We already went over the top 20 catchers for 2009 and the top 20 1st first basemen for 2009.  Today, it’s all about the top 20 2nd basemen.  The 2nd basemen pool is shallow (not as kiddie-sized as the shortstops, but we’ll get to them in the next post).  Because of this shallowivity (Made Up Word Of The Day!), the 2nd basemen rankings can be split up into two tiers.  The guys you want and the tomato-tomahto guys.  The Guys You Want’s names kinda give them away.  The Tomato-Tomahto Guys are a whole group of 2nd basemen that are so close to each other in rank, it really didn’t matter which one of them you owned.  At one time or another during the season, you probably dropped one of the Tomato-Tomahtos for a different Tomato-Tomahto.  Everyone probably has one Tomato-Tomahto guy that they hated during the season.  I have a few.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2009 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Chase Utley – He was my choice for NL MVP in the preseason.  He’s going to be my 2010 NL MVP preseason selection.  Probably will be my 2011 preseason NL MVP choice and maybe my pick in 2012.  Then, one day when Pujols is not only hurt, but plays hurt, Utley will win it.  Preseason Rank #1, 2009 Projections:  105/29/105/.295/10, Final Numbers: 112/31/93/.282/23

2. Aaron Hill – Let’s get it out of the way upfront, there was some surprises in the 2nd basemen rankings.  We (or you) can sit there and say to yourself, “Gadzooks, Grey did a terrible job of ranking the 2nd basemen.”  First, who says gadzooks?  Are you in a comic strip?  Second, no one ranked Aaron Hill, Ben Zobrist, Marco Scutaro, Adam Kennedy et al anywhere near the top fifteen coming into the season.  There’s the top guys and there’s the bottom guys at MI.  This is why I usually punt the middle and avoid middle infielders between rounds 7 and 15.  Either get a top one, or ignore and take a flier later.  More will be said on this in the offseason.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  103/36/108/.286/6

3. Robinson Cano –  Someone has a terrific season the previous year (Pedroia, Hamilton) and I pulled back for 2009.  A player craps the bed in the previous season (Robinson Cano) and I got excited about them for 2009.  This is the story of my life with women too.  Kick me in the nads and I’ll buy you steel-tipped boots.  Preseason Rank #8, 2009 Projections:  80/18/85/.310/3, Final Numbers:  103/25/85/.320/5

4. Brian Roberts – My predicted numbers weren’t that far off from where he ended up.  Didn’t like him in April of 2008, didn’t like him in April of 2009, I think I might like him a bit more in 2010 because he’s finally become predictable.  Predictable is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies.  Preseason Rank #6, 2009 Projections:  105/10/50/.285/30, Final Numbers:  110/16/79/.283/30

5. Ben Zobrist – Almost surprising as his season is his Christian faith (come on, his name is screaming for a mohel).  Everyone knows the good, so let’s look at the glass half empty.  17/52 and 11 steals with a .297 average in the 1st half.  In the 2nd half, 10/39 in 9 more at-bats.  Not terrible, just not as good.  His eligibility definitely helped offset the regression.   Nevertheless, it was there.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  91/27/91/.297/17

6. Ian Kinsler – It’s great to finally see what he’s capable of over an entire season.  He’s a liability on average, plus speed and nearly as solid as Utley elsewhere.  Preseason Rank #2, 2009 Projections:  110/23/80/.280/25, Final Numbers:  101/31/86/.253/31

7. Dustin Pedroia – This was the season I was worried about when I advised people (that’s you!) to stay away from Pedrioa.  Was 2009 a terrible season?  No, I never thought for one second he’d be terrible.  I just didn’t buy into him as a 2nd round pick and a repeat of his MVP season.  Preseason Rank #5, 2009 Projections:  110/15/75/.310/15, Final Numbers:  115/15/72/.296/20

8. Brandon Phillips – For some reason, no one seems to trust Phillips.  20/20 for three seasons straight and he gets no respect.  Whatevs, I’ll keep owning him since no one else wants to.  Preseason Rank #3, 2009 Projections:  90/25/80/.270/25, Final Numbers:  78/20/98/.276/20

9. Asdrubal Cabrera – With a swift kick to the nuts, the tomato-tomahto portion of the program begins.  It didn’t really matter which of these guys you owned, they were all productive at some points during the season and yawnstipating at other times.  Preseason Rank #21, 2009 Projections:  90/12/60/.275/10, Final Numbers:  81/6/68/.308/17

10. Marco Scutaro – If you would’ve told me in February there would be two Blue Jay 2nd basemen in the top 10, I would’ve punched you in the mouth.  MAR…co… SCUT…aro… had a decent season for a guy that probably wasn’t even owned in your league for a third of the season and returned from Asia with pasta.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  100/12/60/.282/14

11. Adam Kennedy – Gene Rayburn, “2nd base is so shallow…”  You, “How shallow is it?”  Kennedy had only a good May and September and he’s ranked 11th overall.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  65/11/63/.289/20

12. Felipe Lopez –  You would think a guy whose ADP was 213 and who is ranked this high would have been a huge success.  You’d be dead wrong.  So many times I wanted to cut the Fe-Lopezian tubes, then he’d go and have a 1-for-3 game with 1 Run and I’d hold him.  Ugh, he had one of the more frustrating seasons.  How does he only steal 6 bases all year?!  Ryan Howard stole 8 bases!  Preseason Unranked, but he did make the Cheap Alternatives post, Final Numbers:  88/9/57/.310/6

13. Jose Lopez – I usually go with speed at MI, but, if you needed power there, J. Lo turned in a perfectly respectable season.  I would’ve taken his season over F. Lo any day of the week and twice on Muesday.  Preseason Rank #10, 2009 Projections:  80/15/85/.280/5, Final Numbers:  69/25/96/.272/3

14. Alexei Ramirez – When you’re ranked within sneezing distance of Luis Castillo, I hope you get Swine Flu.  Ramirez had one good month (May, 7 homers, 2 steals while batting .283) and 4 yawnstipating months.  How does he only steal 4 bases from June 19th on?  I think I’ve found my first candidate of the offseason that I won’t be drafting on any teams in 2010.  No matter what stories come out of spring training. Alexei has never seen the ball this well before! Alexei gained 120 of muscle mass! Alexei can go to hell.  Preseason Rank #4, 2009 Projections:  95/22/90/.285/15, Final Numbers:  71/15/68/.277/14

15. Maicer Izturis – Maicer, what goes on?  Maicer…  It’s funny all the people ending the season at exactly .300 or just over it.  Don’t make me get Vin Scully to recount the story of how Ted Williams started both sides of a doubleheader while sitting on .400 for the season.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  74/8/65/.300/13

16. Alberto Callaspo – I liked him in the preseason, but even with that like, I couldn’t generate the enthusiasm to draft him anywhere.  Let’s face it, his mother barely gets excited about his hitting.  Was also mentioned in that Cheap Alternatives thingamapost, Final Numbers:  79/11/73/.300/2

17. Luis Castillo – Please don’t make me say anything about Castillo.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  77/1/40/.302/20

18. Placido Polanco – Placido Polanco is Yoda to Callaspo’s Luke.  Can we just call these guys Polancallaspo?  Preseason Rank #14, 2009 Projections:  90/7/55/.310/7, Final Numbers:  82/10/72/.285/7

19. Dan Uggla – Even with how awful this list is, Aramis Ramirez, with 2nd base eligibility, would not have made this list.  Yes, 2nd base was deeper than 3rd base.  Bring back steroids!  Preseason Rank #7, 2009 Projections:  85/30/100/.255/5, Final Numbers:  84/31/90/.243/2

20. Clint Barmes – This is one of my big problems with the ESPN Player Rater (this is where these rankings come from; makes it less subjective).  I’d rank Barmes as the last guy you’d want and above all the tomato-tomahtos.  I don’t really mind the average, but his homers and steals were valuable.  This is how I ended up with Mark Reynolds on all my teams in 2009 and how I will probably have Barmes on some 2010 teams.  (This is not official yet, we’re still recapping.  Barmes needs an everyday job.)  Was ranked 20th as a Shortstop, 2009 Projections:  75/12/55/.270/12, Final Numbers:  69/23/76/.245/12

  1. Tony says:

    You say you’ll never draft Alexie Ramirez but isn’t he exact kind of candidate you like grey? A la CANO….?

    If he goes past the 10th round next year i’ll swoop in. Then he’ll go 25HR/20SB and bat .290 next year…. Oct 2010 you’ll be quoting me!

  2. big o says:

    @ Grey :
    so , after 40 years of service to the local synagogue , the mohel decides to retire .
    down he goes , to a local craftsman , with a sparkletts bottle of “tips” that he has collected , explaining that he’d like something nice to remind him of his life’s work .
    come back in 2 weeks , he is told .
    upon his return , his life-long friend , manny , reaches under the counter and produces a wallet .
    “i work 40 years and all i have to show for it is a small wallet , from such a big jar ??”

    yes , explains manny , “but if you rub it , it turns into a suitcase” .

  3. big o says:

    @ Grey :
    cano is one of the very few that met my pre-season expectations .

    also drafted roberts —> bleh …. too old now , and actually loses value , on days they slot him 3rd in the batting order .

    phillips ?? …. another bum
    (bum = player whose performance i over-projected) .
    saw a pre-season interview where he discussed not being the proto-typical clean-up hitter …. “more of a line-drive hitter” … and that he would just concentrate on putting the ball in play .
    so that explains WHY every time i watched him , he was swinging for the freaking left-field fence ??
    i gotta stop watching those pre-season interviews !!

    nice match game reference ,
    though wasn’t that schtick stolen from carson ?

    felipe lopez ….. EXACTO … but , boy , weren’t we hopeful when he went to milwaukee !! …. i think he actually slowed down , there .
    (heard he finished 5th in the sausage race) .

  4. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:

    Grey, you get excited when women crap your bed?

  5. PJtres says:

    so, if you could only keep 6

    miggy, utley, longo, arod, vmart, greinke, lester, ethier, morales…

    who would they be?


  6. Mr Baseball says:

    Dan Uggla – I got my 31 homeruns – yea

  7. Mr Baseball says:

    Dustin Pedroia numbers are almost the same – I not endursing him for MVP but maybe he should have been considered for the Noble Peace Prize

  8. Mr Baseball says:

    Gene Rayburn, “2nd base is so shallow…” we go to Charles Nelson Reilly –

  9. Mr Baseball says:

    Luis Castillo numbers would have been better if he played in the wind tunnel of yankee stadium

  10. Jo says:

    Other then ian kinsler, I’m down with these rankings. kinsler performed equally or outperformed your expectations and dropped from 2 to 6 in the rankings. I think given another year of seasoning, he should be more consistent next year. Would you mind bringing him up a few slots for me? As the Italians say, Gratzie

  11. Mr Baseball says:

    Guy Fieri says ian kinsler is money

  12. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Tony: Hmm… I don’t think Alexei qualifies as the type of guy of down year like Cano. Cano did .300 and power for a few years before 2008. Alexei only had four good months prior to this year.

    @big o: re: mohel joke — Ha! — Did they steal it from Carson? Not sure. We were hopeful with Felipe, at least I was. Bleh.

    @mgeoffriau: Guess it depends on the circumstances… No, probably not.

    @PJtres: Miggy, Utley, Longo, A-Rod, V-Mart, Greinke…

    @Jo: Check out what I wrote for Clint Barmes.

    @Mr Baseball: Nice video. Guy Fieri says Kinsler’s bananas.

  13. Corey II says:

    how did Uggla drop from #7 to #19 when he basically performed exactly where you expected him to?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Corey II: He came in 19th on the ESPN Player Rater, as explained in the Barmes blurb and on the catchers top 20, I used ESPN to rank so it would be objective. I agree, Uggla did what I expected.

  15. Paul Wilson says:

    @Tony: I owned Alexi all year. Grey hit the nail on the head. Alexei can go to hell. You draft Alexei, you doom yourself to another year of fantasy mediocrity highlighted by your 2010 midseason trade of Alexei’s friend Alex Rios (your first OF drafted) for a .220 hitting Clint Barmes. Don’t get clever with yourself, listen to Grey. Just kayin’.

  16. papasmurf says:

    does brian roberts still have another good year in him or is he gonna start breaking down after roids?

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @papasmurf: I don’t think he’s necessarily headed for a breakdown now.

  18. Corey says:

    Who wins on a Sizemore/ 5th Round draft pick/ 12th Rounder for Longoria/3rd Rounder?

    Thanks in advance.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Corey: Longoria’s side.

  20. Shmorgie S. Board says:

    Whenever I hear or read the name, “Marco Scutaro,” in my head I hear “Mistah Sparkle!” from the Simpsons.

    Anybody else?


    @Grey: I won my league, doode! It was Year 5 in our keeper league. At the ASB, I was 27 points in the lead. Three weeks later I was 14.5 points back. Deals were made. Moves were countered by… counter-moves! We finished tied in the standings, but I won our league’s tiebreakers. The last weekend was NUTSO.

    You should be happy about this, Grey. You advised me to drop Cuddyer for Byrd in early September. Thank Moses nobody grabbed Cuddyer and I got him back.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Shmorgie S. Board: I knew you’d get him back. Master plan! Congrats on the win!

  22. Shmorgie S. Board says:

    @Grey: Thanks, brah. Over the last week or so I was watching the ESPN score tracker thing with facial expressions inspired by Keir Dullea in the last 10 minutes of 2001.

    /old man reference

  23. bostonaccent says:

    What do you think of Nix for upside? It looks like he has that Brandon Phillips potential of a boring 20/20 season. I can’t figure out what the heck will be going on with that team next year, though. Ozzie could pull some awful Fields/Lillibridge/Getz/Kotsay infield out for opening day…

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @bostonaccent: Nix isn’t someone I’d really worry about yet. White Sox could trade for someone, trade away someone… Nix is a borderline pick even if he has a job and that won’t be known until end of March.

  25. Neil says:

    @PJtres: the first six

  26. Jo says:

    so i’ve been getting bored with fantasy football and decided to get back into baseball cuz it’s all i have to do.

    I did a little spreadsheet with the top players that would have started in a standard 10 team CBS league (10 1B’s,10 2B’s, 10 C’s, 10 SS’s, 10 3B’s, 30OF’s, 50 SP’s, 20 RP’s) I got the averages and standard deviations of the points for each group and the avg/stdev for the group w/o their top player.

    I did this so i could see what positions are the most scarce going into next year, obviously this is based strictly on 09 results… but you can compare the st. dev/averages to the average for all positions.

    If anyone wants the data to look at, just shoot me an email and i’ll send it to ya

    [email protected]

  27. big o says:

    i discover a bit more anger everytime i read this post .

    at 1st , i was amused @ how personally you’ve taken some of the disappointment .
    now , i suspect , rather than residual anger , that some of your attitude is molded by your resignation to the fact that , in a few months time , you’ll , again , have to decide on this 2B/MI “issue” .

    i know that it’s your site , and that you get to call the shots , but ,
    are you allowed to be pissy about how badly some player is going to screw the pooch and ruin one (or more) of your teams , NEXT year ??

  28. big o says:

    for what it’s worth ,
    i’ve seen placido polanco from close range .
    i’m pretty sure that he can take you .

    cust cautionin’ .

  29. big o says:

    @big o:
    wait !
    major thought coming ……….

    is this why writers on other sites tend to have un-realistic projections on WAY too many players ====> fear of getting the shizz beat out of them ??

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