Here is a list of Middle Infielders who could have breakout 2009 campaigns.

Alexei Ramírez
– Alexei was one of the biggest surprises last year hitting .290 with 21 HRs and 77 RBI en route to a second-place finish behind Evan Longoria in Rookie of the Year balloting.  He makes the switch from Second Base to Shortstop, but I don’t think that will stop him from taking the next step for the White Sox.  He played in just 136 games last year.  If he stays healthy he should be able to score 90+ Runs, hit 25+ HRs, drive in 80+ Runs, and steal 20+ bases.  He’s especially valuable in Yahoo leagues as he qualifies at 2B, SS, and OF.
Howie Kendrick
– I know he was supposed to breakout last year, but I’m guessing everyone was a year behind for the talented Angel Second Baseman.  The main categories he’ll contribute in are Average and Doubles.  He has a .306 average in 252 career games.  He hit .314 the past two years.  He has 71 career Doubles.  Projected out to a 162 game season it’s an average of 45.6 Doubles.  If he can manage to play a full year I expect him to him .300 with 80+ Runs, 40+ Doubles, 65+ RBI, and 18+ SBs. 

Alexi Casilla
 - Alexi was a spark plug for the Twins last year hitting .281 with 58 Runs and 50 RBI in 98 games.  His average dipped after the All-Star Break (.315 to .243), but he managed to score as many Runs (29) in six fewer games.  In a full season Alexi should be able to score 80+ Runs, drive in 65+, and pick up around 12 SBs.

Jed Lowrie
- Jed played exactly half a season last year for the Red Sox hitting .258 with 34 Runs, 67 Hits, 25 Doubles, and 46 RBI in his Rookie debut.  In his Sophomore campaign, I think he’ll improve in some areas, and decline in others.  I think his average will improve to at least .265, his runs to more than double at 80+, and his Hits to more than Double at 140.  His Doubles will less than Double at 40 and his RBI total to less than Double at 75.  He qualifies at 3B and SS in Yahoo leagues.

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Here’s some Middle Infielders that may have a hard time matching their 2008 production.

Dustin Pedroia – It’s hard to bet against the diminutive Pedroia, but I don’t see him matching last season’s MVP production.  He went from 86 Runs, 165 Hits, 39 Doubles, 8 HRs, 50 RBI, and 7 SBs as Rookie of the Year to 118 R, 213 H, 54 2Bs, 17 HRs, 83 RBI, and 20 SBs.  I think he’ll settle in somewhere in between those two.  I have him on a .320, 105 R, 200 H, 48 Double, 15 HR, 70 RBI, and 15 SB season.
Mark De Rosa
– A move to Cleveland lowers my expectations for De Rosa.  He won’t be in nearly as good a lineup.  I expect most of his numbers to hold since they have for the past three years, but I see his Runs (103), HRs (21), and RBI (87) to take a hit.  Somewhere around 75 Runs, 15 HRs, and 70 RBI seems more feasible.
Cristian Guzmán
– Guzzie was one of the best stories in baseball last year hitting .316 with 77 Runs, 183 Hits, 35 Doubles, 9 HRs, and 55 RBI. He’s actually hit well the past two years (184 games) with the Nationals going 240 for 753 (.319).  Aside from that stretch he’s only topped .280 once.  I suspect that’s about what he’ll hit next year with 160 Hits and 40 RBI.
Mike Aviles
Mike Aviles – Aviles hit .325 as a Rookie with 68 Runs, 136 Hits, 27 2Bs, 10 HRs, and 51 RBI in 102 games.  That forecasts out to 108 Runs, 216 Hits, 43 2Bs, 16 HRs, and 81 RBI.  I’d be surprised if he met those forecasts.  I’m expecting a .310, 90 R, 38 2Bs, 14 HRs, and 70 RBI.

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Here’s a look at Middle Infielders who should bounce back from 2008 seasons that didn’t meet their standards.

Derek Jeter
– I don’t see a huge jump for Jeter, but I expect him to score 100 runs and collect 200 hits, which is something he didn’t do in ’08 (88 & 179).  His .300 is below his .316 career mark, and I expect that to increase to around .310.  I don’t see much movement for Jeter in HRs, RBI, or SBs.

Rafael Furcal – He only played in 36 games last year, so he will easily surpass his 2008 numbers.  Assuming he stays healthy he should hit around .300 with 100 Runs, 175 Hits, 27 Doubles, 6 Triples, 10 HRs, 60 RBI, and 30 SBs.  Furcal hit .357 and was one of the best players in the league in April so don’t expect to get him at a bargain. 
Édgar Rentería
– So Rentería moves on to his sixth team.  Say what you want about him, the guy can hit.  Like most Tigers, Rentería had a down year hitting .270 with 69 Runs, 136 Hits, and 22 Doubles.  His RBIs were at 55, but he only had 57 the year before in Atlanta while hitting a career high .332.  From 2002-2007 he averaged 90.7 Runs, 173.2 Hits, 37.7 Doubles, and hit .303.  I expect he’ll produce somewhere in between last year’s stats and those averages.  That would put him at .287, 80 R, 155 H, and 30 Doubles.

Khalil Greene
– He’s not much of a hitter, but clearly a move to St. Louis from San Diego has to help the paltry .213, 30 R, 83 H, 15 2B, 10 HR, 35 RBI he produced in 2008.  I don’t expect him to reach his 2007 numbers (89 R, 155 H, 44 2B, 27 HR, 97 RBI), but something more in line with what he did from 2004-2006 when he averaged .257, 58 R, 29 2B, 15 HR, and 63.3 RBI.

Robinson Canó
– Canó digressed in 2008 hitting a career low .271.  He’s traditionally a slow starter with April (.237) and May (.271) being his worst two months.  Though he did hit .307 after the All-Star break, he never quite recovered from the .151 he hit in April.  His average wasn’t the only thing that suffered though.  He stats were down across the board.  He’s too good of a hitter in too good of an Offense to struggle again next year.  Hopefully the World Baseball Classic well allow him to hit the ground running on Opening Day.  
Freddy Sánchez
– After hitting .315 in his first three years with the Pirates, Sánchez saw his average drop to .271. In 2006 & 2007 he averaged 191.5 Hits, 47.5 Doubles, 83 RBI.  Last year he had 154, 26, and 52.

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