In The Fantasy Fix's newest series, 2011 Fantasy Baseball Great Debate, our writers discuss two positional players and try to convince you which player to pick first on draft day. In this article we compare the two second basemen, Dustin Pedroia and Dan Uggla.
Why to go with Uggla:
It’s difficult to find a player at any position who has been more consistent in the power department from year to year than Dan Uggla. In five full seasons, Uggla has averaged nearly 31 HR and 93 RBI. He put up these numbers playing half of his games in front of fans dressed as empty seats and hitting in a lineup with little to no protection. In fact, Uggla was the protection for the Marlins’ star player, Hanley Ramirez.
In addition to his impressive power numbers, Uggla managed to post career highs in batting average (.287), on-base percentage (.369) and OPS (.877). This was all accomplished while playing in 159 games last season. In fact, he’s only missed a total of 34 games in five full seasons, proving to be quite durable.
As for Pedroia, he missed 87 games last year and another 36 in his three previous full seasons. His highest power output was in ’08 when he hit 17 HR with 83 RBI. Furthermore, Pedroia’s averages for the previous four seasons are 13 HR and 61 RBI.
Pedroia does hold an edge over Uggla in the stolen bases category. Of course, at 5’ 11’ and 207 lbs., Uggla certainly is no threat on the base paths, posting a high of six stolen bases back in ’06. But then again, neither are most power hitters who bat in the middle of the lineup.
In addition, Pedroia’s career batting average sits at .305 versus Uggla’s .263. However, last season they hit .288 and .287, respectively. Uggla’s increasing walk rate and OBP over the past few seasons suggest that he should be able to maintain a higher batting average.
Also, the move to Turner Field, where Uggla owns a career .354 average and a ridiculous OPS of 1.051 can only benefit him. As will hitting in a lineup with some “real” protection (McCann, Jones, Prado, Heyward and Freeman).
In summary, among all major league second basemen, Uggla was the leader in home runs, was second to only Robinson Cano (by four) in RBI, was sixth in BA, fourth in OBP and second in SLG% as well as OPS. This performance, on top of his impressive career track record, his durability and upside potential with the move to Turner Field, makes him the clear choice over Dustin Pedroia.
Written exclusively for www.thefantasyfix.com by Rosti Satanovsky
Why to go with Pedroia