Fantasy Baseball 2009 has started.
I want to talk about the second baseman—a position that is overlooked, in my opinion.
2B is a position with limited quality and production. You will need to draft a solid 2B player early or you will not get strong value.
Do you draft a 2B first round? Not necessarily, but definitely try in the second or third depending on remaining value left on the board.
Let's get right into who my top five picks at second base would be.
1. Ian Kinsler
Kinsler is a young stud. The only thing to slow him down last year was a late season injury. Production is not a question with Kinsler. He provides .300+ batting average, decent home runs for a leadoff man, steals very well, and scores runs with the best.
Despite playing for a poor team record-wise in Texas, the Rangers offense ranked No. 1 in runs scored in 2008. Kinsler is a smart choice as the first second baseman selection.
2. Chase Utley
Utley was a tough guy to place at No. 2, because he could easily be interchangeable with Kinsler. One reason I slipped Utley here was I think Kinsler is set for an huge year and Utley will stick with his tailored numbers. And they are solid.
Utley finished last season a bit under .300, but will most likely return to the mark this season. His home run value is the best of all 2B, 33 last season. Utley will provide you with strong RBI.
Utley will not dazzle you with his ability to steal. With a high-powered Phillies offense, Utley will surely add many runs to his stats. Chase Utley, a solid pick at No. 2.
3. Dustin Pedroia
Coming off an impressive 2008 campaign, reigning American League M.V.P. Dustin Pedroia settles in securely as my third ranked second baseman. Pedroia really came into his own last year. He's confident and plays with a swagger.
Pedroia bats well into the .300s and will get you around 20 to 25 stolen bases. Scoring runs comes natural playing for the Red Sox.
The small guy he is, his power is underrated. Pedroia is capable of 20 home runs and 85 RBIs. Take this guy if Kinsler and Utley are gone.
4. Brian Roberts
Roberts is a speedster. His special attribute is stealing bases. If Roberts remains healthy, the newly re-signed Oriole will swipe between 40 and 50 bags. Add to that a consistent .300 batting average and over 100 runs scored. Roberts won't blow you away with his power or ability to drive in runs.
5. Brandon Phillips
Phillips makes the final cut in my top five. He had his best season in 2007, but dropped a tad in '08. If Phillips can return to hitting above .285, it increases his value. They guy has the talent to put up 30 and 30 as he proved in '07.
It's more likely he reaches 30+ stolen bases than home runs, but his power isn't in question. Phillips provides sufficient runs scored, averaging over 90 the last two seasons. At this point it's a manager's personal decision, but I say Phillips won't let you down if my top four are off the board.
Chone Figgins, Angels - Good for steals. Decent average last season. No power.
Dan Uggla, Marlins - Solid power, but poor batting average hurts his value.