Results tagged ‘ Brandon Phillips ’
Joey Votto is one of the top players in all of baseball. The 2010 NL MVP was rewarded for his skills last spring when the Reds gave him a 10-year, $225 million extension, which could keep the Canadian-born first baseman in the Queen City through the 2024 season.
Since the start of the 2008 season, his first as a regular, Votto has posted a 27.7 WAR, 6th in MLB (Albert Pujols, Evan Longoria, Chase Utley, Miguel Cabrera, and Ryan Braun rank higher), and a .419 on-base percentage, 1st in MLB. He has been very productive, driving in 444 runs, but when you consider how often Votto is on base and his WAR value, you would think that he would produce more runs, as those 444 RBI rank 23rd since the start of the 2008 season.
Certainly part of the reason why Votto ranks lower in RBI is due to his extended absences, as he has missed 106 team games since the 2008 season due to general illnesses, depression, and surgery on his left knee, which cost him 51 games in 2012; however, what if he swung more?
So far in the 2013 season, Votto has a .500 OBP, inflated by his 30 percent walk rate, and his .264 batting average seems likely to rebound due to his .351 BABIP, which is in line with his career .359 BABIP. His hitting ability was outlined in a recent ESPN the Magazine feature, when Votto said:
I’ve stopped caring about runs and RBIs. I care more about how high a percentage of productive at-bats I can have, how consistently tough and competitive I can be for the opposing pitcher. That’s my goal every single time I go up there. If I drive in 90 runs, I don’t care. I know a lot of old-school people wouldn’t believe I’d say something like that.
The apparent way to be more productive is to not swing. Votto currently has a 32.1 percent swing rate (career 44.9 percent), while posting a 14.4 percent swing rate on pitches outside of the strike-zone (career 25.2 percent), and a 57.9 percent swing rate on pitches inside of the strike-zone (career 70.2 percent). Only Lucas Duda has a lower swing rate in 2013, at 29.9 percent, but Duda’s career swing rate has always been low, as he sports a career 40.9 percent swing rate.
How can you produce if you don’t swing the bat? Sure, Votto is getting on base, but he has scored just 11 runs in his 40 appearances on the base paths (14 hits, 24 walks, 2 hit-by-pitch), largely due to the ineffectiveness of Jay Bruce (who has struck out 10 times in 31 at-bats with runners on base this season), while driving in FOUR runs in 80 plate appearances. Luckily, Brandon Phillips, who took over the cleanup spot after Ryan Ludwick‘s shoulder injury, has done a fantastic job, posting a .405/.452/.649 line with 17 RBI in 37 at-bats with runners on base. With Shin-Soo Choo and Votto in front of him, it is likely that Phillips will continue to produce some impressive counting statistics in 2013, but why shouldn’t Votto?
A productive at-bat is when a ball is put in play and moves other runners. Sure, you’re Little League coach and Moneyball says that a walk is as good as a hit, but what if Phillips falters in the No.4 spot? What if Jay Bruce continues to strikeout with runners on? What if Todd Frazier, who is currently the 4th most valuable position player in baseball (based on WAR) goes through a drought?
The Cincinnati Reds need Joey Votto to swing the bat because he is such a special player. Getting on base has value, but when you are as capable with the bat as Votto is, there is more value in the contact that he does, or can, produce. After all, Votto has struck out 16 times, tied for 8th most in MLB, while he is waiting for his pitch.
Is Joey Votto the best pure hitter in baseball right now? Possibly, but striking out in 20 percent of your at-bats doesn’t seem like a reasonable statistic for a hitter, possibly a slugger. It is time for Votto to become a slugger again not only for fantasy baseball players, but because the Reds would be much more impressive and capable of winning more often if he was the 37-home-run-of- 2010-version of Votto than the one-home-run-in-80-plate-appearances-2013-version of Votto.
- Joey Votto is not struggling (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Joey Votto appears as cartoon (wcpo.com)
- Reds’ Joey Votto named ‘Face of MLB’ (wcpo.com)
- Votto is still productive despite slow start (mlb.mlb.com)
If you’re like me, you may as well give up right about now. Sure, we’re only in the third week of the Major League Baseball 2013 season, but injuries are destroying my fake hopes and dreams for my fake teams right now. I play in a dynasty league at Ultimate Fantasy Sports (ultimatefs.com, still teams available if you want a challenge), where you have a 25-man roster and 7 minor league spots. You can also have up to 10 players on your disabled list, which is nice for stashing players coming off of surgeries. Regardless, this is where I am right now for my two teams that matter the most to me:
Relief pitcher (start one, make it a closer): Aroldis Chapman;
Utility (start one as a DH and one backup DH), where I have Dunn at DH and Johnson as my backup DH right now.
With this club, Weaver could be out for two months, Cueto just left his start Saturday with tricep soreness, Ramos pulled his hamstring and will miss a couple of weeks, Beckham broke his hamate bone and is out for two months, Kubel is out with a strained left quadricep, and Saunders is out with a sprained right shoulder. Add in Halladay’s ineffectiveness, Bautista and Crawford coming back from serious injuries, and Jimenez and Hernandez being terrible options, and you have a looming disaster.
Relief pitcher (start one, make it a closer): Jim Johnson;
Harrison is out with a back issue and the Ludwick injury was about as big for my team as it was to the Reds, as my LF options were so weak. I knew Ortiz and his heels would be an issue this season, while I hoped that Garcia would win a spot on the Tigers opening day roster after a solid showing late in 2012 before he had heel issues, as well. This is my first year with this team and I was focused on getting some solid young players. During the spring, Belt looked like a steal, and I feel like Machado could become a superstar. I gambled on Fowler in both leagues and it has paid off to this point, and I traded for Votto in this league because of the homer in me (Go Reds!).
Needless to say, injuries have been absolutely awful for a lot of fantasy baseball teams this season. While you can draft depth, it is nearly impossible to overcome significant injuries in any fantasy sport format. Dynasty leagues make those injuries hurt a bit longer because someone out there is the proud owner of Alex Rodriguez, rather than just waiting to draft him late in a one-year league draft; however, the list of injuries seems to be getting out of control right now. Look at the players on each team’s disabled list (as of Saturday, 4/13):
Colorado Rockies: Edwar Cabrera;
Detroit Tigers: Avisail Garcia;
Philadelphia Phillies: Delmon Young;
Seattle Mariners: Michael Saunders, Josh Kinney;
Washington Nationals: Christian Garcia;
That would be 122 players currently on the disabled list, which is nearly five teams worth of shelved talent. Outside of all of the injured players, you have to add in the struggling players to the frustrations of current fantasy baseball owners. Matt Kemp, Allen Craig, Victor Martinez, Nick Swisher, Pedro Alvarez, Jason Kipnis, Ichiro Suzuki, Giancarlo Stanton, and how about all of those proud Mike Trout owners, not the start you were seeking, out of him or any of the others named, right?
It has truly been a strange start to the 2013 MLB season. Injuries and struggles have a lot to do with thatin the early going, and while it’s easy to wave the white flag, remember that there are only 151 games remaining this year. Suck it up and deal with it…like a Cubs fan does every year.
Ryan Ludwick was a one-time All-Star, in 2008 for St. Louis, before his career started a downward trend in 2009, where Ludwick hit just .251/.321/.409 over the 2009 to 2011 seasons while being shipped out of St. Louis and playing for the Padres and Pirates. His career looked nearly finished before the start of 2012, when Reds GM Walt Jocketty gave him a one-year, $2 million deal to play left for Cincinnati, a job he had to earn over Chris Heisey.
Ludwick proved his worth, hitting .275/.346/.531 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 2012 in just 125 games and 472 plate appearances. His offensive outburst started when Joey Votto went on the disabled list on July 16, as he helped the Reds go 29-15 while Votto was out, posting a .346/.412/.654 line with 11 doubles, 12 home runs, and 36 RBI over 153 at-bats. Overall, Ludwick’s second half was much more impressive than the first:
Clearly, Ludwick wasn’t likely to maintain a .333 BABIP in the 2012 season, which he had in the second half of 2012, when you consider that his career BABIP is .304, but crazier things have happened…such as the rebound that he had in 2012 after a pretty miserable 2011 for Pittsburgh and San Diego (.237/.310/.363).
While losing a 34-year-old outfielder wouldn’t seem awful for most clubs in an era where players decline naturally without being able to used performance-enhancing drugs, Ludwick was a leader in 2012 and he brought stability to the middle of the order. His right-handed bat seems irreplaceable now, as he was the No.4 hitter between Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. His replacements just don’t measure up to his career track record, especially when compared to his recent success.
Chris Heisey seems like the most likely, full-time replacement for Ludwick. He is a career .258/.314/.436 hitter in 913 career plate appearances. The issue with using Heisey full-time becomes the loss of his bat off of the bench. As a substitute or pinch-hitter in his career, Heisey has a .288/.344/.507 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 164 plate appearances. Beyond his value off of the bench, Heisey’s inability to make consistent contact, a career 23.9 percent strikeout rate, is a concern, just like his reverse platoon statistics, as Heisey is much better as a right-handed hitter against right-handed pitching, than he is against left-handed pitching:
|vs RHP as RHB||269||658||596||164||25||5||25||72||12||39||155||.275||.331||.460||.791||274|
|vs LHP as RHB||122||255||234||50||10||2||8||30||1||14||63||.214||.272||.376||.648||88|
Heisey is likely to share some at-bats with Xavier Paul, a 28-year-old, left-handed hitting outfielder. Paul can play all three outfield positions fairly well, which seems like a useless fact when the Reds are playing one of the worst defensive outfielders in baseball in center field this season in Shin-Soo Choo. Paul was once an interesting prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers, displaying solid gap power and speed, but he has managed just 508 plate appearances over parts of four seasons in the majors, posting a .258/.305/.363 line. Paul’s inconsistent at-bats and consistent job as a No.5 outfielder could play a role in his inability to post solid numbers at the major league level, but considering that Heisey is better against right-handed pitching and Paul holds a .140/.197/.158 line in just 61 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.
Derrick Robinson replaced Ludwick on the Reds’ 40-man roster, as his contract was purchased when Ludwick was placed on the disabled list. Robinson has never appeared in the majors before, posting a career .255/.321/.324 hitter in seven minor league seasons. At 25, the switch-hitting outfielder, who was a minor league free agent signing after spending his whole career with the Kansas City Royals’ organization, doesn’t seem to offer the Reds much more than position flexibility, as he, too, can handle all three outfield positions.
Luckily, the Reds just have to replace Ludwick’s spot in left field and not as the cleanup hitter. Brandon Phillips can move from the No.2 spot to the No.4 spot as another solid, right-handed hitting option in the order. Dusty Baker will likely slide Zack Cozart up to the No.2 spot, breaking up Choo, the leadoff hitter, and Votto, as left-handed hitters at the top of the order. Phillips is likely to produce very good numbers in the middle of the order, but the bottom half of the Reds lineup is now very suspect, as Ryan Hanigan or Devin Mesoraco will likely bat behind whoever fills the left field void, followed by the starting pitcher in the No.9 spot.
While Ryan Ludwick’s injury may seem like an issue that could be overlooked, it really isn’t for the Cincinnati Reds. Certainly, with a power-packed lineup of Shin-Soo Choo, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Joey Votto, you’d think that they could overcome this injury pretty easily; however, Ludwick’s ability with the bat is not replaceable with the on-hand talent that the Reds have on the bench. Chris Heisey could do well in spurts, but the club has to find creative ways to keep the lineup strong from the top to bottom for the next several months, as Ludwick is out due to surgery on his labrum in his right shoulder.
Looking ahead to next season, though the Reds are currently in first place in the NL Central, the Reds have some interesting roster issues to address. Not only do they have arbitration eligible players who can increase payroll significantly, but they’ll have key players with extensions kicking in. Take a look at guaranteed contracts for 2013:
Joey Votto: $17 M
Brandon Phillips: $10 M
Jay Bruce: $7.5 M
Johnny Cueto: $7.4 M
Aroldis Chapman: $2 M
Bronson Arroyo: $11.5 M
Sean Marshall: $4.5 M
Ryan Madson: $2.5 M buyout OR $11 M
Nick Masset: $3.1 M
Ryan Hanigan: $2.05 M
Ryan Ludwick: $500K buyout OR $5 M
Jose Arredondo: $1.2 M
If the Reds buyout Ludwick and Madson, they have $69.25 M locked into 12 players, with only 10 of them returning. If they take on the contracts of both Ludwick and Madson, it goes up to $82.25 M for 12 players. However, it doesn’t end there. The following players are eligible for arbitration after the 2012 season:
Pre-arbitration – players who can have their contracts renewed at the league minimum:
Arbitration-eligible – players who can be non-tendered or signed through arbitration and receive a raise, with 2012 salaries listed in parenthesis:
Homer Bailey ($2.4 M)
Mat Latos ($550K)
Bill Bray ($1.42 M)
Wilson Valdez ($930K)
Paul Janish ($850K)
Drew Stubbs ($527,500)
Mike Leake ($507,500)
Chris Heisey ($495K)
Alfredo Simon ($487K)
The Reds would be wise to let Homer Bailey walk by being non-tendered, as he shouldn’t be getting a raise considering the inconsistencies that he has shown. He would earn between $3.5-4 M in arbitration. Valdez and Janish are veteran utility players who can be replaced with others who can play defense and not hit…just like them! Stubbs, Leake, and Heisey should all still be affordable in their first year of arbitration, but Latos could be an issue. He will get expensive quickly due to his early success, though it wasn’t with the Reds.
So, buyout Ludwick and Madson and keep Heisey in left and Chapman at closer and go from there.
Catchers: Ryan Hanigan and Devin Mesoraco
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Brandon Phillips
3B: Todd Frazier
SS: Zack Cozart
LF: Chris Heisey
CF: Drew Stubbs
RF: Jay Bruce
Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, and OPEN
Jose Arredondo, Bill Bray, Nick Masset, Sam LeCure, Alfredo Simon, Logan Ondrusek, Sean Marshall, and Aroldis Chapman
Clearly, the Reds would need to fill the bench with about three players: a utility infielder, a super-utility player (infield and outfield), and a good fourth outfielder. They will need to look to free agency to fill those roles. The following players will be free agents and would be worth a look for the Reds:
Jose Lopez – Lopez can play first and third comfortably and second if or when needed. He has done so for the Cleveland Indians in 2012. He is making $800K in 2012 and will be 29 in 2013
Scott Hairston – Hairston may end up on the expensive side of bench players, as his power and versatility will be very valuable on the open market. He currently has an .840 OPS with 10 HR and 31 RBI in just 157 at bats for the New York Mets. Hairston is making $1.1 M in 2012 and has played all three outfield spots this season and some second base in his career.
Grady Sizemore – Injuries MIGHT be gone when he hits free agency after the 2012 season. Sizemore hasn’t had a healthy season since 2008. He is making $5 M in 2012 but hasn’t played in a single game. An incentive-laden contract is a necessity for Sizemore to prove his worth and as a former gold glove caliber center fielder, he can handle all three outfield positions…if healthy.
Ryan Theriot – Theriot is making $1.25 M for the San Francisco Giants while playing primarily shortstop. He played left field late in a game and has played second, short, third, and outfield in recent years.
The open rotation spot should be left to Tony Cingrani, the young left-hander out of Rice, who has dominated the minors this season to the tune of a 7-2 record, 1.47 ERA, 86 IP, 109:21 K:BB, .196 BAA, 0.95 WHIP, including a 15 strikeout, eight shutout inning outing on Wednesday night. It’s worth seeing what you have there. Alfredo Simon or Sam LeCure could fill the number five spot if the Reds don’t sign another veteran arm like: Aaron Cook, Kevin Correia, Jeremy Guthrie, Jason Marquis, Joel Piniero, or Chris Young, who could all be cheap options.
It’s never too early to wonder what your team will look like in the future. Maybe Billy Hamilton moves to center and Drew Stubbs or Chris Heisey becomes the team’s fourth outfielder? As the season goes on, trades could be made involving Cingrani or Hamilton to upgrade for 2012, as well. Regardless, the Reds look like an excellent team for this season and could get better by cutting some of the dead weight, namely their entire bench and Scott Rolen.
Joey Votto has been one of the top players in MLB in 2012, posting an absurd .362/.485/.657 slash with 27 doubles, 12 home runs, 44 RBI, and a 49:52 K:BB in 213 at bats. Brandon Phillips is finally hitting, posting a .441/.472/.735 over his last eight games, with one double, three home runs, and nine RBI. In doing so, Phillips has increased his triple-slash from .259/.314/.392 on May 24 to its current .292/.338/.454 level. With Votto still mashing and getting on base and Phillips finally hitting, are the Reds capable of being the best team in baseball over the rest of the season?
Some will argue that the Detroit Tigers have the lineup to beat due to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Others say that the Yankees lineup with Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixiera, Robinson Cano, and Alex Rodriguez is the greatest of them all. Others will argue that it is Ike Davis and Jason Bay, and we will mock them ferociously; however, the Reds seem to have what it takes to win. The rotation can be thin at times with the inconsistencies at the back-end, but look at the front-end of that group…
Johnny Cueto has established himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball, compiling a 16-8 record, a 2.36 ERA, and a 1.12 WHIP over his last 37 starts. Mat Latos may not have great stats in 2012 (5-2, 4.64 ERA, 1.37 WHIP), but the Reds are 8-2 in his last ten starts. Latos is also in the middle of the season, especially from May to July, where he is now 21-6 with a 2.90 ERA over his career during the early summer months.
What does all of this mean? The Reds were as many as five games back and they were up as many as 3.5 games. Now, they are three games up on both the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds have gone 25-16 since April 15. It’s too bad they aren’t the Chicago Cubs because they are 17-8 in day games after Thursday’s 12-5 stomping of the Cleveland Indians.
The Reds have a solid rotation and enough offense to matter. The American League is filled with punishing offenses, but the National League has…good pitching? With the dramatic decline of the Philadelphia Phillies lineup, the Cincinnati Reds are in an elite class in the National League.
The Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants are the only other teams in the National League with the rotation and lineups that can match the Reds. Bryce Harper is the real deal and the Nats will, at least, ride Strasburg to the limits of his innings, not his talent. The Dodgers have had issues with injuries in the rotation and to Matt Kemp, but they’ve managed to hold on thanks to Andre Ethier’s redemption season and Chris Capuano’s best Clayton Kershaw impersonation. The Giants have had some success from their rotation and offense, definitely not from Tim Lincecum, though, and with the return of Pablo Sandoval from injury, they will be that much better.
However, if Votto and Phillips are clicking like they are right now and the Reds have the 1-2 punch of Cueto and Latos going, then they can sit back and hope that the likes of Zack Cozart, Devin Mesoraco, Todd Frazier, Homer Bailey, and Mike Leake take the steps necessary to keep the team in contention while infusing youth in the every day lineup. With smart baseball, like Mesoraco plowing into Lou Marson for defensive interference and a free run (see here), and mediocre production from the spare parts, the Reds are a team to be reckoned with.
The Cincinnati Reds have made big news for the last few months between their big trade for Mat Latos and the huge contracts to both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. One thing they are not in the news for, to this point, is their incredible hitting. The Reds are currently 28th in the Majors in hitting, with a team average of .191 through 9 games. Take a look at their hit totals for the year:
10, 6, 8, 3, 4, 14, 5, 5, 2.
Keep in mind that the 14 hits they had against the Cardinals on Wednesday, they left 13 on base, and the 10 hits from Opening Day had 9 left on base. The Reds just aren’t scoring enough runs because they can’t get any hits. They haven’t had the easiest schedule in the world with the new-look Miami Marlins, the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals, and the improving Washington Nationals, but a 3-6 record wasn’t what fans and ownership was looking for as the team heads into win now mode.
You can’t blame Zack Cozart (.313), Joey Votto (.290), or Brandon Phillips (just 16 at bats due to injury to hamstring, .250), but just about everyone else could be labeled an issue. Jay Bruce has 3 HR and 6 RBI with an .802 OPS, but he has 8 K’s in 34 at bats and a .235 average. Drew Stubbs is at .147 with 12 K’s in 34 at bats, certainly not improving on his atrocious contact rate that worried the club last year. Ryan Ludwick (.150), Ryan Hanigan (.118), and Scott Rolen (.111) round out the apparent regulars, while Devin Mesoraco (.167 in 12 at bats) and Chris Heisey (.188 in 16 at bats) continue to be youngsters losing out to the veteran loving, toothpick toting Dusty Baker.
Regardless of who is playing, it doesn’t seem to be working. As the Reds looked to capitalize on the departure of NL Central foes Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, the long-term commitments and trades developed expectations that, to this point, they have fallen well short of. With such dynamic talent in Votto, Phillips, and Bruce, the lineup is capable of more. The issue could be Phillips’ absence, the fact that Dusty HAS TO split up Votto and Bruce (and has done so with Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick in the clean-up spot), or it could be a challenging schedule. Expectations are high and if they keep flopping like they are, fans aren’t going to show up in Cincinnati, and if fans don’t show up, they already need to start wondering about how they are going to be paying Phillips and Votto in the coming seasons.
Overall rankings will consist of the player’s value in a points format, earning points for each H, R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, basically a formula of Total Bases + RBI + Runs = Total Value. Here are the rankings for 2B, projections are italicized:
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees
.302/.349/.533, 46 2B, 7 3B, 28 HR, 118 RBI, 8 SB in 623 AB
.315/.357/.549, 43 2B, 5 3B, 33 HR, 121 RBI, 6 SB in 616 AB
Cano is underrated. Yeah, you read that right, I am saying that a Yankee is underrated. Cano is the best player on the Yankees roster right now, and that is saying a lot with Granderson, ARod, Teixeira, and the rest. He’ll turn 30 in November and he’s got a couple more years to reach his peak. He’ll be at an MVP level in 2012.
2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
.307/.387/.474, 37 2B, 3 3B, 21 HR, 91 RBI, 26 SB in 635 AB
.311/.389/.485, 38 2B, 4 3B, 24 HR, 96 RBI, 24 SB in 628 AB
Pedroia seemed like the only Red Sox player who didn’t collapse last September. He continues to be a leader for the team and a nuisance to opposing teams. He’ll turn only 29 in August, so he’ll continue to be a star with value across the board in fantasy leagues.
3. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
.255/.355/.477, 34 2B, 4 3B, 32 HR, 77 RBI, 30 SB in 620 AB
.271/.375/.481, 37 2B, 5 3B, 33 HR, 81 RBI, 27 SB in 607 AB
Kinsler’s AVG has been all over the place, but one thing is for certain: he continues to be a power hitting 2B with dynamic speed. The lineup around him will keep the runs scored and RBI opportunities at high levels, and he is still in his prime, turning 30 in June.
4. Brandon Phillips, Reds
.300/.353/.457, 38 2B, 2 3B, 18 HR, 82 RBI, 18 SB in 610 AB
.305/.355/.464, 34 2B, 4 3B, 21 HR, 86 RBI, 16 SB in 623 AB
Some feel that Phillips is headed towards a major decline, but he turns just 31 and he has a lot to prove in 2012. He is in the last year of his contract with the Reds and he’ll be looking for one more payday. His ballpark and the lineup that he has around him will be a major help in reaching another great season. He won’t touch 30/30 like he did in 2007, but his value is undeniable across the board still.
5. Ben Zobrist, Rays
.269/.353/.469, 46 2B, 6 3B, 20 HR, 91 RBI, 19 SB in 588 AB
.271/.357/.476, 43 2B, 5 3B, 24 HR, 92 RBI, 18 SB in 597 AB
Zobrist is a very unique player. His average is all over the place, just like Kinsler, but he gets on base and provides a lot of power and enough speed to boost his value. He’ll turn 31 in 2012, still in his prime, in a solid lineup and an ugly ballpark, which doesn’t matter. Zobrist may have RF eligibility in some leagues, as well, so his versatility could add to his value.
6. Dan Uggla, Braves
.233/.311/.453, 22 2B, 1 3B, 36 HR, 82 RBI, 1 SB in 600 AB
.255/.331/.489, 31 2B, 1 3B, 36 HR, 91 RBI, 1 SB in 591 AB
Uggla’s 1st half was gross to watch, especially if you owned him. Uggla continues to be a monster with his power numbers, which you can deal with at the expense of his low batting averages. Kinsler’s .255 average doesn’t compare due to his ability to fill all of the stats, as Uggla won’t steal many bases, if he steals any at all.
7. Howie Kendrick, Angels
.285/.338/.464, 30 2B, 6 3B, 18 HR, 63 RBI, 14 SB in 537 AB
.281/.336/.465, 35 2B, 7 3B, 21 HR, 68 RBI, 12 SB in 611 AB
Kendrick missed over 20 games last season and still posted solid numbers. If he knew how to take a walk, the arrival of Pujols would have had a greater impact on his numbers, but he’ll continue to swing at nearly everything and put it in play. Considering his swinging tendencies, his average is pretty impressive. He’ll give value across the board, not to the levels of some of the above players, but he, too, could have OF eligibility due to his starts in LF last year.
8. Rickie Weeks
.269/.350/.468, 26 2B, 2 3B, 20 HR, 49 RBI, 9 SB in 453 AB
.271/.353/.476, 22 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 62 RBI, 6 SB in 471 AB
Weeks can’t stay healthy. He posted his numbers last season in just 118 games. He’ll try to do more with Prince Fielder gone and, possibly, Ryan Braun suspended, so it’ll be interesting to see how he holds up. His ankle injury could lead to a sharp decrease in stolen bases, depending on how it actually healed this offseason. If 2012 ends up like 2010, his lone season with at least 130 games played (160), he will be capable of posting numbers close to a top 3 2B. Don’t count on it, though.
9. Chase Utley, Phillies
.259/.344/.425, 21 2B, 6 3B, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 14 SB in 398 AB
.271/.356/.441, 33 2B, 5 3B, 18 HR, 76 RBI, 20 SB in 521 AB
Utley’s days as an elite 2B are over, but he is still a great player. He and the lineup around him are shaky due to a cohesive aging process. Between Utley and Ryan Howard, the Phillies should begin to wonder what their right side of the infield is capable of, and if they have enough depth to survive another major injury over there.
10. Jason Kipnis, Indians
.272/.333/.507, 9 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 5 SB in 136 AB
.274/.349/.494, 31 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR, 68 RBI, 11 SB in 597 AB
Based on Kipnis’ small sample size, you’d think he was going to be an elite 2B tomorrow. Hell, if you take his 136 AB and turn it into a full season, he would have posted his .272/.333/.507 slash with 41 2B, 3 3B, 32 HR, 86 RBI, and 23 SB. Kipnis is an offensive-minded 2B, but he isn’t going to touch those numbers. With that being said, it wouldn’t surprise me if he hit up to 25 HR in a season in the future. A great keeper league player.
11. Dustin Ackley, Mariners
.273/.348/.417, 16 2B, 7 3B, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 6 SB in 333 AB
.284/.356/.449, 41 2B, 11 3B, 11 HR, 67 RBI, 12 SB in 601 AB
Ackley won’t hit for power due to Safeco Field, but his gap power is impressive. At some point, he’ll be ripping 50+ doubles annually.
12. Neil Walker, Pirates
.273/.334/.408, 36 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 83 RBI, 9 SB in 596 AB
.275/.341/.419, 38 2B, 5 3B, 14 HR, 81 RBI, 11 SB in 613 AB
13. Danny Espinosa, Nationals
.236/.323/.414, 29 2B, 5 3B, 21 HR, 66 RBI, 17 SB in 573 AB
.241/.331/.416, 31 2B, 6 3B, 22 HR, 69 RBI, 19 SB in 586 AB
14. Gordon Beckham, White Sox
.230/.296/.337, 23 2B, 10 HR, 44 RBI, 5 SB in 499 AB
.249/.311/.401, 32 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 64 RBI, 8 SB in 597 AB
15. Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks
.246/.299/.356, 27 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 61 RBI, 21 SB in 520 AB
.258/.309/.398, 31 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 67 RBI, 18 SB in 563 AB
16. Kelly Johnson, Blue Jays
.222/.304/.413, 27 2B, 7 3B, 21 HR, 58 RBI, 16 SB in 545 AB
.239/.314/.422, 29 2B, 5 3B, 24 HR, 63 RBI, 14 SB in 571 AB
17. Omar Infante, Marlins
.276/.315/.382, 24 2B, 8 3B, 7 HR, 49 RBI, 4 SB in 579 AB
.269/.311/.385, 28 2B, 9 3B, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 6 SB in 589 AB
18. Jemile Weeks, Athletics
.303/.340/.421, 26 2B, 8 3B, 2 HR, 36 RBI, 22 SB in 406 AB
.297/.342/.425, 37 3B, 12 3B, 3 HR, 51 RBI, 36 SB in 593 AB
19. Marco Scutaro, Rockies
.299/.358/.423, 26 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 54 RBI, 4 SB in 395 AB
.286/.351/.410, 31 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 67 RBI, 6 SB in 589 AB
20. Johnny Giavotella, Royals
.247/.273/.376, 9 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 5 SB in 178 AB
.269/.310/.401, 22 2B, 7 3B, 12 HR, 56 RBI, 11 SB in 574 AB
Ramon Santiago, Tigers; Darwin Barney, Cubs; Brian Roberts, Orioles; Orlando Hudson, Padres; Jose Altuve, Astros; Mark Ellis, Dodgers; Freddy Sanchez, Giants; Daniel Descalso, Cardinals; Daniel Murphy, Mets;