Preseason Position Power Rankings: Couch Side’s top five second basemen for 2013
Editor’s note: Couch Side is very pleased to bring back its annual MLB preseason position power rankings. This year, we will offer two positions every Wednesday and Friday. Each blog ranks the top 10 players at each position and is written by some of Couch Side’s best bloggers. The following is part two of what will be a 12-part series. Enjoy!
Second base isn’t generally known as a power position, so in fantasy drafts second basemen tend to fall to the later rounds. However, there are plenty of second basemen who can bring something to the table in fantasy value.
Here is my list for the top second basemen in terms of fantasy baseball for the 2013-14 season:
5. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers (.256 BA, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 2.0 WAR)
A virtual lock for a 25 home run and 25 steals season, Kinsler is a highly-coveted fantasy second baseman. After a down year, if Kinsler can stay healthy he’s a steal. The Rangers will be without Josh Hamilton this season, but have added Lance Berkman. His runs scored could be near 100, but the Rangers’ lineup is riddled with injury-prone players. Pick him and pray the Texas heat helps keep him healthy. Also, superstar in the making Jurickson Profar will be competing for the second base spot. Kinsler could be moved to first base or the outfield. If that is the case, look to grab Profar in your draft.
4. Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks (.302 BA, 26 HR, 85 RBI, 4.6 WAR)
After a career year in which he clubbed 26 homers, batted .302, drove in 85 rbi and scored 93 runs, Hill may be on the rise. In the past four seasons he’s hit between 26 and 36 home runs. Though the Dbacks lineup will be different, the light air in Phoenix is the same, which can only mean good things for Hill.
3. Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds (.281 BA, 18 HR, 77 RBI, 3.5 WAR)
Phillips is regarded as one of the most flashiest players at his position, but he may also be one of the most underrated. He’s finished the last five seasons with at least 18 homers. In the Reds lineup he’s a threat to score 90 runs and drive in 80. Phillips is 32, so a subtle decline is to be expected.
2. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox (.290 BA, 15 HR, 65 RBI, 4.6 WAR)
As a former AL MVP, Pedroia has the skills to be considered a top second basemen in the league. However, he is somewhat injury-prone, so proceed with caution. If he can stay healthy, fantasy owners can expect some pop in his bat, ending the season somewhere near 20 home runs. Pedroia will rack up doubles and has the potential to hit .300. The cupboard is bare in Boston, so don’t expect too many rbis despite batting near the top of the order.
1. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees (.313 BA, 33 HR, 94 RBI, 8.2 WAR)
This should come as no surprise to baseball fans, Cano has become a superstar over the course of the last 4 seasons. Coming into this season, Cano is in the final year of his contract. Though he is still in a powerful lineup, some of his teammates’ skills are starting to decline while Cano is entering his prime. Cano will hit for power and average and is a lock to be the first second baseman selected in fantasy drafts.
Here are some players who almost made the cut for my top 5 second basemen in fantasy baseball. Houston Astros Jose Altuve, Cleveland Indians Jason Kipnis, Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels Howie Kendrick, New York Mets Daniel Murphy, San Francisco Giants Marco Scutaro