For me, dealing with second base is like a treasure hunt with no map. Inevitably, there will be some value guys come out of nowhere and perform. In 2012, we saw Aaron Hill rise from a low 200 ADP player to finish as the second best second baseman in fantasy leagues and twenty one overall according to ESPN’s player rater. I also know I’m not the only person that learned how to measure things based on ‘Altuves’ last year @HowManyAltuves. Altuve could swipe forty bags in 2013 and has become a superstar on a team without superstars.
Since there is no map sometimes X doesn’t mark the spot. This time last year I spent a lot of my writing space proclaiming the greatness of Dan Uggla as a possible MVP candidate. I missed that one by a thousand Altuves. For every Altuve and Hill, there’s going to be an Utley and Uggla. Take a look at Robinson Cano. He is past due to miss some time to an injury. The guys has averaged more than 600 at bats over the past four seasons. Maybe he is that durable, but he’s going to cost top seven money. It’s worth noting since you can’t possibly predict injuries.
Guys I Like:
Josh Rutledge 2B/SS COL- I think Josh Rutledge has a chance to be to the Rockies what Zobrist has been to the Rays. After the Rocks lost Tulow last year, Rutledge took the starting shortstop job and was simply amazing. He displays the ability to combine double digit power with double digit steals and an upper echelon batting average for a middle infielder.
Rutledge is getting drafted very deep into drafts near that 200 mark. He should easily outperform that ADP so there’s only profit to be made. For the daily guys, He’s just 3300 on Fanduel and will probably see Yovani Gallardo (awful in April over the past two seasons) on Opening Day.
Jedd Gyorko (2B)/3B SD- I really love this guy’s potential. I really hate that he plays for the Padres. Gyorko (pronounced Jerk-o) could have easily made his debut last year based on his Minor League performance. Instead San Diego chose to let him remain there and get more seasoning, translation Padres were out of playoff race and didn’t want to start his clock. There is a chance Gyorko runs into that same problem again to start 2013. Gyorko has already hit 3 HRs and 9 RBI through the early goings of Spring Training.
I’m not one to put that much stock in exhibition statistics, but Gyorko may force the Padres to put him in the starting lineup to start the season. He will probably struggle initially with batting average, and you would be remiss if you didn’t factor in his home park into his valuation. But the power is real, and he reminds me of Dan Uggla for whatever that’s worth. He shouldn’t cost anything in yearly or daily so I’m speculating and buying both places.
Emilio Bonifacio 2B/OF TOR- Toronto made a big mistake. They promised Maicer Izturis that he would be their starting second baseman in order to sign him. Then the Jays traded for the Marlins team, including Bonifacio, and are now stuck in a quandary. Do you stick with your word to Izturis or do you start the much better player in Bonifacio? I think the Jays will figure to stay somewhere in the middle. They’ll probably use Bonafacio as some sort of super utility guy until they suffer some injuries.
Whatever the case, Bonifacio will get at bats and has every chance to lead the American League in stolen bases. He’s already showing himself healthy this Spring and figures nicely as the number nine hitter in Toronto. There is a lot to like about what the Jays’ staff has been able to assemble this offseason. I have them as my favorite to take the AL East.
*You will notice that Nolan Arenado is not listed in my rankings. There is a slight possibility that he joins the Rockies as a second baseman although most think he will play third. If he comes in as the second baseman that will dramatically affect the value of Josh Rutledge. I believe we will see Arenado upon the start of the season but as a third baseman. Expect a write-up on him in my third base rankings.
Guys I Don’t Like:
Ben Zobrist 2B/SS/OF TB- For a switch-hitter, Zobrist doesn’t hit right-handers good enough for me. His stolen bases seem to be declining, and I think for him to warrant a top 60 draft position, he has to have that. You’re looking at a guy with some real positional flexibility who is going to be locked into 20 HRs and a .265 AVG. I think he could be a guy that will do many things but nothing particularly outstanding. If you are looking for balance, I could see using him as a safe play.
I don’t see much upside from where you are going to have to draft him. In fact, I think 2010 not 2009 could be more of what to expect in 2013 from Zobrist. I’m sorry Benny-Boo-Boo. I usually try to stick up for my fellow Tennesseans.