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We continue our 2011 fantasy baseball rankings with the top 20 2nd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball.  For the first time in a while, there’s no 2nd baseman in the top 10.  At least by my calculation.  Some ‘perts are putting Cano in the top 10, but I talk more about that later this afternoon. (Yes, we’re moving back to two posts a day.  You’re excited.)  There’s a few 2nd basemen that really stand out.  I want a 40 steal 2nd baseman.  Eric Young Jr., “I’ll be your huckleberry, Grey.”  Aw, thanks, Junior.  I want a 2nd baseman with Uggla-like power but for half the price.  Ryan Raburn, “May I interest you in some Raburn?”  You may, but only if you have eligibility in my league.  As with the previous ranking lists, tiers and my projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball:

1. Robinson Cano – In the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball post is Cano’s projections.

2. Ian Kinsler – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Uggla.  I call this tier, “Your last chance for a legit 2nd baseman.”  Let’s face it, legit’s overextending itself in that sentence.  One or more of these first six 2nd basemen are gonna Triple Lindy into an empty pool and it ain’t gonna be pretty.  Luckily, the difference between the first couple of 2nd basemen and the next couple really isn’t that big of a difference.  I.e., you can recover from one of these guys flopping.  I keep lowering your expectations because I really don’t trust Kinsler, but now that he’s a bit cheaper at drafts, I’m willing to give him a chance for a bounce back.  He’s gotta stay healthy one of these years, right?  How’s that for confidence!  2011 Projections:  85/22/60/.270/17

3. Brandon Phillips – He’s younger than Ryan Raburn.  That’s to say, Phillips seems like he’s been around forever, but he can still put up the 20/20 season.  Granted, everything went right last year for the Reds in 2010, even Marge Schott’s ghost didn’t say anything inappropriate to Jackie Robinson’s ghost.  Everything, except Brandon Phillips’ season.  His worst season since his rookie year back in 2003.  He was also battling injuries.  Through the injuries he still played in 155 games and put up a 18/16 season.  A modest bounce back and he’s a top 4 ranked 2nd baseman.  2011 Projections:  85/20/70/.270/17

4. Dustin Pedroia – The surgically-repaired left foot should be fine for the start of the season.  Until it’s not, of course.  No, it should.  I’m not too concerned with Pedroia.  Sparky Anklebiters don’t let little things like rust or injury rehab slow them down.  He’s basically the same as Philips fantasy value-wise.  A few more homers and steals with Phillips, a few more runs and average here.  If you want Pedroia 4th, I won’t hate.  2011 Projections:  105/15/65/.290/15

5. Dan Uggla – When Uggla was traded, I went over my Uggla fantasy.  It’s all there in 10 point Times New Roman.  The reason why he’s ranked below some of the guys above but his projections look as good if not better because A) Kinsler has the biggest upside.  B) Phillips and Pedroia are safer.  C) Uggla has the biggest downside in one category, he could hit .240.  D)  There’s no D.  2011 Projections:  90/32/100/.265/5

6. Rickie Weeks – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Figgins.  I call this tier, “Do you feel lucky?  Well, do you punk?”  Makes sense that there are two question marks in the tier name because all of these guys have question marks.  Before 2010, Weeks had the health of that Texas oil tycoon Anna Nicole married five years after he died.  Weeks used to call up Glass Chipper for doctor referrals.  His nickname was Sickie.  All that wouldn’t matter if Weeks wasn’t so talented.  He can repeat his power output from last year and add more steals if he’s healthy, but that “if” is the size of Gilbert Grape’s mom.  2011 Projections:  85/18/65/.250/14

7. Aaron Hill – I already threw an Aaron Hill sleeper post at you.  Go read up on that and come back and tell me what a dummkopf I am.  The reason why he’s in the “Feel lucky” tier and not the straight out excitement tier is because I’m being optimistic with Hill.  If he hits only 17 homers, then you’re gonna wanna become a mailman just so you can go postal.  2011 Projections:  80/25/85/.275/5

8. Ben Zobrist – Power really got pulled out from underneath Zobrist in 2010.  His HR/FB% went from a 17.4% in 2008, 17.5% in 2009 to 6.0% last year.  So if you believe the former numbers, he’s going to hit 20 homers again.  If you believe the latter number and assuming I’m using latter and former correctly, he’s going to barely crack 10 homers again.  Or just split the difference… 2011 Projections:  70/15/70/.260/15

9. Chase Utley – UPDATE:  Don’t draft Utley.  I still got love for you, Utley.  It’s just not the kind of love that finds its way on my fantasy team.  2011 Projections: 50/14/55/.280/5

10. Brian Roberts – He returned to decent numbers if you prorate them over a full year (59 games, 230 ABs, 4 homers, 12 steals).  Unfortunately, he’s now 33 years old and collecting back issues of Men’s Health.  Counting on Roberts to give you 155+ games and 30+ steals is being a tad bit optimistic.  2011 Projections:  80/7/45/.285/22

11. Chone Figgins – On one hand, I kinda hate Figgy.  On the other hand, I kinda despise Figgy.  On my third, lesser known hand, I think he’ll probably be more valuable than Brian Roberts.  Stupid irrational hate over a splash of confirmation bias.  You are a deadly cocktail!  2011 Projections:  80/3/40/.270/35

12. Ryan Raburn – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Beckham.  I call this tier, “I’m on board with these guys.”  I shouldn’t even have ranked Raburn because of his lack of 20 games at 2nd base, but I’m kinda totally in love with him.  Unfortunately, he only played in 18 games at 2nd base so he’s not eligible in all leagues.  I touched on him briefly already in a Raburn sleeper post.  Since the restraining order hadn’t gone through yet, that touching wasn’t prohibited by law.  Phew.  This fantasy shizz is serious!  This is the last year Raburn will be a sleeper.  Not because he’s going to breakout and be overvalued next year.  Well, that could be the reason.  Not because he’ll never come close to 20 games at 2nd base again.  Well, that could be the reason too.  But more likely because he’s going to be 30 years old in 2011.  He has 25 homer power.  At 2nd base, you shouldn’t need to know more.  If he doesn’t have 2nd base eligibility in your league, then ignore this blurb.  2011 Projections:  70/21/80/.275/3

13. Kelly Johnson – Member last year when he hit a few homers and I called him Kelly Kapowski?  The times we had!  I was kinda crazy about Johnson last preseason and he repaid the trust.  He also got a bit lucky.  He’s really not a 26 homer, .284 hitter.  Sorry, now don’t go running back to his family to tell them I said that.  He can still be productive.  Just a bit less so.  2011 Projections:  80/17/.260/60/12

14. Howie Kendrick – I like Posada for the first time ever and now I’m liking Kendrick.  Call an ambulance, you’re about to faint!  Kendrick still seems like a poor man’s Pedroia, but what the eff in the suckhole, there’s value in that.  Get on board, this train’s leaving!  BTW, Outside of deep leagues, you probably will grow hella bored with Kendrick.  A guy whose most exciting category is average can only excite you so much, unless you’re Wee Willie Keeler.  2011 Projections:  65/12/85/.305/15

15. Neil Walker – Aw, and you thought I forgot about Walker.  Reader, please!  Okay, now I’m going to pull back a bit, because I don’t fully trust Walker and his BABIP was on the lucky side and his walks weren’t great and his Ks weren’t either and he’s a Pirate and what does him being a Pirate have to do with anything and should I punctuate this sentence at some point?  Don’t get caught up in the hype. (Ha!  A Pirate hitter hyped?  Pfft.)  Walker is a decent late round flier, but don’t necessarily assume you guys are gonna be BFFs.  2011 Projections:  65/15/75/.260/7

16. Gordon Beckham – Since he’s only 24-years-old, I’m gonna have to overlook all the stress he caused me last year when he went from totally chic to totally geek.  He started to show signs in the 2nd half (in 171 ABs, 6 home runs and a .310 average).  Some continuation of that progress and he’ll outproduce his draft spot.  There’s still 15 homer power in his mollywhoppers and 10 steal speed in his gams.  2011 Projections:  70/15/60/.285/7

16 1/2. Placido Polanco – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Uribe.  I call this tier, “Skip ‘em.”  There’s a point in every draft where you should just forgo a known commodity and cross your fingers and grab some upside.  This is the point.  I’ve never been a fan of Crapolanco.  If you didn’t know that, welcome to the site.  Click around, I get 1/40th of a penny for every page view.  Blogs make money!  (Note: Polanco got a half because he only has 12 games at 2nd base.)  2011 Projections:  80/8/60/.300/8

17. Martin Prado –  Keep in mind that I kinda wanted to drop Prado even further down this list, but at a certain point I’m risking my diploma from the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston.  Prado reminds me of Crapolanco without the speed.  Fongool to that.  2011 Projections:  85/12/60/.300/5

18. Ryan Theriot – His stats look nice at the end of the year, but I’ll make a $20 bet with you that in almost all mixed leagues, you will draft Theriot and want to drop him at the first sign of a slump.  Seriously, 20 steals over the course of the year looks okay in October.  When he’s giving you 3 steals per month, you want to kill someone.  2011 Projections:  60/2/30/.275/20

19. Mike Aviles – Last year was a career year and it wasn’t even that good.  Aviles is the new blech.  2011 Projections:  65/8/40/.295/8

20. Juan Uribe – He kinda has better numbers than quite a few of the guys above him, but I couldn’t stand to see Uribe any higher up on the list.  Here’s you drafting Uribe, “I’m smarter than everyone!  He has 20-plus homer power!  I’m going to win my league!”  Here’s you on April 3rd, “Grey, should I drop Uribe?”  Yeah, you should.  2011 Projections:  60/20/75/.240

After the top 20 for 2011 fantasy baseball, there’s a bunch of names, but these five stick out:

Danny Espinosa – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end.  I call this tier, “Fliers!  Or is it flyers?”  Figured I’d end the rankings on a positive note.  And by positive I mean relatively.  You’re pretty deep into a terrible position at this point. I already dropped a Danny Espinosa fantasy on your melon.  Since then, he’s had some hand troubles.  Not a great sign, but he’s a late flier worth taking for upside.  All projections in the flier tier are optimistic, but whatevs.  2011 Projections:  60/15/70/.245/17

Tsuyoshi Nishioka – I already popped my collar on a Tsuyoshi Nishioka fantasy post.  There were only three or four mildly offensive references in that post.  An off day, for sure.  Before you say, “Nishioka in the 10th round!” I say, “Kaz Matsui looked impressive in Japan too.”  2011 Projections:  80/5/45/.290/22

Sean Rodriguez – I already went over my Sean Rodriguez sleeper thing-a-ma-whosie.  Rodriguez will probably be a top 7 overall ranked 2nd baseman when the season is over.  Or he’ll be unownable and be dropped by April 5th.  It’s called a flier, people!   2011 Projections:  65/18/75/.245/20

Eric Patterson – Now that Adrian Gonzalez is (a) gone, there’s really no need to look at Padres hitters, except if you’re in a very deep league and you’re dying for some speed (junkie!).  In most leagues, I’d ignore Patterson.  (Note:  He only has 14 games at 2nd base.)  2011 Projections:  60/3/35/.250/20

Eric Young Jr. – Sure, Jose Lopez could steal time, but Young will get his ABs.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  I love Eric Young Jr.  I’ll probably talk about him some more before we drop the curtain on this preseason.  First, I really need to see how much playing time the Rockies are going to give him.  Second, who cares about the playing time?  It’s a last round flier that could pay dividends.  Do me a favor and draft him before I have a flippin’ conniption.  My freakin’ forehead vein is about to burst.  You can take an upside hit at middle infield a lot easier than at, say, 1st base.  Even if he only gets 350 ABs, he can get 40 steals.  Like Jeffrey Jones, give a Young man a twirl.  2011 Projections:  65/2/35/.255/40

From Around The Web

  1. Marqo says:
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    More Runs, HRs, RBIs and a way better AVG projected to Cano and you rank him 2nd, because of a difference of 10-15 SBs.
    I don’t agree on this one ;)
    He’s the best 2nd Baseman IMO.

  2. Steve says:
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    F*** you Figgy.

    Sorry, that’s all I got.

  3. Hey guys! I could use a little keeper advice. We keep 6 players. No cost.

    Definites: Jose Reyes, Justin Upton, Joey Votto

    Possibilities for the last 3 spots: Mike Stanton, Jay Bruce, Dan Uggla, Zack Grienke, Max Scherzer, Jered Weaver

    I’m leaning toward Stanton, Bruce and Weaver. I do want to keep one pitcher. Managers tend to be stingy about pitching in this league. Many are kept, thus not many to be had in draft.

    What would you guys do?

  4. Ricky says:
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    Will Mike Stanton be in the top 100?

  5. Yo Momma So Uggla says:
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    Mr Punch-

    Stanton, Scherzer, Weaver.

  6. joe from pt pleasant says:
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    @ mr punch: bruce greinke scherzer IMO… stanton will hit homers but id take bruce because he has a shot to be good in every category whereas i dont see stanton helping at all in average and if your league has negatives for K’s then your screwed.

  7. polczek5 says:
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    Two posts a day?!?! Damn! I was hoping to get some work done…oh well.

  8. big o says:
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    @ Grey :

    you must be off your freakin’ rocker !

    no D ?
    no D ??

    my whole world is about to turn upside-down .
    is this some sort of ‘pert psycho-illogical ploy to throw me
    off my draft strategy ?

    hit the edit *word function , please .

  9. Tony says:
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    @Mr. Punch: I think you have to choose one of greinke or weaver, and then one of Uggla or Bruce…. personally just because I dont believe a change of scenery cures greinke i’d go with Weaver, and I wanna take uggla bc of position, but I’d go with bruce due to upside and you can fill your 2B slot with alot of interchangeable guys. Soooo WEAVER and BRUCE.

  10. The Vaporizers says:
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    Good morning Grey. Quick Dynasty League Trade Question. Which side you like better?

    Ryan Howard, Zach Britton, John Lamb and Michael Taylor

    for

    Mark Reynolds and Desmond Jennings?

  11. LMack says:
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    :O
    Grey and Eric Karabell mind-meld

    “I expect 25 home runs and 80 RBIs from him in 2011, so we’re talking a lot of bang for a late-round buck. I’ve said and written this the past two springs, but hopefully, with the Tigers’ backing, the third time is the charm.”

    “He has 25 homer power. At 2nd base, you shouldn’t need to know more. If he doesn’t have 2nd base eligibility in your league, then ignore this blurb. 2011 Projections: 70/21/80/.275/3″

    Anywho, If you get Kinsler as your 2B1, do you try to get your backup sooner and pair him with someone from the “I’m on board with these guys.” tier, or just hop down to fliers and hope?

  12. Ryan Raburn at second? Huh? If so… wow, nice discovery. Can anyone confirm? I can’t find this theory anywhere.

    Thanks.

  13. LMack says:
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    @Joseph Buccellato:

    18 games last year. Not eligible in ESPN standard leagues, but he is eligibile in Yahoo! standard though.

  14. Tony says:
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    @Joseph Buccellato: all depends where you play and the settings for eligibility.

  15. fitz says:
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    Grey, could you please stop using the term ‘perts…. :(

    Thanks for the post!

  16. Thanks for all of the help guys. I welcome the different perspectives.

    @Yo Momma So Uggla: I love Scherzer, but I suspect I will be able to redraft him if Yahoo’s rankings are as silly as the usually are.

    @joe from pt pleasant: I’m not sure what to make of Stanton. I’m sure he will hurt my AVG, but my fear is that a 20 year old who hits 22 HRs in 350 ABs is going to turn into the Ryan Howard of the outfield.

    @Tony: I agree with Bruce over Uggla, but boy is it tough to let go of a 30 HR second baseman. Leaning toward Weaver as well, but a peak at Greinke’s 2009 makes it hard (unintentional/awful innuendo).

  17. Thanks for these rankings Grey! I look forward to them every morning.

  18. Can’t wait for the horror show that is Third Base!

  19. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:

    In a keeper league this year (12 team H2H) would it make sense to draft Pedro Alvarez around the 8th or 9th even though I have Wright (for one last year). I’m trying to think ahead a bit for 2012.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @fitz: I will if all grown men stop using emoticons.

    @Mr. Punch: No problem.

    @Eddy: Sure, if you have a corner spot in your league.

  21. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:

    Would 2 Util spots make the cut?

  22. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Sure, that could work.

  23. i despise prado and have him ranked in the same vicinity, since i see no difference between him and walker who you can get like 20 rounds later. but i was looking at his numbers and feel like it ought to be noted that his power has been trending up noticeably. ages 24-25-26, HR/FB from 3ish to 8ish to 10ish. if he can push his HR total closer to 20 than 15, which seems possible if far from certain, then he’s turning into kind of a different animal.

    i’m still not touching him where he’s getting drafted right now, but, russ branyan striking out.

    i also think pedroia’s power can go higher than 15. he’s been hitting 15+ with 50 doubles at ages 24 and 25. then at 26 he hits 12 in half a season, including 1 of the 3 months where he hit .213 with like 1 homer on a gimpy knee he shouldn’t have been playing on but insisted on gritting it out in order to help the team win by hitting .213 for a month. thanks dustin. at any rate – my point is – anybody else seems like we’d be talking up power growth curves and such. but, pedroia’s short, so he is what he is. not sure that’s right.

    granting that i’m a red sox fan. but, historically, i tend to overcorrect for that and underrate sox players if anything. i drafted him last year on this same theory and felt like i’d nailed it until he got cashed out by the foot thing.

  24. Mets fan says:
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    Grey would you feel comfortable having hill as your starting 2b?

  25. Stephen says:
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    @The Vaporizers: Howard.

  26. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? says:
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    @Grey:

    2 posts today? I’m excited!

  27. @Grey: see, i’m not sure that’s true. find out soon enough.

  28. The Vaporizers says:
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    Here is a little more info on the Howard trade above. I was in a rush this morning and didn’t have time…..

    I’d be getting the Howard end. It is my first year in an existing dynasty league and I feel like I need a solid 1B to compete. We keep 6. My keepers now are Pedroia, Werth, Lester, Verlander, Haren, and then either Victorino or Reynolds. Not excited about either. I was going to trade a draft pick improvement to get Jay Bruce and have him be my 6th keeper. But now, I’m thinking I should accept this trade for Howard. And then draft Bruce with the first pick in the draft (which I have). OR, I can do both trades and then not keep Haren and possibly draft an even better pitcher that isn’t kept? But that is risky and I’d have to give up a draft pick improvement.

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    ****There’s a new post for followups.*******

  30. Derek says:
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    We should honestly consider making a National Holiday for MILF’s.

    Seriously though, maybe I missed it, but could you post your top rated prospects for 2011? Thanks!

  31. Eric W says:
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    I still have repressed anger at Jim Tracey for not giving Ian Stewart 2b eligibility for 2011. Go back to Nippon Professional Baseball you hack!

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Derek: The top 50 prospects should be up early next week.

  33. Derek says:
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    Love your rankings, Grey.

    Keep ‘em coming! :)

  34. pedroia’s got 25 home runs in his last 6 months of playing time. maybe it’s a fluke! but, he does. and it didn’t -seem- like a fluke.

  35. Beau says:
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    I’d take Cano over Utley

    I like Neil Walker as a sleeper. He is going to bat 2nd or 3rd in a pretty good lineup in Pittsburgh

    McCutchen- Due for a big year. A contract similar to CarGo’s may be coming.
    Walker- Can bat 2nd or 3rd.
    Tabata- Up and coming left fielder. Solid hitter, fast runner.
    Alvarez-Definitely 20hr 80rbi year
    Overbay-Big gaps in PNC Park, hopefully he does well

    The Bucs will be a better this year, but pitching is still down. Im ready for fantasy baseball.

  36. greg says:
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    14 team 5×5 keeper league(keep 4)

    I have miguel cabrera, prince fielder as two keepers.
    I choose among Posey, Cliff Lee, Nelson Cruz, J Lester and N Feliz for the final two spots. I dont like the idea of keeping two SP but find it hard not to.

    Thoughts??

  37. papasmurf says:
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    Hey Grey! Good to see ya still keeping up the baseball coverage.

  38. Kevin says:
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    Grey, how can you say last year was a career year for Mike Aviles? In 2008, he hit .325 with 10 home runs and 8 stolen bases in just 103 games.

    IMO, given a full season you can count on Aviles as a .300 hitter with 10+ HRs and 15+ SBs. Not bad for a guy with 2B, SS, and possibly soon 3B eligibility in most leagues.

  39. Rob says:
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    When in doubt of my own rankings i usually turn to Razzball over espn. One thing i noticed really strange though was Matt Berry’s rank for Martin Prado as #57 overall. Ahead of guys like b-phillips and kinsler. While you have him as the #17th rated second baseman and #272 overall.

    I understand difference in opinion, but whats with extreme variation? Any ideas??

  40. Stosh says:
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    Yeah, I don’t get the Prado ranking. For one thing, he’s that magical age of 27. He’s also got a sparkling .307 average and an .810 career OPS in nearly 1,400 at-bats, which is not a small sample size. Dude can hit. And he should again score 100-plus runs batting in front of Chipper, McCann, Uggla and Heyward. Also, remember that those 15 HR and 40 doubles came despite missing 22 games last year. I just don’t get ranking Prado 17th among 2B. At worst, he should be ninth.

  41. Hebrew Nationals says:
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    Keeper advice?

    12-team, H2H, can keep two. Cost is the round he was picked last year.

    My best options:

    Teixeira (1st)
    Zimmerman (3rd)
    Choo (7th)
    Prado (18th)
    Colby Lewis (22nd – last)

    It’s H2H as I mentioned so Tex killed me for a while at the beginning of last year. I’m not leaning towards him other than the fact that I’d imagine a minimum of 6 1st basemen will be kept.

    I also feel the need to lock down one of the corners this year.

    Prado and Lewis both give me great value.

    Any advice is helpful! Thanks.

  42. Dominic says:
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    *Kendrys

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