Second base is deep, like deep-dish pizza deep. You know what else is good? Lasagna.
I like to think of these second base rankings as lasagna — the ADP is the noodles, the projections are the sauce and ground beef, but that thing that separates lasagna from most pastas is the comments, err, cheese. Got it?
1. Chase Utley –– Gets his own tier. The best of the best at a fairly deep position. You can find Utley’s projections in the Top 10 for 2010.
2. Ian Kinsler — Gets his own tier, too, but he’s not nearly as far away from the next tier as Utley is. Kinsler’s projections were discussed in the top 20 for 2010.
3. Brandon Phillips — This is the third tier. We’re going through tears by the bucketful here, but this one runs all the way to Uggla with varying levels of good and ugly mixed in. Phillips ended 2009 with a fractured wrist, but he’s fine now and will bat cleanup again for the Reds. Projections: 80/20/80/20/.270.
4. Dustin Pedroia — Let’s say Pedroia doesn’t score 100 runs, he’d drop way down this list, probably to below Uggla. Just saying… Projections: 110/15/80/15/.310
5. Brian Roberts — A herniated disk limited his movement in February. You’ll want to monitor that and factor in that Roberts, who gets most of his value from speed, will be an achy 33 this season. Projections: 100/10/65/30/.285
6. Robinson Cano — He’s smack in the middle of his prime and Cano didn’t disappoint last season. It’s doubtful he duplicates his 25-homer, 100-RBI, .320-average again. But he’ll be close. Projections: 85/20/90/5/.310
7. Aaron Hill — There are a few prospectors out there that are down on Hill. While he probably won’t go 100-30-100 again, he’ll be worthy of this draft slot. Projections: 80/25/80/5/.290
8. Ben Zobrist — Another lightning rod of a pick. Some people aren’t buying, making him a potentially great value. He wasn’t given much of an opportunity to play at the Major League level until last season. He also qualifies at shortstop and outfield. His HR/FB% doesn’t look like an outlier to me. Projections: 85/20/85/15/.280
9. Dan Uggla — Uggla’s batting average is downright nasty, but he’s hit 30 homers or more in three straight seasons. The year before that stretch, his first season in the majors, he hit 27. Projections: 95/30/90/5/.250
10. Jose Lopez — This is a new tier. This tier is not nearly as sexy as the one before it and goes to Weeks. Lopez is the poster boy for this less than super exciting tier. Decent pop and his batting average should improve. Projections: 70/20/85/5/.280
11. Howie Kendrick — He’ll turn 27 in July , but we shouldn’t believe his serious home run spike in 2009. Overrated at this spot. Projections feel optimistic. Projections: 70/10/70/10/.305
12. Orlando Hudson — Hudson turns 33 in December, but at the top of the Twins order he’ll put up some respectable numbers. Projections: 70/10/65/5/.280
13. Rickie Weeks — Look at Weeks’ projections minus the batting average, then look at the projections of the two guys above him minus their batting average and come back here. See that? I’d pick Weeks and his fully armed and operational tendon sheath (it was torn last season). Projections: 85/15/60/15/.260
14. Martin Prado — New tier, this is the even less sexy tier. It runs through the rest of the 20. You’ll own some of these guys, but you won’t be excited about it. Prado’s 1B, 2B, 3B eligibility will make someone pick him. His projections will not. Projections: 65/10/55/1/.300
15. Maicer Izturis — No. Just, no. The projections say 10-15, but I don’t feel good about it. Bet on the under for both of them. Projections: 65/10/40/15/.285
16. Placido Polanco — If he wasn’t playing in the Phillies lineup, I’d say boring is here. But he’ll score some runs and I’m going to say value here. Projections: 85/10/70/5/.300
17. Kelly Johnson — Now with the Diamondbacks, but you’ll still have to feign excitement when you put him in your starting lineup. It’s time for you to jump right to the bonus round, if you haven’t already. Projections: 70/10/55/10/.270
18. Jeff Baker — So, this list is based on Average Draft Position, right? These people are below average drafters if they’re picking Baker. He might not even get 350 at-bats. Projections: 45/10/30/1/.280
19. Felipe Lopez — Signed with the Cardinals, who have a pretty productive offense. He could surprise as a value MI. Projections: 75/10/60/10/.280
20. Alexi Casilla — He was a sleeper last year. He also got optioned to AAA in May of last year. Like Baker he might have to scrape to get 350 ABs. Projections: 45/5/35/15/.260
I’d take a couple of these guys before Casila, Baker and F-Lop (We cool with that nickname?): Don’t sweat Scott Sizemore‘s ankle hurt, he could get 100/15/60/30/.300 if the stars align. Worth a shot late … The only thing keeping Eric Young from 40 steals and 100 runs is playing time … If Clint Barmes goes 60/15/60/10/.260 he’s worth more than Johnson, Izturis or Prado … Luis Valbuena could steal 15 to 20, hit 10 homers and bat .300 as the Tribe’s starting second baseman.
To see all of our rankings, including sleepers and composite rankings, visit our 2010 Fantasy Baseball page.