Fantasy Baseball – Value Middle Infielders
If you didn’t fill your middle infield slots early, you can still find value later in the draft. Try these MIs on for size.
Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Aybar really blossomed last year hitting .312 for the surprising Angels. He should have plenty of opportunities to build on last season hitting leadoff for the Angels. He had 70 runs and 14 SBs, both of which should increase in 2010. His new spot in the order could make it difficult to match his 58 RBIs of last year, but he’s still a solid MI candidate.
Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres
With 25 SBs in 438 plate appearances, I’m on Everth’s bandwagon. In a full season with the Padres, he could challenge for the league lead at his position (SS). Though his average left plenty to be desired (.255), he did manage to walk 46 times. Where he makes his living though is on the basepaths. In 2008 he had 73 in 121 games for Single-A Asheville.
Orlando Cabrera, Cincinnati Reds
His age (35) could scare some people off, but he’s been putting up some of his best numbers the past four years. During that stretch he’s scored at least 83 runs, had at least 171 hits, and hit at least .281. His RBI totals have been solid for a SS at 72, 86, 57, 77. His SBs have been on the decline, but he still managed to swipe 13 bags last year. Hitting in front of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips should allow for a healthy run total.
Alcides Escobar, Milwaukee Brewers
Escobar is another SS that could rack up the SBs in 2010. He had 4 in his brief stint (38 games) with the Brew Crew last year after posting 42 in 109 games for Triple-A Nashville. He also his .304 last year with the Brewers, and .298 with Triple-A Nashville and .328 for Double-A Huntsville.He should post a solid average with a nice amount of runs and SBs.
J.J. Hardy & Orlando Hudson, Minnesota Twins
The Twins new double play combo should be productive in their solid lineup. Hudson will hit between Denard Span and Joe Mauer. Assuming he stays healthy, he should be able to score a fair share of runs. He won’t hit for power or steal a bunch of bases, but he should help with batting average as well. Hardy is a little more of a risk. He hit just .229 last year. He had lines of .277-89-26-80-2 and .283-78-24-74-2 the previous two years with the Brewers. If he can come close to those numbers, Hardy could be one of this year’s best values.
Jhonny Peralta & Placido Polanco, Cleveland Indians & Philadelphia Phillies
Both of the third basemen carry MI eligibility with Peralta at SS and Polanco at 2B. Neither are a sexy pick, but both should provide a solid number of runs, HRs, and RBIs. Their positional flexibility further adds to their value.
Scott Sizemore, Detroit Tigers
Sizemore hit a combined .308 with 88 runs, 39 doubles, 5 triples, 17 HRs, 66 RBIs, and 21 SBs for Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. He’ll make his highly anticipated Major League debut with the Tigers this year. With his upside, he makes for a nice gamble at MI.
Ryan Theriot, Chicago Cubs
Theriot has averaged 23.7 SBs the past three years, which is a nice total for your MI. He’s also averaged 591 ABs, 83.5 runs, 174 hits, and 46 RBIs while hitting .294. He should have plenty of opportunities to help you in the runs, SBs, and BA categories.