Fantasy Baseball 2013: Second Basemen

Profar featuredThe 2013 baseball season is weeks away, and for us that means only one thing: it’s time to start drafting. Over the next two weeks the Gunaxin team is going to be putting out our 2013 Fantasy Baseball guides, with rankings for every position and some extra content for hardcore players. We will be breaking down the top fantasy options by position, putting the players in tiers to make your draft day experience easier.

We continue our breakdown with the second basemen. In years past the position was dominated by two or three elite players, with a massive drop off after the early rounds. That is rapidly changing, as there is a growing middle class of players at the position who can actually add to your fantasy lineup.

We are going to include shortstops who are second-eligible on this list, as they will provide value at the position.

The Stud

Cano1. Robinson Cano

Cano was the only second basemen who hit more than 30 homers in 2012, and one of three players who topped 20. Of those three players, Cano and Aaron Hill were the only two to pair the power with a .300+ batting average. Even with his teammates falling around him to injury, Cano can reasonably be expected to match his 2012 performance, and, at the age of 30, shouldn’t yet be facing a drop off in his skills.

The All Stars

Kinsler 560x2802. Ian Kinsler

3. Brandon Phillips

4. Dustin Pedroia

5. Ben Zobrist

6. Aaron Hill

All five of these players have the chance to be the top player at the position if Cano suffers any injury problems. All provide a decent mix of power and speed, with all but Hill having the potential to top 20 stolen bases and 20 home runs.

The Breakout Star

Kipnis7. Jason Kipnis

An awful second half (.233 BA) in 2012 will drive down his value, but Kipnis is due a major breakthrough in 2013. At age 26, Kipnis should see an uptick in his power performance this season, while hopefully adjusting to left handing pitching. If he can up his average back to the .270 mark he provides a legitimate contribution in all five categories, even hitting in a weak Cleveland lineup.

The Category Black Holes

Altuve8. Jose Altuve

9. Rickie Weeks

10. Neil Walker

11. Danny Espinosa

12. Howie Kendrick

Altuve is going to provide you with serious speed (30+ SBs) and a respectable average, but nothing else. He’s got little power in his tiny frame, and the awful Astros lineup around him will provide him with little support in the RBI and Runs categories. Weeks  and Espinosa are batting average liabilities, while Walker provides little speed in a lineup almost as bad as Altuve’s. Kendrick will only be a viable starter if he can move up in the Angels lineup.

The Ineligible Star

Rutledge13. Josh Rutledge

The only reason that we have Rutledge this low is that he shouldn’t go in the early rounds of your draft thanks to his lack of eligibility at the position. That will change in most leagues in the first few weeks of the season, as Rutledge is slated to be the Rockies opening day starter at the position. In less than half a season last year Rutledge hit .274 with eight HRs and seven SBs, and there is no reason to think that he can’t maintain those numbers over a full season hitting in front of the heart of the order in Coors. A .290 average with 100 runs and a 20/20 season is within reach of Rutledge, who might be the best value on the board on draft day.

The Aging Starters

Uggla14. Dan Uggla

15. Chase Utley

16. Marco Scutaro

17. Omar Infante

Four former no doubt starters, but none of them should be drafted as one outside of single league or deep leagues. Second base is tough on the body, so precipitous drops or extended DL stints become increasingly likely when players get over 30, which drives down the value of all four players in this group.

The Enigma

Ackley18. Dustin Ackley

We honestly have no idea what to think about Ackley, the former top hitting prospect. He was supposed to be a solid five category contributor, but struggled to a .226 average in 2012, killing any fantasy value he may have provided. We are betting on a slight rebound, but would rather he take that step forward on our bench.

The Rookies

Wong19. Jurickson Profar

20. Jedd Gyorko

21. Kolten Wong

Gyorko is the best bet to break camp with his team, with an early edge at second base for the Padres. Profar and Wong should start the season in AAA, with Profar being the best all around player of the three and a potential rookie of the year if he wasn’t blocked. Wong might be the last to début, but as the only pure second baseman of the three he’s the safest bet to actual stay eligible at the position.

The Backups

Daniel Murphy22. Daniel Murphy

23. Jeff Keppinger

24. Kyle Seager

25. Darwin Barney

26. Emilio Bonifacio

Any of these players could serve as a temporary fill in, but if they are starting for your team, you are in trouble. Keppinger is our favorite value pickup in this group, as his multiple position eligibility provides him with extra value

The Enigma

Brian RobertsBrian Roberts

In years past Roberts would have been in the second group on this list, before he missed most of the last two seasons with concussion symptoms and a groin injury. Roberts last topped 300 at bats in 2009, but when he did he hit .283 with 16 HRs and 30 SBs. He’s no bet to stay in the lineup this season either, but a .270 average with 10/15 and decent RBIs and Runs isn’t an unreasonable projection if he can earn regular starts.