We continue our 2012 fantasy baseball rankings with the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball. There’s no 2nd baseman in the top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball. At least by my calculation. Some ‘perts are putting Cano in the top 10, but I see him just outside of the top 10, but then again 2nd base is packed to the rafters with production. It looks deeper than the 1st basemen pool and I’m only being half-facetious. It’s like all 2nd basemen slept at a Holiday Inn last night. There’s 15 guys I would take and if I had a middle infield spot on my roster, I’d definitely look to put a 2nd baseman in there. As with the previous ranking lists, tiers and my projections are noted. Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball:
1. Robinson Cano – See the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Robinson Cano’s projections.
2. Ian Kinsler – See the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Ian Kinsler’s projections.
3. Dustin Pedroia – See the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Dustin Pedroia’s projections.
4. Dan Uggla – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Utley (or Cuddyer, if he has eligibility). I call this tier, “I see good value. Draft one.” This tier name sounds like I’m a handicapper for horse races. Gambler’s Ruin is great on mud, put all your money on him! Member when Dan Uggla was hitting, like, .180 and it was July and you were like, “Screw this, homie! I’m going gangster on my team and trading Uggla for an Obama Chia.” Then your neighbor saw that getting dropped off at your doorstep, stole it and Uggla went on to hit in like 40 games straight. Nothing ever works out for you, huh? Now I’m Worried you left on the oven after drying your pantyhose. (That Twitter feed is a friend’s. You follow now, thank you.) Uggla wasn’t quite the hitter we saw during his hitting streak (no kidding!) but he isn’t a sub-.200 hitter either. Or is it eyether? Let’s call this whole thing off! Wait, he is a 35 homer hitter. I’ll take that and a box of Ding Dongs! And, no, box of Ding Dongs isn’t a new Timberlake/Samberg song. (Yes, that’s two days and two ding dong jokes. My cup runneth over with ding dong jokes. I am the ding dongiest!) 2012 Projections: 90/35/105/.250/3
5. Howie Kendrick – Sometimes when you go out on a limb, the limb breaks and you fall on your ass. That might happen with Kendrick in 2012, but I’m going all in. From 2010 to 2011 in 18 less games, he went from 10 homers to 18 homers and struck out more. His HR/FB rate was high and he’s injury-prone. It points to flukey. I see a guy with 15 homer power, 15 steal speed, 100 runs and 75 RBIs potential that should hit around .290. It’s okay, but what puts me over on him is he’s in the prime of his career so he should max out his power and look like Pedroia at a cheaper cost. Oh, and one thing that’s been criminally under-reported, the Angels added Pujols. You think someone would’ve talked about that. 2012 Projections: 100/18/70/.290/15
6. Brandon Phillips – Joey Votto’s gonna win the MVP and Brandon Phillips is going to be hoisted onto Jay Bruce’s shoulders next October with the team dedicating their World Series victory to their former pitching coach, Dick Pole. Just so they can see people on Twitter snicker at his mention. That’s how I see things playing out. Phillips won’t be their regular season hero; he’ll be a piece. The wily vet that plays 150 games a year and gets all those counting stats and has some power and speed that people credit more for their clubhouse leadership. Whatever, B.P. is still greasing up some decent stats for his position. 2012 Projections: 90/20/85/.275/17
7. Chase Utley – Nah, he’s not winning the MVP again. Well, I guess anything’s possible if he’s wearing one of Ryan Braun’s Ed Hardy t-shirts, but it seems like the best is behind him like J. Lo. Then throw in you have no idea how long Ryan Howard is going to be out, then throw in Utley’s inability to stay healthy, then throw in his pomade, then throw in a leprechaun’s toenail and the steam that rises from the brew you threw all that in reads, “Utley should be avoided.” Now what if I said I didn’t agree? He’s never had a season of 120+ games where he’s been useless. Granted, getting to 120 games has been an issue, but we knew going into last year he wasn’t going to be right. When he did come back, his speed was fine. Like he was never hurt. His power was off, but so was his homers per fly ball. His average was off, but so was his luck. He’s going to get you 2nd to 3rd round numbers at a much cheaper price than he usually is. BTW, if he’s bad this year, his career’s in trouble. I think he knows that too. 2012 Projections: 80/20/85/.280/15
7 1/4. Michael Young – Only has 14 games at 2nd so he may not have eligibility in all leagues. To see Young’s projections go to the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.
7 1/2. Michael Cuddyer – Only has 17 games at 2nd base, so he gets a half ranking. To see Cuddyer’s projections go to the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.
8. Ben Zobrist – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Weeks. I call this tier, “Others are taking these guys before me.” I really don’t like Zobrist. His stats are just too flaky for my tastes. One year he hits .297 then .238 then .269. Then he hits 27 homers then 10 then 20. “Hey, fella, how about you just hit 17 homers and stop confusing Grey?!” That’s you in the first row behind the Rays’ dugout because you’re protecting my honor. Thx, btw! (Don’t you love when someone abbreviates thanks as thx? Gee, thanks so much for showing me your appreciation by almost writing a WHOLE SIX LETTER WORD!) I’m ranking Zobrist later than most ‘perts because I don’t want him, but if he fell to me I would take him because he seems like he’s capable of a 15/15 season. Plus or minus 15 homers and steals. Yeah, he’s all over the map. 2012 Projections: 75/17/90/.255/17
9. Rickie Weeks – Stop me if you’ve heard this before– Stop! I haven’t said anything yet, Random Italicized Voice. I’ve heard, “Stop me if you’ve heard this before” before. Here’s the games played for Weeks over his career — 96, 95, 118, 129, 37, 160, 118. Throw out 37 and 160 and on average he plays in 118 games. Or maybe that’s the median. Or the mean. I don’t know. What I do know is he can’t stay healthy. He can repeat his power output from last year and chuck in about 10 steals if he’s healthy, but that “if” is the size of Gilbert Grape’s mom. 2012 Projections: 65/18/50/.260/10
10. Danny Espinosa – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Kelly Johnson. I call this tier, “Shine’s off these guys, but I like them. Even if they might hit .240 collectively.” At 24 years old, Espinosa hit 21 homers and stole 17 bases. That’s the good news. The very good news is he can hit more homers and steal more bases. The so-so news is it might not be much more of either. The bad news is he hit .236. The not good or not bad news is his luck was neutral. The “Is this really even news anymore?” news is Espinosa won’t ever hit for much of an average without luck. The last bit of news is I’m not wearing pants. 2012 Projections: 80/24/90/.240/19
11. Aaron Hill – Here’s what I said towards the end of last year, “Hill looked to be an average issue hitter that could at least give you power. Not this year. His power completely evaporated. Oddly enough, he doubled his line drive rate from 2010 and lowered his K-rate. In short (which I only say after going long), Hill’s season made no sense. Seriously, I can’t make heads or tails of it. Yes, even in hindsight it’s not 20/20. It will take some brass ones to go all in on Hill again next year, but I’m leaning that way right now.” And that’s me quoting me! Now, looking at Hill, I’m still no cyclops with a monocle. What we do know is he hit .315 in Arizona in the 33 games after he was traded. It’s something! I don’t get where those 21 steals came from last year, but if it was some kind of deal with the devil, he forgot to specify to leave his power alone and the devil duped him. You duping devil! 2012 Projections: 70/18/80/.265/15
12. Kelly Johnson – After a trade that sent Hill to the D-Backs and Johnson to the Jays, these two will be forever linked. Or just for right now in the rankings. Either way, let’s pretend we’re in the first semester of our junior year of high school and we’re taking the SATs. The final question will send you to either Brown or nowhere because you refuse to have a safety school. Question: In 2008, Kelly Johnson hit .287. In 2009, he hit .224. In 2010, he hit .284. In 2011, he hit .222. What will he hit in 2012? You know the answer; Brown’s within reach! You say he’ll hit around .280 and… You’re wrong. You then go on a 15-month bender that finds you waiting tables on an over-60 cruise ship and making out with grandmothers. His good/bad alternating averages don’t mean anything, except it does tell us it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Johnson to hit something respectable. 2012 Projections: 80/20/70/.265/14
13. Jason Kipnis – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Ackley. I call this tier, “Sleepers or guys that are overdrafted depending on how smart your leaguemates think they are.” What I mean by the tier name is in leagues with people who prep the day before and just fly by the seat of their pants, this tier probably won’t be that known unless you’re in Cleveland, Seattle or Oakland. In leagues where owners started prepping last November, there’s giant flashing lights on this tier’s players to the point where people will probably reach for them way too early. As for Jason Kipnis, I already went over my Kipnis 2012 fantasy. I wrote it enclosed with a giant heart on a bathroom stall. 2012 Projections: 80/14/60/.255/12
14. Jemile Weeks – Member when 2nd base was a speed position? Was before Bret Boone started frosting his hair. All of these 2nd basemen that are on the scene today probably idolized Boone and his frosted tips. They probably even went as far to emulate him and frosted their hair too. When Jemile frosted his hair, his classmates probably called him Sisqo, which is downright embarrassing, so he decided to rebel against the power 2nd baseman and work on his speed. Or not. Simply a theory. Weeks reminds me a bit of Luis Castillo. That takes some air out of your Jemile Weeks balloon, huh? Hey, Castillo had some good years. 2012 Projections: 90/3/50/.265/30
15. Dustin Ackley – I’m having a real hard time understanding the hype on Ackley. To the point where I’m not drafting him unless he falls pretty far. He’s never hit more than 9 homers at any level of professional ball or stole more than 8 bases. Granted, these were abbreviated seasons, but he’s also going to be playing his home games in a terrible hitting park. I’m gonna let someone else take the chance that he shows his ceiling of 15 homers and 15 steals while expecting he shows something closer to… 2012 Projections: 80/12/55/.265/12
16. Ryan Roberts – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Beckham. I call this tier, “Post-hype and no hype guys. I guess I’ll draft them, but they’d have to be super cheap.” Ryan Roberts reads to me like a Ryan Ludwick/Casey McGehee-type. Never considered much of anything, then they explode on the scene at a late age, then they return to Back To Wherever You Came From-ville (which has higher real estate prices than I’m So Outta Here-ville cause of the influx of has-beens). There should be a glossary term for these type of no hype players that only have one good year. Suggest in the comments. 2012 Projections: 55/13/65/.245/15
17. Neil Walker – This guy isn’t far off from Ryan Roberts. They’re pretty much flip-floppable (Made Up Word of the Day!). But since Roberts just came off a better season, I put them in this order. Could see Walker outperforming him in 2012, but not by much since Walker doesn’t have huge power or speed. Not that Roberts does either… Whatever, I don’t like either, stop arguing with me! 2012 Projections: 70/12/80/.270/7
18. Gordon Beckham – Something that hasn’t been reported (or at least by me) is: Could Ozzie leaving town have a positive impact on some White Sox players? You know, the guys that he used to ball-bust. I wouldn’t be shocked if Beckham comes around as a post-hype sleeper just to prove Ozzie wrong. Am I betting a whole lot that that (stutterer!) is gonna happen? Oh, hells no! Beckham just came off a season where 21% of all of his fly balls were infield pop-ups. That’s terrible. In my opinion (and, really, if you don’t want my opinion, you’re probably reading the wrong site), a hitter can’t make worst contact than an infield pop. By drafting Beckham, you’re basically saying that his last two years were a fluke and he’s going to fix everything. Put the chances of that happening in one hand and the chances of it not happening in the other hand and you have two empty hands. Can’t really weigh chances. Maybe you shouldn’t have quit college to become a scale. 2012 Projections: 55/14/70/.260/5
19. Ryan Raburn – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Roberts. I call this tier, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and shame on you again. I’m good at displacing blame.” Bill James still believes. He has Raburn’s 2012 projections down for 18/4. Last year was the chance for Raburn to become relevant. He’s going to be 31 years old for the majority of the 2012 season. I got better things to do than draft a 31-year-old player who has never shown much of anything. Not to mention, there’s been talk of him blahtooning with Ramon Santiago. That’s nice, have fun! 2012 Projections: 40/12/50/.275/3
20. Brian Roberts – I’m sure Brian Roberts never thought he’d be passed on the rankings by a name that people used to mistakenly call him. Here’s the world’s smallest violin. Here’s me putting the world’s smallest violin on eBay. Here’s someone Buying It Now for one cent and playing it just for Brian Roberts. 2012 Projections: 65/5/35/.260/12
After the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball, there’s a lot of names but these stand out, for better or worse:
Daniel Murphy – I left him off the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball and that top 20 went to, like, 30. Honestly, seriously, Cliff Lee, I can’t imagine drafting Murphy anywhere. If he hits in the beginning of the year, you can pick him off waivers in most leagues as a hot schmotato. 2012 Projections: 75/12/60/.275/5
Sean Rodriguez – I almost feel the same way about Sean-Rod as I do with Raburn. Go reread Raburn’s blurb in the passive voice. The one positive on Sean-Rod that Raburn lacks is age. Sean-Rod will only be 27 this April. If there’s no one left on the board, I’d take the flyer and hope Sean-Rod does something. His K-rate tells me he probably won’t. 2012 Projections: 55/14/65/.230/10
Jose Altuve – I haven’t written a Jose Altuve sleeper post yet, but my Magic Eight Ball says, “There’s a chance you write a sleeper post on Jose Altuve.” When I bought this Magic Eight Ball in 1989, I never understood why it kept saying that. In the minors, Altuve showed he could get to double digit power and low 20′s steal-speed. I’ve seen worse. You feel me?! If you do, could you stop? I hate looking at Astros hitters for anything other than which pitchers to stream against them, but Altuve looks like he could have some sneaky value. Now to figure out why my Magic Eight Ball keeps telling me to write a sleeper post for Ken Griffey Jr. Jr. Jr. 2012 Projections: 80/12/40/.265/24 (<–crazy optimistic, but whatevs)