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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2011 fantasy baseball rankings: Second basemen

Second base has one more player in the top 70 overall than the hot corner, and six players at second are ranked in our top 42.

A player who has averaged 31 homers and 88 RBI the last two seasons is ranked ninth at the position (Aaron Hill), followed by a former stud in Chone Figgins and a promising Pirate who hit .296 with 12 homers and 66 RBI as a rookie in 2010 (Neil Walker).

Somewhere Ryne Sandberg is smiling.

On to the rankings:

Rank, player: R-HR-RBI-SB-Avg.
1. Robinson Cano, NYY: 103-29-109-3-.319
2. Dustin Pedroia, Bos: 53-12-41-9-.288
3. Ian Kinsler, Tex: 73-9-45-15-.286
4. Dan Uggla, Atl: 100-33-105-4-.287
5. Brandon Phillips, Cin: 100-18-59-16-.275
6. Chase Utley, Phi: 75-16-65-13-.275
7. Rickie Weeks, Mil: 112-29-83-11-.269
8. Brian Roberts, Bal: 28-4-15-12-.278
9. Aaron Hill, Tor: 70-68-68-2-.205
10. Chone Figgins, Sea: 62-1-35-42-.259
11. Neil Walker, Pit: 57-12-66-2-.296
12. Gordon Beckham, White Sox: 58-9-47-4-.252
13. Kelly Johnson, Ari: 93-26-71-13-.284
14. Howie Kendrick, LAA: 67-10-75-14-.279
15. Jose Lopez, Col: 49-10-58-3-.239
16. Juan Uribe, SF: 64-24-85-1-.248
17. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Min: ROOKIE
18. Omar Infante, Fla: 65-8-47-7-.321
19. Mike Aviles, KC: 63-8-32-14-.304
20. Bill Hall, Hou: 44-18-46-9-.247

Preseason top 100 players (8): Cano (11), Pedroia (22), Kinsler (33), Uggla (41), Phillips (42), Utley (55), Weeks (56), Roberts (66).

Short hops
Cano set career highs in home runs, RBI and OPS (.914) last season and tied his career best in runs. ... We had Utley ranked second at second and No. 18 overall, but bumped him to No. 6 and 55, respectively, because of concerns about his right knee. He has been receiving cortisone injections in the knee and was limited to 425 at-bats by injury last season. ... Uggla has averaged 31 homers, 91 RBI and 100 runs in his five-year career, and his stats could improve in Atlanta. ... The D-Backs’ Johnson was awful in 2009, but set career highs in homers, RBI, runs, steals and OPS (.865) in 2010. ... Keep an eye on the Rockies’ Lopez, who had 25 homers and 96 RBI in 2009. If he beats out Eric Young Jr., he could be a late-round steal playing half of his games at Coors Field. ... Another possible late-round bargain is Uribe, who posted career bests in homers and RBI last season. ... A name outside the top 20 to remember: Sean Rodriguez of the Rays. He had nine homers, 40 RBI, 13 steals and 53 runs in 343 at-bats in 2010, his first full big-league season, and he should be more of a regular in 2011. ... Martin Prado is expected to be the Braves’ starting left fielder, but is much more valuable at second. If you are playing him at second, consider him among the top 10 on the above list. ... The Rays’ Ben Zobrist will be ranked on our list of the top outfielders and is eligible at second after playing 58 games there in 2010. He would be ranked 15th on the above list, ahead of Kendrick, but behind Prado and the players ranked 1 to 13.

NOTE: Statistics are from the 2010 season. ... Players are listed only at the positions at which they are expected to spend the most time in 2011.

THIS WEEK: Catchers, Sunday; first baseman, Tuesday; second baseman, today.

Shortstops, third basemen and designated hitters.

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