Brian, Rankings, Second Base

Brian’s Top 20 Second Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’11

"I'm number one!"

For the better part of the 2000s, second base has been a fantasy wasteland. There have been one or two viable options that you could plug into that 2B slot and, as Italians say, “fuggeddaboutit.” We’re mostly talking about Chase Ultey. The runner up has been a revolving door. One year Ian Kinsler is kicking down doors and taking everyone hostage. The next, Dustin Pedroia is making fantasy players do the Jersey Fist Pump. Brandon Phillips will sneak into that argument now and again, but it’s hard to get excited about a guy who plays 81 games in a shoebox and can only manage about 19 homers a year. And truth be told, these guys aren’t 100% reliable. Kinsler has yet to play a full season, Pedroia is coming of an injury-plagued season, and Phillips isn’t a guy who excels in any one stat, but provides decent numbers across the board.

We might be in the middle of a second base renaissance, however. Take a look at the eleven players in the second and third tier. Potentially 7 to 9 of those guys will end up in the top-100 players when the year is over. If this group can stay healthy all season (and that’s a big if), you’ll get a great return on your investment.

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Brian, First Base, Rankings

Brian’s Top 20 First Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’11

"Do you have the balls to ask your boss for 300 Million Dollars?"

If you’re in a 10 team league, you should end up with a very capable first baseman this year. No ifs, no ands, and no buts. Those of you in 12 team leagues might want to grab a one-bagger early, because after the top 10, there’s a bit of a drop off (plus you need to figure someone will draft Youkilis as a third baseman).

If you read around, a lot of experts are making the mistake of over-projecting what Miggy is going to do this year. Don’t let them fool you. Pujols is still the number one player in the game. Don’t believe me? Here’s Pujols’ 3-Year Average: 113, 42, 123, 12, .331. If you can find a line better than that, I’ll jump ship-Albert and swim for land, too. Pujols is in a tier by himself.

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Brian, Catcher, Rankings

Brian’s Top 20 Catcher Rankings and Projections for ’11

"Well played, Mauer."

In 2010, catcher wasn’t a sexy position. It’s not too different in 2011, either. Sure, two new studs have been thrown into the mix (Posey and Santana), but I still have my reservations about both the youngsters. I’m one of the few fantasy players who employs the rule “show it to me twice.” I’m expecting pitchers to make the adjustments to Posey, and a typical sophomore slip might be on the horizon. Remember, when he was promoted last year, he wasn’t know as a great power hitter. The home runs were a surprise at first.

My advice with catchers is if you don’t draft one of the top-five or six, you’re better off not wasting an early pick just to fill that spot. The difference between Matt Weiters and Miguel Olivo isn’t the Grand Canyon. And in a ten team league that only requires one catcher spot, half these guys are irrelevant, at least for the draft. There are four tiers for catchers with roughly five in each tier.

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Brian, Outfield, Rankings

Brian’s Top 30 Outfielder Rankings and Projections for ’11

"Show of hands. How many of you would sleep with me?"

While some may think outfield is deep this year, upon taking a closer look, there weren’t many 20-20 candidates and very few hit over .300 in 2010. In a 10 team league, you should be able to snag at least three of these first 30 players, but don’t wait too long to fill up your green pastures. The last thing you want is B.J. Upton as your number one, with or without his “30 homer upside.”

Underlined players are to mark the ending of a tier. There are three outfield tiers.