Tagged: Second Base

Juan Uribe Joins the Dodgers

By R.J. Anderson //

The Dodgers have been one of the most active teams this off-season. All of their moves to date had focused on bolstering their rotation: re-signing Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda, then signing free agent Jon Garland. Their latest is an attempt to solidify their middle infield (specifically second base) while weakening a division rival. They believe they’ve done so by signing Juan Uribe to a three-year deal worth $21 million.

The shift away from shortstop and to second base actually limits Uribe’s real world value. Uribe’s defensive skill set is the opposite of David Eckstein’s. His arm gives him the ability to make long, tough throws, meaning he should be playing on the left side of the infield.

Uribe’s offensive value should be unaffected by the park change and he remains a safe bet to hit 15 to 20 home runs during any season where he amasses 500-plus plate appearances. Not everything in Uribe’s offensive game is that dependable or worthwhile, though, as his slash line over the last three seasons is a combined .261/.312/.443. That batting average and on-base percentage are weak, even for a middle infielder.

Making matters worse is Uribe’s unpredictable aging curve. He turns 32 in July and carries a history of problematic conditioning. Now, those issues were a few seasons ago, and perhaps it is unfair to place the sins of a younger (and possibly less dedicated) Uribe upon this version. Being this is the first comfortable contract Uribe has bagged in a while, though, the possibility remains that he could become a little too relaxed about his work ethic.

Nevertheless, Uribe remains a decent mixed league option for 2011 at shortstop and second base (he also qualifies at third base), thanks to his steady power output. Just don’t expect much if your league values on-base percentage in any form.

For more on Juan Uribe, check out Bloomberg Sports’ Front Office.  

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Orlando Hudson and the Hidden Doubles

By Erik Hahmann
When one thinks of getting production from second base rarely do the words “Minnesota” and “Twins” come to mind – at least not since the days of Chuck Knoblauch. Over the past few seasons, banjo hitters like Nick Punto, Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert, and Luis Castillo have manned the position for the Twins. Last season it was Punto and Casilla teaming up to do the damage, splitting time at the position and posting OPS numbers of .676 and .526 respectively. It was time for a change.
Enter Orlando Hudson.
Minnesota inked the veteran second baseman to a one-year, $5 million deal this off-season, a small price to pay for such a significant upgrade in talent. Hudson isn’t in the same class as Chase Utley or Ian Kinsler, fantasy-wise. That duo rank as five-star talents in Bloomberg Sports’ Demand vs Scarcity chart, while Hudson earns just one star. Even so, his ability to steadily contribute in a number of categories gives him solid value as a late-round pick.
Over the past four seasons Hudson has averaged a slash line of .292/.363/.440 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 10 home runs, 64 RBI and 66 runs scored, more than respectable for someone ranked 24th at his position. Some of that success can be attributed to playing with the Diamondbacks in hitter-friendly Chase Field for three seasons. But Hudson spent 2009 with the Dodgers, where he posted a home OPS of .807 in Dodger Stadium, a tougher park for hitters.
Hudson averaged 31 doubles during that same four-year period. Last season, he rapped .283 with 35 doubles, numbers few second basemen achieve. If you sort the Top 10 second basemen by those two stats you can see that Hudson’s combination of average and doubles ranks among MLB’s leaders.

We don’t yet know how Target Field will play, and if the Twins’ new stadium will be friendly to doubles hitters like Hudson. But in an increasingly potent Minnesota lineup, Hudson’s ability to get into scoring position could net some solid runs scored totals. Hudson’s current ADP (Average Draft Position) is 185th, which slots him somewhere in the 15th round in standard 12-team mixed leagues, making him a middle infield target late in your draft.
For more information on the top second basemen in baseball, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kits