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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.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fantasy baseball: Early 2012 rankings -- second basemen

When you think of deep positions in fantasy baseball, the obvious ones -- outfield, first base and starting pitcher -- come to mind.

Second base? Not so much.

That has certainly been the case the last couple of years, though. When I was researching all of the positions for a (ridiculously early) top 100 overall, eight of the top 80 were second basemen. That matches the total at first base. (I'm counting only the players whose primary position is first or second, not all eligible players at each position.)

Our eighth-ranked second baseman in 2012 is the Brewers' Rickie Weeks, who batted only .269 with 49 RBI last season, but hit 20 home runs. In 2010, Weeks had 29 homers, 83 RBI, 11 steals and 112 runs scored.

Our No. 7 second baseman is the Braves' Dan Uggla, who hit 36 homers and scored 88 runs last season, and has averaged 32 homers, 91 RBI and 98 runs in his six-year career.

A player who just missed the cut in the top 100 (which will be unveiled shortly; please hold your applause until the end) is the Angels' Howard Kendrick. Our No. 9 second baseman batted .285 with 18 homers, 86 runs and 14 steals last year.

Without further delay, our top second basemen ...

Note: All players are ranked at the positions at which they are expected to spend the most time in 2012, not all positions at which they are eligible. ... Stats are from 2011.

Rank, player, team R-HR-RBI-SB-Avg.
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees 104-28-118-8-.302
2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 102-21-91-26-.307
3. Ian Kinsler, Rangers 121-32-77-30-.255
4. Brandon Phillips, Reds 94-18-82-14-.300
5. Chase Utley, Phillies 54-11-44-14-.259
6. Ben Zobrist, Rays 99-20-91-19-.269
7. Dan Uggla, Braves 88-36-82-1-.23
8. Rickie Weeks, Brewers 77-20-49-9-.269
9. Howard Kendrick, Angels 86-18-63-14-.285
10. Dustin Ackley, Mariners 39-6-36-6-.273
11. Neil Walker, Pirates 76-12-83-9-.273
12. Danny Espinosa, Nationals 72-21-66-17-.236
13. Jemile Weeks, Athletics 50-2-36-22-.303
14. Jason Kipnis, Indians 24-7-19-5-.272
15. Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks 61-8-61-21-.246
16. Kelly Johnson, Blue Jays 75-21-58-16-.222
17. Daniel Murphy, Mets 49-6-49-5-.320
18. Brian Roberts, Orioles 18-3-19-6-.221
19. Gordon Beckham, White Sox 60-10-44-5-.230
20. Omar Infante, Marlins 55-7-49-4-.276

Last three out: Marco Scutaro, Rockies; Jose Altuve, Astros; Darwin Barney, Cubs.

Eligibility notes: Zobrist could play a lot at first base and in the outfield, but he primarily was a second baseman in 2011. ... Arizona's versatile Ryan Roberts should be eligible here, but we have him ranked No. 12 at third base.

Key stats: In the last two seasons, Cano has norms of 29 homers, 114 RBI and 103 runs. He gets the nod over Pedroia because of his power.

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NEXT: Shortstops

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