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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eric Young Jr.
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.