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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Review of Preseason Second Base Rankings

Here is the third in the series where I review my preseason position rankings  and today I review my preseason Second Base rankings that I posted back in early March here. Second base appears to be a position where the top 5 or 6 guys are drafted pretty high, and the rest are scattered in the middle and late rounds of most fantasy drafts.

Onto my review of my 2011 preseason Second Base Rankings:

1. Robinson Cano, NYY-Cano had another excellent season for fantasy owners, hitting .302-.349-.533 with 28 HRs, 118 RBI, 104 runs scored and 8 stolen bases. I think Cano can eclipse the 30 HR level in 2012, as his power in growing. Here is his 4 year ISO/SLG/HR trend:

2008 - .139/.410/14

2009 - .199/.520/25

2010 - .214/.534/29

2011 - .231/.533/28

The rest of my review of my preseason Second Base Rankings after the jump:

2. Dan Uggla, ATL- Uggla was one of the worst hitters in baseball in the first half, hitting just .185-.257-.365 with 15 HRs and driving in 34, but turned it on in the second half where he hit .296-.379-.569 with 21 HRs and drove in 48 runs. His 36 HRs this season were a career high, and has a bit of Prince Fielder in him as well. By that I mean, his BABIP has fluctuated from > .300 one year to < .300 the next. Here are his BABIP/BA splits for the last 5 years:

2006 - .309/.282

2007 - .279/.245

2008 - .320/.260

2009 - .274/.243

2010 - .330/.287

2011 - .253/.233

See the trend?

3. Dustin Pedroia, BOS- Pedroia lead all second baseman with an 8.0 WAR this season, and had a great year at the plate. He hit .307-.387-.474 with 21 HRs, 91 RBI, 102 runs and 26 SBs hitting all over the Red Sox lineup. Pedroia hit more ground balls this year than he has in any one season in the big leagues, and his line drive rate was his lowest since 2007, yet he still managed to his over .300 and his BABIP was .325. Does he have a .330 BA season in him in 2012?

4. Chase Utley, PHI-Utley missed significant time due to a knee injury, but came back to hit .259-.344-.425 with 11 HRs, 44 RBI, 54 runs and 14 SBs in 398 at bats. Utley will be 33 years old in December, and his power has dropped in each of the last 3 years. Here is his ISO/SLG trend:

2008 - .244/.545

2009 - .226/.508

2010 - .169/.445

2011 - .166/.425

Like teammate Ryan Howard, his power is dropping as he gets older, and the Phillies may want to think about moving him from second base to left field possibly.

5. Rickie Weeks, MIL - I thought Weeks would run more this season, especially after manager Ron Roenicke said in spring training that the team would be more aggressive on the basepaths this season. Instead, Weeks basically duplicated his 2010 performance at the plate:

2010 - .269-.366-.464, 29 HRs, 83 RBI, 112 RBI, 11 SBs, 651 ABs

2011 - .269-.350-.468, 20 HRs, 49 RBI, 77 runs, 9 SBs, 453 ABs

6. Ian Kinsler, TEX - Kinsler put up his second 30-30 season of his career, hitting .255-.355-.477 with 32 HRs, 77 RBI, 121 runs and 30 SBs. Kinsler puts up very strange BABIP seasons, as both of his 30-30 seasons have been accomplished with BABIPs of .241 and .243. 

7. Kelly Johnson, TOR - Johnson put up a horrible triple slash line of .222-.304-.413 but still helped fantasy owners in the other 4 categories as he hit 21 HRs, drove in 58, scored 75 runs and stole 16 bases.

8. Brandon Phillips, CIN-Phillips exceeded my expectations, or, in other words, I was down on him and he made me look bad. Phillips hit .300-.353-.457 with 18 HRs, 82 RBI, 94 runs and 14 SBs this season. Gone are the days of 20+ stolen bases, but he hit .300 for the first time in his career, mainly due to a career high BABIP of .322. He should be higher than 8th in our 2012 Second Base Rankings, but his value will take a hit if he leaves the Reds, as he is a free agent this offseason.

9. Martin Prado, ATL- fantasy owners looking for Prado to hit .300 were disappointed this season, as he hit just .260-.302-.385 with 13 HRs, 57 RBI, and 66 runs scored. Prado was unlucky at the plate this year as his BABIP fell from .335 in 2010 to .266, and his line drive rate took a nasty dive from 21.0% to 14.6% this season. I think he returns to being a .290-.300 hitter in 2012.

10. Ben Zobrist, TB- Zobrist bounced back from a down 2010 season, hitting .269-.353-.469 with 20 HRs, 91 RBI, 99 runs and 19 SBs this season. Zobrist is a top 5-6 second baseman in 2012.

11. Aaron Hill, ARI- Hill followed his bad 2010 season by hitting .246-.299-.356 with 8 HRs, 61 RBI, 61 runs and 19 SBs this season. His power fell off a cliff this season and one has to wonder if it is gone forever. Hill was traded to the Diamondbacks for Kelly Johnson and proceeded to hit .315-.386-.492 with 2 HRs, 16 RBIs and 5 SBs in 124 at bats playing in the desert. The Diamondbacks have a club option for $8 million in 2012 and 2013 that will almost certainly be denied.

12. Neil Walker, PIT-Walker had a solid season at the plate for the Buccos hitting .273-.334-.408 with 12 HRs, 83 RBI, 76 runs and 9 SBs. He won't hit for much more power than this, but 80+ RBI from your second baseman is gold. 

12.a. Gordon Beckham, CHW-  what the heck happened to this guy? Beckham had an excellent rookie season, but has underperformed expectations in each of the last two seasons. In 2011, he hit .230-.296-.337 with 10 HRs, 44 RBI, 60 runs and 5 SBs. Does he break out in 2012?