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

Vin Scully will return to the Dodgers in 2016

Rob Gronkowski’s younger brother, Glenn, trying to make NFL as fullback

Michael Bennett fined over $17K for nasty hit on Alex Smith

Cam Cameron battling prostate cancer

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

NFL admits communication breakdown in Pats-Saints game

WATCH: TJ Yeldon gets crushed in brutal goal-line collision

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: New irons the reason for missed cut at Barclays?

Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

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

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

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