Fantasy Baseball 2B Preview: Robinson Cano Steals the Show
Fantasy Baseball: There are only nine clear starters at 2B in many leagues. But some leagues, such as Yahoo!, give 2B eligibility to Michael Young and Michael Cuddyer. So how shallow 2B is depends on your league.
2B is not the speed position it has been in the past. Of the 11 top choices, as shown in the first three tiers, only three players (Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler and Ben Zobrist) had 18 steals, while all but two players (Young and Chase Utley) had 18 HR.
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Ian Kinsler, Rangers
Cano is expected to bat third in the powerhouse Yankee lineup. With career highs in HR, RBI and steals, Pedroia had a year on par with his MVP 2008. He hit .334 in the second half. Kinsler avoided a DL stint for the first time and had his second 30-30 in three seasons.
Dan Uggla, Braves
Ben Zobrist, Rays
Brandon Phillips, Reds
Michael Young, Rangers (not eligible in all leagues)
Uggla’s BA at the break was just .185; after the break, it was .296. But he hit 30 HR for the fifth straight year, which is unprecedented for a 2B. Zobrist missed 20-20 by one SB. Phillips hit .300, but not only are his steals declining, but along with his 30 SB over the last two years, he has been thrown out 21 times. If Young is eligible at 2B in your league, his 11 HR, while the lowest of anyone in the first three 2B tiers, is more acceptable at 2B than at the corner IF spots where he is eligible. Young’s .338 BA and 105 RBI were career highs.
Howard Kendrick, Angels
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies (not eligible in all leagues)
Rickie Weeks, Brewers
Chase Utley, Phillies
Kendrick hit 10 of his career-high 18 HR in just 197 PA while batting second. He was usually hitting ahead of Bobby Abreu. This year, Kendrick may hit second again, but this time he’ll be batting in front of Albert Pujols.
Cuddyer hit 20 HR playing his home games in Minnesota; now he gets to play in Colorado. But Cuddyer, who turns 33 later in March, has only hit 20 HR three times in his career, so a lot more power is not guaranteed, even in Coors.
The injury-prone Weeks missed a lot of time with a sprained ankle, only playing in 118 games. The 29-year-old Weeks has only played in more than 118 games twice in his career. This spring, his ankle is still not 100% and he is being bothered by shoulder tightness. Weeks scored 112 runs in 2010 when he was healthy all year, but Prince Fielder is no longer in the Brewers’ lineup.
Utley has missed 106 games over the last two years. He just turned 33 and has chronic knee pain. Last year, Utley hit .259, and just .187 against lefties.
Dustin Ackley, Mariners
Kelly Johnson, Blue Jays
Jemile Weeks, A’s
Neil Walker, Pirates
Ackley was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft behind Stephen Strasburg. But while he has great upside, the 24-year-old has not put up flashy numbers so far in his brief time in the majors. Ackley may start the year batting second in front of Ichiro and Jesus Montero.
After hitting just .209 in 114 games for Arizona, Johnson hit .270 in 33 game for Toronto. If Johnson, who hit .221 last year, can get his BA up, he has the best power-speed combo in this group (21 HR and 16 steals in 2011).
Walker isn’t the BA risk that Johnson is and still has upside at 26.
Jemile Weeks had 22 steals in 97 games, though he was also thrown out 11 times. But Rickie’s younger brother has no power.
Photo by Keith Allison.
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