If you haven’t already grabbed one of the top ten second basemen, you better look to snag one of the next four up and comers, because things really get ugly after that!
11) Howie Kendrick (2010 Projections: .297, 77 R, 14 HR, 72 RBI, 14 SB)
Kendrick has yet to accumulate 400 at bats in a major league season, but I expect that to change this year. In fact, I think he gets 500 plus at bats, and develops into a solid major leaguer. Kendrick has a long history of hitting for absurd averages in the minors, and he could one day, as in not in 2010, compete for a batting title.
12) Gordon Beckham (.271, 80 R, 21 HR, 82 RBI, 10 SB)
Do not sleep on young Mr. Beckham. This guy has a world of talent and flashed some of it in his 378 at bat stint with the White Sox last season. He has more upside than anyone in this half of the top twenty and should be a priority in keeper leagues.
13) Ian Stewart (.255, 85 R, 28 HR, 82 RBI, 6 SB)
Stewart finally gets a chance to play everyday in 2010, but he is still learning how to be a hitter at the major league level. The power will be there, but he doesn’t look close to ready to help you in the average department. He should be a much better value than Uggla; a player he reminds me a lot of. He also qualifies at third base.
14) Asdrubal Cabrera (.295, 80 R, 6 HR, 70 RBI, 15 SB)
Cabrera will play shortstop this season, but qualifies at both that position and second base. Cabrera will help your average, steal double digit bases, and score a decent amount of runs. He isn’t an asset in the power categories.
15) Rickie Weeks (.260, 83 R, 15 HR, 72 RBI, 17 SB)
While his projections look stronger than Cabrera’s, I rank him below Cabrera because he is nearly a sure thing to get hurt and make my projections look ridiculous. Players coming off of wrist injuries often have trouble regaining form, so that is also a concern.
16) Placido Polanco (.298, 90 R, 9 HR, 68 RBI, 5 SB)
Polanco’s move to a strong Phillies lineup will help his numbers in 2010. However, where Jerry Manuel bats him should be considered. He won’t bat at the top of the lineup, but hopefully avoids the dreaded eighth hole.
17) Clint Barmes (.255, 65 R, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 12 SB)
You don’t want Clint Barmes to be your second basemen, but you could do worse. If only he could maintain a solid average. He hit .290 in 2008, but has struggled to maintain a strong average in his two seasons as an everyday player.
18) Kelly Johnson (.268, 75 R, 12 HR, 60 RBI, 9 SB)
Just a couple of years ago, Johnson seemed like he was headed to the first tier of second basemen. Then the wheels came off last season. The talent is still there, making Johnson a better late round flier than most guys.
19) Mark Ellis (.260, 65 R, 12 HR, 65 RBI, 10 SB)
Ellis is like Clint Barmes Lite. No, that is not a compliment. He shouldn’t be worth a roster spot, even late in the draft, since he lacks the upside of some other late round second base options.
20) Martin Prado (.290, 70 R, 12 HR, 55 RBI, 1 SB)
Prado will likely hit for a good average and hit a dozen or so long balls. He doesn’t do nearly enough anywhere else to make him worth serious fantasy consideration. Like Ellis, he lacks the upside necessary to take a flier on.
So, who should you take a flier on at the second base position? How about one of these sleepers?
2010 Second Base Sleepers
Sizemore is set to start the season as the Tigers’ everyday second basemen. The scouting report on Sizemore is that he brings some pop, some speed, and a solid average to the table. Upside is limited, but he could be worth snagging in one of the last couple rounds.
Casilla is fast. Guys with the potential to steal a lot of bases are always worth something in the world of fantasy baseball. Therefore, Casilla, who only has Nick Punto ahead of him on the depth chart, is worth a late round flier in case he takes over the job. He won’t hit for any power, but could post a decent average.
Callaspo’s biggest hurdle seems to be playing time. The Royals seem hesitant to play him every day, even though they don’t have any better options. If he gets a chance to play, a .300 season with a dozen homers and 70 plus runs and RBI is not out of the question.
We’ll move over to short in our next edition of the 2010 Fantasy Baseball Rankings.