Typically thinner than a sheet of commercial toilet paper in a public restroom, the second-base talent pool suddenly has gone all three-ply Quilted Northern Ultra Plush on us.
Sure, Chase Utley is a statistical beast. Yes, we all know that Ian Kinsler is coming off a 30/30 (HR/SB) season.
You can have them both.
While you are picking your elite 2B trophy player, I’ll be snagging a catcher, enduring some eye-rolls from the fantasy veterans in the room, and then will take one of many sleeper second basemen in a later round.
And, I’d be willing to bet a roll of Charmin Ultra Soft that you’ll be scratching your head on championship day wondering what went wrong.
It will be because I drafted one of these guys.
Brian Roberts is historically undervalued in fantasy baseball. Not sure why. Still, as much as I’d like to have him, he’s still projected to be drafted in the third or fourth round of fantasy leagues. A little too rich for my stingy middle-infield blood this season. If, for some crazy reason, he falls into the fifth or sixth rounds, jump on him and don’t look back.
Jose Lopez will have a breakout season. He wasn’t too shabby in 2009, seeing his home run total improve for the second consecutive year. He finished the season on fire, going .287 with five long balls and 56 RBI in September alone. The Mariners are a much-improved team after arguably the best offseason in baseball. Lopez will be a sneaky-good value on draft day.
Speaking of values, most people don’t even know who Martin Prado is. Welcome to the starting second-sacker for the Atlanta Braves. He finished 2009 with a .307 batting average after replacing Kelly Johnson.
In fact, Prado was .290 with seven homers and 31 RBI after the All-Star break. While he may not offer the power of Lopez, his batting average has consistently been over .300 in the majors. The real icing on the cake is that Prado is also eligible at 1B and 3B in most fantasy servers, giving fantasy owners some flexibility.
Fantasy owners can be blinded by injuries, and I think Asdrubal Cabrera’s draft day value may be enhanced by his shoulder injury last June that disrupted what was looking like a true fantasy breakout. Cabrera hit over .300 in April and May before the injury, and did his share in stolen bases and runs scored.
After returning, he didn’t show any signs of slowing down. In August, he was a scorching .370 at the plate. I look at Cabrera as Brian Roberts-lite...the “lite” being in the power department. However, I can live with that based on his potential in other categories.
After last season, Milwaukee Brewers' brass have to be celebrating their preseason acquisition of then-rookie Casey McGehee from the Cubs. Sixteen home runs and a .301 average in what was mostly spot starts is nothing to overlook. McGehee has the inside track for the Brewers' starting third base job, but will still be eligible at second in most fantasy formats.
The force is strong with this one. Don’t forget to snag him at the end of your draft.
Rickie Weeks has developed a reputation as a fantasy tease. So much amazing potential, so many disappointments for fantasy owners. However, Weeks finally seemed to be putting it all together at the beginning of 2009 before wrist injury in May abruptly ended Weeks’ early-season breakout.
He’s a guy you’ll need to watch this spring before committing a late draft pick on him, but could be a nice project player who could come up big if he can avoid injury for a full season.
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