Originally written on Fantasy Baseball 365  |  Last updated 11/22/11

TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25: Howie Kendrick #47 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim poses during photo day at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 25, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Key Stats: Howie Kendrick's infield fly ball percentage last season was 0.0% - nobody else in baseball did that last season. When he puts the ball in play, there's a great chance he's going to get a hit. When he puts the ball in play being the key part of that sentence. Kendrick had the worst strikeout rate of his career last season striking out more than 6% more than he did in 2010. 

Skeptics Say: The 18 home runs that Kendrick finished with is a bit of a head scratcher. He hit one home run every 60.4 at-bats up until last season. Last season he hit one home run every 29.8 at-bats. It could be the fact that Kendrick is finding his power stroke heading into his late 20s, but I doubt it. The 16.5 HR:FB rate was a career best and about 10% better than it was in 2010. 

Peer Comparison: Tristan Cockcroft and Rotochamp have Kendrick ranked a lot higher than we do here. Usually I dislike tiers because players can be in the same tier, but if there is a two home run differential between those players that could make all the difference in the final standings. That said, this is a case that I argue in favor of tiers. Kendrick is hardly in the class of Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, and Ian Kinsler. Nobody will argue that. Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, and Brandon Phillips crush Kendrick under the consistency test. While health has always been an issue, Rickie Weeks has much more upside and brings much more to a team when healthy. And finally, Michael Young appeared in 14 games at second base, if he's eligible that's an easy call over Kendrick. Kendrick does not even enter the conversation with any of these players who can all be top sixty overall picks. 

Then there's a break on taking second basemen. And then there's these guys.

Player A: 86 R, 18 HR, 63 RBI, 14 SB, .285
Player B: 99 R, 20 HR, 91 RBI, 19 SB, .269
Player C: 70 R, 11 HR, 65 RBI, 11 SB, .273
Player D: 70 R, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 11 SB, .284
Player E: 76 R, 12 HR, 83 RBI, 9 SB, .273
Player F: 72 R, 21 HR, 66 RBI, 17 SB, .236

That's Kendrick, Ben Zobrist, Dustin Ackley (based on 162 games pace), Michael Cuddyer, Neil Walker, and Danny Espinosa. Those are the top 13 (or 14 counting Young) at the position. If I'm missing on the top batch I'll take what's left from the second batch late in standard drafts and cheap in auction styles. 

Lineup Outlook: Kendrick registered more than 20 games in four different spots in the Angels batting order last year which is a back-handed compliment from Mike Scioscia. The Angels would love to add a healthy and effective Kendrys Morales, but that's a hope at this point. Then there are the young players - which will drive Kendrick's ranking by 20 spots in either direction. Can Mark Trumbo improve his walk rate? Will Mike Trout succeed over the course of a whole season at the highest level? Can Peter Bourjos build on his second half? Each player is a variable - this is one of the hardest teams to set expectations for offensively in 2012. 

What They’re Saying: CBS Sportsline: #10 Second Baseman; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #8 Second Baseman & #96 Overall; RotoChamp: #90 Overall 

Projection: One thing not mentioned above is Kendrick's durability. He's been a full-time Major Leaguer essentially since 2007 and has missed more than 20 games in all but one of those seasons. That is something to consider within the projections. 
80 R 14 HR 61 RBI 12 SB .290 AVG .335 OBP .818 OPS 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Andrew Luck tried not to watch Super Bowl, was still ‘salty’

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Former USC linebacker suing school over insurance policy

Report: Fred Jackson expected to sign with Seahawks

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

Rangers have got themselves a bullpen

Do the Washington Nationals need to fire Matt Williams?

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

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

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

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