Pod’s Picks: Second Base

All this week I have been checking in on the players I have ranked most differently from the other RotoGraphers in our recently published consensus. Today are the second basemen, a group that doesn’t have a whole lot of good late round sleepers like the shortstop position does. So maybe instead you pick an undervalued guy in the middle rounds that I identify in the bullish section. That section will include guys I ranked in the top 18, while the bearish will look at those ranked in the top 18 by the consensus.


Chase Utley

My Rank: 13 | Consensus: 18

Most certainly playing time related. Utley hasn’t received more than 425 at-bats since 2009, yet I’m projecting him for 450. We haven’t heard anything injury related whatsoever so far, so I’m optimistic that he will post a four year high in at-bats. He still possesses a nice power/speed combination, and if his bad BABIP luck ever reverses, he might even contribute in batting average and be a true five category middle infielder.

Dan Uggla

My Rank: 16 | Consensus: 21

This surprises me greatly. When Uggla was still good (i.e., pre-2012 Uggla), I thought he was routinely overvalued as fantasy owners weren’t properly accounting for his poor batting average and lack of steals at a speed heavy position. Now I guess the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. I am not expecting any kind of big rebound, but a home run total in the mid-20s, along with a .240 average.

Aaron Hill

My Rank: 5 | Consensus: 9

I get it, just like Alex Rios, another name I seem to like more than everyone else (yet somehow haven’t drafted him in any of my two expert leagues), Hill has been wildly inconsistent. But has he really been? If we chalk up his 2011 season to a fluky poor season, whether due to injury or something else, he has shown similar skills since 2009. Yeah, his 2010 batting average was atrocious, but that was due to a ridiculous .196 BABIP, which was due in part to a 54% fly ball rate and 11% line drive rate, both of which won’t occur again. He has a good chance to once again contribute in all five categories.


Daniel Murphy

My Rank: 21 | Consensus: 16

I am not entirely sure what the explanation is behind this difference, as my projection is pretty much in line with the rest of the systems. It’s possible the other rankers are expecting a higher at-bat total than the 550 I projected, which is reasonable given that he should be hitting second. But, his defense stinks and his offense is nothing special, so I had to factor in the chance that he loses some playing time.

Dustin Ackley

My Rank: 20 | Consensus: 17

He is another name I am somewhat surprised to see, though maybe the other rankers see more improvement this year than I am projecting. I do see a sizable batting average rebound (to .258), but the rest of his statistics I am forecasting similar totals. Depending on how the new ballpark dimensions play, he could surprise in the power department so I may end up being very wrong here. The Mariners also might have a very respectable offense this time around.

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Mike Podhorzer produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

9 Responses to “Pod’s Picks: Second Base”

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  1. cmi0222 says:

    Keeper question somewhat related to 2b: What is your take on Kipnis v. Felix Hernandez (straight keeper league, no draft position penalty)? SP is so deep, 2b not so much, so I am leaning Kipnis. Their ADPs at mock draft central are about even (Kipnis 49 and Felix 50).

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    • Scott says:

      I’m in a similar situation with Sabathia and Kipnis, and I haven’t given it a second thought. Pitching may be deep, but it’s not deep with guys that will reliably give you 220 top-notch innings. IMHO that’s worth more than the 3rd or 4th best player at any position.

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    • Ruki Motomiya says:


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  2. supershredder says:

    I’m pretty surprised that Ackley projections from everyone seem so low this year. Not sure what the guy has done/is doing that makes people so pessimistic. I get playing on the Mariners doesn’t help his case, but playing for crappy teams shouldn’t hurt someone that much. I just contributed last year to a sophomore slump. Is there something in his peripheral or profile that suggests another poor season?

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  3. Ender says:

    Yeah I think the Ackley projections are low too. I think the injury really slowed him down last year. He cut his K% down in the 2nd half and everything else in his track record suggests he profiles as a .270+ hitter. I’d be pretty surprised if he doesn’t hit over .250 this year.

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  4. deezy333 says:

    I’m all about Hill this year. Also read reports that Arizona changed his hand position which lead to a power spike and more consistency.

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  5. Tommy says:

    You nailed all three of my sleeper 2B in this article. I aimed to land either Uggla, Utley, or Hill in my most important draft, with the plan of waiting for 2 to drop and taking the 3rd. I got Uggla.

    In a league with OBP rather than BA, his career 0.344 OBP looks rather attractive. Throw in around 25 HR, 75-80 Runs and RBIs (each), and 3-4 steals (he had 4 in 2012 and 2010, so it’s not ludicrous to expect).

    What’s that spell? A starting 2B.

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