Fantasybaseball.com defines a “bargain” as a player that has the potential to significantly outperform his Average Draft Position. Second base is the stronger of the two middle infield positions and for that reason a lot of owners will use two of them on their active roster. Take a look at each fantasybaseball.com writers’ best value pick for second base.
Aaron Hill. Because everyone else is going to argue he’ll be a bust. Sure he won’t be as good, but this guy is a really good hitter and owners are discounting him too much right now. You don’t see second basemen in the prime of their career who just hit 36 home runs come around too often.
This is a deep group and I am going against all statistics and I admit this is a semi-educated hunch but I an expecting a major rebound from (drum roll please) Kelly Johnson. He was horrible last year, suffered some injuries and an off-season trade to Arizona all scream to me, REBOUND. He hit 43 points higher in the second half of 09. An upside of 15-20 HR’s, 20 sb’s and a .270+ average is not out of the question. A great buy-low candidate.
Howie Kendrick seems like a perennial sleeper, but as I looking at whom had the best post-all star break average, Mr. Kendrick’s name appeared. It seems like full time at bats is what Howie needs. His pre-all star break average was a horrible .239. After getting called back from AAA and got full time ab’s, he posted a wicked .358 to end the year. Kendrick is still a 3rd tier 2B guy, because he needs to improve his power and speed numbers. But I would put my chip on Kendrick who has a career .301 average in the big leagues over the other sleeper pick Rickey Weeks and his .247 career average.
Jose Lopez represents the next tier of second basemen this season. I love Lopez’ prospects coming off a season where he mashed 25 HR. With Figgins hitting in front of him, expect him to improve on his 96 RBI. If you miss out on the elite talent (Utley, Kinsler, & Phillips), waiting on Lopez is a sound strategy. Lopez can be had at a far greater value than the likes of Aaron Hill and Dustin Pedroia, while producing similar stat lines.
Chris “Big Dawg” McDonnell
After some disappointing years, Scott Sizemore finally started living up to expectations in 2009. Splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A, he finished his minor league year hitting .308 with 17 HR and 21 SB – not too shabby for a middle infielder. He looks to start the year with the second base job in Detroit all to himself.
Placido Polanco’s fantasy fortunes changed a lot in my eyes once he signed with Philadelphia. I had similar feelings about Raul Ibanez last year and he turned out to be a steal until he suffered a midseason injury. Polanco is moving to a more friendly park and a stronger lineup. He will either hit right in front of Philadelphia’s elite hitters or right after them. Either way, he won’t have too much pressure and should see some good pitchers. If he can stay healthy this year I think provide solid numbers and his 2B and 3B eligibility will be an asset.
This is a position that could have very little depth, so owners really need to know their options. How about Ian Stewart? With Garrett Atkins off to Baltimore, Stewart will be the everyday 3B for the Rockies. However, he played 21 games at 2B in 2009 so he is 2B-eligible for 2010. He has displayed major league power but needs to improve on the average. With an extra year of experience and the comfort of knowing he will be the every day 3B, I look for him to hit .270, with 25-30 HR and a balance of 80 runs and 80 RBI’s. Not bad for a guy you can get later in most drafts because of his horrible 2009.
Martin Prado took over 2B during the second half of the 2009 season and he made his presence known. He ended the season batting .307 with 11 HRs and 49 RBIs. Another positive for Prado is his multi-position eligibility at 1B and 3B. Prado will not have any competition at 2B this season and as a result, he could very well have 16 HRs and 65 RBIs to end the season.