Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Double Take: Second Base Fantasy Baseball Players for the Second Half of 2011

Entering the second half of the 2011 season it is time to consider your options at several positions for your fantasy baseball team. You may be looking to acquire players either through a trade or the waiver wire. Regardless of where you turn to for help improving your team, there are many options to consider. I recently discussed your fantasy baseball options at first base in the second half. Let’s concentrate on potential players to consider in filling your roster position at second base after the All Star break in 2011.

Gordon Beckham (CWS)
Like many of his White Sox teammates, Beckham has struggled in the first half of 2011. After showing promise late in the season last year, Beckham has once again started a season slowly. Perhaps this will become a trend with the young second baseman. If last year is any indication, he should have a decent (if unspectacular) second half in 2011. Last year, his slash line prior to the All Star break was .216/.277/.304. After the break he hit markedly better, putting up a line of .310/.380/.497 and doubling his HR output in the process. As his teammates in the Windy City improve in the second half, look for Beckham to follow the trend.

Dan Uggla (ATL)
“Ugly Dan” can’t produce stats quite as ugly in the second half, can he? Entering the break he was producing a mere .185/.257/.365. From 2008-2010, Uggla hit .390/.445/.710 at Turner Field, his new home park. While his power projects to his usual 30 HR, his peripherals simply have to improve in the second half. The concept of ‘regression to the mean’ virtually assures it.


Danny Espinosa (WAS)
Espinosa proved his many detractors wrong in the first half of 2011 by putting up elite fantasy numbers for a second baseman with 16 HR, 52 RBI and 12 SB. His power didn’t come as a surprise as he did hit 6 HR in 103 AB in the second half of 2010. It’s the stolen bases that have pushed his value over the top. Although he stole no bases in 2010, he did swipe 29 bags in the minor leagues the previous season. If you have the chance to grab Espinosa, get him.



Chase Utley (PHI)
Once the class of his position, injuries have now relegated Utley to a shadow of his former self. Last season it was a thumb injury and in 2011 a knee injury has cut into his productivity. The good news is that the knee problems haven’t seemed to slow Utley down as he has stolen 9 bases since his return. However, it is Utley’s power stroke that has all but abandoned him. Without the ability to produce at his past home run rate, Utley is riding on name recognition alone. Sell him if you can.

Aaron Hill (TOR)
Sure, everyone expected Hill to regress after his 2009 output of 36 HR. He didn’t surprise by dropping to 26 in 2010. However, losing 81 points on his BA was not expected and caused his fantasy value to plummet. Although he displayed some surprising speed early in the 2011 season, he has slowed down on the base paths as the season has wore on. With an OBP of a scant .279, don’t expect too many more steals either. Combine that fact with an abysmal power outage (4 HR in 2011) and Hill should be avoided at all costs.

Mark Ellis (COL)
Always a reliable player in the field, Ellis has brought little offense to the table throughout his career. However, he does have modest double digit power in HR and SB and a move to Coors Field is almost certainly to provide a boost in his production (proven by his torrid start with the Rockies). Playing time shouldn’t be an issue moving forward but he may best serve your fantasy team as a “sell high” candidate at this point.

You may want to consider waiver wire options at second base for the second half, depending upon your specific fantasy baseball statistical requirements.

For runs and stolen bases, consider adding:

When looking to consider making any moves in the second half, second base is a position that is worth a double take.

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