Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/20/12
Mlb-brewers-mariners-june

Three weeks down, three position reviews in the books. Before we move onto our third base review this week, take a minute and look back at our second base review, complete with 5 Surprises, an intriguing Blind Resume, and a visual representation of the offensive decline of the position over the last half-decade. Done? Time for 12 thoughts on 2012 (which sounds better if you say it as “twenty-twelve”). After an abysmal first two months (.158 BA, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB), Rickie Weeks was left for dead in most fantasy leagues. Three more months of improved-yet-marginal play did little to sway fantasy owners, and then Weeks erupted for 8 HR and 7 SB in September. There’s just one thing I can guarantee about Weeks going forward: He’s going to be one of the players I most dread ranking for 2013. Howie Kendrick is yet another example of regression to the mean. After homering 18 times in 2011, Kendrick hit just 8 four-baggers in 2012. His HR/FB rate fell from 16.5% to 8.9%. Kendrick’s career HR/FB rate entering 2012? 8.9%. I’m slightly optimistic about Dustin Ackley‘s fantasy prospects. He isn’t a top second baseman by any means, but he did hit 12 homers, steal 13 bases, and score 84 runs despite batting just .226. His strikeout rate was down from his rookie year (21.0% to 18.6%), and his .265 BABIP was undeservedly low given his 19.6% line-drive rate. My gut reaction is to give Dan Uggla a mulligan. Note: He won’t hit for a good average (meaning above .250), but he’s just 32 and I’d be willing to draft him as a starting second baseman in 2013. And at a nice discount. Danny Espinosa will be a popular draft pick in 2013 with his 20/20 potential, but he’ll be lucky to approach .247 next year with his strikeout rate topping 28% last year and his infield fly (12.6%), swing (52.0%) and contact rates (70.7%) well-below league averages (10.0%, 45.3%, 79.6%, respectively). Jemile Weeks doesn’t look like a viable fantasy option. His ISO in 2011 was a pretty-pathetic .118, and it still fell 25 points in 2012. Unless he’s on pace for 40+ steals after April, I’m staying away. When trying to quantify the decline of second base play last year, consider this. From 2007-2011, second basemen combined to post a WAR of at least 90.3 each year. Last year they combined to post a WAR of 77.7. Second basemen combined to post a wRC+ (runs created compared to league average) of 88, the position’s lowest mark since 2003. There might be hope for Gordon Beckham after all! The 26-year-old homered 16 times, cut his strikeout rate down to 15.3% and finished half a percentage point shy of a second straight 20%+ line-drive rate season. His .234 BA was the product of an unlucky .254 BABIP. Slight improvements across the board could make him very valuable next year. Where the hell did Jason Kipnis‘ 31 steals come from? I didn’t see that one coming. Of course, I didn’t see his .257 BA coming either, but that should correct itself. He’s a .270+ hitter. Brandon Phillips is emerging as one of the stablest second tier options at second base, something I never thought I’d say after he appeared to be in rapid decline. With three straight seasons of exactly 18 homers and stolen base totals of 16, 14, and 15 over the last three years, respectively, he seems like a pretty safe bet. I can’t go a whole dozen thoughts without mentioning Jose Altuve! My thought on the ‘Stros second baseman? He’s everything we thought Jemile Weeks could be, and he won’t come nearly as cheaply in 2013.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

Report: 7-foot Aussie center to join Kentucky's 2015 class

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker