atkins out of the way. Stewart has a chance to surprise for fantasy owners this season. This kind of power and potential with 2B eligibility makes him a great low risk high reward kind of player. He has breakout written all over his bat, and he’ll put up 3rd base type numbers in your 2B spot. He’ll have ups and downs, but he’s going to have a great year.
Bust: Ian Kinsler, TEX – I was going to go with Uggla here. His numbers can be potent, but as mentioned above, even the good Uggla is just plain Uggaly. We call him a Jessica Simpson; looks good in theory but he’s got bust written all over him. So I’m making the ballsy call here. Kinsler is only a weak batting average away from Chase Utley territory, but the lagging average is there, AND he tends to get hurt… a lot. In 12 team leagues I’ve seen him go late in the first round. Unless he plays as good as Utley, that’s reason enough to proclaim Bust. But my feeling is he’ll miss 25-35% of his games this season to injury. I don’t think he’ll live up to his high draft status, healthy or not.
Sleeper: Beckham/Sizemore, CHW/DET - I have to agree with my compadres above. Both these kids have huge upside potential this season. More so for Beckham, but he won’t qualify at 2B until nearly May. You can read more of my thoughts on these guys and all the second basemen here.
Deep Sleeper: Eric Young, Jr., COL – As soon as Clint Barmes bombs or gets hurt, E.Y. Jr. will be tearing up the base paths in Colorado. How soon he will contribute is hard to say.
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