Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fantasy Preview - Second Basemen

Thank goodness for catchers, or else second base would be the position to overlook in fantasy baseball. (Read more)

Second Basemen Rankings:
Player Value
Alfonso Soriano 40.15
Brian Roberts 36.92
Marcus Giles 31.44
Ryan Freel 30.67
Tadahito Iguchi 29.95
Rickie Weeks 28.42
Jeff Kent 26.51
Craig Biggio 25.44
Adam Kennedy 24.73
Craig Counsell 23.76
Jorge Cantu 23.61
Luis Castillo 23.44
Omar Vizquel 23.23
Placido Polanco 20.66
Robinson Cano 20.02
Ray Durham 19.21
Ron Belliard 19.16
Orlando Hudson 19.00
Aaron Hill 17.94
Mark Loretta 17.89
Mark Ellis 14.78
Todd Walker 14.56
Jose Vidro 11.65

There's not a lot here to drool over. As much as I detest Alfonso Soriano, he's head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the pack. Even though he is playing in the National League now, and moreover playing in a terrible park for hitters, he still is the most complete second baseman as far as fantasy stats are concerned.

The best bet is to let some other poor schmoe overpay for Soriano and wait for any of the other interchangeable players at this position. Really, what you're looking for here is someone who can help you in the stolen base category as there are no real power threats save for perhaps Jeff Kent and Jorge Cantu. Thus, with stolen bases in mind, the prime targets should be Brian Roberts and Ryan Freel - two guys who should be in the 30+ range. A healthy Craig Counsell will also be a stolen base threat, as well as Adam Kennedy and Rickie Weeks (who also qualifies at third base). All of these gents should steal about 20.

If you're looking for a more well-rounded threat then both Marcus Giles and Tadahito Iguchi should do nicely. They'll both hit around .290, hit somewhere between 15-20 homers, and steal between 15-20 bases. Giles might be more of a stolen base threat if he hits leadoff this season, as it appears he will. Iguchi will probably be more of a bargain if you're in a salary cap league. At any rate, these should be bargain players who will not hurt you in any category.

The wild card in all this is Jose Vidro. If he comes back healthy he'll be right at the top of the list for second basemen. He might be worth a late round pick or perhaps a bench pickup if your league has one. Of course he also has the RFK curse, and that will cut down on his power numbers if he comes back and plays every day. There's also the chance that he will wind up elsewhere before the season ends, and that anywhere will almost certainly be better for his stats.

There really are no sleepers at this position. I did nicely gambling on Iguchi last season, and he might fall under the radar once again. Craig Biggio might still be able to put up some good numbers, and there's a good chance many other players will ignore him. But he's also a risk.

Bottom line: Ignore Soriano and go for speed. Save your money for the true power positions at 1st, 3rd, and outfield.


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