FANFOOD FB’13 – Second Base

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When it comes to the second base position it is one and then some. If you are drafting 4-8 in the first round and you do not take him if you have the opportunity, you are crazy. You may think that you have some grand scheme and pass on him. Tell you what Yankee Hater you love misery. He is by far the best option at second this year and for years to come. I just hope it’s in pinstripes. This article will help you decide on which player you can draft missing out on the Cano sweepstakes, followed by a recipe for Barbequed Short Ribs

 

[C] [SP] [RP] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF]

FANFOOD FB’13 – Second Base

 

There is a hug gap between Cano and the rest of the field, He is a fantasy star in every category except stolen bases and I expect him to hit 40 bombs soon if not this year. Don’t be afraid to grab him early, set it and forget it. Next up you have Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia and Ben Zobrist.

After Cano is where the position gets tricky. Pedroia and Kinsler both have had injury woes over the years that may be adversely affecting their numbers now as they enter their 30s. Kinsler went from a 30/30 player to a 20/20 player, but you can count on him always to be among the league leaders in runs. Also keep in mind, Kinsler has hit 18 or more HR and stolen more than 20 bases 5 of the last 6 seasons (other one due to injury), and 2 of those seasons were 30HR/30SB years…Pedroia is going to get more games as the #3 hitter, which can only mean good things. His is not going to hit 25+ homers like we once had hoped, instead it is a lot of 20/20 production with .300+ Batting average. You could do worse in the third round at a shallow position…What Ben Zobrist has going for him is his added position eligibility. (SS,RF) This is a good reason to include him in this group.

Because this group is so small and in play so early in the draft, you might feel compelled to draft from it even when a number of other great options are available at other positions. It’s up to you Red Sox fans, because I am not taking the light show. The other two are good options, but for me it’s Cano or no.

 

You can wait a few rounds and pick up one of the following players. There is a lot to like about Aaron Hill, Rickie Weeks, Brandon Phillips, Jason Kipnis, Jose Altuve and Martin Prado. At some point during the lull after Zobrist, someone will get antsy and reach for one of these players and here is why…

Kipnis is a player that could be a 20 HR/30 SB player. Jason can rake and soon all those doubles will turn into bombs. We should see Kipnis do damage once again with an even better Indians squad this season and rotisserie managers are excited to draft the Tribe’s likely fixture at the position for the foreseeable future. He got off to such a hot start last year and probably made a good impression since pretty much everyone in fantasy baseball leagues pays attention for the first three months. He faltered down the stretch though… Aaron Hill is back to normal after that horrid 2010, but you can expect a slight drop in RBIs with Upton gone. Hill took full advantage of the home run tendencies of his new park and hit 26 home runs. He also took to stealing bases, netting 14…Rickie Weeks has gaping flaws with health, contact rate and BA peripherals and he didn’t have full strength back in his previously injured ankle. Making squarer connections over the course of a full season may push his homer column closer to the 29 he mashed in 2010. Adding in his typical double-digit-steals potential makes him one of better players in this group… Brandon Phillips is another guy that won’t hurt you in any category. Phillips has been a model of consistency at a position that sorely lacks it right now, but he will turn 32 during the season and that can be the age of breakdown at second base. Just ask former Utley owners… Jose Altuve is a steals and runs guy, but when you break it down, no one wants to own a Houston Astro. However, Altuve is a .300 hitter who can swipe 30-plus bases and score 80-plus runs. His power is also starting to show up and 10 home runs is not out of the question so why not draft even despite his team…Martin Prado batted .301/.359/.438 with 10 home runs, 70 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 156 games last summer for Atlanta, and should get a slight boost in fantasy value in Arizona.

 

The next group of second basemen consist of Chase Utley, Dan Uggla, Danny Espinosa, Marco Scutaro, Neil Walker, Dustin Ackley, Howard Kendrick, Kyle Seager, Micheal Young, Josh Rutledge, and Emilio Bonifacio. You can get these players cheap and for many reasons.

For the third straight year, Chase Utley’s average draft position has slipped. His knees are probably in worse shape than those of the average retiree. He batted .259 with 11 home runs and 14 steals in 454 plate appearances in 2011 and then .256 with 11 HRs and 11 SBs in 362 plate appearances last year. The 34-year-old is clearly on the decline… Neil Walker had a freak pinkie injury and a herniated disc in his back abruptly halted a run of .348 plate work and 10 homers over 42 contests last year. His immobility made him dead weight for nearly six weeks as his season came to an early end. Walker won’t dominate one category but contributes a little everywhere… Dan Uggla has hit 27-plus homers over his first six MLB seasons and is coming off a down year. His .280-plus batting averages from 2006 and 2010 were much higher than his career .253. His power likely will recover toward his established norms; an unruly number of pop-ups suffocated his thump, and a swing adjustment he made late last year may correct things…Marco Scutaro is a guy that doesn’t steal bases or hit home runs, but does drive them in and score…Dustin Ackley is coming off a very disappointing year for someone with his potential. Keep in mind that he is only 25 and the fences have moved in at his home park… Rather than opting for surgery that could cause him to miss the first two months of the season, Danny Espinosa has decided to play through a torn left rotator cuff. Espinosa believes that he sustained the injury diving for a ball in September. He struggled offensively over the last few weeks of the season due to the injury, but insists that he feels good now and that his swing is better than it was last year…. Bonifacio is as good a speed threat as there is in the game and he could easily lead all of baseball in steals if healthy. His draft price is much lower this season due to all of the injuries in 2012 so a buying opportunity is presenting itself to you. Keep in mind Emilio Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis might wind up sharing second base all season. “One guy might not win the job,” manager John Gibbons said. “I mean, they’re both going to be on the team. It might be one of those things where if we feel we need a little shot in the arm offensively, then we put Bonifacio in there… Howie Kendrick underwent elbow surgery in October. It was a minor procedure and Kendrick is already fully recovered. The 29-year-old second baseman batted .287/.325/.400 with eight homers, 14 steals and 67 RBI over 594 plate appearances last season for the Halos and is one you can get in the middle rounds of your draft…Micheal Young is now a Phillie and with half of his games in the bandbox, there’s that…In 91 plate appearances in 2012, Josh Rutledge hit .274/.306/.469. With a full slate of chances, Rutledge could be a nice source of double-digit homers and steals with a decent batting average in 2013… Kyle Seager had 20 homers last year and 86 RBIs, he average will hurt you though.

 

After that you have players like Jurickson Profar, Gordon Beckham, Jemile Weeks, Scott Sizemore, Logan Forsythe, Daniel Murphy, Kelly Johnson, Chris Nelson, Omar Infante, Tyler Greene, Cliff Pennington, Jeff Keppinger, Jedd Gyorko, and Everth Cabrera
They round out the top 30 and unless you are in a league with 30 teams, you will not be drafting one of them, but for shits and giggles, here is some information on them… Beckham burst onto the scene in 2009 as an early Round 1 amateur pick who looked like he might become the next Pedroia. Instead, he became the next Kelly Johnson, a second baseman with some pop who drags an awful batting average with him. But Beckham is entering his prime years of production at age 26… Rangers general manager Jon Daniels hasn’t ruled out the possibility that Jurickson Profar could make the Opening Day roster. ”If he’s one of the best 25 (players) and as an organization we’re comfortable that he will get an opportunity to play and make an impact on the team and also continue to progress, we’ll be open-minded with that,” said Daniels. Profar has exclusively played the infield in pro ball, but he could be used in the outfield this spring in an effort to test his versatility. Still, it’s likely that the Rangers would prefer that he play every day in the minors rather than get sporadic playing time at the major league level… Logan Forsythe has been limited in the early days of camp due to a sore right knee, but Padres manager Bud Black said that he’s very close to full activity. The 26-year-old is the early favorite to start at second base this season, but the Padres plan to test his versatility this spring…Watch out for Jedd Gyorko. Although he projects as a long-term third baseman, the Padres played him 47 games at second in the minors last year and figure to give him most of his time there this spring. He’ll have a shot of beating out Logan for the starting job… Nolan Arenado is still probably the future at third base for the Rockies, but with the way Chris Nelson played last year, he deserves first crack at the job. Plus he is 2B eligible. He’s hit a little better than Jordan Pacheco last year, and he’s pretty obviously the superior defender of the two…Many leagues won’t qualify Gyorko at second base — he has played mostly third base in the minors — but the offense-needy Padres have their best hitter, Chase Headley, at third and are expected to give Gyorko a chance to make the team out of spring training at second base. If that happens, look out. Gyorko hit a combined .311/30/100/80/5/.373/.547 in 499 at-bats at Double-A and Triple-A last year. His move to second and big league arrival could provide fantasy owners with a great late round power bat…Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore is a toss up. Weeks will enter spring training as the slight favorite for a starting role. After missing all of last season due to injury, Sizemore is also a candidate for playing time at third base with Josh Donaldson, and could be a potential fantasy sleeper if he can find his way into an everyday job… The reigning National League stolen base leader, Everth Cabrera batted .246/.324/.324 with a 44 stolen bases last year and could be a source of SBs for your team.

There you have it. Everything you need to know about second basemen. You can find value later in the draft, but for me it’s still Cano or no.

 

FANFOOD FB’13

 

Top 25 2B (extra eligibility)

Robinson Cano
Ian Kinsler
Dustin Pedroia
Ben Zobrist (SS,RF)
Jason Kipnis
Brandon Phillips
Jose Altuve
Neil Walker
Rickie Weeks
Howard Kendrick
Martin Prado (3B,SS,LF)
Chase Utley
Dustin Ackley (1B)
Danny Espinosa (SS)
Dan Uggla
Josh Rutledge (SS)
Marco Scutaro (3B,SS)
Omar Infante
Daniel Murphy (1B)
Kyle Seager (3B)
Michael Young (1B,3B)
Emilio Bonifacio (CF)
Everth Cabrera (SS)
Jurickson Profar
Gordon Beckham

Other notable two-baggers: Chris Nelson, Logan Forsythe/Jedd Gyorko, Jeff Keppinger, Kelly Johnson, Jemile Weeks, Brian Roberts, Pedro Ciriaco, Eric Young Jr.

 

FANFOOD FB’13 – Second Base

[C] [SP] [RP] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF]

 

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Barbecued Short Ribs

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

5 to 6 pounds Bone-in beef short ribs, cut between the ribs

 

For the Rub:

3/4 cup Paprika

1/4 cup Freshly Ground Pepper

1/4 cup Kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbs chili powder

2 Tbs garlic powder

2 Tbs onion powder

2 tsp cayenne

 

Basic Beer Mop:

12 oz beer

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbs Rub (above)

 

Glaze and Sauce:

1 1/2 cups Ketchup

1 cup beer

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup minced cilantro

3 Tbs packed brown sugar

2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground anise

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Tabasco

 

PREPARATION

The night before you plan to BBQ, combine the rub ingredients and apply half the rub evenly to the ribs, reserve the rest. Place the ribs in a plastic bag and place in the fridge.

Prepare your smoker, bringing the temp to 200°F to 220°F.

Remove the ribs from the fridge and sprinkle some more rub on them, let stand at room temperature for 30 – 45 minutes.

Combine the mop ingredients with 1/2 cup of water and heat in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.

Transfer the meat to the smoker, fatty side up cook for 4-5 hours, mop the meat once and hour until the last hour.  cook until well done.

While you are smoking, prepare the glaze. mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. Brush the ribs with glaze once or twice during the last hour of cooking. return the remaining sauce to the stove and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the smoker and let sit for 10 minutes.  Trim the fat from the meat.

Serve with remaining sauce.

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