Second Base week is coming to an end today, and we like to end our Rankings week with some sleepers. Here are some National League second base sleepers you should keep your eye on late in your drafts for those of you in deeper NL only leagues or mixed leagues. I will take a look at Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis, Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and Jedd Gyorko.
Mark Ellis, LAD
Ellis doesn't do anything spectacular, but he plays every day and will be batting second in the Dodgers lineup, so he could score plenty of runs in 2013 with Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Etheir hitting behind him. The Dodgers, as a team, struggled to score runs in 2012, but that should change next season. He hit .258-.333-.364 with 7 HRs, 62 runs, 31 RBI and 5 stolen bases last season and I could see his BA and runs scored getting a bump with all those boppers hitting behind him. Then again, I could be slightly biased here. Just a smidge. I see him hitting .270 with 8 HRs, 80 runs, 40 RBI an less than 10 stolen bases in 2013.
Darwin Barney, CHC
Barney might be Ellis' younger twin as they had similar stats in 2012. Barney, hitting in the Cubs decimated lineup, hit-.254-,299-.354 with 7 HRs, 73 runs 44 RBI and 6 stolen bases in 156 games last season. He's an excellent contact hitter, making contact in over 90% of pitches seen, who one year could hit 25-.30 points higher should a few more batted balls fall safely. He improved his strikeout rate from 11.7% to 9.9% and bumped his walk rate from 3.9% to 5.6% last season, so he is showing improvement in his plate discipline. But his BABIP dropped from .310-.273, so we should expect his batting average to increase as his BABIP normalizes closer to .300. I see him hitting .275 with 8 HRs, 75 runs, 45 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 2013.
Jedd Gyorko, SD
Gyorko had a breakout season in AA/AAA last season, hitting a combined .311-.373-.547 with 30 HRs, 80 runs and 100 RBI in 2012, but most of that production came in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He has a real chance to get regular playing time in 2013, most likely at second base, where he played 30 times in AAA last season. Jason Hunt wrote up this piece on him on Wednesday. If he gets regular playing time in 2013, I see him hitting .280 with double digit power and 50-60 RBI in 2013.
Logan Forsythe, SD
if Gyorko doesn't win the second base job out of spring training, it will probably be Forsythe who beat him out. Forsythe hit .273-.343-.390 with 6 HRs, 45 runs, 26 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 350 plate appearances in 2012. He is not a big power hitter, but he could put up double digit home runs with regular playing time next season. He doesn't strike out much and knows how to take the free pass, as he walked in 8.0% of his plate appearances last season. He turns 26 in January, so he may not have many more chances to win a starting job with Gyorko and Cory Spangenberg waiting for their chances in the big leagues as well. I can see Forsythe, assuming he plays every day, hitting .270 with 12 HRs, 65 runs, 55 RBI an 13 stolen bases in 2013.