Second base has seen a huge infusion of talent in recent years, especially in the American League.
Of course, for as much new talent there is, there is now significant risk involved in selecting one of the past top options at the position, Chase Utley. How far does he fall, with the knee injury hanging over him? Let’s take a look at how things currently stand:
- Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
- Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
- Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
- Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves
- Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays
- Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
- Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers
- Jemile Weeks, Oakland Athletics
- Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
- Dustin Ackley, Seattle Mariners
- Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
- Kelly Johnson, Toronto Blue Jays
- Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels
- Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks
- The Rotoprofessor staff weighed in on who they preferred, Jason Kipnis or Dustin Ackley (which you can read by clicking here). It may surprise many of you, but Kipnis won the debate in overwhelming fashion. Obviously the news that he may open the year hitting seventh does change things a little bit, but Kipnis is still the player I would prefer. He just brings more overall upside (20/20 stuff) at this point in his career.
- Kelly Johnson is quickly growing on me as a solid middle infielder for 2012. There is talk of him hitting second in the Blue Jays’ order. When you couple that with the 20/15 potential he has already shown (21 HR, 16 SB in 2011), there’s an awful lot to like. I know he has had his problems in the average department in the past (.222 last season), but he also has upside in the BABIP department (.277 in ’11). Even if he hits just .265+, with his power and speed he is going to be a solid option.
- Chase Utley represents the ultimate high risk, high reward type option at this point, doesn’t he? We all know what he’s capable of doing, but injuries are already rearing their ugly head. His knee problems have kept him out of spring training thus far and, at this point, will likely cost him at least the start of the season. We all know he’s not the player that he once was, but would it surprise anyone if he performed like one of the better options? I’ve spoken about him before (click here for the post), but consider him at your own risk right now.
- Will Brandon Phillips bat leadoff, or will the Reds instead use Drew Stubbs in that role and hit Phillips in the middle of the lineup? Obviously what we will get out of him will change depending on where he hits, but he’d probably bring much more value hitting in the middle. Keep a close eye on that situation.
- I discussed five second basemen that I would avoid (click here to view) recently. Both Howie Kendrick and Neil Walker found themselves included, so make sure to check it out to find out why.
Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: