By Ben Hargrove
With Ian Kinsler, Aaron Hill and Chase Utley on the disabled list and Martin Prado and Rickie Weeks slumping, several second basemen who may not have been drafted in some leagues have offered fantasy baseball daily, weekly and season-long owners good replacements.
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
As of press time, Carpenter was fifth in MLB in runs with 58 and was in thirteenth in the majors in batting at .317. Carpenter had a .360 BABIP but his 2012 BABIP was .346. In May, Carpenter hit .352 with 18 walks and only ten strikeouts.
Carpenter hit .294 with 6 homers, 46 RBI and 44 runs in 296 at bats as a 26-year-old rookie in 2012. In the postseason, Carpenter homered off of Giants pitcher Matt Cain. Carpenter is also eligible at 1B, 3B and OF.
Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres
23-year-old rookie Gyorko joined the Padres this season after two straight minor league seasons of at least 25 homers, 100 RBI and a .310 BA. Gyorko struggled in April, but hit .303 in May with 6 homers, 12 RBI and 20 runs. In June, he hit .325 with 2 homers and 5 RBI. Gyorko also has 3B eligibility as a result of filling in at third in April when Chase Headley was on the DL. Despite playing in San Diego, Gyorko has an extreme home-road split in the other direction, with a .944 OPS at home vs. .670 on the road through 60 games. While Gyorko is currently on the DL with a groin injury, he is expected to be back soon.
Kelly Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays
Johnson, now 31, has not had much fantasy relevance since 2010, when he hit 26 homers with 13 steals and a .284 BA for Arizona. Johnson had what had become a typical month for him in April – 3 homers and a .227 BA – before exploding in May with 7 homers, 26 RBI and a .330 BA. But Johnson was struggling again at the start of June and missed a couple of games with back trouble.
As of press time Johnson had 39 RBI and 11 homers. Johnson also had six steals. The lefthanded Johnson had hit all 11 of his homers off righty pitchers.Johnson still has 2B eligibility in many fantasy baseball leagues despite primarily playing outfield for Tampa Bay.
Daniel Murphy, New York Mets
Murphy was third in runs scored among second basemen as of press time despite playing for the weak-hitting Mets. He typically batted second, in front of David Wright, and sometimes led off. The lefthanded Murphy hits much better against righties and on the road. His splits as of the end of June were .818 OPS vs. righties against .532 vs. lefties and .659 at home against .770 on the road.
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