2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2013 Fantasy Baseball, Total Run Series: Second Basemen

All in all, second base might be the deepest position in the big leagues. This is partially because the position has enjoyed the addition of several young players in recent seasons that have gone onto enjoy great success. Others may not have enjoyed great success, but they are so promising that teams are not willing to give up on them. That means it is likely to be a buyer’s market when the deadline approaches. Obviously, evaluating performance can give us a clue as to who might be dealt and who might be looking, but that’s never a fool proof method of evaluating the market.

Other factors are in consideration when evaluating the trade market. First, we must look at a player’s contract situation. If a player is making a lot of money and producing average numbers then he might be on the block. This is particularly true is a team is struggling. Yet, the most common side factor is the presence of prospects down on the farm. If a stud prospect is being blocked then it could motivate teams to move a player they wouldn’t otherwise move.

Team

RC

BR

Total

Robinson Cano Yankees

29

1

30

Ian Kinsler Rangers

28

1

29

Dustin Pedroia Red Sox

27

-1

26

Chase Utley Phillies

24

0

24

Jose Altuve Astros

24

0

24

Marco Scutaro Giants

22

2

24

Matt Carpenter Cardinals

24

-1

23

Brandon Phillips Reds

21

0

21

Omar Infante Tigers

20

0

20

Daniel Murphy Mets

16

4

20

Ben Zobrist Rays

20

-1

19

Howie Kendrick Angels

20

-1

19

Josh Rutledge Rockies

16

1

17

Dan Uggla Braves

16

0

16

Jedd Gyorko Padres

15

1

16

Jason Kipnis Indians

15

-1

14

Mark Ellis Dodgers

13

0

13

Neil Walker Pirates

10

1

11

Dustin Ackley Mariners

9

1

10

Aaron Hill Diamondbacks

8

1

9

Chase Utley– Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are a team begging to start over. Roy Halladay is an impending free agent and currently on the shelf with an arm injury. Ryan Howard’s contract is bloated and out of control. As compared to them, Utley is a relative bargain, but only a bargain in the sense that Macy’s is more affordable than Nieman Marcus. At his level of production, a large market team with a hole could make a sudden run for the playoffs by adding  a player of his caliber. The key for Utley has always been staying healthy. He is consistently productive when healthy and someone any team can insert in the middle of their lineup.

Jose Altuve– Houston Astros

I must be nuts right? Not so fast my friend. A large part of the challenge in rebuilding is recognizing the difference between a cornerstone player and a player that is solid, but not a building block. Altuve is likely one year away from forcing the Astros to make that decision. One cannot crawl into the head of Jeff Luhnow, but it is highly possible that they may have already made this decision internally. If they believe Altuve is a cornerstone player then they’ll likely make him a long-term offer no later than this offseason.

The flip side is that they’ve decided he is not someone they want to make a significant investment in. In that case it becomes a question of when you can get maximum value. He will be eligible for arbitration following the 2014 season. Some teams might kill for a year and a half of cost control and if the package is sweet enough don’t be surprised if they pull the trigger. The timing of decisions like this is often tougher than the decision itself. The organization must weigh the strength of the offer in comparison of when Altuve’s likely replacement (in this case Delino Deshields Jr.) would be ready. 2014 makes more sense on the last front.

Team

RC

BR

Total

Rickie Weeks Brewers

9

0

9

Donovan Solano Marlins

11

-2

9

Emilio Bonifacio Blue Jays

7

1

8

Brian Dozier Twins

6

2

8

Darwin Barney Cubs

8

0

8

Danny Espinosa Nationals

7

-1

6

Eric Sogard Athletics

7

-1

6

Ryan Flaherty Orioles

4

1

5

Chris Getz Royals

4

0

4

Gordon Beckham White Sox

2

0

2

Gordon Beckham– Chicago White Sox

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, potential means you ain’t done nothing yet. Beckham was a college stud and seemed destined to enjoy a ten to fifteen year career as a solid to good middle infielder. Defensively he seems to have arrived, but the bat has never been consistent enough. There are moments of brilliance. Beckham consistently has produced 15-20 home runs when given a full complement of at bats. Unfortunately, that alone will not get it done.

The Sox have plenty of options. They can move Jeff Keppinger (struggling mightily himself) to second base and find themselves a new third baseman. They could give Brent Morel another chance at third base. They could easily give the position to someone else as well. Early returns show that the White Sox are already losing patience with Beckham. His playing time has diminished greatly. It is only a matter of time before it disappears entirely.

Chris Getz– Kansas City Royals

In Getz’s defense, the master plan had him as a utility infielder by this point. Johnny Giavotella was supposed to take over the reigns at second base, but something happened on the way to Giavotella becoming a star. Much like youngsters Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, the hitting just hasn’t arrived yet. The struggles of Alex Gordon early in his career give hope that all three will figure it out eventually. It just won’t be 2013.

All that being said, the Royals find themselves oddly in contention in the early going. If this continues they might want to add someone a little stronger to increase their overall offensive production. The club seems awfully young on the position player front, so maybe a veteran would help at this point. If they could afford it, Chase Utley would work wonders.

Ryan Flaherty– Baltimore Orioles 

Again, not his fault. The club has Brian Roberts and Alexi Casilla. Casilla can field with the best of them, but really can’t hit. Roberts hasn’t been healthy since the Bush administration. Someone has to man the position and it is Flaherty for now. This is where a Chase Utley would be a brilliant fit. Utley really only has a solid year or two left and that would be a perfect amount of time to allow Jonathan Schoop to develop. Meanwhile, Utley’s veteran presence would be nice for young players like Manny Machado.

In more practical terms, if you add a power bat to the likes of Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Matt Wieters then you have yourself a pretty dangerous lineup. The Orioles are close and they have enough young pitching to put themselves over the top late in the season. Adding an Utley would work wonders at this point.

Danny Espinosa– Washington Nationals

Sometimes there are situations that beg for trades, but sometimes there are situations that seem to work out for the best internally. Anthony Rendon was the best college hitter in the draft in 2011. He was selected sixth overall because of injury problems and a lack of a position. The Nationals have Ryan Zimmerman signed long-term, so Rendon won’t be making it as a third baseman. They’ve tried him some at second, but that seemed blocked too with Danny Espinosa’s development.

Espinosa’s struggles might convince the Nationals to speed up Rendon’s development as a second baseman. Certainly, they feel he can give them more offense than what Espinosa is giving them. You insert his power bat into that lineup at that spot and suddenly the Nationals have one of the best offenses in the National League. The question will ultimately be whether he can handle the position defensively.

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