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Sorry for the sluggish response to Dave's second base rankings. Apparently, all that sun at spring training dulled my mind. But this is the first position where I see some significant disagreements between us bloggers.

First off, I'm not as high on Chase Utley. He's a terrific player but I think last year was his breakout and this year, he'll take a half-step back. We naturally expect players who improve dramatically to keep improving. But really, they usually fall back toward the mean. Let somebody else spend the big bucks on Utley, but be glad if you already have him in a keeper league. I might actually take Chone Figgins above him because of the Angel's position flexibility and speed. There are only a few guys with real shots at 50 steals and Figgins is one, though he's probably also due to fall off a little.

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I wouldn't touch Alfonso Soriano this year. I think his batting average and power could crater in Washington and his disputes with team management could keep him off the field. It's just a bad situation, so let someone else use a high pick or bid on this volatile commodity. I'm normally a Jeff Kent advocate because he's so consistent and so consistently available at a reasonable price, but recovery from wrist surgery is limiting him this spring, and a slow start might keep his season totals down.

I'd buy Marcus Giles before either of those guys and also over Jorge Cantu, who isn't likely to repeat his power numbers and doesn't run. Guys who do everything well are always underrated, and I expect Giles to have a big season either this year or next. Tadahito Iguchi is a poor man's Giles and I'd take him over a guy like Robinson Cano, who doesn't steal bases.

Rickie Weeks may be the future top dog at the position but that future remains a couple years off. His batting average could drag you down a bit though 20 homers and 20 steals are nothing to sneeze at. But don't be blinded by Weeks' potential (especially in non-keeper leagues) and overlook Placido Polanco, who's a proven .300 hitter with a little pop. I could also see Mark Loretta posting a tremendous average as he moves from a hitter's graveyard in San Diego to paradise in Fenway. Don't forget he was the National League's best second baseman in 2004.

Down the list, I like Ray Durham for his reliability. And if you're looking for a bit of a sleeper, check out Jose Lopez in Seattle. He could  be a decent power/speed combo on the cheap.

Overall, there aren't many guaranteed stars at second but there is decent depth, so if you don't get one of the top four or five guys, don't panic.

I'll be back soon with third base rankings and Dave and I will record our weekly podcast tomorrow. So check out our blabbering.

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