Between the two middle infield positions, I tend to draft a 2nd baseman early and punt shortstop. This happens for a few reasons. 1) 2nd base has more talent. That’s right, I draft the deeper position earlier. Same reason I punt catchers and try to get a 1st baseman early. If a position is deep, a lot of your leaguemates are going to have one of the top guys. You don’t want to be one of the 3 or 4 teams without a top guy. 2) There’s less difference between a middle-tiered shortstop and a bottom-tiered one. (Same could be said of catchers. We have a theme! Or is it a genre? No, it’s a theme!) 3) Shortstops tend to give value with the steal. You can find cheap steals later. Most of the 2nd basemen on this list are going after the top 150 in your 2011 fantasy drafts. This is a supplement to the top 20 2nd basemen of 2011 fantasy baseball. These are 2nd basemen that I’ll be setting the ol’ crosshairs on at my 2011 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2011 projections. Anyway, here’s some 2nd basemen to target for 2011 fantasy baseball:
Ryan Raburn – Love him. No, no I don’t. Love’s not strong enough. I lurve him, Woody Allen. And with all of this lurve, if he doesn’t have 2nd base eligibility in your league, you say alas and wave to him with your WWII-era hat as your train leaves the station.
Aaron Hill – I imagine after Uggla’s average plummets back to .250 and Hill’s average reverts back to its norm in 2011, they will be drafted near each other in 2012. It’s a hunch. Sorry to burst your Uggla bubble, or Buggla if you’re into portmanteaus. BTW, my first released album was “Bursting Bugglas.” Wasn’t that well-received.
Danny Espinosa – His ADP is 340 in mock drafts. Around the same spot as Stephen Strasburg, who is, obviously, not playing this year. Oh, wait, I know! Strasburg is being mock drafted in mock keepers. Gotcha. You people are sneaky!
Howie Kendrick – I could see the universe throwing me some kind of sick, twisted curveball where I end up drafting Kendrick and Russell Martin on the same team. See, two guys I never liked before this year and now I’m liking them. Eh, it’s not important if everyone understands what I’m saying.
Gordon Beckham – Here’s what I said in the top 20 2nd basemen post, “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.” And that’s me cutting and pasting me!
Sean Rodriguez – To save one commenter the time, I don’t know if Sean-Rod is starting. For where he’s being drafted, it doesn’t matter. Take a flyer. If it doesn’t work out, you can always grab a different MI.
Neil Walker – He’s currently at 264 on the Mock Draft Central ADP list. Is he really over a 100 spots behind Mike Aviles? Wait, is Mike Aviles family all drafting Aviles in the first round to bump up his draft slot?
Tsuyoshi Nishioka – I had an interesting exchange with Rudy the other day on IM. He IM’d me, “Do a sleeper post about Tsuyoshi.” I IM’d him back, “I already highlighted him in my rankings and talked about him when the Twins signed him.” He IM’d back, “Sorry, I don’t read your posts.”
Jose Lopez – Well, ain’t that an exciting name to end the targets with! Yeah, Jose Lopez is yawnstipating to draft. Sure, you’re right, but guess his age. No, lower. Lower still. No, he’s not twelve years old! He’s 27. It would shock you if a 27-year-old went to Coors and hit 25 homers, matching his career high that he achieved while playing in Safeco? Wouldn’t shock me. Cust kayin’.