Fantasy Baseball 2013 NL Only Rankings: Top 20 Second Baseman

Dustin Bradford

Ray Guilfoyle ranks the Top 20 NL only second baseman for 2013, and profiles a few guys who could jump into the Top 5 in 2013.

Last week, we published our NL only and AL only catcher and first base rankings:

NL Only Catcher

AL Only Catcher

NL Only First Base

AL Only First Base

Today, I take a look at my Top 20 Second Baseman for NL-Only leagues for 2013. Other than Brandon Phillips and possibly Aaron Hill, every one on my Top 20 list come with question marks and concerns. Phillips is one of the more consistent fantasy second baseman, and we ranked Phillips as our 7th ranked fantasy second baseman in our 2013 Consensus Second Base Rankings earlier this offseason. I actually ranked Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill ahead of Phillips in the consensus rankings, but have flip-flopped them here, as I ranked Phillips' consistency over Hill's power/speed potential.

After Phillips and Hill, the next 5-6 guys on this list could easily jump into the #3 spot in these rankings, but all have question marks. What can we expect from the 34 year old Chase Utley in 2013? Will he get 500+ at bats, or will his knees limit him again? Is Josh Rutledge the next Danny Espinosa or can he hit for average to go with his power/speed tools?

Let's take a look at my Top 20 Fantasy Second Baseman for NL only leagues this season:

Rank

Player

Age

Tm

1

Brandon Phillips

31

CIN

2

Aaron Hill

30

ARI

3

Neil Walker

26

PIT

4

Chase Utley

33

PHI

5

Rickie Weeks

29

MIL

6

Dan Uggla

32

ATL

7

Josh Rutledge

23

COL

8

Danny Espinosa

25

WSN

9

Marco Scutaro

36

COL

10

Chris Nelson

26

COL

11

Daniel Murphy

27

NYM

12

Logan Forsythe

25

SDP

13

Darwin Barney

26

CHC

14

Mark Ellis

35

LAD

15

Cliff Pennington

28

ARI

16

Daniel Descalso

25

STL

17

Adeiny Hechavarria

23

MIA

18

Ryan Theriot

32

SFG

19

Donovan Solano

24

MIA

20

Jerry Hairston

36

LAD

Here are some thoughts on a few of the second baseman listed above:

Aaron Hill, ARI

Where did the .302 batting average come from? He certainly liked hitting at Chase Field last season, as he hit .321 with 14 of his 26 home runs coming at home. He hit .302 last season after hitting just .205 in 2011 and .246 in 2010. The big jump in batting average was surprising for sure, but prior to 2010, he hit .263 or better in five straight seasons from 2005-2009. What will 2013 bring for Hill? I think more of the same, as he appeared comfortable hitting in the Diamondbacks lineup, but I woudn't be surprised we see a dip in his power numbers

Josh Rutledge, COL

Rutledge had less than 900 minor league at bats before his call up last season, where he took over the shortstop position with Troy Tulowitzki out for the season. Rutledge is slated to move over to second base this season, and probably bat in the 2 hole for the Rockies. He doesn't walk much (3.1%) , which is a concern. He hit .274-.306-.469 with 8 HRs, 20 doubles, 5 triples, 37 runs, 37 RBI and 7 stolen bases in under 300 at bats last season. Hitting in Coors Field certainly aids his power stats, and I think he can put up a 15 home run, 15 stolen base season in 2013.

Danny Espinosa, WAS

It was reported on Saturday that Espinosa played with a torn rotator cuff in 2012, and will play with it in 2013 as well. How will this injury impact his 2013 performance? This from Federal Baseball, the SBN Nationals fan site:

Espinosa had an MRI in mid-September which revealed a bone bruise and swelling, and he had a cortisone shot at the time which lessened the pain, but as he told reporters this afternoon, another examination by Dr. Lewis Yocum, this one done with contrast dye after the season ended and the issue persisted, revealed a full tear of the rotator cuff in his left shoulder which the second-year second baseman said definitely affected his production down the stretch.

He elected to rehab the injury this offseason instead of having surgery, where he would have missed a few months of the season. I would have second thoughts about drafting Espinosa after learning of this news. The shoulder injury could limit his home run totals this season. If you draft Espinosa, make sure you can grab Steve Lombardozzi as well.

Dan Uggla, ATL

Uggla enters 2013 drafts with some question marks of his own. The drop in his power last season was dramatic, and one has to wonder if the drop was real or not. After five straight seasons of 30+ home runs, Uggla hit just 19 last season, hitting just .220-.348-.384 with 86 runs and 78 RBI. His .384 SLG was the first sub-.450 SLG of his career. Uggla turns 33 in March and could be in the beginning of his down years, but fantasy owners won't know that till after drafts have taken place this season. In addition to his drop in power, his batting average dropped as well, and his strikeout rate increased to just under 27%. One positive to take from his 2012 season is the increase in his walk rate from 9.2% to 14.9%. While his 26.7% strikeout rate was tied for 10th among qualified hitters, his walk rate was tied for second in the majors. 2013 will be a telling year for Uggla.

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