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2009 In Review: Second Base

Surprise seasons snuck into the top 5 at second base with Aaron Hill and Ben Zobrist providing extra depth atop draft boards, but who else emerged as viable fantasy options and who faded faster than Roger Clemens’ reputation? Check out the rankings below for a full recap of what we saw happen in 2009. And while you’re at it, here’s a list of some of our other 2009 recaps, past and future:

Catcher
First Base
Shortstop
Third Base
Outfield

Pitchers

Just to repeat what I’ve said before, all players are sorted according to PSR Rankings, our unique ratings system that takes into account both player performance and position scarcity. On with the rankings!

PSR
Player
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
11.87Utley, Chase112319323.282
10.50Kinsler, Ian101318631.253
10.38Hill, Aaron103361086.284
9.63Roberts, Brian110167930.283
9.57Zobrist, Ben91279117.297
8.91Cano, Robinson10325855.320
8.39Pedroia, Dustin115157220.296
8.15Phillips, Brandon78209825.276
4.63Cabrera, Asdrubal8166817.308
4.53Lopez, Jose6925963.272
4.41Uggla, Dan8431902.243
3.64Kennedy, Adam65116320.289
3.26Izturis, Maicer7486513.300
3.23Lopez, Felipe889576.310
3.05Barmes, Clint69237612.245
2.80Callaspo, Albert7911732.300
2.76Polanco, Placido8210727.285
2.08Castillo, Luis7714020.302
1.75Kendrick, Howie61106111.291
1.62Stewart, Ian7425707.228
1.58McGehee, Casey5816660.301
1.55Hudson, Orlando749628.283
0.51Prado, Martin6411481.307
0.24Uribe, Juan5016553.289
-0.28Schumaker, Skip854351.303
-0.44Matsui, Kazuo5694619.252
-0.52Ellis, Mark52106110.263
-1.15Sanchez, Freddy567415.293
-1.41Getz, Chris4923125.262
-2.21Counsell, Craig614393.285
-2.97Eckstein, David642503.260
-3.18Belliard, Ronnie3910393.274
-3.51Roberts, Ryan417257.279
-3.53Velez, Eugenio4053111.267
-3.94Punto, Nick5613816.228
-4.00Young, Delwyn407432.266
-4.07Lugo, Julio403219.280
-4.12Carroll, Jamey532264.276
-4.23Aybar, Willy3812411.253
-4.27Valbuena, Luis5210312.250
-4.59Iwamura, Akinori281229.290
-4.72Infante, Omar242272.305
-4.99Hernandez, Anderson393377.252
-5.01Nix, Jayson36123210.224
-5.03Fontenot, Mike389434.236
-5.24Weeks, Rickie289242.272
-5.27Santiago, Ramon297351.267
-5.47Baker, Jeff274241.288
-5.58Johnson, Kelly478297.224
-5.65Keppinger, Jeff367310.259
-6.39Gonzalez, Alberto311331.265
-7.59Ojeda, Augie381163.246
-8.14Tolbert, Matt282196.232
-8.38Burriss, Emmanuel1801311.238
-8.73Thurston, Joe271254.225
-9.58Casilla, Alexi2501711.202
-10.11Vazquez, Ramon171161.230
-11.32Rodriguez, Luis182161.203

(use arrows to scroll)

MVP of 2009

Chase Utley (PHI) – Second in R, second in HR, fourth in RBI, and fifth in SB equals first in PSR. Utley’s 2009 season was about as balanced as they come, and all this despite serious preseason concerns over how well he’d return from offseason hip surgery. In fact, he got off to such a good start that Red Sox fans nationwide had complete confidence that Mike Lowell would recover from a similar surgery. Easily the best second baseman in the game, Utley’s career body of work is in a class of its own.

Honorable Mention: Ian Kinsler (TEX)

Comeback Player of 2009

Robinson Cano (NYY) – After batting .342 in 2006 and .306 in 2007, Cano fell all the way down to .271 in 2008. Experts were calling into question his work ethic, and his career seemed to be in a tailspin (and it was only one year!). An 18/.366/5/16/1 April had Cano back on the map as a potentially elite fantasy second basemen, and by the time the year had concluded he found himself with his first 100-run season, a career-high 25 HR, and a .320 average.

Honorable Mention: Ian Kinsler (TEX)

Breakout Player of 2009

Aaron Hill (TOR) – Hill was in consideration for the Comeback Player of 2009 award, but I decided that his 2007 didn’t exactly count as a coming-out party. He saved that for 2009. If I had told you that Hill would lead all second basemen in HR by five and in RBI by ten would you have believed me? Many of you probably would have responded with something like, “I don’t know. Who’s Aaron Hill?” I’d say that qualifies as breakout status to me.

Honorable Mention: Ben Zobrist (TB)

Most Disappointing Player of 2009

Kelly Johnson (ATL) – You need to dig way down in the rankings to find Kelly Johnson because he was just that bad. It’s not like his career numbers were that good either, which is a even more of a reflection of his putrid 2009 season. Just how bad was it? Try 47/.224/8/29/7. If you can find a positive in there, let me know. In fact, let Johnson himself know. I’m sure he could use some good news right about now.

Dishonorable Mention: Actually, nobody really. Seriously. Look for yourself. I guess if I had to go with someone it would be Brian Roberts but it’s my article and I don’t have to pick anyone so I won’t.

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About the author: Bryan is the co-founder of Baseball Professor and works as a consultant specializing in operational metrics and efficiency analysis. When he’s not working, blogging, or tending to basic human needs, he enjoys pondering the vastness of the universe, rewatching episodes of Breaking Bad, and avoiding snakes. (@BaseballProf)

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