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Fantasy Fix: The Top 20 Second Basemen

If you find yourself in the middle of the line for your fantasy baseball draft, there's a good chance you could end up drafting Robinson Cano in the first round and have your second base needs taken care of immediately. If you don't, you might want to forget about second base until much later, as there is value to be had deep into this list.

1. Robinson Cano. Far and away the best fantasy producer at the position, though it's fair to wonder how a decimated lineup and contract squabbles will affect his production.

2. Dustin Pedroia. The Red Sox' housecleaning could force him to be an MVP-type player again.

3. Jason Kipnis. A lot depends on the readiness of the youngster to go all-out for a full season, but he's a solid hitter who could finish among the stolen base leaders.

4. Ian Kinsler. He could score fewer runs with big bats gone from Texas, but his power/speed combo is the best one-two punch at the position.

5. Aaron Hill. Rebounded from a poor 2011 to have the second-most HRs at the position, and if he keeps it up could easily be in the top three at second base.

6. Jose Altuve. Stellar debut last year with .290 BA and 33 SBs makes it easy to envision .315/40.

7. Martin Prado. Great all-around hitter with additional eligibility at SS, 3B and OF.

8. Brandon Phillips. I have him ranked lower than most, but this former 30/30 man hasn't even reached 20 HRs or SBs since 2009.

9. Ben Zobrist. Among second basemen last year, he was fourth in runs scored, fifth in HRs, fourth in OPS and in the top 10 in both RBIs and SBs. Besides that multi-category balance, you get SS and OF eligibility.

10. Chase Utley. A risky pick with his injury history, but his 2012 numbers for 301 at-bats project to about 22 HRs, 90 RBIs, 22 SBs for a full season.

11. Rickie Weeks. Has slipped from his best season in 2010, but still has potential for 20 HRs, 80 RBIs and 20 SBs if he gets his act together.

12. Dan Uggla. Late-season comeback last year couldn't save him from his career-worst numbers for HRs and RBIs, but a more power-packed lineup could protect him.

13. Kyle Seager. Surprised last year with 86 RBIs, second to Cano among 2Bs, and if he can manage another 20 HRs and an uptick from a .259 BA, he could be a late-round steal.

14. Neil Walker. Real potential to be a .300 hitter, but yet to have his breakout season.

15. Danny Espinosa. Intriguing power and speed made him a hot pick-up last year, but he reportedly is playing through an arm injury, and tends to be streaky.

16. Josh Rutledge. Small sample last year resulted in 33 of 77 hits going for extra bases. A nice late-round gamble.

17. Howie Kendrick. Reliable hitter with some speed; could score 100 runs in a beefed-up lineup.

18. Michael Young. An amazingly consistent producer until falling off last year, but might hit just ahead of Ryan Howard, and has a new lease on life after leaving Texas.

19. Dustin Ackley. Loads of potential, so you could gamble on him breaking out this season, though .682 OPS last year was one of the lowest on this list.

20. Everth Cabrera. 44 SBs led all 2Bs, and the only reason to use a draft pick on him would be if you find yourself coming up short in that category.

Sleepers:

Marco Scutaro. The World Series made his career. He won't deliver power, but is one of the most consistent hitters at the position.

Darwin Barney. Very streaky and one-dimensional, but worth watching if he starts hot.

Gordon Beckham. Seems like he's always living on borrowed time, but career-high 16 HRs last year lets us dream he could be an in-season pick-up.

Brian Roberts. I have a soft spot for the talented, injury-prone veteran with extra-base hit and stolen-base potential.

Expert Wire
* Yahoo!'s experts like Cano and Pedroia as the top two 2Bs, but from there we differ.

* Bleacher Report eyes some players poised for breakout seasons, including Anthony Rizzo.

* Cincinnati.com's Fantasy Headquarters examines the potential of Jurickson Profar, the Texas infielder who is widely listed as the top overall MLB prospect.

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Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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