Here are the top 30 2B in order and broken up into tiers
Tier 1 – Expected to be one of the top 2B in the league and meeting expectations.
We had Cano as the top rated 2B this season and he is #2 overall right now behind Zobrist. He is hitting for power (8 home runs), average (0.308) and has even swiped a couple of bases. He only had 3 SB last season. My concern always with Cano is his miniscule walk rate which currently stands at 2.7%.
Tier 2 – Expected to be good 2B and meeting expectations
These 4 were predicted to be top 10 2B and currently they are producing like top talent. Zobrist is the biggest surprise out of the group. I expect some regression as the season goes on, but the key will be if he regresses to the 2009 or 2010 version of himself. I don’t see anyone in this group joining Cano at the top unless they really start out producing him.
Tier 3 – Expected to be OK, but performing good -or- expected to be good, but performing OK
Most of this group is performing as good or better than the tier above them. They just don’t have the pedigree of being able to produce at this level consistently in past seasons. The one exception is Pedroia. He just isn’t producing close to what he can. This group, in my opinion, is full of several sell high candidates like Polanco, Aviles and Kendrick.
I decided to divide the fourth tier into 2 groups, players going down (4A) or up (4B). There are definite question marks for anyone in this tier.
Tier 4A – Players not close to meeting season expectations
Whether it is bad luck, injuries or plain suckitude, the players in this group are not performing close to their expectations. This group is definitely the buy low group. The ones I would look to pick up are the ones with low BABIPs like Cuddyer (0.244), Beckham (0.235) and Uggla (0.213). The two that actually scare me, because they are striking out ~1/3 of the time, are Johnson (31.7%) and Raburn (37.4%). Both normally have K% near 25% or less.
I was a huge Utley fan coming into the season and I think he could be a huge asset going forward. The key will be finding a productive substitute for him while you wait for him to come off the DL.
Tier 4B – Players exceeding expectations, but not good enough to break the top tiers.
Generally speaking, this group is full of younger guys that are getting there chance here in 2011. The two I really like out of this group are Espinosa and Herrera. Their stats don’t seemed boosted by a high BABIP.
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