Ranks reax: Dustin Ackley should be higher 

July, 12, 2011
I guess I'm a sucker for middle infielders. Who knew? As I peered over the ESPN Fantasy second-half rankings, I was struck with just how differently I ranked the second basemen and shortstops (better) and the closers (worse) compared with the rest of the group. The closers part doesn't surprise me one bit -- I'm always passive on saves -- but the middle-infield difference was interesting. Do I like Chase Utley, Dustin Ackley and others because I really like them statistically, or did I just give them an extra bump because of position scarcity? I think the answer on both is yes!

The concept carries weight because, let's face it, we all want to build teams our way. As I wrote in Monday's blog, there's just too much decent pitching available for me to grasp for it early in drafts. I regarded our mid-July rankings exercise this way -- like a draft -- and went heavy on hitters. But in addition to favoring power and major speed options, I appeared to go heavy on the middle infielders. Here are a few players I seemed to like considerably better than the consensus:

[+] EnlargeHanley Ramirez
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireHanley Ramirez ranks ninth overall on the Player Rater over the past 15 days.
Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida Marlins: Indeed, we start at the top, or more accurately, at No. 14. Fantasy's No. 2 player from draft day has not performed anything like it, but I left him in my top 10 because he is showing signs of turning his season around as the team's cleanup hitter, and he still possesses the same power/speed combination he did in March. He's capable of being that over the final 10 weeks. Only three of the other eight rankers agreed with making him a top-10 guy. What a compelling player we have here. I admit, if he was an outfield-only eligible, he might have been in my third round, but still, I believe.