2011 Player Rankings: Second Basemen

For 2011, second base actually seems like a position of depth compared to some other positions such as short stop and third base. The main problem I see with second basemen is that several of the players are qualified at 2 or more positions. Fantasy league managers may look to raid the depth at this position to fill other holes on their roster.

The following is a composite list from all the authors here at RotoGraphs. Here are the second basemen in the order we ranked them and divided into tiers.

Tier 1
Robinson Cano
Chase Utley
Dustin Pedroia

These 3 are for sure the cream of the crop, but each comes with a possible issue. Cano was a stud in 2010, but his low walk rate is a concern because pitchers may expand their strike zones on Cano giving him less good pitches to hit. Utley’s and Pedroia’s wart is their health after spending time on the DL last year.

Tier 2
Ian Kinsler
Dan Uggla
Brandon Phillips
Rickie Weeks
Martin Prado

Of this list Kinsler and Phillips are the most rounded with positive contributions in all 5 categories. Uggla should be great in the counting stats (HR, RBI, R), but his batting average will be a drag. If you draft him, you will want to make sure that you don’t have too many other players with low batting averages (Dunn or Reynolds) to drag down the category. Weeks finally had a healthy in 2011 and he finally showed what he could do. He will probably get drafted too early for my tastes. Prado has decent value, especially for a manger looking for a nice boost in BA.

Tier 3
Ben Zobrist
Kelly Johnson
Brian Roberts
Aaron Hill
Ryan Raburn

This group should all be drafted in any league. The real sleeper for me in this group is Ryan Raburn. He is not available in all formats, but he could be a steal come draft day for owners not looking to fill their 2B needs with him.

Tier 4
Gordon Beckham
Howie Kendrick
Chone Figgins
Neil Walker
Mike Aviles

Each of these players have several bad aspects, but if one or more could put together a good season they could be a top 10 2B at the end of the season. The one person not to forget about is Figgins and his SB. At the end of the draft with your entire team full, Figgins may be a great pickup, even if you don’t need SB. Someone else will later in the season and trade him for voids on your team.

The Rest
Omar Infante
Juan Uribe
Ryan Theriot
Danny Espinosa
Orlando Hudson
Placido Polanco
Sean Rodriguez
Bill Hall
Freddy Sanchez
Reid Brignac
Eric Young Jr.
Clint Barmes
Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Mark Ellis
Carlos Guillen
Alberto Callaspo
Ty Wigginton
Will Rhymes
Alexei Casilla
Dustin Ackley
Chris Getz
Blake DeWitt
Skip Schumaker

This group is pretty ugly, but there are some names I would definitely take a chance with in deeper leagues like Nishioka, Barmes, Young and Infante. The one stat I look for with backup or fill in 2nd basemen (or any player up the middle, CF, SS, 2B and C) is batting average. If the player’s average is higher than your team’s, pick them up for plug and play when other hitters have a day off. Some examples are Polanco, Callaspo, Sanchez and Infante. They will help your team raise its average, while possibly adding to the counting stats. If they have another trait like speed or power, all the better.

Well, there are the 2011 rankings for 2nd basemen here are Rotographs. Let me know if you have any questions on any of the particulars.




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Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

24 Responses to “2011 Player Rankings: Second Basemen”

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eno Sarris and Troy Underwood, fantasynewsman. fantasynewsman said: RotoGraphs: 2011 Player Rankings: Second Basemen http://bit.ly/eOC175 #Fantasy #Baseball [...]

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  2. gu03alum says:

    Good rankings. I agree with you about Figgins and I think he could even be a top 10 to 15 2B by the end of the year. He really hit well the last two months of the season. He had a couple of bad months last year and has hit well in the past. I think that he will bounce back and with Smoak and Cust hitting behind him in the lineup he might score a few runs.

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  3. apetz6 says:

    Raburn’s performance is largely determined by his level of confidence. I guess we will see how confident he is with a guaranteed starting spot and 2 year deal.

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  4. Dingo says:

    I don’t understand why people seem to think that 2B is deeper than 3B this year. Just comparing your two lists, Prado shows up as the 8th 2B but the 10th 3B.

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  5. Douglas says:

    Alright, he is nothing special and would be in the others group but not to mention Jeff Keppinger at all is not right :O) He hit .288/.351/.393 last season.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Personally, I have at 35th. He can put up above average BA for 2nd basemen. He could easily fall in the plug and play category for 2nd basemen depending on the batting average of your team.

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  6. Chris says:

    What about Lowrie and Scutaro? Both have 2B eligibility in Yahoo leagues. They may have playing time issues, but Lowrie was pretty solid last year when he played.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      Talent wise, I have them near Keppinger, but PA is going to be the killer the with them. Once the playtime situation become clear, they could move up.

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  7. Ogre39666 says:

    No Daniel Murphy or Brad Emaus?

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  8. dudley says:

    is Raburn starting? i thought he was going to be the weak-side of an OF platoon and utilityman backup. i’d definitely consider drafting him anywhere after the 15th round if he looks likely to get 600 PAs (health permitting).

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  9. jswede says:

    Prado had 150 less ABs in the 2nd half vs the 1st, as he got hurt. he was on a 115/18/75 pace in the first half, and batted .307 overall. he’s now 27 and the trends are all in the right direction. he’s slipping in a lot of drafts. just saying.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I have Prado as the 5th best 2nd basemen in projectable talent (HR/PA, BA/PA, SB/PA). I will be looking to pick him up in a few drafts I am in, especially auction.

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  10. Pdiddy31 says:

    What?!?! Raburn a tier above Beckham? Pass the peace pipe.

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    • Jeff Zimmerman says:

      I am using a composite of 4 projections, they have Beckman and Raburn dead even on BA (0.269 vs 0.270) and SB (5.83 vs 5.65), but HRs are 13.7 vs 17.5. Also Beckman is supposed to put up those numbers 509 PA vs 452 PA.

      I am not ready to project playing time yet, but given the same number of AB, Raburn projects to be the better player.

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  11. Briant says:

    Love the Raburn pick. I know Yahoo has him as 2b but ESPN does not.

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  12. [...] homers and 38 steals. The steals alone would get him drafted pretty high, probably no lower than Tier 3 of our 2B rankings. CAIRO is a slightly more pessimistic, calling for .273/.346/.400 with ten homers and 19 steals. [...]

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  13. [...] Thursday, Jeff rolled out our composite second base rankings and we’ve since looked at Risers, Top Targets, and the bargain bin. All three of the gents [...]

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  14. [...] the 2011 Player Rankings outlined, there are a lot of risks at second base this season. Much of these risks are injury [...]

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  15. [...] could potentially fill either and in becoming eligible at 2b, he probably sneaks somewhere into a respectable tier, and may very well start for your squad – even standard 12 team leagues. It’s been well [...]

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  16. [...] compared to the list that we put out at the beginning of the year, here are a couple interesting [...]

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  17. [...] the beginning of the season, the authors here at Fangraphs created a preseason composite ranking of 2nd basemen. Since then several 2B, not included at all on the original list, have emerge as fantasy options [...]

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  18. [...] the same number of at bats, in runs scored, but that is only by 0.1% per PA. Going into the season, some crazy people may have had Dustin as a better option at 2B, but just looking at projections, Phillips looks to be [...]

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