Second basemen used to be weak-hitting defensive specialists, but that is no longer the case. You can now expect most second basemen to hit for average with a little pop in their bat. Last year’s American League MVP was Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. With a number of young players moving into the position on teams throughout the league, there is a great opportunity for keeper fantasy baseball league owners to have some key players for years to come.
The top five keeper fantasy baseball league second basemen are:
1. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
2. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
3. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
4. Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
5. Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins
#1 Keeper Second Baseman – Ian Kinsler – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Few people realize that Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers had nearly identical numbers to AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, and Kinsler missed significant time to injury. While he still has a number of errors, his defensive skills have vastly improved, making Kinsler a better all-around player. With Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, and Chris Davis hitting around him, his numbers will only get better. Last season, hit batted .319 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs at the top of the order. The sky is the limit. Grab him now.
#2 Keeper Second Baseman – Dustin Pedroia – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Dustin Pedroia, the reigning American League MVP, may not have put up the biggest numbers, but he may have been the most timely hitter in 2008. Delivering for your team when it is needed will win you MVP awards, and make you a can’t miss player for a keeper fantasy league team. In 2008, he hit .326 with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs. Dustin Pedroia has proven himself capable of playing at this level for years to come.
#3 Keeper Second Baseman – Chase Utley – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies is coming off an injury and his ability to bounce back to form in 2009 has been questioned. Even at less than 100%, Utley is still an offensive and defensive threat: he hit .292 with 33 home runs in 2008, which he could probably do in his sleep in 2009. With the Phillies coming off of their World Series win, everyone’s play will be elevated in 2009, including Chase Utley.
#4 Keeper Second Baseman – Brandon Phillips – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds has shown that rare combination of power, speed, and the ability to hit for average. While he only hit .261 last year, he did hit .288 in 2007, and with a stronger Reds lineup around him, a young Brandon Phillips has his best years in front of him. He knocked 21 pitches out of the park last year and swiped 23 bases, which should be easy again for him in 2009.
#5 Keeper Second Baseman – Dan Uggla – Fantasy Baseball 2009
Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins continues to impress with his ability to contribute on an almost daily basis. In 2008, he showed an incredible amount of power for his position, hitting 32 home runs and knocking in 92 runs. He has posted similar stats for three straight years, which makes Dan Uggla a smart choice for any keeper fantasy league team owner.
Other candidates for second base on your keeper fantasy baseball league team include Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees (assuming 2008 was a one-time slump), Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles, and Kelly Johnson of the Atlanta Braves.
Sources: MLB.com, ESPN.com