Fake Teams Consensus 2013 Second Base Rankings: Part 1

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Robinson Cano is by far the best fantasy second baseman, but after him there are seven or eight second baseman who can definitely help fantasy owners in 2013.

Bret opened Second Base Week here at Fake Teams with the State of the Second Base Position earlier this morning. Today, I will give you Part 1 of the Fake Teams Consensus Second Base Rankings for 2013. Included with our rankings is a short player profile on each player, along with my 2013 projections and guesstimate for when to draft each player. The Rankings are headed by Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, the de facto #1 choice amongst fantasy second baseman. But after him, there are several players who offer owners solid production from the keystone including Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Ben Zobrist and the surprising Aaron Hill.

In the 13-17 range in the rankings, there are two players that stand out for me: Jurickson Profar and Dustin Ackley. Profar has all the talent to be a difference maker should he be given a starting role in 2013, while Ackley is looking to bounce back from a horrible sophomore season in 2012.

Now let's take a look at the Fake Teams Consensus Second Base Rankings for 2013:

Rank

Player

Team

Ray

Bret

Jason

Craig

Score

1

Robinson Cano

NYY

1

1

1

1

108

2

Dustin Pedroia

BOS

3

2

3

2

102

3

Ian Kinsler

TEX

2

3

2

3

102

4

Aaron Hill

ARZ

5

4

4

6

93

5

Ben Zobrist

TB

4

5

5

8

90

6

Jason Kipnis

CLE

7

7

6

4

88

7

Brandon Phillips

CIN

6

8

7

5

86

8

Chase Utley

PHI

9

6

13

9

75

9

Jose Altuve

HOU

12

9

8

10

73

10

Rickie Weeks

MLW

13

10

12

7

70

11

Danny Espinosa

WSH

11

11

9

14

67

12

Dan Uggla

ATL

10

13

10

12

67

13

Neil Walker

PIT

8

12

18

11

63

14

Dustin Ackley

SEA

14

15

14

13

56

15

Howie Kendrick

LAA

16

16

16

15

49

16

Kelly Johnson

TOR

15

18

15

19

45

17

Jurickson Profar

TEX

18

14

19

17

44

18

Marco Scutaro

SF

20

19

11

20

42

19

Omar Infante

DET

25

17

17

18

35

20

Daniel Murphy

NYM

17

22

24

22

27

21

Gordon Beckham

CHW

19

23

20

NR

22

22

Jemile Weeks

OAK

21

20

NR

25

18

23

Jeff Keppinger

TB

NR

NR

23

16

17

24

Chris Nelson

COL

NR

21

22

NR

13

25

Cliff Pennington

ARZ

NR

24

21

NR

11

Below are player profiles for our Top 13 Fantasy Second Baseman for 2013. Part 2 of our Top 25 will be posted on Wednesday morning.

1. Robinson Cano, NYY

Cano is the easy choice for our #1 fantasy second baseman for 2013. Cano hit .313-.379-.550 with 33 HRs, 105 runs and 94 RBI last season, his fourth straight season with 25+ HRs, 100+ runs scored and 85+ RBI. And I think we have not seen the best from him. The 2013 season represents Cano's walk year, as he will become a free agent at the end of the season. His agent is Scot Boras, and Boras will allow him to get to free agency to see if he can get an ARod-like deal for Cano. There aren't many teams that can pay him that kind of money, but the Dodgers will need a second baseman after the 2013 season, so anything is possible.

2013 Projection: I see Cano hitting .310 with 36 HRs, 100+ runs and 100+ RBI in 2013. Cano is a first round pick in mixed league and AL-only drafts next season.

2. Dustin Pedroia, BOS

Pedroia saw his numbers drop across the board in 2012, hitting .290-.347-.449 with 15 HRs, 81 runs, 65 RBI and 20 stolen bases. His walk rate and strikeout rate both dropped in 2012, as did his ISO and BABIP, but I think we will see his numbers rebound in 2013. Pedroia missed 21 games in 2012, mainly due to a right thumb injury, but the injury did not impact him at the plate for some reason, as he hit .342 in August and .316 in September, where he hit 27 of his 57 extra base hits. The Red Sox lineup could look much different than it did in 2012, but I can see him improving his fantasy production in 2013.

2013 Projection: I see Pedroia hitting .295 with 21 HRs, 95 runs, 75 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 2013. Pedroia is a 3rd or 4th round pick in mixed leagues, and an early 2nd round pick in AL only leagues in 2013.

3. Ian Kinsler, TEX

There is talk that the Rangers could move him to left field, or first base, if they don't find a replacement for Josh Hamilton this offseason. Actually, they may move him anyway due to the presence of our #17 second baseman, Jurickson Profar. Kinsler has that "big year, down year" trend going over the last four seasons as he has hit 30+ home runs in odd years, and 9 HRs in 2010, and 19 HRs last season. Should we expect 30 home runs from him in 2013? I would put the odds at less than 10%, but he knows how to hit a fly ball as his 42.2% fly ball rate in 2012 was the second lowest of his career.

2013 Projection: I expect Kinsler to be playing a different position in 2013, and can see him hitting .265 with 24 HRs, 100+ runs, 75 runs and 20 stolen bases. Similar to Pedroia, he is a 3rd-4th round pick in mixed league drafts, and a 2nd round pick in AL only leagues in 2013.

4. Aaron Hill, ARI

Who saw Hill putting up this kind of season in 2012? After a down year in 2011, where he hit .246-.299-.356 with 8 HRs, 61 runs, 61 RBI and 20 stolen bases, he surprised many in 2012, hitting .302-.360-.522 with 26 HRs, 93 runs, 85 RBI and 14 stolen bases in his first full season in Arizona. Hill certainly liked hitting at Chase Field where he hit .321 with 14 home runs, 53 runs and 48 RBI in 80 games. The bump in home runs was not as big of a surprise as the bump in batting average, as Hill is no stranger to hitting for power with two seasons of 26 or more home runs while in Toronto. Hill is a fly ball hitter hitting in a hitter-friendly ball park, so the power is sustainable, but I see his BABIP, and batting average dropping in 2013.

2013 Projection: I see Hill hitting .270 with 25 HRs, 75 runs, 75 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 2013. Hill is a 9th-11th round pick in mixed leagues and a 4th-5th round pick in NL only leagues.

5. Ben Zobrist, TB

Zobrist has plenty of value at second base, but probably has more value than many second baseman as he gained shortstop eligibility in 2012. Zobrist hit .270-.377-.471 with 20 HRs, 88 runs, 74 RBI and 14 stolen bases last season, his third season with 20 or more home runs in the last four years. He walked almost as much as he struck out last season, so he has a good idea at the dish, and his OBP was just slightly behind Robinson Cano's OBP amongst all second baseman in 2012. Zobrist hits for as much power as Dustin Pedroia and his runs scored and RBI are comparable to Brandon Phillips. Add in the fact that he can steal double digit bags and Zobrist has as much value as some outfielders, where he also has eligibility next year.

2013 Projection: I see Zobrist being Zobrist and hitting .270 with 20 HRs, 85 runs, 70 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 2013. Zobrist should be drafted in the 7th- 8th rounds in mixed leagues and late 3rd, early 4th round in AL only leagues.

6. Jason Kipnis, CLE

Kipnis had an excellent rookie season in 2012, hitting .257-.335-.379 with 14 HRs, 86 runs, 76 RBI and 31 stolen bases. 31 stolen bases? Kipnis stole more bases last season than he did in the three previous seasons combined, stealing 5 or more bases in four of six months last season, but I don't expect him to steal 30 bases again next season. I do expect him to hit for more power in 2013 though. After hitting 11 home runs in the first half of 2012, he hit just three home runs in the second half, and he hit .250 or higher in every month but August, so we could see a rise in his batting average as well.

2013 Projection: I expect Kipnis to hit .265 with 20 HRs, 80 runs, 80 RBI and 15-20 stolen bases in 2013. Kipnis should be drafted in 7th-9th rounds in mixed leagues and 3rd-4th round in AL only leagues in 2013.

7. Brandon Phillips, CIN

Phillips has put up pretty consistent production over the last seven seasons, as he has hit 17 or more home runs and stolen 14 or more bases in each of those seven seasons, and hitting .275 or better every year except 2008. Gone are the years of 20+ stolen bases, but he won't hurt you in any category, and THAT is valuable. I am actually going back and forth about keeping him at $28 in the UBA NL only keeper league for that reason. His walk rated dropped a bit in 2012, from the usual 6.5% to 4.5% so that bares some watching, but his strikeout rate has fluctuated in a very small range over the last four seasons, between 11.6% and 12.7%. The fact that he can put up double digit home runs and stolen bases, while batting in the .275-.280 range, with 80+ runs and RBI shows there is little risk in drafting him in 2013.

2013 Projection: I see Phillips hitting .280 with 20 HRs, 85 runs, 75 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 2013. He is a 8th-9thj round draft pick in mixed leagues and a 4th round pick in NL only leagues.

8. Chase Utley, PHI

Utley missed half of the 2012 season while recovering from a knee injury, but once activated, he showed that he can still put up solid production for fantasy owners. In just over 300 at bats, Utley hit .256-.365-.429 with 11 HRs, 48 runs, 45 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He can no longer put up the 30 HR, .300 BA seasons like he did in his prime, but he can be better than average for fantasy owners in 2013. He still owns an excellent eye at the plate as he walked as much as he struck out last season. Back in September, there was talk of him moving over to third base in 2013, but I think that was scrapped before the season ended.

2013 Projection: I project Utley to hit .265 with 17 HRs, 75 runs, 75 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 2013, assuming he can get 450-500 at bats.

9. Jose Altuve, HOU

Altuve's first full season with the Astros was solid, as he hit .290-.340-.399 with 7 HRs, 80 runs, 37 RBI and 33 stolen bases for a team that struggled to score runs, and will probably continue to struggle to score runs moving over to the AL West in 2013. Altuve is a high contact hitter who doesn't strike out much, nor walk much, but could end up being a double digit power hitter, capable of a few 30 stolen base seasons, as the Astros will have to be creative to improve their run production as they are in the midst of a full scale rebuild. He stole 21 bases in the second half of the season, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him steal 40 bases at some point.

2013 Projection: I see Altuve hitting .300 with 10 HRs, 80 runs, 40 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 2013. Altuve is a late round pick in mixed leagues and a 7th-9th round pick in AL only leagues.

10. Rickie Weeks, MIL

Weeks has been labeled as an injury risk on draft day, but I think the only risk one has in drafting him is batting average risk, as he has sandwiched a few .269 batting average seasons with some .230+ batting averages. He has put up 588 at bats or more in two of the last three seasons, so he has stayed relatively healthy over the past three seasons. He has also put up three straight seasons of 20+ home runs and 75+ runs scored, so he puts up sneaky value as a late round pick in most leagues.

2013 Projection: I see Weeks hitting .255 with 22 HRs, 80 runs, 60 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 2013. He is a 14th-15th round pick in mixed leagues and a 5th round pick in NL only leagues.

11. Danny Espinosa, WAS

You aren't drafting Danny Espinosa for his ability to hit for batting average, you draft him for his double digit power and stolen base potential. Espinosa hit .247-.315-.402 with 17 HRs, 82 runs, 56 RBI and 20 stolen bases last season, but he has a big problem making contact on a consistent basis. He struck out 189 times last season, or about 28.7% of his plate appearances, an increase from his 25.2% rate in 2011. There was talk that the Nationals were not happy with all the strikeouts last season, so I would not be surprised to see him traded or lose some at bats to Steve Lombardozzi in 2013. Espinosa seems to like the warmer weather, as he hit .300 in July and .259 in August, and hit 11 of his 17 HRs in the second half of the season.

2013 Projection: I see Espinosa hitting .250 with 20 HRs, 80 runs, 60 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 2013. I see Espinosa getting drafted in the 10th-11th rounds in mixed leagues and 6th round in NL only leagues.

12. Dan Uggla, ATL

Uggla had an Ugly year in 2012, hitting .220-.348-.384 with 19 HRs, 86 runs and 78 RBI, the worst season of his career. He improved his walk rate from 9.2% to 14.9% last season, but his strikeout rate also jumped, from 23.2% to 26.7%, his worst K rate since 2008. What is even more troublesome is the drop in power. He was a perennial 30 home run hitter, hitting 30+ home runs in five straight seasons, before the power collapse last year. But, one thing he has in his favor is the fact that his 11.4% HR/FB rate was the lowest of his career, so he is due to bounce back to his career average rate of 15.3%. Should he do that, he very well could put up yet another 30 HR season in 2013.

2013 Projection: I see Uggla having a bounce back season in the power category, hitting .250 with 30 HRs, 90 runs and 90 RBI in 2013. I see him being drafted in the 12th-13th round in mixed leagues and in the 4th-5th round in NL only leagues.

13. Neil Walker, PIT

I am higher on Walker than Jason, Bret and Craig, and here is why. Walker was on pace for 18 HRs, 75-80 runs, 80 RBI and 10+ stolen bases last season, to go along with a solid .280 batting average. In 129 games last season, Walker hit .280-.342-.426 with 14 HRs, 62 runs, 69 RBI and 7 stolen bases, so he won't hurt you in any category. I will gladly take double digit home runs and stolen bases with a .275-.285 batting average over an Espinosa or Weeks, who are risks to hit .230.

2013 Projection: I see Walker hitting .285 with 17 HRs, 80 runs, 85 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 2013. I see him being drafted in the 14th-15th round in mixed leagues and 5th round in NL only leagues.

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