I previously posted my second base rankings here, and here are my updated Second Base rankings. It will be tough to move Phillies second baseman Chase Utley down in the rankings, but his current injury status gives me pause in projecting him for the 2011 season. There are "safer" picks at second base, so let's take a look.
My updated second base rankings for 2011, with some updated comments:
1. Robinson Cano, NYY-Cano has displaced Chase Utley as the top fantasy second baseman in 2010, as he hit .319-.381-.534 with 29 HRs, 109 RBI, and 103 runs scored. You can write him down for 25 HRs, 90 RBIs and a .300 BA in 2011 and he should maintain the top spot amongst fantasy second baseman in 2011.
2. Dan Uggla, ATL-every fantasy owner has their man-crush, and Uggla is one of mine as I love power hitters at every position. I own him in two keeper leagues now after trading for him in the UBA NL-only league this offseason. Uggla is the Adam Dunn of second baseman, and he has improved his OBP from .326 in 2007 to .369 in 2010. He has hit 30+ HRs in each of the last 4 years, and eclipsed the 100 RBI mark in 2010. I see another 30-95-.260 season from Uggla in 2011, as he will be batting 4th in the Braves lineup with Jason Heyward "protecting" him.
More after the jump:
3. Dustin Pedroia, BOS-Pedroia missed some time in 2010, but still hit .288-.367-.493 with 12 HRs, 41 RBIs and 9 SBs in 351 at bats. Bill James projects him to hit .297-.372-.462 with 17 HRs, 77 RBIs and 16 SBs in 2011. He could see a nice bump in runs scored with Adrian Gonzalez in the middle of the lineup. He could lead the AL in runs scored assuming he hits at the top of the Red Sox lineup.
4. Chase Utley, PHI-I have serious questions about Utley going into 2011, as he hasn't been healthy the last two seasons, and he isn't getting any younger. That was my comment back in December when I originally ranked the second baseman. Utley was given a cortisone shot in his ailing knee this weekend, and Phillies management are very concerned. I am curious if he will need surgery. Utley went for $24 in the LABR NL-only auction last night. If he was healthy, he would have gone $30-35.
5. Rickie Weeks, MIL-Weeks finally had his breakout season in 2010 that fantasy owners have been waiting for, as he hit .269-.366-.464 with 29 HRs, 83 RBIs, 111 runs scored and 11 SBs, but struck out an amazing 184 times. His K% jumped by "only" 1% from 27% to 28%, and he increased his BB% as well-from 7% to 10%. With the new manager Ron Roenicke in Milwaukee, I see him going 20-20 in 2011 assuming good health.
6. Ian Kinsler, TEX-Is 2011 a bounceback season for Kinsler? It very well could. Kinsler's 2010 season was the exact opposite of Rickie Weeks' breakout season as he regressed from his 30-30 season in 2009. Kinsler hit .286-.382-.412 with just 9 HRs, 45 RBIs, 73 runs scored and 15 SBs in his 103 games/391 at bats. He is probably not the 30 HR hitter that he was in 2009, and he's not the 9 HR hitter either. I see him as somewhere in between in 2011, maybe 16-20 HRs, 20+ SBs, and .290 BA should he stay healthy.
7. Kelly Johnson, ARI-KJ is another second baseman who broke out in 2010, as he hit .284-.370-.496 with 26 HRs, 71 RBIs, 93 runs scored and 13 SBs. He is another guy who strikes out alot-148 times in 2010. His K% increased from 18% to 25% in 2010, but he also increased his BB% from 9% to 12%. I could see a small drop in his power numbers in 2011, maybe a 20-65-12 season.
8. Brandon Phillips-I think Phillips is on the downside of his career, or at least his stats are telling you he is. Phillips power has dropped in each of the last 3 years, and he has gone from a 30-30 guy in 2007, to a 20-20 guy in 2008-2009, to a 18-16 guy in 2010. He hit .275-.332-.430 with 18 HRs, 59 RBIs, 100 runs scored and 16 SBs in 2010. He moved up in the order in 2010, but didn't run as much. I wonder if he can return to the 20 SB level in 2011. Dusty Baker has not settled on a rleadoff hitter yet, but if Phillips bats leadoff, he could steal 20+ bases.
9. Martin Prado, ATL-Prado will be moving to the outfield with the Braves acquisition of Dan Uggla in 2011, but is still eligible at 2B. Prado proved that his 2009 season was no fluke, as he hit .307-.350-.459 with 15 HRs, 66 RBIs, and 100 runs scored in 2010. He may not be the power hitter like Uggla or Kelly Johnson, but he will provide a .300 BA and close to 100 runs scored in 2011. His value for 2011 fantasy drafts remains the same, but it will drop in 2012 unless he gets some time at 2B in 2011.
10. Ben Zobrist, TB- Zobrist, like Kinsler, had a down year in 2010 after a breakout season in 2009. Zobrist hit just .238-.346-.353 with 10 HRs, 75 RBIs, 77 runs scored and 24 SBs. He could move up a few spots in these rankings in 2011 if he can improve his power numbers.
11. Aaron Hill, TOR-wow. This guy hit 26 HRs while hitting just .205 with a .196 BABIP in 2010. Hill hit 26 HRs, 68 RBIs and 70 runs scored, and I can see him improving his BA in 2011 and it appears the power is real. If you want a power hitting infielder, Hill is a solid choice. Could return to the 30 HR level in 2011.
12. Neil Walker, PITT-Walker surprised many fantasy owners with an excellent rookie year in 2010, hitting .296-.349-.462 with 12 HRs, 66 RBIs and 57 runs scored in 426 at bats. Walker hit over .300 in 3 of his 5 months in the big leagues in 2010, so he could repeat his 2010 season in 2011 and Bill James seems to agree as he projects him to hit .270-.324-.438 with 16 HRs, 83 RBIs and 11 SBs.
12. a. Gordon Beckham, CHW-Beckham had a disappointing sophomore season in 2010 hitting just .252-.317-.378 with 9 HRs, 49 RBIs and 58 runs scored. Beckham was horrible in the first half of 2010, but he hit over .300 in July and August before slumping to .188 in September. Bill James projects him to hit .273-.343-.436 with 15 HRs, 77 RBIs, and 81 runs scored in 2011. I could see him hitting those numbers as well.