Year Of The Second Baseman Glut

Aaron Hill is part of a young Toronto Blue Jays team that is surprising everyone.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In 1989, there were maybe five fantasy second basemen worth drafting - Ryne Sandberg, Julio Franco, Steve Sax, Lou Whitaker and a young Roberto Alomar. But if you were in a 12-team league, as I was back then, you better get one of them or you were in trouble. The position had no depth and very little punch. Sax and Alomar were speedsters, Franco was a great all-around contributor and only Whitaker (28 HR) and Sandberg (30 HR) could produce any real power.

Ten years later, in 1999, there was a much larger group of "fantasy worthy" second basemen. including Jeff Kent, Jay Bell, Brett Boone, Edgardo Alfonzo, Chuck Knoblauch, Craig Biggio, Damion Easley and Alomar.

But by 2005, the pickings' were getting a bit slim again. Only three second basemen scored 100+ runs (Kent, Marcus Giles, Chone Figgins), three knocked in 100+ runs (Kent, Chase Utley, Jorge Cantu) and two had an OPS over .900 (Utley, Brian Roberts).

In 2009, however, it appears that the position has exploded with new talent.

As we speak, there are seven players with an OPS of .900 or above and that doesn't include - 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, Baltimore's underrated star Brian Roberts, Florida's Dan Uggla or Jose Lopez of Seattle who was one of TSN's "Best Bargains" last year.

We all are familiar with the names Utley, Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano, Roberts and Pedroia, but how about Aaron Hill, Alberto Callaspo, Orlando Hudson and Freddy Sanchez?

Hill is part of a young Toronto Blue Jays team that is surprising everyone in the AL East with a 19-10 record and a .295 team batting average. They are winning with hitting and Hill is a big part of the puzzle. He's batting .357 with 22 runs scored, six HRs, 24 RBIs and an OPS of .943. His Average Draft Position (ADP) was 288.

Callaspo is probably the least known of any of the second basemen listed, toiling away in anonymity in Kansas City. What little press the Royals have received has gone to Zack Greinke (6-0, ERA 0.40, WHIP 0.84 54 Ks), and deservedly so, but Callaspo has an OPS of 1.037, second only to Utley's 1.152, and is batting .379.

Hudson didn't have a team all winter, caught on with the Los Angeles Dodgers and is hitting the ball like crazy batting second in the lineup in front of Manny Ramirez. The "O-Dog' is batting .333 with 22 runs scored and an OPS of .937.

Does anybody remember that Sanchez won a NL batting title in 2006? Probably not since he had an ADP of 357 this season meaning there was a good chance he wasn't drafted at all in your league.

It's fun having a second baseman who can produce points for your team, isn't it?

Rank Player Team OPS AB R H HR RBI SB AVE
1 Chase Utley PHI 1.152 78 21 27 8 21 2 0.346
2 Alberto Callaspo KC 1.037 87 16 33 2 11 0 0.379
3 Ian Kinsler TEX 1.023 112 23 36 9 25 7 0.321
4 Aaron Hill TOR 0.943 129 22 46 6 24 2 0.321
5 Orlando Hudson LAD 0.937 114 22 38 3 15 4 0.333
6 Freddy Sanchez PIT 0.921 107 19 35 3 10 1 0.327
7 Robinson Cano NYY 0.900 110 20 37 5 17 1 0.336
8 Brian Roberts BAL 0.875 112 23 35 4 11 4 0.313
9 Felipe Lopez AZ 0.855 102 12 32 3 6 1 0.314
10 Dustin Pedrioa BOS 0.845 109 25 35 1 8 4 0.321
11 Mike Fontenot CHC 0.823 82 12 21 5 15 1 0.256
12 Asdrubal Cabrera CLE 0.811 94 19 30 1 13 4 0.319


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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