The Heat Index: Second baseman rankings
Sticking with the Runs Created theme, this week, the column will look at the second baseman who have created the most runs over the past seven days. RC is a hard stat to utilize on fantasy teams. What can utilized are a few stats that do along with RC. If a player has a high number of RC, they usually have a good batting average, walk rate and either runs scored or RBIs. Most of these players were on some sort of hot streak over the last week and had high fantasy values. Let’s dive in.
1. Dan Uggla – Braves
Dan Uggla just finished a 33-game hit streak. That in itself should make him number one on this list. He has created 7.4 runs over the last week with a .333 batting average. Uggla is regaining the form that made the Braves trade for him. His hot streak will continue, and if there is an owner in your league willing to deal him, jump on it. Uggla may still be going cheap due to his overall numbers this year.
2. Darwin Barney – Cubs
Barney hit .458 in the last seven days! He may be the one bright spot in the Cubs lineup this year and gives them something to look forward to. Barney has created 5.6 runs this week with six runs scored. He hits mostly singles but has the ability to score tons of runs if the Cubs lineup can drive him in. He is owned in 39.6% of ESPN leagues and may not be worth a pickup this year, but keep your eye out for him next year if the Cubs put together a lineup that can hit.
3. Robinson Cano – Yankees
Even though Cano is having a great year, he has still been somewhat of a letdown for fantasy owners who were looking for a repeat of last year’s production. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you have Cano on your fantasy team, you are probably a happy camper. But compared to last year, he has definitely cooled down a bit. Having said that, Cano hit .346 the past week while driving in five runs and scoring six runs on his way to creating 5.4 runs. He is only 28 years old and will continue to be a big bat in the heart of the Yankees lineup.
4. Jemile Weeks – Athletics
Weeks is the second rookie in in the top five of this list. That should show you how week the second base position was coming into this year. He has 5.3 RC in the last seven days with 10 hits in his 30 ABs. Weeks is having a breakout rookie season and still has a ton more potential. He has not hit a single home run this year but has eight triples and 14 doubles. The power will develop eventually so grab this kid and stash him if you can. He is owned in 49% of ESPN leagues.
5. Orlando Hudson – Padres
The fact that Orlando Hudson is the Padres number-three hitter brings to light how terrible they are offensively. And yet Hudson still managed to create 4.4 runs the past week. He is owned in 9.9% of fantasy leagues and is probably on his way down. Don’t expect anything special from Hudson the rest of his career but he may be a good injury replacement if you are desperate.
1. Jose Altuve – Astros
His height is listed at 5′ -7″. That must have been measured while he was standing on a stool. Altuve has produced very well since being called up but has really slumped over the past week. He hit .208 with zero RBIs and only 0.6 RC over the last seven days. He has almost no power but has the potential to be a high average hitter with good speed. He is only owned in 4.3% of ESPN leagues and might not be the Astros second baseman of the future. Grab him and stash him if you are in a deep keeper league.
2. Danny Espinosa – Nationals
Espinosa has been a great surprise to the Nationals in his rookie year. The lengthy MLB season may be taking its toll on Espinosa recently. Last week, he hit .211 with zero runs scored, RBIs or HR. He created 0.9 runs with a walk and four hits. Espinosa is owned in 54.9% of ESPN leagues and depending on who is your other second baseman, may not be a keeper. His batting average is low but he has power. At only 24 he has great upside if he can figure out the words “plate discipline.”
3. Brandon Phillips – Reds
Phillips seems to be slowing down a bit this year at age 30 but still is the sixth best second baseman in ESPN leagues. He has had a very solid season and only recently has fallen off a bit. Small injuries have been taking a toll on him, and he only had 16 at-bats this past week leading to 1.2 RC. Phillips is still a very valid fantasy second baseman. so look for him to get healthy and have a great year next year.
4. Jeff Keppinger – Giants
As the new Giants second baseman, Keppinger has hit very well for the defending champions. The last seven days have not been kind to Keppinger, as he has only created 1.6 runs on five hits. He has been dealing with a wrist issue and is not a legit fantasy option unless you are in a huge bind.
5. Aaron Hill – Blue Jays
Hill was supposed to have a huge year this year and was drafted high on many fantasy teams. When drafting Hill, you know you are giving up batting average for power. Instead, he has provided owners with low batting average and low power. Last week, he only created 1.9 runs from the five and seven holes in the lineup. He is owned in 48.4% of fantasy leagues and is not a viable option for the rest of the year. Grab him or trade low for him in keeper leagues with the hope he can turn it around next year and return to form.
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