As you are getting ready for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft or auction, there are a few different ways that can help you determine where there is value or a drop off in talent at each position. One way is by grouping each position into tiers to separate different levels of projected performance. By setting up tiers, it will give you a good idea how many second basemen are at each level and what the chances are that someone in said level make it back to you for your next pick if you do not draft that position in the current round
Here is a look at the 2012 fantasy baseball tiers for second basemen.
Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler
I like Pedroia slightly over Cano because of his steals. I really hate to use a first round pick on a player that does not provide something in all five categories and while Cano is really solid in four categories, I like that Pedroia provides numbers in all five of them. Kinsler is a little bit of an injury risk and has not displayed the type of consistency from season-to-season that Pedroia and Cano has.
Brandon Phillips, Ben Zobrist, Dan Uggla
I have Zobrist just an inch ahead of Uggla given his stolen base total and position flexibility. While Phillips and Zobrist provide value in each of the five categories in a standard baseball league, Uggla brings nothing to the table for stolen bases and his batting average can do damage to your team if he struggles as he did in 2011. Don’t get me wrong, I would happily own Uggla, just not ahead of Phillips or Zobrist.
Chase Utley, Rickie Weeks, Howie Kendrick, Danny Espinosa, Kelly Johnson
Utley and Weeks both carry an injury risk and are on my do not draft list so I will not be owning them. Kendrick had a breakout season in 2011 and should be able to maintain something close to that level for the next few seasons. Espinosa has 20-20 upside though his batting average is a drag on a team’s overall numbers. Johnson is the last second basemen at this point in the draft that could get you 20+ home runs and 15 stolen bases.
Jason Kipnis, Jemile Weeks, Ryan Roberts, Neil Walker, Dustin Ackley, Jose Altuve
I was torn on putting Kipnis in tier 3 but given his lack of major league time, I kept him in this group, but I really like his upside. Ryan Roberts is the biggest risk in the group given the fact he had a breakout season at age 30 and his low batting average could eventually put his playing time at risk. Lots of people are very high on Ackley this season and while I like him, I am not sold he is going to hit for that much power just yet to justify where he has been going in some mock drafts.
Aaron Hill, Ryan Raburn, Johnny Giavotella, Daniel Murphy, Brian Roberts
Hill is a boom or bust pick. If his power and stolen bases fall somewhere in between 2010 and 2011, he will provide some value later in the draft. Giavotella gets a little bump up in value if he hits second in the batting order as manager Ned Yost mentioned last month. Murphy qualifies at several positions and offers a little bit of power in the infield. Roberts is still a question mark as he comes back from a concussion.