I have a secret to share with you (You: ‘Despite being the producer of Entourage, you still call Mark Wahlberg Marky Mark?’‘ Me: ‘Yes, but that wasn’t the secret I was referring to’). My secret is 2B is chalk full of value plays this year. There were so many overvalued players going into 2011 that busted, we’re left to buy low on multiple candidates this year. A look over at Mock Draft Central tells me that a guy that gave us 21/16 and a bad average last year is worth 7 rounds less than a guy that went 21/17 with a bad average. We’re talking about Kelly Johnson (ADP: 236) vs Danny Espinosa (ADP: 148). That’s crazy glazed with a WTF and garnished with an LOL. I can only guess having a girl’s name is the reason for the price tag difference. In a perfect draft, I have Dan Uggla on my team and am taking either Johnson or Espinosa but would settle for a BA friendly Brandon Phillips over Uggla in that situation as well. Because of the depth, I’m most likely avoiding the top tier 2Bs unless they fell to me.
Dustin Ackley – Don’t get me wrong, I like the kid and think he’s going to be a solid contributor this year and beyond but is he THAT much better than the guys behind him on the ADP list? Solid average, low to mid-teen HR power to go with 10 to 15 steals. ‘But he won’t hurt me anywhere’ you say. ‘But he’s not your father’ I say ‘and I suggest you get therapy’. Unless he’s your first 2B, you should already have a solid 2B on your team. Live a little more dangerously and aim for higher counting stats later in the draft.
Ryan Roberts – Here’s a player I like more in real life than I do in fantasy. I also enjoyed the movie and book series they did on him: The Second Basemen With Alotta Tattoos. Roberts strikes me as a guy who could give Kelly Johnson numbers this year or could fall back into super-utility obscurity by the All-Star Break and compete with Willie Bloomquist for ABs. I’ll go with the 2B that has more history and a cheaper ADP in that case.
I’ll go for:
Jose Altuve – If I’m still stumping for a 2B in the 20th round of the draft, I’ll gladly take Jose. Altuve – Venezuelan for ‘Doomed to be an Astro’ – is getting the discount price because he plays for a Triple-A team. It’s not his fault he’s major league ready and the rest of Houston is not. Altuve has four things going for him: he should steal 20 bases, hit for a decent average, be near the top of the order, and there’s no one in Triple-A that could reasonably replace him. Because the Astros are a Triple-A team already. Didn’t we go over this already? Dead. Horse. Beat.
Marco Scutaro – I’ve never drafted Scutaro before. I may not even this year. In fact, I have made fun of just about everyone and anyone in my league who’ve drafted him over the last 5 years. That all said, what’s the difference between Ackley’s projections and Scutaro’s? 1 or 2 HRs and probably 10 steals. Similar RBIs, similar Runs, similar average. Only thing that’s not similar is their ADP as Scutaro is going after the 20th round. Plus he’ll get to play half his games in Colorado in front of Tulo & CarGo. I have no problem playing Marco Scutaro at the deep end of the draft pool. Just don’t pull my trunks down while I’m at it.
2B Situation to monitor: Chi-Cubs
I will lead this off by saying yes, I know and understand this one is a stretch. That’s why I say monitor, don’t buy in. Sheesh, its like telling you JC Penney has a 50% off sale this weekend and you go camp out on Tuesday without finding out its just for lingerie. Not that there’s anything WRONG with that…Anywho, Chicago currently has the Purple Evolutionist, Darwin Barney, starting at second base. If that doesn’t bore you, I have a recording of grass growing in slow motion for you to watch; the soundtrack is by Kenny G. In February the Cubs picked up Adrian Cardenas off the wire when they waived Blake DeWitt. Once considered a top 100 prospect, Adrian just never put a full season together. At 6′, 205 pounds you’d think and hope for more power but he’s only 24 and does have pedigree on his side. With Chicago rebuilding this year, Cardenas might get his shot if Darwin proves to be as sleep-inducing as he was last year. We’re still in Spring training. Long live hope!