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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 2012 fantasy drafts.  This is a supplement to the top 20 2nd basemen of 2012 fantasy baseball. These are 2nd basemen that I’ll be setting the ol’ crosshairs on at my 2012 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2012 projections.  Anyway, here’s some 2nd basemen to target for 2012 fantasy baseball:

Jason Kipnis – I’ll round some numbers off for you like they were matzoh balls.  15 homers and 15 steals.  That’s his ceiling.  If Kipnis reaches them then mazel tov!  Is he worth a flyer, fo’ diggity.  Just keep in mind Kipnis doesn’t have huge power or speed or schmaltz.

Danny Espinosa – Yeah, I don’t know why he’s a sleeper.  Oh, I know why!  Cause he’s being drafted around 150 overall.  A guy that is going to be 25 years old who just went 21/17 is that bad?  I realize that he hit .236, but you need to not worry about that.  This is a guy that went 18/29 in High-A, 18/20 in Double-A and 21/17 in the majors.  Yeah, he’s worth more than a 150th pick at 2nd base.  Get your shizz together!

Jose Altuve – I worry that every Astros is gonna be a beyotchabatukis, but I think Altuve has some giddy in his step.  Really, the sleepers that I worry most about are the ones that won’t reach 20 for steals or homers.  Guys that can steal 20+ bags or hit 20+ homers can at least be counted on for those stats and the rest is cheese and gravy.  Disco fries!

Jemile Weeks – I compared him favorably in the top 20 2nd basemen post to Luis Castillo.  I stand by that.  Assuming you can stand by something amorphous like a comparison.

Aaron Hill – Wow, he’s crazy low in drafts.  Like, low low.  Like in the 300’s overall low.  Like your knees are double-jointed and you’re limboing low.  Like you’re secretly sleeping with your friend’s sister and telling your friend about her as if she’s someone else and your friend is unknowingly giving you ideas of what to do with his own sister in bed low.  Like– Okay, you get the picture.

Gordon Beckham – Yeah, I’m super thrilled he’s being drafted so low that I might end up with him on a team.  Maybe I can do the draft where I pick Beckham while I’m at the dentist to make it a really pleasurable experience.

Kelly Johnson – I have no idea what’s going on with the drafting of 2nd basemen.  Hill and Johnson should not be in the 300’s.  Johnson went 21/16 just LAST YEAR (caps for emphasis, not for aesthetics.)  I realize he hit .222, but he’s a career .260 hitter and he just hit .284 in 2010.  He’s really worse than Kipnis?  Rhetorical!

Johnny Giavotella – Right now, he’s the Royal plugged into the two hole, which sounds like the tagline for a movie about Richard the Lionheart that’s portrayed by Richard Simmons.  In 46 games last year, Giamortadella had 5 steals in 46 games but was caught twice.  As we know from last year, the Royals stealing percentage is about as successful as Madoff’s and they continue to be all klepto-like.  If Giamortadella wants, he could steal 30 bases and get caught 20 times and the Royals will shrug.  Also, in Triple-A, Giavotella hit 9 homers so he’s got some small pop in his little Guido body.  I’ll give him the 2012 projections of 85/8/45/.285/22.  Not bad, paisan.

  1. Vic Damone Jr. says:
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    Jason Kipnis isn’t Jewish, he is Roman Catholic. Oy, Grey. Oy.

    • Bourne says:
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      @Vic Damone Jr., Except no one thinks Roman Catholic jokes are funny, unless it is about a 17-19 year old female who is about to sin for the first time (or at least pretending it is her first time).

      • quimmy says:
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        @Bourne, if I am reading a story about a 17-19 year old female who is about to sin for the first time, humor is not what would be on my mind…..

  2. Goose says:
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    Grey, what do you think of Aviles this year? Considering he’s the stahtah for the Sawx, been surprised no one’s overhyping him. But not only that, it’s like no one is talking about him AT ALL. He has 2B, 3B and will get SS eligibility, could hit .300 (career: .288), score runs, steal bags, maybe give you double-digit ding dongs… For a late MI in deeper leagues, he’s gotta be an option, no?

    Or what’s the schmatta here?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Goose, The Red Sox felt so great about Aviles they went and got Nick Punto. Then around midseason they’ll go and find someone else. Doubt Aviles is an AL-Only flyer real late.

  3. Hemmo says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Part 1:
    In an NL-only league with K/BB instead of K, no Bench and 9 P slots, would it make sense to go for a high K/BB and IP ace like Cliff Lee? With only +- 1250 IP per team, he’d solidify ERA/WHIP and K/BB while also helping W’s.

    Does this make sense, or would you still not draft a pitcher high?

    Part 2:
    In an NL-only league with OBP instead of AVG, thinking of 1B-depth, would it be unreasonable to claim Joey Votto is the nr.1 player? or would you prefer Braun/Kemp (it is a keeper).

    Thanks a lot!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Hemmo, 1. Yeah, grab someone you can trust. 2. Votto’s number one.

  4. Bourne says:
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    Jose Altuve is batting second for the astros. His .265 average projection is his floor, but I think his 80 runs might be closer to the ceiling this year. His .276 last year in 221 ab was his lowest professional average. He was mostly over .300 in the minors. And his chance for 10 HRs doesn’t hurt either.

    This second base depth looks way better than the SS depth I am trying to dig for in my 20 team dynasty. Seriously where are all the shortstops? There aren’t any.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bourne, Nope, there’s not.

  5. Johnson says:
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    In a 12 team 5×5 mixed. 1b/2b/3b/ss/3xOF/util and 1450IP

    I’m keeping Braun, Tulo, Aramis, Victorino, F-Her, Ike Davis, Moustakas, D.Hudson, Matt Moore, Anibal, Luebke and Avila.

    I can keep Espinosa in the 10th round. Is it worth it?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Johnson, Nah

  6. I had to change my team name in the dyansty league that I drafted Matt Moore to

    Hindenburg Disaster

    and I wrote –
    Oh, the humanity! – I drafted Matt Moore

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mr Baseball, Ha!

  7. Vottomatic says:
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    What about Cuddyer? He’s second base eligible and switching to Coors field.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Vottomatic, He doesn’t fit into the criteria.

  8. would you trade Jesus Montero for David Price in a keeper dynasty league – not sure what Montero will produce over the years

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mr Baseball, I’d hold.

  9. Wake Up says:
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    “#11 overall – Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox: Surprise! Position scarcity rears its head to some degree here, but the numbers are there as well.”Karabell
    …speaking of how deep 2B is…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wake Up, Hmm…

  10. Raja says:
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    What you think for a 10 team H2H league?

    1B – A Gon (9)
    OF – J Upside (12)
    3B – D Wright (29)
    SP – Hamels (32)
    2B – Uggla (49)
    OF – Bruce (52)
    SP – CJ Wilson (69)
    SS – Rollins (72)
    OF – Crawford (89)
    SP – D Hudson (92)
    SP – Garza (109)
    RP – Valverde (112)
    SP – Luebke (129)
    SP – Anibal (132)
    SP – Scherzer (149)
    C – Soto (152)
    SP – McCarthy (169)
    RP – Farnsworth (172)
    Util – Rasmus (189)
    Util – Cespedes (192)
    SP – Peacock (209)

    Please critique! Thanks Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Raja, Team looks pretty solid. You’re relying a lot on Crawford for speed, but you did draft him late enough where it makes sense. Your pitching looks excellent.

  11. Hawk says:
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    The reason some of these guys are underrated is their potential BA drag. What people seem to have missed is that BA has been dropping for the last couple of years. Where you used to have to aim for .275 (14/15 team leagues) or .280 (10/12 teams) or more…now it’s .260, .265. Apparently, the masses who drive ADP have not made this adjustment.

    Loosely, I’d say this translates into guys who hit .235 hurting your overall BA relatively as much as someone who used to hit .250. It’s not something you’d look for but it’s not nearly as painful as it sounds. Pair them up with a .280 hitter and you’ll be ok.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Hawk, Not sure people knew they aimed for .280, but averages have seemed to dropped so you might be right, maybe they did aim higher.

      • Hawk says:
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        @Grey,

        I am in a very competitive 12 team money keeper league ($500 buy in). Here are the top three BAs from that league over the last five years:

        2007:
        .289
        .285
        .283

        2008:
        .283
        .281
        .280

        2009:
        .284
        .283
        .281

        2010:
        .281
        .275
        .273

        2011:
        .275
        .270
        .268

        I said it during 2010 and I’m pretty sure I’m right. It’s not a “year of the pitcher”. Something in baseball has changed in favor of the pitchers ::cough steroid testing cough:: stat evaluation backs that up. As expected, ERAs from the same league have dropped over the same period:

        2007:
        3.67
        3.68
        3.88

        2008:
        3.60
        3.70
        3.81

        2009:
        3.69
        3.71
        3.79

        2010:
        3.31
        3.51
        3.52

        2011:
        3.25
        3.31
        3.46

        My league is one of a zillion, I know, but the players are excellent and IMO, it passes the smell test.

        If I went into my league this year shooting for a 3.75 ERA, I’d get it but I’d score 3-4 points in ERA. If I go into my league now shooting for a .280 BA the only way I’d get close to it will be to sacrafice HR/RBI/R/SB to get there.

        Things have changed and expectations have to change to match up.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Hawk, Yeah, I agree…You can look at the leaguewide stats and see the numbers have dropped.

          • Hawk says:
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            @Grey,

            Yup, and that’s what makes guys like Espinosa palatable. He’s putting up great counting stats while his AVG doesn’t hurt as much as people think because, outside of anyone who just read my last post hehehe.., they generally have not recognized that numbers have dropped.

            His ADP reflects that – to our advantage!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @Hawk, The only problem with this theory is it assumes they were aiming for something before rather than just naturally bias towards average guys.

              • Hawk says:
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                @Grey,

                Everyone (well, everyone you’d want to compete against at least) has targets at which they aim, no? They would look at a .236 average and compare it to their targets even if they don’t recognize it themselves.

                Whether they are thinking in general terms like “My average is too low to carry a .235 hitter” or more specific “I’m projected at .271. I can’t take on a .235 hitter”, the result is the same. They are depressing guys like Espinosa’s value because their idea of a “good” average is incorrect.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, fair enough… They do have an idea in their mind… I meant their idea is probably much higher than they need… They probably worry about anyone under .250… Though this might be your point too…

                  • WallyCleaver says:
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                    @Grey, I’m in a league that uses OBP instead of AVG and I’m seeing the same results as Hawk.
                    2011
                    .354
                    .350
                    .349

                    2010
                    .361
                    .357
                    .351

                    2009
                    .363
                    .359
                    .358

                    2008
                    .365
                    .358
                    .356

                    It’s striking the decline. I agree with you and Hawk and shifting the paradigm is needed. We need to temper our expectations for hitters. This will allow us the freedom to persue guys that can contribute in other ways. Besides, Espinosa and the like are not number one guys, they are MI.

  12. Wake Up says:
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    I know I’m probably missing something here but, what is the difference between your “what it takes to win” and Rudy’s what it takes to win a 12 team espn league chart?
    You say 997…Rudy’s chart says 1045…and so on…

  13. Chas Andres says:
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    Grey, I’ve been mocking a lot of 5×5 MLB auctions in order to prep for a draft I have coming up this weekend. I keep targeting Kendrick (or sometimes Utley) at 2B and aiming for Castro or Andrus at short. Is this a reasonable strategy, or should I pay up for a higher ranked 2Bman and a worse SS?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Chas Andres, Nope, as long as it doesn’t hurt the rest of your team, I’d take Kendrick or Utley and Castro or Andrus…

  14. Steve says:
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    Hey Grey,
    Which draft pick do you prefer in a 10 team league: 10th pick or right in the middle, like 4-6? Read about many guys saying they prefer the picks in the middle.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Steve, 10

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey, 10 is your lucky number, gut feeling or some explainable expert-opinion? Anyway, could be the shallow league, right? Somehow I feel I miss out on something, when I have to wait that long for my next pick.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I like the turn…

  15. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    great post. looking forward to the SS and the OF posts.

    whatup with the podcast homie???

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      We taped it but there were technical difficulties we didn’t know about so going again next week…

      • The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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        @Grey, gotcha. lookin forward to it brotha

  16. chilidavis says:
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    my league uses 2 MI instead of 2b/SS. Should i do anything different as far as rankings? does this mean i can wait longer to draft these two positions?

    • chilidavis says:
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      @chilidavis, oh, its 12 team H2H

      • The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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        @chilidavis, I would definitely target two 2B. forget SS.

        • chilidavis says:
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          @The Talented Mr. Dope Man, so what about Tulo, Hanley, Reyes? does this format lessen the rankings of these players since positional scarcity is taken away? Does Tulo go from #5 to #10-15 now, etc?

  17. microwave donut says:
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    What cheese goes with Giamortadella? I know the classic is Naprovolone, but I find it too bland.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha!

  18. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    Anibal dealing with shoulder sourness. Worried? Usually you’re cautious with shoulder injuries….

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s early, everyone’s sore…

  19. HotRod says:
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    Regarless of other needs. Who would you take for this year? WHo will have more trade value mid season?

    Greinke
    Weaver
    Brandon Phillips

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Greinke…

  20. SPolychronopolis says:
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    Ackley not on the list because of his just because of his ADP, or are you staying away even if he is there 150+?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      His ADP…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wake Up, Ha!

  21. nick says:
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    15/15 for Kipnis is his upside? I hope you meant its his floor!

  22. Jim says:
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    standard 5×5 keeper league, 15 teams

    i’ll be keeping bautista, kinsler, and c santana (and will be forfeiting my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rd picks to do so). i also have the 1st pick in the draft. who would you go with, miggy or pujols (i don’t want braun 1st)? neither will be eligible to be kept next year. been sold on taking miggy 1st for a week or so, but now i’m wondering if that might be a bad choice since i already have a 3b, and miggy is shedding so much weight AND dealing mentally with a position change. i do like that miggy will give me flexibility at 1b/3b though.

    appreciate any advice. thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jim, Miggy

  23. Grey

    Grey says:
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    ***THERE’S A NEW POST***

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