Mid-Season Second Base Rankings

I published my Mid-Season First Base Rankings back on June 15th, and today we discuss my Mid-Season Second Base Rankings. Fangraphs ranks Ray's second baseman Ben Zobrist as the top second bagger based on WAR, with Rickie Weeks and Dustin Pedroia right behind him, but WAR takes defense into account, among other things, and many fantasy leagues could care less about defense. Here's a look at who the top second baseman are presently.

 If you're looking for more mid-season rankings, be sure to check out Fantasy Run Down, as they provide links to rankings from all over the net.

1. Robinson Cano, NYY-Cano was a popular first round pick on draft day and although he isn't getting much praise here, he is having another excellent season. He is hitting .292-.339-.517 with 14 HRs, 46 RBIs, 43 runs and 6 SBs thus far. His ISO over the last 4 years are trending up-.139 > .199 > .214 > .225.

2. Rickie Weeks, MIL-Weeks is showing that the "injury risk" label is a thing of the past as he is having another solid season at the plate for the Brewers. He is hitting .288-.356-508 with 14 HRs, 32 RBIs, 51 runs and 7 SBs. I predicted he would have a 20-20 season this year, but he is not running as much as I thought, but he is hitting for more power this season, and his ISO over his last 3 full seasons are: .164 > .195 > .220 (2008, 2010 and 2011).

3. Dustin Pedroia, BOS-Pedroia was close to having knee surgery a few weeks ago, but has done nothing but hit ever since. For the season, he is hitting .269-.377-.392 with 6 HRs, 32 RBIs, 41 runs and 13 SBs. Pedroia is the unsung leader of the Red Sox and when he is hot, the Red Sox usually win. One negative sign is the drop in BA over the last 4 seasons: .326 > .296 > .288 > .269.

More rankings after the jump:

4. Ben Zobrist, TB-Zobrist isn't running as much this season, but is hitting for more power. Thus far in 2011, he is hitting .265-.342-.481 with 9 HRs, 37 RBIs, 43 runs and SBs. Last year, he had 40 extra base hits for the whole season. This season, he already has 36 extra base hits and is proving that last season's 6.0 HR/FB rate was a fluke.

5. Danny Espinosa, WAS-I have written about Espinosa a lot here as he seems to have big games mixed in with 0-4 nights. For the season, he is hitting .237-.321-.470 with 13 HRs, 43 RBIs, 35 runs and 8 SBs. He is hitting .314-.400-.745 with runners in scoring position this year.

6. Martin Prado, ATL-Prado made 98 appearances at second base last season and has yet to make an appearance there this season, and one wonders if that would be the case if he were healthy and Dan Uggla still struggling. Prado was hitting .277-.324-.438 with 8 HRs, 33 RBIs and 36 SBs before he hit the DL.

7. Ian Kinsler, TEX-Kinsler is having a solid season thus far hitting .236-.346-.403 with 8 HRs, 25 RBIs, 47 runs and 14 SBs. I don't think we will ever see him hit 30 HRs again, but he should score 100+ runs and steal 30+ bases as long as he stays healthy. HIs low BABIP of .240 says his BA/OBP should improve down the road as he is walking-13%-more than he is striking out -12%-  this season.

8. Neil Walker, PIT-Walker was batting cleanup for awhile this year, and for good reason. He is hitting .260-.330-.404 with 8 HRs, 46 RBIs, 38 runs an 4 SBs this season. He is leading all second baseman in RBIs so far and is proving that his 12-66-.296 rookie season was legit.

9. Michael Young, TEX-Young has made 11 appearances at second base this season, and is hitting .307-.347-.428 with 3 HRs, 44 RBIs, 29 runs and 4 SBs. His power has dropped off this season as his HR/FB rate has dropped from the double digits to under 5%, but he is hitting plenty of line drives which should keep his BA high.

10. Brandon Phillips, CIN-Phillips is no longer a top 5 second baseman as his power has gone south over the past 5 years. Here are his ISO rates over the past 5 seasons: .197 > .181 >.171 > .155 > .104. And he isn't running as much either. This season, he is hitting .276-.332-.380 with 5 HRs, 36 RBIs, 42 runs and 4 SBs.

11. Kelly Johnson, ARI-KJ has struggled at the plate this season, yet he has hit 12 HRs and stolen 8 bases to go with his 31 RBIs and 38 runs scored. Where he is struggling is with his BA/OBP as his triple slash line sits at .215-.293-.421. He could rank much higher in these rankings if he can improve his BA/OBP.

12. Howie Kendrick, LAA-Kendrick is having a solid season at the plate this season hitting .301-.363-.476 with 7 HRs, 23 RBIs, 36 runs and 5 SBs. He'll never be a solid power hitter as his FB rates have consistently been under 30% in his career, but he will provide a solid BA and double digit SBs.

A couple guys that ranked highly this season- Chase Utley and Dan Uggla- have been huge disappointments this season, due to injury and a year long slump. I can see Utley moving into these rankings by the end of the season, but Uggla will have to go on a major hitting surge to jump into the top 12.

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