Fantasy Baseball: 2011 Second Base Rankings

ARLINGTON TX - OCTOBER 22: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees bats against the Texas Rangers in Game Six of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22 2010 in Arlington Texas. The Rangers won 6-1. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Robinson Cano

Continuing my series on 2011 rankings, here is my take on the Second Base rankings:

1. Robinson Cano, NYY-Cano has displaced Chase Utley as the top fantasy second baseman in 2010, as he hit .319-.381-.534 with 29 HRs, 109 RBI, and 103 runs scored. You can write him down for 25 HRs, 90 RBIs and a .300 BA in 2011.

2. Chase Utley, PHI-I have serious questions about Utley going into 2011, as he hasn't been healthy the last two seasons, and he isn't getting any younger. He turns 32 in 9 days, and hits in one of the best lineups in baseball, so I will keep him at 2 for now. I can see him bouncing back in 2011, with a 25-90-15-.290 projection.

3. Dan Uggla, ATL-every fantasy owner has their man-crush, and Uggla is one of mine as I love power hitters at every position. I own him in one keeper league, and am trying to trade for him in the UBA league. Uggla is the Adam Dunn of second baseman, and he has improved his OBP from .326 in 2007 to .369 in 2010. He has hit 30+ HRs in each of the last 4 years, and eclipsed the 100 RBI mark in 2010. I see another 30-95-.260 season from Uggla in 2011.

4. Dustin Pedroia, BOS-Pedroia missed some time in 2010, but still hit .288-.367-.493 with 12 HRs, 41 RBIs and 9 SBs in 351 at bats. Bill James projects him to hit .297-.372-.462 with 17 HRs, 77 RBIs and 16 SBs in 2011. He could see a nice bump in runs scored with Adrian Gonzalez in the middle of the lineup.

5. Rickie Weeks, MIL-Weeks finally had his breakout season in 2010, as he hit .269-.366-.464 with 29 HRs, 83 RBIs, 111 runs scored and 11 SBs, but struck out an amazing 184 times, but his K% jumped by "only" 1% from 27% to 28%, and he increased his BB% as well-from 7% to 10%. With the new manager in Milwaukee, I see him going 20-20 in 2011.

6. Kelly Johnson, ARI-KJ is another second baseman who broke out in 2010, as he hit .284-.370-.496 with 26 HRs, 71 RBIs, 93 runs scored and 13 SBs. He is also another guy who strikes out alot-148 times in 2010. His K% increased from 18% to 25% in 2010, but he also increased his BB% from 9% to 12%. I could see a small drop in his power numbers in 2011, maybe a 20-65-12 season.

7. Brandon Phillips-Phillips power has dropped in each of the last 3 years, and he has gone from a 30-30 guy in 2007, to a 20-20 guy in 2008-2009, to a 18-16 guy in 2010. He hit .275-.332-.430 with 18 HRs, 59 RBIs, 100 runs scored and 16 SBs in 2010. He moved up in the order in 2010, but didn't run as much. I wonder if he can return to the 20 SB level in 2011.

8. Martin Prado, ATL-Prado will be moving to the outfield with the Braves acquisition of Dan Uggla in 2011, but is still eligible at 2B. Prado proved that his 2009 season was no fluke, as he hit .307-.350-.459 with 15 HRs, 66 RBIs, and 100 runs scored in 2010. He may not be the power hitter like Uggla or Johnson, but he will provide a .300 BA and close to 100 runs scored in 2011. His value for 2011 fantasy drafts remains the same, but it will drop in 2012 unless he gets some time at 2B in 2011.

9. Ian Kinsler, TEX-Kinsler's 2010 season was the exact opposite of Rickie Weeks' breakout season as he regressed from his 30-30 season in 2009. Kinsler hit .286-.382-.412 with just 9 HRs, 45 RBIs, 73 runs scored and 15 SBs in his 103 games/391 at bats. He is probably not the 30 HR hitter that he was in 2009, and he's not the 9 HR hitter either. I see him as somewhere in between in 2011, maybe 16-20 HRs, 20+ SBs, and .290 BA should he stay healthy.

10. Ben Zobrist, TB- Zobrist, like Kinsler, had a down year in 2010 after a breakout season in 2009. Zobrist hit just .238-.346-.353 with 10 HRs, 75 RBIs, 77 runs scored and 24 SBs. He could move up a few spots in these rankings in 2011 if he can improve his power numbers.

11. Aaron Hill, TOR-wow. This guy hit 26 HRs while hitting just .205 with a .196 BABIP in 2010. Hill hit 26 HRs, 68 RBIs and 70 runs scored, and I can see him improving his BA in 2011 and it appears the power is real. If you want a power hitting infielder, Hill is a solid choice. Could return to the 30 HR level in 2011.

12. Neil Walker, PITT-Walker surprised many fantasy owners with an excellent rookie year in 2010, hitting .296-.349-.462 with 12 HRs, 66 RBIs and 57 runs scored in 426 at bats. Walker hit over .300 in 3 of his 5 months in the big leagues in 2010, so he could repeat his 2010 season in 2011 and Bill James seems to agree as he projects him to hit .270-.324-.438 with 16 HRs, 83 RBIs and 11 SBs.

Sleeper

Gordon Beckham, CHW-Beckham had a disappointing sophomore season in 2010 hitting just .252-.317-.378 with 9 HRs, 49 RBIs and 58 runs scored. Beckham was horrible in the first half of 2010, but he hit over .300 in July and August before slumping to .188 in September. Bill James projects him to hit .273-.343-.436 with 15 HRs, 77 RBIs, and 81 runs scored in 2011. I could see him hitting those numbers as well.

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