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2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 12: Why New York Yankees’ Robinson Cano Has Surpassed Chase Utley As The Top Second Baseman

Sat, Jan 22, 2011

Big Board, Player Projections

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Chase Utley has widely been considered the top fantasy second baseman for several years. Until now.

Robinson Cano proved his 2009 spike in power (25 HRs) was no fluke, as the left-handed hitter whacked 29 over the fence in 2010. Further, the 28-year-old has proven himself to be the most durable and consistent two-bagger over the last few years.

In six big-league seasons, Cano has hit .297 or higher five times, and sports a career .309 batting average. Over the last four seasons, Cano has missed a grand total of eight games. This is especially important to note considering Chase Utley, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler have missed 86, 123 and 150 games respectively over the same four-year period.

Cano’s on-base percentage, slugging percentage, isolated power, fly ball percentage and HR/FB rate have all increased progressively over the last three seasons, supporting his growth in power production. Now fully entrenched as the Yankees’ No. 5 hitter, Cano should hit 25-plus dingers for the third consecutive season and have plenty of opportunity to top the 100-RBI plateau once again in 2011.

He doesn’t present the highest ceiling among second basemen, as the aforementioned Utley, Pedroia and Kinsler all have 20/20 potential, but Cano is most definitely the safest pick. This early in the draft, consistency is more important than potential. Take Cano 12th overall and reap the rewards.

  PA R HR RBI SB AVG
2010 stats 696 103 29 109 3 .319
3-year average 668 92 23 89 3 .304
2011 FBI Forecast 690 100 27 100 2 .312

 

Image courtesy of: Michael G. Baron

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