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Best NL Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen for 2013
The following is a list of the top National League fantasy baseball second basemen for the 2013 season. Second base is a thin position in the NL this season so keep this in mind as you prepare for your draft. The rankings are based on personal opinion formed while watching a tremendous number of National League baseball games. They will be updated as the off season progresses and spring training rolls around.
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13. Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs
The scrappy Barney doesn't appear to have much upside from his current statistical level. Last season he hit .254 with 7 homers, 44 RBI, and 6 steals while playing in 156 games. The drop in average from the previous season was disappointing and hopefully he can rebound this season as the Cubs rebuild. The 27 year old seems to have the starting job for now and should only be selected if you miss out on the top picks. Unfortunately, we may seen the best he has to offer.
12. Logan Forsythe, San Diego Padres
Forsythe took over the starting job at second for the Padres late in the season and ended the year on a productive high note that puts him in the running for the job in 2013. Overall for the season he batted .273 with 6 homers and 8 steals in only 315 at bats. With more playing time he could contribute in all categories with a possible 15-15 season. He will be 26 at the start of the season.
11. Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies
Rutledge, who will be 24 at the start of the season, saw extended playing time for the Rockies down the stretch in 2012 and surprised many with his across the board offensive output. In only 277 at bats he hit .274 with 8 homers, 37 RBI, and 7 steals and put himself in the running for the Rockies starting second base job in 2013. Currently, he may only be eligible at short stop where he played the majority of his games last season (57). He only played 7 games at second but will likely play there with Troy Tulowitzki returning for duty at short. He could put up some nice numbers batting second in the Rockies lineup.
10. Daniel Murphy, New York Mets
The Mets appear to be content with Murphy and his stone glove at second base. He had a solid season offensively batting .291 with 40 doubles, 6 homers, 65 RBI, and also chipped in 10 steals while playing in 156 games. I expect he will put up similar numbers this season, maybe even reaching double digits in home runs. He's not a bad choice for your fantasy team at a weak position in the NL. He will be at his peak age 28 at the start of the 2013 season.
9. Marco Scutaro, San Francisco Giants
Scutaro will no longer be a bargain due to his phenomenal post-season run. He started 2012 with the Rockies but was traded to the Giants at which point he dialed it up a few notches. He put together arguably the best season of his career by hitting .306 with 190 hits, 32 doubles, 87 runs, 74 RBI, 7 homers, 9 steals and only 49 strike outs. He was great to have in head-to-head points formats, especially in September because of his across the board contributions during the fantasy playoffs. The down side is that he will be 37 to start the season and he could hit the wall at any time. However, if he wins a starting job he still should be able to contribute with .280 with a 70 runs and a minimum of strike outs. He also played all over the field (118 games at 2B, 27 at SS, and 15 at 3B) so his multi-position eligibility provides an added bonus. A solid choice if available in the later rounds.
8. Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie stayed fully healthy for only the second time in his career, but unfortunately his bat was ill for most of the season. He had a horrendous first half and was batting below .200 as late as July 24th, but he saved his season by hitting .282 with 12 homers over the last 65 games. For the year he played in 157 games and batted .230 with 21 homers, 85 runs, 63 RBI, and 16 steals. Hopefully, he has put the injury bug behind him and will carry his hot second half hitting into 2013. I project he will hit .250 with 20 homers and 15 steals.
7. Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves
I was all in on Uggla last season and payed the price. I expected him to have a peak 40 homer season but he ended up having one of the more disappointing years of his career. Always a streaky player, in 2012 he never had one of those patented Uggla hot streaks, the kind that would see him hit 10-12 homers in a month. It just didn't happen and he just floundered along at the same production level all season and ended up with career lows in many categories. To add salt to the wound he was also benched by his long-time manager Freddie Gonzalez for a short period of time in August. Overall for the year he batted a career worst .220 with only 19 homers and 78 RBI. On the bright side he had a career best 94 walks, but we don't draft Dan Uggla for bases on balls. It was a puzzling year for Dan and at his age (33 at the start of the 2013 season) we may be witnessing the beginning of the long decline.
6. Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals
The durable, switch-hitting Espinosa played in 160 games for the Nationals in 2012 and batted .247 with 17 homers, and 20 stolen bases. The concern is that he struck out an alarming 189 times and his strike out rate increased from 2011 (25.2%) to 2012 (28.7%). If this gets worse he could find himself in a platoon or on the bench. He will be 26 to start the season so there is still time for improvement. If he can cut down on his strike outs I can see him having a 20-20 season in 2013. He is also eligible at short in most leagues as well having played 36 games at the position last season.
5. Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
The hometown hero Walker started slow in 2012 but came on strong as the season progressed to finish at .280 with 14 homers and 69 RBI. However, due to a herniated disc in his back he played in only 129 games so his numbers could have been much higher. He will be 27 to start the season and should be ready to go for spring training. I expect he will hit ,280 with 18 homers and 80 RBI.
4. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
I never imagined Utley would make it all the way to third on the list, but he showed signs of life after he finally returned to the Phillies lineup. In spring training last season we were informed that he had a knee condition that prevented him from playing and there was not timetable for his return. I thought he was pretty much done when I read that news. However, he came back on June 27th and managed to bat .256 with 11 homers, 45 RBI, and a surprising 11 steals over the course of 83 games. Based on those numbers combined with a full offseason of rehab I can see Chase hitting 20 homers, with 80 RBI and 15 steals in 2013. The age is a concern (he will be 34 to start the season) but I think he has something to prove and will put together a solid season.
3. Martin Prado, Arizona Diamondbacks
Prado is seemingly eligible at every position on the diamond after having played 119 games in the outfield, 25 at third base, 13 at shortstop, and 10 at second base during the 2012 season. He is both one of my favorite baseball players for his unselfish style of play and one of my favorite fantasy players for the way he quietly accumulates points in all categories. In 156 games last season the 29 year old right hander batted .301 with 42 doubles, 6 triples, 10 homers, 81 runs, 70 RBI, 17 steals, 58 walks, and only 69 strike outs. He was recently traded to Arizona and will most likely move to third base. Expect a boost in production due to the hitter friendly environment of his new home ballpark.
2. Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks
Would you have guessed a year ago that Hill would be the second best at this position in the NL going into the 2013 season? I bet some would argue that he is the best based on his resurgent 2012 campaign. Last season he found his swing again in the desert and batted .302 with 26 homers, 44 doubles, 93 runs, 85 RBI, 14 steals, and a .882 OPS. He will be 31 to start the season and hopefully he can continue this performance through 2013. The only concern is his past inconsistency. Will it crop up again?
1. Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
Every season I think this is the year Phillips will start to decline but he always manages to put together a solid fantasy season. I am not doubting him this season so he is my number one choice at second. In 2012 he batted .281 with 18 homers, 30 doubles, 86 runs, 77 RBI, and 15 steals. He will be 31 to start the season but in the Reds potent lineup he should put up solid numbers in all categories in spite of his age. I conservatively expect him to hit .280 with 15 homers, 75 RBI, and 15 steals.