At the beginning of the season, the authors here at Fangraphs created a preseason composite ranking of 2nd basemen. Since then several 2B, not included at all on the original list, have emerged as fantasy options and here is a look at a few of them.
Owned % is from Yahoo
Stats are AB/AVG/HR/SB
Angel Sanchez – 15% owned – 43/0.395/1/1 – Sanchez stepped in once Clint Barmes (hand) went on the DL. He has been a nice spark for the Astros, but his production will not continue at this clip. First, Angel has never hit over 0.305 in the minors or the majors. Also, his 0.444 BABIP can not be maintained. Finally he is not a SB (20 total in the last five years) or HR (12 in the same 5 years) threat. I could see the Astros continue to play the hot hand when Barmes returns, but I fully expect him to be a backup soon.
Orlando Cabrera – 28% owned – 39/0.333/1/0 – Orlando has moved to 2B in Cleveland and help solidify the the position for the Indians. Most of his current value is from his 0.333 average. The high average is being fueled by a 0.353 BABIP. His previous highest BABIP was 0.319 in 2007, so I expect this season’s value to regress some. He used to be a decent source of stolen bases, but that number has steadily declined since 2006 (27 to 20 to 19 to 13 to 11). Also, he hasn’t hit over 10 home runs since 2005. Orlando isn’t going to win an owner any leagues by himself, but with his versatility in playing both the 2B and SS position, he could be a nice injury plugin.
Jose Lopez – 14% owned – 29/0.241/2/1 – The season started good for Lopez when he got the first 5 starts of the season at 2B. Since them Jonathan Herrera has gotten the rest of the starts at 2B (4). In two of those starts Lopez did get the start at 3B. Playing time for him is just not assured at this point in Colorado.
Lopez seems to have gotten some of his power back that he lost last season. He is currently 2nd on the Rockies with 2 home runs behind Toluwitzki who has 4. He could be a nice source of power if he can continue to get plenty of playing time. Also owners can probably expect his 0.241 AVG to rise as he currently has a BABIP of just 0.208
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.