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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool.  Weird year for the 2nd basemen.  They had a huge bounce back last year, but this year a bunch of guys got old or just disappointed:  Kinsler, Carpenter, Kipnis and Zobrist.  And that’s only naming the Jews and Gentiles.  (I’m putting Carpenter in both camps.)  To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. Jose Altuve – Okay, no small cracks, and I’ll keep this short–Dah!  Altuve is what makes baseball great.  You can appreciate football, I don’t, but you can.  You can appreciate basketball, I really don’t, but you can.  Baseball is the only sport where a five-six, buck-fifty guy can be the best player in the league.  That is the American dream.  That and Dusty Rhodes.  Preseason Rank #1, 2017 Projections: 107/18/81/.321/37, Final Numbers: 112/24/81/.346/32

2. Anthony Rizzo – Don’t even get me started on the stupidness that is Rizzo having 2nd base eligibility because he fielded a few bunts.  Any hoo!  I went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.

3. Dee Gordon – I Mr. Bungled this one.  We can debate my Odor snafu, but Gordon I legit messed up.  I’ll cop to it.  I think it’s because I was burned so badly the year before by his suspension.  He’s an easy 50-steal guy, which I projected him for, but I ranked him too low.  He’s more of a five to six ranking vs. 11.  Meh, live and…What’s the other half of that expression?  Preseason Rank #11, 2017 Projections: 88/3/39/.282/51, Final Numbers: 114/2/33/.308/60

4. Jose Ramirez – Here’s what I said this past preseason, “The positive is speed doesn’t slump.  Worst case scenario, maybe he gets only 5 homers and steals 20+ bags.  That’s not great, but I’m not convinced he can’t be Altuve at 3rd either.  He doesn’t strike out, he walks a ton, he will hit near-.300 and he stole 38 bases in Double-A.  Everyone’s going negative on Ramirez, but when they go low, we draft them high!  Hmm, that didn’t work as I intended it.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Turns out, he does have Altuve’s power and then some.  Preseason Rank #17 for 3B, 2017 Projections: 75/8/69/.295/25, Final Numbers: 107/29/83/.318/17

5. Jonathan Schoop – You ready to get burned by Schoop?  Because I think I’m going to like him a lot next year.  His BABIP (.330) wasn’t extreme for him, maybe a hair high.  His HR/FB% was in line with norms.  His line drives are solid, ground balls aren’t bad, fly balls are fine, Ks are okay, walks went up, was in top 35 for Hard Contact, bottom eleven for soft contact, and, yeah, I like him.  Preseason Rank #10, 2017 Projections: 78/30/89/.260/2, Final Numbers: 92/32/105/.293/1

6. Brian Dozier – I guess we should start expecting the 2nd half boon, if boon means what I think.  At least what I think boon means now, not what I thought at age 15 when all I knew was Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill.  The problem with relying on a huge 2nd half is if it doesn’t come, you’re left with a terrible 1st and 2nd half and no redemption.  Preseason Rank #6, 2017 Projections: 102/25/74/.248/15, Final Numbers: 106/34/93/.269/16

7. Whit Merrifield – Similar sitch to Scooter below, I was one of the few who projected and ranked Merrifield because I liked him as a super late flyer, and how I ended up drafting him in my NFBC league, which I won.  Of course, I did not predict this year from him.  No one did, not even Whit, to wit.  Preseason Rank #41, 2017 Projections: 40/5/34/.261/5, Final Numbers: 80/19/78/.288/34

8. Daniel Murphy – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.

9. Scooter Gennett – Hey, at least I ranked him.  Can’t say that about many other ‘perts.  Not only did I rank him, but I drafted him for free in the preseason in Tout Wars (12-team NL-Only) and he played a huge part in my victory.  This was one case where not ignoring a one-time prospect paid off.  But, still, eat a D, Brett Lawrie!  Preseason Rank #38, 2017 Projections: 41/10/47/.274/5, Final Numbers: 80/27/97/.295/3

10. Chris Taylor – Looking through Taylor’s minor league numbers to see if we missed any sign he was about to hit 21 homers, and, unless someone gives me his high school or Little League numbers to peruse, I can’t find a single solitary thing.  He looked like a five to seven homer guy prior to this year.  What hath your tightly-sewn baseballs wrought, Commissioner?   Prior to this year, Chris Taylor was only Ben Stiller’s wife.  Now even that is gone!  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  85/21/72/.288/17

11. Trea Turner – In 198 major league games, that’s a season plus six weeks, he has 25 HRs and 81 SBs and a .304.  I just got dizzy in the pants.  Can I draft him top five next year right now?  If he had the number of runs and RBIs that comes with 11 HRs, 46 SBs and a .284 average in, say, 150 games, if he wasn’t injured, he’d easily be the 2nd best 2B on this list.  I love Trea Turner.  Preseason Rank #2, 2017 Projections: 102/16/84/.305/40, Final Numbers:  75/11/45/.284/46

12. Robinson Cano – If baseballs weren’t flying out at a record pace, Cano’s season would’ve looked downright Yunelish.  It took a while, but we’re finally seeing the decline phase of Cano’s career.  Preseason Rank #4, 2017 Projections: 86/26/91/.291/2, Final Numbers: 79/23/97/.280/1

13. Eduardo Nunez – Maybe it’s the 30 years of age, but I believe Nunez is exactly what we saw last year, even though he missed 50 games.  Preseason Rank #17 for Shortstops, 2017 Projections: 64/10/72/.259/30, Final Numbers: 60/12/58/.313/24

14. Marwin Gonzalez – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen.

15. Javier Baez – I’m going to try to say this without any exclamation marks, but the urge is so overwhelming.  Baez had 372 at-bats hitting 7th or lower in the order; Zobrist had 374 at-bats hitting cleanup or higher.  DAH!!!!!!!  I couldn’t do it, sorry.  Preseason Rank #21, 2017 Projections:  55/17/65/.268/13, Final Numbers:  75/23/75/.273/10

16. DJ LeMahieu – This is funny (so not funny).  Ranked ahead of LeMahieu in my preseason rankings was Devon Travis.  HAHAHAHAHA–WHAT DRUGS WAS I ON!?  By the way, runs, RBIs and AVG are the hardest to predict, and steals and power are the easiest, as I’ve said a million times.  With that in mind, look at my LeMahieu projections vs. end stats.  Hehe, I’m stoopid.  Preseason Rank #14, 2017 Projections: 96/14/64/.311/15, Final Numbers: 95/8/64/.310/6

17. Jean Segura – I project ABs in the preseason, and haven’t been mentioning that, but now figures to be a good time, because Segura is pretty damn close on projections vs. end stats, but I thought he’d get 60 more ABs, so, just being upfront with you, I wasn’t that close.  Though, 60 more ABs would’ve pushed him up to about 12th overall, which is closer to my preseason ranking of 7th, so I was kinda right!  The first thing you learn in the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston is how to justify anything.  Preseason Rank #7, 2017 Projections: 83/11/46/.274/27, Final Numbers:  80/11/45/.300/22

18. Rougned Odor – Hoo boy.  Last time I get behind a guy with such an odorous last name.  I’m looking at you, Triple-A All-Star Jimmy Stankfinger.  Okay, okay…OKAY!  The average is what really killed him.  I know, I know, it really, really, REALLY was bad.  But look at his other stats compared to projections.  If his BABIP cooperated, he wouldn’t have been a bust.  He would’ve still had a lower average than I projected, but it wouldn’t have been that low.  For a guy that hit .204 (Hayzeus Cristo), he could’ve been much worse.  Preseason Rank #14, 2017 Projections: 92/28/98/.281/15, Final Numbers: 79/30/75/.204/15

19. Tim Beckham – It wasn’t quite sending Erik Bedard to the Mariners for their entire farm system, but the O’s look like they got a steal from Beckham.  I’m still puzzled by the Rays thinking.  Beckham was the 1st overall selection in the MLB draft, and they got back Nadir Bupkis.  Maybe, as reported, Beckham is a clubhouse cancer, but 20+ HRs puts that shizz in remission real fast. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 67/22/62/.278/6

20. Jose Reyes – How bad was the Mets season?  Jose Reyes was a highlight.  Preseason Rank #32 for Shortstops, 2017 Projections: 51/10/29/.271/17, Final Numbers: 75/15/58/.246/24