2011 Rankings and Projections: Second Base

Second base saw a lot of fluctuation in 2010. Top dogs like Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler fell off for their own reasons. While those players disappointed, a number of others (Prado, Weeks, Johnson) stepped up their game. How does it all play out in 2011? My projections attempt to answer that question and “Value Index” puts a rank on those 44 projections.



  • Chase Utley barely edges out Robinson Cano based on “Value Index” score. As long as he’s healthy in 2011, his power numbers should bounce back a bit and the extra stolen bases give the edge over Cano in this case. I still might rank Cano first when I do adjusted rankings in February, but this ranking goes to show just how close they are.
  • Ian Kinsler‘s projection is based on my belief that he will adjust somewhere in between his 2009 and 2010 seasons. One year he didn’t hit for AVG but had plenty of HR/SB value. The next year he over-corrected his fly ball rate and hit for AVG, but lost power. Health, of course, is always a concern.
  • Martin Prado is going to score a bunch of runs in 2011 and hold extreme value for his multi-position eligibility.
  • Ben Zobrist was a tough projection to judge, but I think he ends up somewhere in between 2009 and 2010. His plate discipline skill remained solid, even with such a regression in stats in 2010.
  • Cito Gaston had the Jays swinging for the fences in 2010, and Aaron Hill‘s fly ball rate saw an extreme spike. That should correct in 2011, which will raise his incredibly low 10.6% line drive rate and .196 BABIP. The power numbers were still good in 2010.
  • Coming off of a career year, many fantasy GM’s might be high on Rickie Weeks, but I’d like to see him stay healthy in back-to-back years first. His high strikeout rate, low contact rate and 15.4 percent line drive rate all make his .332 BABIP last season look like a fluke.
  • Kelly Johnson is unlikely to repeat his super hot April from last year. His power fits well in Chase Field, but there are concerns that could lead to fluctuations in AVG.
  • Mike Aviles should get a ton of playing time in 2011 and could be a nice sleeper on draft day 2011.
  • Jed Lowrie‘s projection may seem low, but I have concerns over how his fly ball rate will affect his AVG. As of today, there is no clear cut starting spot for him with Scutaro still at short.
  • Eric Young Jr.’s projection is for 501 at-bats. This may change as the season draw near due to the additions of Jose Lopez and Ty Wigginton of late.
  • Danny Espinosa has shown some 20/20 potential in the minors, but his big swing generates plenty of swings and misses and strikeouts. That might keep his AVG from blossoming at the big league level, at least initially. Also, Espinosa injured his hand in winter ball and had to have his Hamate bone removed. That injury usually leads to a loss of power for about a full year, which is why his home run projection and playing time are so low.