2nd Basemen: Re-Ranking Top 10
2) Ian Kinsler (Tex) – For the 2nd straight year, Kinsler has been able to stay healthy (knock on wood). When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best fantasy players. His history in the 2nd half shows that there is a fall off, but I’m going to ignore that because he’s usually hurt in the 2nd half. I’m going to go off last year’s numbers which showed improvement in batting average, HRs, RBI, and a major spike in Slugging %. The ball jumps out in Texas in the summer too. Kinsler was starting to heat up prior to the break, so I expect him to carry it over.
3) Dustin Pedroia (Bos) – It’s been a pretty rough year so far for Pedroia and is now on the DL with a thumb injury. He is expected to miss at least 2 more weeks. My main concern is how much will this injury impact his production on the field when he returns? I’d be cautious with Pedroia from here on out, but the reward far outweighs the risk by having him instead of the players listed below him.
4) Jason Kipnis (Cle) – Many owners were skeptical if Kipnis could produce this year the way he did in his short 36 game stint last year. I’m convinced. Granted, the power isn’t the same, but he hits for a good average and actually has more HRs and RBI than Brandon Phillips right now. OBP and Slugging is also better than Phillips. I am convinced he can stay on this pace because there hasn’t been a major spike in numbers in any given month. Granted, May was his best month, but still no major spikes in any number. I believe you will continue to get the same consistency out of Kipnis the rest of the way.
5) Brandon Phillips (Cin) – Some people are under the impression that Phillips isn’t having a typical Brandon Phillips year. Maybe that’s due to his slow start in April, but the reality is Phillips is having his usual year, which is right on cue with his career numbers. He is hitting .280/.322/.428 on the season. His career numbers are .272/.322/.433. He also has 10 HR and 48 RBI at the break, and his average 162 game season is 20 HR and 83 RBI. Right on pace for those numbers (spike in RBI though). Brandon is just Brandon. Don’t worry.
6) Neil Walker (Pit) – Walker was nearly impossible to get out in the 8 games he played in July, but Walker has had a pretty solid, yet quiet year as of now. If he had more power, he would be listed higher, but Walker will give you solid production, especially in average, and will give you a solid OBP (around .350) and decent slugging percentage for a 2B. Not great, but decent. His numbers over his short career are better in the 2nd half than they are in the 1st, and if the Pirates stay in the playoff race, Walker will need to play major role.
7) Aaron Hill (Ari) – Right now Aaron Hill is most known for hitting for the cycle twice two weeks in a row. What people may have failed to notice is his overall numbers have been pretty impressive (.300/.355/.505, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 21 doubles). The only alarming thing I notice though is he is the Carlos Gonzalez of second basemen, meaning his home/road splits are dynamic. Home: .349/.390./.615. Those are fantastic numbers for anyone. Road: .243/.314/.375. Those are not good numbers at all. If he can maintain the overall numbers, he’s a good fantasy player, but I’m skeptical because other than the SLG% his home/road splits were nearly identical in 2011. Expect a regression.
8) Rickie Weeks (Mil) – Yes, Weeks has been beyond awful this year, but he was starting to heat up over the last 3 weeks prior to the break. And although Weeks has the same issue as Kinsler in the 2nd half (injuries), his numbers still improve. IF he stays healthy, and that’s a major if you look at his career, he can play a major role on your team at 2B. But his injury history is the reason he is this low on this list.
9) Howie Kendrick (LAA) - Kendrick came into the 2012 season with high expectations but like almost every second basemen got off to a terrible start. Slowly he is starting to pick it up since April. Since the slow start, Kendrick has batted .290 with a .332 OBP, and .376 Slugging%, although those numbers have climbed each month. I expect his numbers to be more in line with Walkers, although I expect Walker to hit a few more extra base hits.
10) Dan Uggla (Atl) – We know Uggla can hit homeruns, but he’s not hitting them at the pace we are use to as fantasy owners. Put it this way, Uggla only has 3 more HRs than Mike Aviles. Do I think Uggla will improve his HR:AB ratio? Yes, definitely. And that’s why he’s in the top 10. But the reason he is #10 is due to his terrible .221 average. And because he doesn’t get enough base hits, it really affects his slugging and OBP. Uggla will start hitting for a better average in the 2nd half, just realize it may only be for a .250 average.