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Barney, Ellis, Parrino: Deep League 2B WW Options

Today, I am going to look at some 2B options in deep leagues and, as it worked out, NL-only leagues. These 3 hitters are owned in less than 6% of all leagues, so they should be widely available.

Owned percentages are ESPN and then Yahoo.

Darwin Barney (5%, 6%) – Darwin has had a decent start to the year by hitting .300/.349/.400. These numbers are better than his preseason projection of .273/0.311/.400. Most the increase is not from an increase in BABIP (0.314 in 2011 compared to 0.307 for his career), it is from his improved plate discipline. Here are his BB%, K% and K/BB for each season:

2010: 7%, 14%, 0.5
2011: 4%, 12%, 0.3
2012: 7%, 9%, 0.8

Walk and strikeout rates stabilize fairly quickly, so he may be showing a new level of plate discipline that will help support a higher AVG.

The other factor boosting his counting stats is that he is starting everyday and hitting most of the time, once he hit 8th, in the #2 spot for the Cubs. The top spots in a lineup will get more PAs and the #2 spot is more likely to generate Runs than all but the #1 spot.

Mark Ellis (2%, 3%) – Mark gets most of his value in being the #2 hitter for the Dodgers. Again, the #2 spot is an ideal position for him to generate Runs. He has been on base a decent amount this season (0.356). Much of that value is from his walk rate (11%) and not from his AVG (0.237). Of the 15 times he has been on base this season, he has scored 11 of those times.

Besides Runs, I would not expect much more from Mark this season. The last time he had an ISO over 0.100 was in 2009. He has never stolen over 6 bases in a season. His career AVG is at 0.265. Buy Mark only for the Runs he will generate.

Andy Parrino (0%, 0%) – Andy is starting to get some regular playing time with the Padres. Currently, the 26-year-old switch-hitter is only qualified at 3B, but he has played 3 games at 2B and 2 at SS in 2012. The last 2 games, he has started at 2B.

He has hit decent in just 25 PAs by going .300/.417/.500. These numbers are not close to his projections (ZiPS: .210/.303/.331). His BABIP may seem high at 0.357. He had a BABIP of 0.341 in the minors, so his current value isn’t too out of place.

The main difference from his 2012 stats and his projections is his 20% K%. Most of his projections have his K% near 30% which is actually lower than the 31% value he put up in 55 PA last year. His fantasy value can be maximized if he keeps his K% near 20% or even 25%.

Even if he is not able to keep the strikeouts down and therefore his AVG up, he does have a bit of power that is useful. In 2010, he hit 11 HRs in the minors and in 2011 is was 12 HRs. Already this season, he has been able to hit 1 HR in the majors.

Another plus is that he may end up getting qualified at several positions. He is already qualified at 3B and has games at 2B and SS. In a deep league, he has the potential to be a great Plug-n-Play option.

One problem he currently faces is that he is batting 7th or 8th in the weak hitting Padres lineup. He has been on base 17 times and scored only 3 runs (one on his own HR). As stated earlier, Mark Ellis has scored 11 Runs while getting on base just 15 times. While he has the potential for an OK AVG (with a lower K%) and power, he will not generate many RBIs and Runs by hitting at the end of the Padres lineup.