2014 Outlook: Flaherty entered camp as the favorite to start at second base for the Baltimore Orioles, and he has the kind of underrated pop that might make him a potential bargain in AL-only formats. In 162 games played in the minors, he clubbed 21 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .464, and during the second half of last season in the majors, he hit four homers and boosted his fly ball rate to 43.8 percent in 75 trips to the plate. Flaherty appears to have the kind of left-handed swing that can capitalize on Camden Yards' friendly confines, but track his progress and role during spring training.
2014 Outlook: Although the Pittsburgh Pirates brought back defensive-minded Clint Barmes this winter, Mercer should begin 2014 as their starting shortstop. Simply put, Mercer can do more with the bat, and fantasy owners would much prefer him of the two, even if he receives 100 fewer at-bats. He batted .276 combined between the Double- and Triple-A levels, and .273 in his first two years in the majors, considerably better than Barmes, and he averaged 13 homers and 11 steals per 162 games played in the minors. NL-only owners should consider him a back-of-the-roster type.
2014 Outlook: Here's how awful Uggla's 2013 was: His .179 batting average was the lowest by any batting title qualifier in 22 seasons, and it was the sixth-worst since 1900. Even August laser eye surgery didn't help; he batted .133, had only one extra-base hit and whiffed 25 times in 60 at-bats to conclude the year. The Atlanta Braves tried to find a taker for the final two years and $26 million on his deal all winter, but having failed to do so, will presumably allow Uggla to enter spring training the favorite to start again at second base. He remains a capable power bat at a position not known for it, and a walker whose on-base percentage is more attractive in leagues that reward it, but Uggla would encourage more than those in NL-only formats with a strong spring.
2014 Outlook: In 2013, Wong parlayed .303/.369/.466 triple-slash rates and 10/20 homer/steal numbers in Triple-A into a late-season cup of coffee with the St. Louis Cardinals, but this is the season during which he'll have a legitimate opportunity to lock down a starting big league job. Don't read too much into his poor numbers in the majors; he made just 10 starts in 59 Cardinals games and never got into a groove. Mark Ellis will vie for playing time at second base, but considering the veteran is a right-handed hitter and Wong is a left-handed hitter, a straight platoon seems likely. Wong is a contact hitter with speed, and even in a limited role he'll be an NL-only asset. Still, his fantasy appeal should be greater in leagues that afford daily transactions.
2014 Outlook: LeMahieu is the favorite to capture the second base job in Colorado primarily on the strength of his glove. In addition, there are whispers that he's a candidate to lead off, which could help his stolen base total if that comes to fruition. The Rockies have other options, so LeMahieu will have to hit a little. If he looks to be a regular come opening day, he deserves a spot on an NL-only roster. Just don't bid as if he'll keep the job all season, since there's at least a possibility he won't.
2014 Outlook: We won't bury the lede: Roberts has missed more than twice as many games (456) as he has played (192) the past four seasons combined, and has made five total DL stints during that time for abdominal, concussion, hip and hamstring issues. He is therefore as risky a fantasy bet as there is, though with Robinson Cano no longer in New York, Roberts at least has a clear path to regular at-bats during the rare times he's healthy. Roberts batted .246 and averaged 13 home runs and 19 stolen bases per 162 games from 2010-13, statistics that relegate him to AL-only status.
2014 Outlook: Olé! After being cut by the Kansas City Royals this winter, Bonifacio latched on with the Chicago Cubs, who will use him as a utilityman, an important role considering the team's weaknesses at second and third base. He might not ever score regular at-bats with the Cubs, but should sneak in enough playing time to provide NL-only owners with a healthy number of stolen bases.
2014 Outlook: Considered more of a fallback option at third base for the White Sox than a prime candidate to start, Semien nevertheless shouldn't receive the "ho-hum" approach in deeper fantasy leagues. He's capable of chipping in a few homers and steals, averaging 19 and 20 per 162 games played in his minor league career. At the very least, Semien should make the White Sox as a utility infielder, so consider him a back-of-your-roster option in those AL-only formats.
2014 Outlook: Plate appearances for Aviles will be hard to come by, especially if Carlos Santana makes a successful transition to third base. But since he is so versatile with both middle- and corner-infield eligibility, Aviles makes for a cagey late-round play in AL-only leagues, as he is an injury at any of three positions away from happening upon more playing time. And if he gets it, Aviles still makes excellent contact and prorates to teens power and speed if he plays regularly.
2014 Outlook: Weeks' career has fallen considerably short of the predictions made at the time he was tabbed the No. 2 pick in the 2003 amateur draft, and as a 30-year-old in 2013, both his strikeout and ground-ball rates rose and cast doubt on his future status as a full-timer. He has always drawn walks, hit for pop and contributed a handful of steals, but Scooter Gennett enters camp with greater odds of beginning the year the Milwaukee Brewers' second-base starter. Weeks is NL-only, on-base percentage league material, unless he somehow overwhelms during spring training.
2014 Outlook: A miserable 2013 cost Espinosa his job; the Washington Nationals shifted top prospect Anthony Rendon to second base as Espinosa's replacement, and as spring training opened, the team intended to have Rendon start there with Espinosa battling for a reserve role. It's conceivable Espinosa could make the team, and his power/speed combination makes him worth final-round NL-only consideration. Still, he's a free swinger who strikes out a lot -- 27.1 percent of the time in his career to date -- so be prepared to absorb a low batting average and some painful slumps, even if he somehow recaptures a regular role somewhere.
2014 Outlook: Izturis is one of those guys who may not appear to be in line for much playing time, but his versatility always leads to a few hundred trips to the dish each season. The problem is last year with Toronto, Izturis wasn't nearly as productive in his utility role as he was for so many summers in Anaheim. Most disturbing was a paltry single pilfer in six attempts. The good news is Izturis again qualifies at second, third and short, so he adds flexibility to a deep roster and there could be an opening for some regular playing time at second if Izturis has a solid spring.
2014 Outlook: Last year, there were 453 hitters to register 100 or more plate appearances and only 14 had a lower batting average on balls in play than Barney. Fewer line drives and more fly balls resulted in a .222 mark. And considering Barney is good for only single-digit homers and steals, he needs every point in batting average he can get. A correction should be in the offing, but that won't help his meek production. At best, he's an endgame middle infield play in deep leagues.
2014 Outlook: Callaspo is ticketed for a utility role with the Oakland Athletics this season, a candidate to sneak in starts at any of the four infield positions as well as designated hitter. Considering his career lefty/righty splits, he'll be a handy bench bat for a team that likes to capitalize upon platoon advantages. He's a .300/.346/.420 lifetime hitter against left-handers, so AL-only or deep mixed owners whose leagues afford daily transactions should be mixing and matching only those assignments.
2014 Outlook: All you need to know about Oakland's confidence in Sogard to handle utility infield duties is they brought in the 36-year-old Nick Punto to shore up the bench. Sogard makes good contact and has a little speed, so he can fill a role as an endgame middle infielder.