Fantasy Sports

2013 Fantasy Baseball: Top 30 Infielders

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30. 2B Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks

Aaron Hill
Kelley L Cox - USA Today Sports

Hill has been a .300 hitter since arriving in Arizona and he blasted 26 homers to go with 85 runs batted in a season ago. Solid option at second base as long as he stays healthy.

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29. 1B Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees

Mark Teixeira
Brad Penner - USA Today Sports

Weren’t expecting to see Teixeira’s name so soon? He’ll give you the power numbers if healthy, but is dangerously streaky throughout the season and no longer hits for average.

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28. C Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles

Matt Wieters
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Wieters’ numbers have been improving each season outside of his mediocre batting average. If he can start hovering around .280 instead of .260, he’ll be a can’t-miss catcher for years to come.

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27. 3B Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers

Aramis Ramirez
Steve Mitchell USA Today Sports

Ramirez has a tendency to start the season slow and finish scorching hot. Don’t be afraid to nab the 34-year-old and remember to stay patient if you do. He hit .300 and drove in over 100 runs a year ago and that’s not easy to find outside of the first couple rounds.

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26. 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Goldschmidt
Kelley L Cox - USA Today Sports

Don’t sleep on Goldschmidt this year, the guy hit 20 home runs, drove in 82 and stole 18 bases in his first full big league season. 15-20 stolen bases from your first baseman can be a huge boost as long as his power numbers are above average or better.

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25. 2B,SS,OF Ben Zobrist, Tampa Rays

Ben Zobrist
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Zobrist is pretty consistent across the board and can be a great guy to have considering he’s eligible at three positions.

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24. 2B Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians

Jason Kipnis
David Richard - USA Today Sports

An underrated infielder, Kipnis produced like a young Brandon Phillips in 2012, stealing 31 bases while providing 14 HR and 76 RBI. He’s held back in Cleveland's weak lineup but has solid potential heading into his second full season in the majors.

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23. SS Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals

Ian Desmond
Jeff Curry - USA Today Sports

Desmond’s 2012 season was his best yet, smacking 22 HR while swiping 23 bags and hitting .292 at the plate. Those numbers may drop a tad, but his run total should continue to increase.

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22. 3B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

Ryan Zimmerman
Brad Mills - USA Today Sports

Always a risk to visit the disabled list multiple times in the same season, Zimmerman is extremly productive when he is healthy.

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21. 1B Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers

Adrian Gonzalez
Frank Victores - USA Today Sports

Gonzo’s power is nowhere to be found these days, but there’s still enough value in other categories to warrant a selection in the early to middle rounds.

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20. 1B/OF Allen Craig, St. Louis Cardinals

Allen Craig
Scott Kane - USA Today Sports

Craig hit .307 a year ago while pumping out 22 HR and 92 RBI in only 469 at-bats. Injuries are a concern, but the ceiling here is sky high should he see 500+ at-bats in 2013.

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19. 3B Chase Headley, San Diego Padres

Chase Headley
Kelley L Cox - USA Today Sports

Headley’s coming out party was a year ago, when he hit 31 HR and drove in 115 runs. I might expect a slight regression but still plenty of overall production, even in a weak Padres batting order.

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18. 2B Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds

Brandon Phillips
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Phillips is extremely consistent at the plate and rarely misses games. That’s tough to find among second baseman.

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17. SS Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Reyes
Derek E. Hingle - USA Today Sports

There are some serious trust issues with Reyes, but he’s no longer with the dysfunctional Marlins and there’s plenty of power in Toronto that he can set the table for.

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16. 1B/DH Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals

Billy Butler
Rick Osentoski

Butler’s 2012 season (.313 AVG, 29 HR and 107 RBI) was the best of his career, and at just 26 years of age, there’s plenty more where that came from.

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15. 2B Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

Ian Kinsler
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Kinsler’s production took a nosedive in 2012, but he still managed to provide runs and stolen bases in addition to respectable power at the second base position.

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14. SS Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs

Starlin Castro
Jennifer Hilderbrand - USA Today Sports

Only 23 years old, Castro has already provided two pleasantly consistent seasons at the dish and there’s no reason to think a third isn’t right around the corner.

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13. 2B Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Pedroia’s injured hand gave him too many problems a year ago, but he should bounce back nicely in 2013 and give you the .300 BA, 15-20 HR and 80 RBI season he’s fully capable of.

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12. 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

Edwin Encarnacion
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Encarnacion’s monster campaign in 2012 (42 HR, 110 RBI and even 13 SB) came out of nowhere, but I think he’s capable of producing more of the same this season.

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11. SS/3B Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers

Hanley Ramirez
Cary Edmondson - USA Today Sports

Always a risky pick, Hanley could have a special season in LA if he can get back to hitting .300 instead of hovering around .250 like he has the past two seasons.

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10. 3B Evan Longoria, Tampa Rays

Evan Longoria
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Longoria’s lack of sustained health has been disappointing to fantasy owners, but he’ll be one of the game’s most productive third baseman in 2013 if he can get through the season unscathed.

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9. 3B David Wright, New York Mets

David Wright
Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports

Wright got back on track in 2012 (21 HR, 93 RBI, .306 AVG) and should put up similar numbers for the Mets again this year.

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8. 3B Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre
Jim Cowsert - USA Today Sports

Beltre has been ridiculously consistent since he got out of Seattle, and should still be plenty productive in a Rangers lineup that will no longer include Josh Hamilton.

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7. C/1B Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey
Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

Posey is just an absolute monster. He hit .336 and knocked in 103 runs in 2012, less than a full year after suffering a horrific leg injury. And he’s catcher eligible. Don’t wait on this guy.

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6. SS Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

Troy Tulowitzki
Kelley L Cox - USA Today Sports

Tulo missed most of 2012 with yet another injury, but he’s undoubtedly the most productive shortstop in the game at full health, as he is now.

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5. 2B Robinson Cano, New York Yankees

Robinson Cano
Rick Osentoski - USA Today Sports

Based on his position alone, Cano might be worth taking higher than fifth overall in your draft. But there are a few corner infielders that will be enjoying more productive seasons in 2013 and the Yankees weakening offense is worrisome.

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4. 1B/DH Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

Albert Pujols
Jim Cowsert - USA Today Sports

Why isn’t the great Pujols higher? His batting average has declined each of the past four seasons and he scored a career-low 85 runs in 2012 despite logging 600 at bats for the first time ever.

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3. 1B Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers

Prince Fielder
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Like Pujols, Fielder has now had a full year to settle into the American League. To make it even better, he’ll be hitting behind Miguel Cabrera and now in front of Victor Martinez. And where Pujols exiting his prime, the 28-year-old Fielder is entering it.

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2. 1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

Knee surgeries sidelined Votto for a good chunk of the 2012 season, but he is the NL’s top first baseman and will bounce back in a big way this year.

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1. 3B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Miggy is 29 years old, just captured the AL Triple Crown and MVP award, and has Prince Fielder behind him in the lineup with Torii Hunter now in front of him. No debate necessary.

Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds

Frank Victores – USA Today Sports

Waiting until the last minute to squeeze in your Christmas shopping is one thing, but failing to complete a proper amount of fantasy baseball research leading up to your draft can and likely will lead to absolute disaster. The MLB off-season does its part to shake up the pitching rotations and batting orders we grew accustomed to over the previous year, so if you aren’t up to date on the happenings of the baseball world, well, stop slacking.

Rankings are a great way to get a feel for how every player stacks up at each individual position. Aging veterans are giving way to a new wave of young phenoms. Forgotten fantasy studs have been working their way back from injuries, and some may return better than ever. A change of scenery and therefore transfer to a new ballpark can sometimes be just what a hitter or pitcher needs to rise to fantasy stardom.

When one tiny factor can prove to be the difference between a fantasy championship and missing the playoffs entirely, why not be as informed as possible?

Spring training is just about in full swing and Opening Day isn’t going to wait around for the procrastinators of the fantasy baseball world. You’re prepared to view this slideshow, so that means you’re already getting a leg up on some of your competition.

Here, you’ll find the Top 30 infielders for the 2013 season. We all know drafting a well-rounded infield can be tricky business, as middle infielders and catchers that excel at the plate are hard to come by after the first couple of rounds. Anybody can land a superstar like Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols in the first round, but the later rounds are where championships are won.