Friday, February 8, 2008

Matt's Stats: Baseball Preview Edition

As a Mets and Giants fan you don't get much better of a week. Sunday a great Super Bowl Championship...the first for a team I root for from when I was old enough to appreciate it...and then the parade and Johan being officially introduced. It's a sports week that will be tough to top, and defintely no week will come close to it atleast until this October! Anyway, lets get on to the second base preview.

Second Base:

1) Chase Utley (2B - Philadelphia Phillies) - Helped by both his pure talent and the bandbox that he plays in, Utley becomes the second consecutive Phillie leading these rankings. Utley has gained at least 100 RBIs for 3 consecutive seasons, is a lifetime .300 hitter, and if he stays healthy for a full season should be able to get 30 HRs and 120 RBIs. Utley is a first or second rounder and should be the first second baseman taken in all leagues.

2) Brandon Phillips (2B - Cincinnati Reds) - Phillips started off pretty slowly in his career with Cleveland after being acquired from Montreal in the Bartolo Colon deal, but he is finally realizing his talent since joining the Reds. Phillips is a gamer, as was proven in refusing to take a day off last September, when asked by the Manager after the team was long out of the playoff race. Add in the fact that the Reds will be improved with Dusty Baker as their manager and 30 HR, 100 RBI, 35 SBs should be possible for Phillips this year.

3) Dan Uggla (2B - Florida Marlins) - Uggla may not help you much in the avg. category (he hit only .244 last year), but his power numbers have been consistent during his two year career. If he hits his lifetime avg. of .263 with his 30 HR and 90 RBI that he has proven he will get each year, it makes Uggla into one of the top 2B in the majors.

4) Robinson Cano (2B - New York Yankees) - It's about time there is an AL player on this list, and Cano is clearly one of the best 2B in the majors. Cano's power numbers aren't as high as the other three on this list, he will never get you any stolen bases (career high of 5 in 2006), and he is very streaky as shown by his slow start last year, but Cano is still a lifetime .314 hitter and is capable of 20 HR and 100 RBI if everything goes right. Cano makes for an excellent pick when looking for a second basemen on draft day.

5) Jeff Kent (2B - Los Angeles Dodgers) - As a Mets fan who had to watch him every day for 3 and a half years in the early to mid '90s, it amazes me to say that Kent has turned himself into a hall of fame player. He may not be as good as he was in his prime with the Giants, but he will be rejuvinated with Torre as his manager and should be able to get 20 HR and 80 RBI with a .300 avg. This could be Kent's final year and he still makes a very safe pick at this position.

Stay away from Kaz Matsui (2B - Houston Astros) - I was always a big fan of Kaz, and it was great seeing him finally succeed last October, but stay away from him this year. With 32 SBs and an extended playoff run, I predict owners will be taking him sooner then they should. Matsui was in the perfect situation in Colorado and now that he is with a bad Houston team, I can see him struggling again. He may be great for Opening Day (Hit a HR on first at bat in 3 of 4 years in MLB), but other then that I'd be careful and only take him if he falls on draft day.

That's all for now, stay tuned for the Third Base Preview next week. As always, if anyone has any questions specific to their teams, post them in the comments section and they will be answered in next week's column. Have a Great Weekend!!

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