2011 Fantasy Baseball: Dominate Your Draft with the Best Second Base Sleepers

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2011

Aaron Hill and his .205 batting average have 2011 fantasy drafters scared. They should be more focused on the .196 BABIP, which suggests he is in store for a big bounce back this season.
Aaron Hill and his .205 batting average have 2011 fantasy drafters scared. They should be more focused on the .196 BABIP, which suggests he is in store for a big bounce back this season.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The headache was more like a jackhammer slamming around in my skull. I could barely walk, barely think, as I stumbled into Wal-Mart to find some relief. The first pain reducer I came to was Aleve. A 100-count bottle of 220 mg pain-fighting assistance.

I grabbed them, coughed up the $8.38 plus tax and popped a pill as soon as I got to the car.

My next headache came three days later, when I realized that Wal-Mart sold generic Naproxen Sodium in 100-count bottles at the same dosage for $3.30. I paid more than double what I should have.

On draft day, you don’t want to be that guy that overspent on a perceived stud when there are great values in the later rounds. Some of my personal value guys this year at second base include:


Ian Kinsler, TEX

Kinsler is currently being drafted, on average, in the fourth to fifth round. When you consider he has first-round talent, the value here is apparent.

However, the elephant in the room is his injury-riddled 2010 season, where he finished with just nine homers and 15 stolen bases in 291 at-bats.

So, taking Kinsler presents a risk. Current signs from Texas suggest Kinsler should be ready and raring to go this season. Recent news mentions that Kinsler will be batting leadoff for the Rangers this season, which is where he hit during Thursday’s intrasquad game.

On the surface, this should indicate a bounce-back season from a speed standpoint as long as Elvis Andrus stays at the No. 2 slot. It should also boost Kinsler’s runs scored.

At this point, I’d take Kinsler at the current ADP on the chance that he stays healthy for most of 2011. However, watch his stock this spring. If he shows he is on track health-wise during spring training, owners may get a little bolder on draft day and take him higher.


Aaron Hill, TOR

That pitiful .205 batting average over 528 at-bats is killing Hill’s fantasy draft stock in 2011.

That, for we sneaky ninjas, is a good thing. Even during his “off year,” he still hit 26 homers. He also had an MLB-low .196 BABIP, suggesting he was excessively unlucky during the 2010 campaign. That is something that should definitely change over time. For more on his BABIP and longer terms stats, check out my second base rankings.

The key here for Hill, and for all of us fantasy value seekers, is that he’s being drafted on average in the late, late rounds. Much later than a proven power hitter should fall. There is little doubt in my mind that he’ll be a solid value selection in 2011 drafts.


Gordon Beckham, CWS

Want a good way to find possible sleeper/value players? Look for young guys with tons of talent who’ve dealt with there share of growing pains.

Beckham is one such player. Just 24, he has plenty of major league career in front of him. This season, he’s hitting in front of both Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko. A perfect spot to be in a hitter-friendly environment.

On top of that, Ozzie Guillen recently mentioned that he wants Beckham to run more. To be a threat on the basepaths. While he has accumulated just 11 steals in two partial seasons, Beckham was pretty adept at swiping bags while in college at Georgia.

Considering Beckham is falling into the final rounds (and not even drafted in some leagues), he is so worth a flyer based on potential alone.


For more on second base rankings, check out my comments and current list. And don’t miss our solid commentary on second base ADP rankings.

My full positional rankings include: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP

My other value players, sleeper picks at other positions so far: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP

For all your hard-hitting fantasy baseball and fantasy football advice, go to www.chinstrapninjas.com