Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Review and Preview - 2B, SS, OF

by Todd Zola, on September 19, 2012 @ 14:55:22 PDT


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Today we continue our trip around the diamond (last week: C, 1B, 3B), focusing on the keystone combo and fly chasers. We'll review our preseason top 10 at second base and shortstop, see who is likely to finish on top of the rankings and look ahead to next season to suggest who will join the top 10 and who will leave. We'll expand the outfield pool to the top 30. Next week, we'll finish the series by looking at pitching.

Second Base

Preseason Top 10

Robinson Cano
Ian Kinsler
Dustin Pedroia
Brandon Phillips
Ben Zobrist
Dan Uggla
Rickie Weeks
Howard Kendrick
Neil Walker
Ryan Roberts

Projected Final Top 10

Robinson Cano - sneak peek, Cano will be my #3 overall player next season
Aaron Hill - power back plus a high BABIP leading to a near .300 average
Ian Kinsler - only 18 homers but 40 doubles says power still there
Brandon Phillips - as advertised
Dustin Pedroia - not a bad season but not up to usual standards
Jason Kipnis - 19 SB first half, only 8 second half
Ben Zobrist - typical season
Jose Altuve - more steals than expected
Danny Espinosa - counting stats as expected, high BABIP yielding higher average than anticipated
Rickie Weeks - average lower than normal but counting stats still there

Cleveland Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera
Cabrera should rebound in 2013

Most Likely to Enter 2013 Top 10

Neil Walker - injuries cost 2012 production, talent still there
Dan Uggla - Adam Dunn revisited?
Chase Utley - 8 steals surprising, on a 20/20 pace for a full season

Most Likely to Leave Top 10 in 2013

Jason Kipnis - steals will fall
Rickie Weeks - downside of career


Preseason Top 10

Troy Tulowitzki
Hanley Ramirez
Jose Reyes
Jimmy Rollins
Derek Jeter
Starlin Castro
Marco Scutaro
Asdrubal Cabrera
Alexei Ramirez
Elvis Andrus

Projected Final Top 10

Jimmy Rollins - rumors of demise greatly exaggerated
Derek Jeter - like the Energizer bunny, keeps on going
Jose Reyes - slow start but .299 with 11 HR and 31 SB since May 1
Hanley Ramirez - power and speed are back, average down with low BABIP
Ian Desmond - power's a surprise and extra homers leading to a higher average as well
Starlin Castro - only going to get better
Elvis Andrus - actually a down year, steals way down, being saved by a high BABIP propping up average
Alcides Escobar - high BABIP rendering high average
Marco Scutaro - lack of pop disappointing but a .355 average with San Francisco has saved season
Alexei Ramirez - drop in power made up for with more steals

Most Likely to Enter 2013 Top 10

Asdrubal Cabrera - production down across the board, should rebound
Manny Machado - will begin the season with 3B eligibility only but a decent bet to return to SS

Most Likely to Leave Top 10 in 2013

Marco Scutaro - average will fall
Alcides Escobar - average will drop and not enough power to keep him top 10


Preseason Top 30

Ryan Braun
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jose Bautista
Carlos Gonzalez
Justin Upton
Curtis Granderson
Matt Holliday
Andrew McCutchen
Josh Hamilton
Michael Stanton
Hunter Pence
Jay Bruce
Michael Cuddyer
Alex Gordon
Nelson Cruz
Mike Morse
Corey Hart
Adam L. Jones
Shane Victorino
Desmond Jennings
Michael Bourn
Jayson Werth
Shin-Soo Choo
B.J. Upton
Chris B. Young
Carl Crawford
Melky Cabrera
Andre Ethier
Jeff Francoeur
Ichiro Suzuki

Baltimore Orioles OF Adam Jones
Who's keeping up with Jones?

Projected Final Top 30

Ryan Braun - so much for the backlash effect
Mike Trout - you may have heard of him
Josh Hamilton - only thing between Miguel Cabrera and a Triple Crown
Andrew McCutchen - fallen off since All-Star break
Alex Rios - inconsistent label not warranted
Carlos Gonzalez - as usual, health lowers production
Adam L. Jones - power maturation continues
Matt Holliday - same old same old
Jay Bruce - still no gains in contact rate so average still low
Curtis Granderson - same guy as last season, less the steals
Josh Willingham - park factors, schmark factors
Jason Heyward - beginning to fulfill promise
Giancarlo Stanton - hopefully knee heals in the offseason
Carlos Beltran - drank whatever Lance Berkman drank last season to stay healthy
Corey Hart - quietly productive
Alfonso Soriano - late career power surge
Josh Reddick - power expected but not to this extent
Melky Cabrera - sigh
Mark Trumbo - late-season struggles may temper 2013 playing time just a bit
Michael Bourn - running less in Atlanta, but 9 homers keeps value high
B.J. Upton - what you see is what you get
Austin Jackson - steals down but an even higher than normal BABIP keeps Jackson among top outfielders
Torii Hunter - power and speed down, but insane BABIP buoying average
Hunter Pence - drop in contact and a low BABIP results in disappointing average
Allen Craig - dude can rake when healthy
Jason Kubel - took advantage of move to the desert
Nelson Cruz - injury prone plus getting old fast
Yoenis Cespedes - injuries hurt production but skill is there
Angel Pagan - typical quietly useful campaign
Andre Ethier - injuries temper production

Most Likely to Enter 2013 Top 30

Desmond Jennings - if only he can stay healthy
Cameron Maybin - will 2013 be the year?
Jacoby Ellsbury - be ready to pounce if he falls to the third round

Most Likely to Leave Top 30 in 2013

Carlos Beltran - health still a risk
Melky Cabrera - sigh
Torii Hunter - decline being masked
Josh Reddick - will still hit homers, just not this many

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About Todd Zola,

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at and, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums. Fantasy Baseball

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