Once upon a time in fantasy baseball, second base was shallower than Paris Hilton at a Larry the Cable Guy event. It was as epic as Mariah Carey’s movie, “Glitter.”
Now, the position has morphed into so much more. It has drama, glitz, and glamor. It’s a regular Oscar contender. I’ll call it “The Good, The Bad and The Uggla.”
As in Dan Uggla? The guy that everyone overlooks on draft day, yet continues to put up some of the most under-appreciated stats in the sport? Yeah, that guy.
1. Robinson Cano, NYY. We’ll get to Uggla in a moment. Cano broke out in a big way last season. He had 29 homers, 109 RBI, and hit .319. He bats in one of the most feared lineups in baseball. The only thing Cano doesn’t do is steal bases. You learn fast at this position that different second basemen give you different things. First base is typically a power position, shortstop, a speed position; second base has both, and Cano’s patience at the plate is something very valuable in a league filled with guys who spend more time swinging for the fences on every pitch instead of patiently waiting for some fresh meat.
2. Chase Utley, PHI. Man, I remember when ranking this guy high at the second base position was much easier. Now, I waffled numerous time between him and any of the next several guys on the list. Utley has tons of potential. He can hit for power. He can steal bases. But he’s also had four consecutive seasons of declining batting average. His homers and steals and batting average were all similar to Brandon Phillips’ last year. Except, look closer at the numbers and realize that Utley had 200 less at-bats than Phillips. And Utley plays for a much better team. The whole Phillies offense is due to rebound.
Which of these players were robbed and should be ranked in the Top 4 of the position?
3. Dan Uggla, ATL. Here he is. The guy who will be drafted much lower than here in most leagues, but will again produce stats that buoy him to the top of the second base pool. Few second basemen have hit 30 homers in a season or two. Uggla had his fourth-consecutive 30-plus home run season in 2010. His batting average was concerning, but he improved his plate discipline to the tune of .287 in 2010. He had 105 RBI and 100 runs scored for the Florida Marlins last year. That’s like a guy who can build a Ford Mustang at a golf cart factory. The kicker? Uggla now plays for the Atlanta Braves and their retooled offensive lineup. Don’t miss the boat.
4. Brandon Phillips, CIN. Not as high of ceiling for Phillips as there is for Ian Kinsler, who is coming next, but Philips’ consistency is definitely worth something. He hits double digit homers, has double-digit steals for the past five seasons. He has hit around .270 for quite some time now. If you can get him at the right spot in drafts this year, as others grab more flashy options, than you’ll do just fine with Phillips.
Check out the rest of my fantasy baseball 2011 early second base rankings here.
And, our current Top 10 overall fantasy baseball players per ADP.
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