Second was seen as an up-and-coming position before the 2010 season, but it ended up being a position of chaos. Chase Utley faltered, Pedroia got hurt, Weeks stayed healthy and Prado line drove his way up the charts. Despite the chaos, the 2011 ranks look mildly deep, but remain full of risk as well.
1. Chase Utley – Great track record, bad season. Utley was slumping before being injured, but he remains number one until Cano can put up his numbers back-to-back.
2. Robinson Cano – Numbers fell in the second half, but overall line is top-tier.
3. Dustin Pedroia – Only an injury could stop his top-notch 2010 season.
4. Ian Kinsler – Has yet to put it all together, but my bet is that the power returns in 2011 to go along with stolen bases and a good chance of a .275-plus AVG.
5. Martin Prado – A line drive machine that should contribute a .300 AVG and 100 runs in 2011.
6. Dan Uggla – Unlikely to hit .280-plus again (.326 BABIP in 2010), but power continues to carry his value.
7. Brandon Phillips – Huge September slump aside, another solid season from Phillips, who should knock on the 20/20 door once again in 2011.
8. Rickie Weeks – Weeks’ breakout season comes via his first healthy season in which he played over 129 games. Don’t forget about the injury risk in 2011.
8. Aaron Hill – The AVG never got going, but the 25-plus home run potential remained. With such a random loss of AVG in 2010, the chances for a nice bounce-back for 2011 are quite high.
10. Kelly Johnson – Johnson cooled after an amazing April, but he still hit for plenty of power the rest of the way. As long as he stays in Arizona, his power should be an asset once again in 2011.