Fantasy Baseball Preview: Middle Infielders

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (left) and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (right) will be two...

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (left) and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (right) will be two of the first middle infielders chosen in fantasy drafts.

Joel Colomby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:46 PM ET

Fantasy baseball columnist Joel Colomby ranks the starting corner infielders for the American and National Leagues. Dollar values are a guide for rotisserie league and head-to-head auctions.

SECOND BASEMEN

$20+

Robinson Cano NYY Stock goes up further if Yanks bat him cleanup

Dustin Pedroia BOS He is Cano, minus about a dozen HRs.

Ian Kinsler TEX Power re-emerged, should be good for another 100 runs

Dan Uggla ATL Ugly first half fuelled by a staggeringly unlucky 19% BABIP

Brandon Phillips CIN He’ll be hyper-motivated in a contract year

Rickie Weeks MIL Always seems to miss a chunk of games hurt

Ben Zobrist TB Rebounded nicely with a near 20-20 season

$10+

Howie Kendrick LAA We’re looking for his AVG to rebound in 2012

Jemile Weeks OAK A .300 hitter with speed. Power might surprise

Jason Kipnis CLE Power binge a fluke, but should be good for 15-15

Aaron Hill ARIZ Hit .315 after trade from Jays, but will power return?

Ryan Roberts ARIZ Qualifies as a 2B but will start at third.

Dustin Ackley SEA Great discipline, but struggled at home and vs. LHPs

Jose Altuve HOU Was he rushed through the system too quickly?

Neil Walker PIT Makes good contact and will help across the board

Chase Utley PHIL AVG and HRs sliding and opens season on the DL

Kelly Johnson TOR Batting eye gradually regressing, but power remains

Danny Espinosa WAS 20-20 year likely but swings and misses too often

Ryan Raburn DET Infield glove could cost him at-bats, again

Brian Roberts BAL Lingering concussion symptoms a red flag

$1+

Gordon Beckham CHW Convinced last year’s woes were all in his head

Orlando Hudson SD A decent late-round source of steals

Daniel Murphy NYM Playing a new position on wonky knees

Freddy Sanchez SF Onetime NL AVG champ offers little else

Emmanuel Burris SF Starting with Sanchez on DL. Having a huge spring

Johnny Giavotella KC Late callup a line-driver with little speed, power

Alexi Casilla MIN Inability to stay healthy makes him a risky pick

Tyler Greene STL Starting 2B with Schumaker on the DL

Darwin Barney CHC Best you can say is his AVG won’t hurt you

Omar Infante MIA Uses speed to get on, but not a good base-stealer

Mark Ellis LAD Second base was to be an off-season priority. Really?

BEST OF THE BENCH — Robert Andino BAL, Eric Young Jr., COL, Chris Getz KC, Adam Kennedy LAD, Luke Hughes MIN, Justin Turner NYM, Bill Hall NYY. MINOR-LEAGUE WATCH — Taylor Green MIL, Steve Lombardozzi WASH

SHORTSTOPS

$20+

Troy Tulowitzki COL Be prepared to go well over $30 for the clear No. 1 SS

Elvis Andrus TEX Provides everything but HRs, and even that may evolve

Jose Reyes MIA Can he repeat career year on unreliable hamstrings?

Hanley Ramirez MIA Early mock drafts giving him a pass on brutal 2011

Starlin Castro CHC With 200 hits at 21 years old, closing in on stud status

Asdrubal Cabrera CLE Unexpected breakout may be tough to duplicate

$10+

Dee Gordon LAD Stole 24 bases in just 56 games as a rookie

Alexei Ramirez CHW Declining SB totals are the only complaint here

Jimmy Rollins PHIL As long as he stays healthy, you know what you’ll get

Derek Jeter NYY Still a top-10 SS as long he can keep his AVG around .300

J.J. Hardy BAL Won’t repeat 30 HRs of last year, but should still reach 20

Yunel Escobar TOR Could move up with any kind of base-stealing acumen

Ian Desmond WAS Went 60 consecutive games mid-season without an SB

Jhonny Peralta DET Should maintain his stats in middle of Tigers order

Erick Aybar LAA Fantasy stock increases if he can stay in the leadoff role

Zack Cozart CIN Decent power/speed upside after ankle & elbow surgeries

$1+

Stephen Drew ARIZ Last year’s broken ankle keeping him on DL to start ’12

Rafael Furcal STL Veteran has had four trips to the DL since 2010

Jed Lowrie HOU May finally emerge out of Bosox glare, on a non-contender

Alcides Escobar KC Strong September softened disappointing rookie year

Sean Rodriguez TB Has HR/SB potential, but hit only .192 against righties

Marco Scutaro COL He’ll start at 2B in a new hitter-friendly home park

Cliff Pennington OAK Does just enough to make him rosterable

Mike Aviles BOS Has bat to be productive if he can secure the everyday job

Tyler Pastornicky ATL May not be ready, but Braves have no other option

Alex Gonzalez MIL No AVG, but Miller Field might return him to 20 HRs

Jamey Carroll MIN Aging veteran boasts a .278 career AVG but little else

Ruben Tejada NYM For now, expect only a good AVG and OBP

Clint Barmes PIT He’ll provide a little pop as long as he is playing every day.

Jason Bartlett SD Do the 20-plus SBs make up for no power and .240 AVG?

Brendan Ryan SEA Charlie Hustle style resulted in a lot of missed games

Brandon Crawford SF All you’ll get is the occasional RBI or run

BEST OF THE BENCH — Willie Bloomquist ARIZ, Eduardo Nunez NYY, Miguel Tejada SF, Reid Brignac TB. MINOR-LEAGUE WATCH — Jose Iglesias BOS, Brian Dozier MIN, Tim Beckham TB

(Tomorrow: The outfielders)

 


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