There are a few elite second baseman, but the position isn’t as deep as 1B, 3B and outfield. If you want a top-tier second baseman, you will have to use a high pick.
Here are the top 30 second baseman for 2013 fantasy baseball season. We even pick a few sleepers and the busts you should avoid!
My rankings are based on a standard 5×5 league. If you have any specific questions about a different league, email me BobbyMcrib@gmail.com.
1. Robinson Cano – It’s no surprise that Cano tops the list of second baseman. He’s been consistent and barring injury, he’ll finish the year as the most productive. Everything lines up for him to have a great year. He will prove to the Yankees he’s worth a huge extension.
2. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox – Pedroia had a very disappointing season in 2012. He had a thumb injury he struggled with. He’s healthy now and I expect a line of .295/20/75 for the Red Sox.
3. Ian Kinsler – Texas Rangers – Kinsler is predicted to have another 20/20 season. He had a mediocre batting average of .256, but I expect an average around .270 in 2013. The Rangers offense is still potent, so he will have another 100+ runs. If you play in a format with that stat, he should be drafted in the first two rounds.
4. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians – With an improved lineup, Kipnis will see betting pitches. He’s been popular sleeper in the past, but everybody knows what he can do now. If he could put two halves together and play at a high level, he could easy hit 20 home runs and steal 30+ bases.
5. Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds – The expectations for Phillips has leveled out. He’s good for 18 homers and 15 steals, with a small percentage of a few more in each category. He’s consistent and has played in at least 147 games in six of the last seven seasons.
6. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays – Zobrist, with shortstop and outfield eligibility, it’s a no brainer that he’s high on this list. You can play him all over the place in fantasy. He’ll get you around 20 homers, bat around .275 and steal around 15 bases. He helps you in many categories, a need for 2B and SS positions.
7. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates – I’ve owned Walker every season he has been in the Majors. I’ve mostly been pleased, since he’s often available a few rounds later than he should be. He’s another guy who can help you in different categories. He’s not in the top-tier of second baseman, but he’s near the top of the next level down. He has above average power for the position and will bat around .275.
8. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros – It’s hard to rank any player on the Astros in the top-10 at any position, but Altuve is the lone exception. You’re going to draft him this high for the steals. His RBI and Runs will even be down low his numbers last season. He’s not going to help you in many other categories; he’s a one trick pony.
9. Danny Espinosa – Washington Nationals – If you want a 20/20 guy and can take a batting average hit, Espinosa is a cheap option for power and speed. He will be drafted later than he should be. His strikeout rate is near the top for his position, so his average will range from .220 to .250.
10. Howard Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels – Everyone has had Kendrick on their fantasy team. You know what you’re getting, so many owners will pick a player with more upside. Kendrick will produce numbers around .285/10/60 with low double-digit steals. The one category that could increase is Runs. Adding Josh Hamilton to any lineup with have that effect.
11. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies – The years have not been kind to Utley. He was once a top pick for his position, but due to injuries, he’s fallen quite a bit. He’s still a starter and get your team double-digit homers and steals. He could have one more great season left in him, so make sure you draft him if you’re in that boat.
12. Dan Uggla – Atlanta Braves – Uggla and Espinosa are similar players. The biggest difference is Uggla has the ability to hit 30+ homers and Esponsosa has the ability to steal about 25 more steals than Uggla’s usual three stolen bases a year. Uggla’s batting average will be higher than last season’s ugly .220.
13. Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks – If there’s a guy on this list with the widest margin of error, it’s Aaron Hill. His batting average has been from .205 to .317, homers from 8 to 36 and steals from 2 to 21. Drafting him high is a risk, but he will fall in-between those numbers in 2013. The smart money is he produces a line similar to .260/15/70 with 10 steals.
14. Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers – I want to inform you that I’ve never been a Rickie Weeks guy. Even during his breakout 2010 season, I wasn’t sold on him continuing those numbers. He’s proven me wrong a lot since, but with his high strikeout rate and a 30 point drop in his batting average, I’m still not sold. He will still have a line of .250/18/60 with low double-digit steals.
15. Jurickson Profar – Texas Rangers – Profar is the belle of the 2nd baseman ball. He will go a few rounds high than he should, because of his upside. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll start the season with the club. Unless they move Kinsler to first base and have Elvis Andrus play either shortstop or second base to make room, I see him being brought up after the first month or two of the season. He will produce a high number of steals (30+) and double-digit homers, with the upside of 20+.
16. Kelly Johnson – Tampa Bay Rays – You can read my description of Dann Uggla and Aaron Hill to get an idea of Johnson. His numbers have been all over the place. He should get plenty at-bats in Tampa, so if you have him as your backup second baseman, he’ll get at-bats when you need to pencil him in.
17. Dustin Ackley – Seatle Mariners – Ackley had a very disappointing season in 2012. He was once a top-10 prospect, so I expect him to turn it around this season. He won’t have a breakout season, but expect a line of .260/15/65 with 15 steals. There’s a risk of another mediocre year, but he has upside.
18. Jeff Keppinger – Chicago White Sox – I didn’t like Keppinger as a third baseman, because you can find more power there, but as a second baseman, he’ll be nice. He is eligible at other positions, so his value is higher because of that. I don’t expect him to duplicate his 2012 numbers, but he’ll have a high average.
19. Marco Scutaro – San Francisco Giants – Scutaro is another second baseman that won’t hurt you in any category. He’ll end up with high single-digit homers and steals, and have a high batting average. You won’t lose any leagues with him, but you may not win with him.
20. Jedd Gyorko – San Diego Padres – The San Diego Padres prospect is slated to be the starting second baseman this season. He’s already hit three homers in Spring Training. Even if you don’t put much thought about preseason stats, it’s a sign he’s ready for the Majors.
21. Omar Infante – Detroit Tigers
22. Gordon Beckham – Chicago White Sox
23. Chris Nelson – Colorado Rockies
24. Darwin Barney – Chicago Cubs
25. Mark Ellis – Los Angeles Dodgers
26. Johnny Giavotella – Kansas City Royals
27. Jemile Weeks – Oakland A’s
28. Cliff Pennington – Arizona Diamondbacks
29. Donovan Solano – Miami Marlins
30. Ryan Roberts – Tampa Bay Rays
Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers – See above.
Brian Roberts – Baltimore Orioles – He has spent most of the last three seasons on the injury list. Teams will draft him because he was once a top second baseman. I don’t see him having a productive season. I see Alexi Casilla getting more at-bats than Roberts in 2013.
Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks – Teams will draft Hill based on his highest numbers. Since his lows are huge canyons, I see him having a number somewhere in the middle. He’s not worth a the round you will have to draft him. Stay away from Hill, unless he falls really far. The value will be there if he falls below the top-10 second baseman drafted.
Chris Nelson – Colorado Rockies – Entering his 27-year season, you could see a breakout season from Nelson. He has a line of .301/9/53 in only 345 at-bats last season. He will play 2B and 3B, so he will have eligibility at both of those position by year’s end.
Josh Rutledge – Colorado Rockies – Another member of the Colorado Rockies? Yes. Although Rutledge isn’t 2B-eligible at the beginning of the season, he will be after the first month. He has a line of .274/8/37 in 277 at-bats filling in for the injured Troy Tulowitzki. The Rockies infield should put up decent fantasy numbers.
Alexi Casilla – Baltimore Orioles – I’ve always liked Casilla. He is now on the Orioles, a team that I can see him getting at-bats. Brian Roberts is a huge question mark, since being on the injured-list the last few seasons. Casilla has the ability to get you cheap steals.
Alexi Amarista/Logan Forsythe – San Diego Padres – Yes, two guys named “Alexi” appear in our sleepers list. Amarista will not help you in any other category but steals. In only 275 at-bats last season, he stole eight bases. He’s a sleeper if you need steals. He has seasons in the minors in which he stole bases in the 20’s and 30’s. He’s a really deep sleeper. If you draft him, you’re betting Jedd Gyorko is not ready for the Majors. Logan Forsythe is a better sleeper, because he’s ahead of Amarista in the depth chart. He’s proven he can produce given the opportunity. Both Amarista and Forsythe could be had late in deep NL-only leagues.