For 2B there is still so much to be decided in the off-season.
2B for the Red Sox, Cards, Cubs, A's and Brewers? Does Kent retire? Does NYY stick with Cairo? Playing time for Polanco (when he signs), Figgins, Hairston and Utley? When is Kennedy coming back? Youngsters in Arizona and Houston?
I don't have my list made but I do know that Giles will be in my top 3, if not number 2 behind Soriano. This guy will put up awesome numbers in all categories. Just a step below Soriano in my opinion, at least I think his potential is there! Just keep him from breaking bones and we will be fine!
2b is a complete mess. And if you have a negative opinion on Soriano it gets even worse. Soriano's numbers were apallingly off from the year before and only his rep has him rated #1 now. One more off year and he will plummet value-wise.
Kent (might be #1 if I knew where he ends up)
It really gets ugly.
I think you still have to go with Soriano as the top 2B even though his numbers fell off a cliff last year. He's certainly capable of much better. I have Loretta as a potential keeper in my league but would trade him for Soriano in a heartbeat.
The guy I'd really be watching out for next year is Juan Uribe. He is only 25 and really made huge strides last season. Compare his 2004 numbers to his 2002 numbers (comparable AB totals) and the progress is clear. He has displayed good gap & HR power and much better plate discipline (BB/K ratio was not terrific, but MUCH improved). To boot, he will be eligible at SS, 2B, and 3B next season.
Having watched Soraino a lot obviously, I have always had serious doubts in the back of my mind. It never stopped me from drafting him, but I never felt 100% confident in the guy like I did with guys like Manny or Vlad. So undiciplined, so selfish and so stupid a ball player.
Certainly has talent but he lacks all discipline and refuses to learn or adjust. Swings at balls 3 feet outside and in the dirt with regularity. You have to wonder when the hands and wrists slow down a bit and he can't make up for his lack of a good approach with raw skills. If I owned Soriano I would be looking to deal him while his value is still very high. If I was drafting for 05, Soriano will be a player I would bypass as his likely cost (round 2-3) is just too high relative to the risk. This guy burned anyone who drafted him last year in the first round.
--It amazes me how people continue to overrate Castillo. What is to like about this guy? His SB capability is long gone, all he brings to the table are some Rs, a .300 Avg and 15-20 SBs. Why not wait get a guy like Polanco for a lot less. He is also a lock for .300, should get you 10-15 SBs and o h by the way should provide double digit HR's as well. In fact, I don't see why he isn't rated higher--yes his stats will have a very modest fall off leaving Philly, but he is one of the most consitent hitters in terms of BA and brings soem HRs and SBs that will help you out. Once you are out of the top 5, he is as good as anyone, expect he has no name recognition and you can get him in the low rounds or for far less $$$$.
--Soriano is still the best 2B, I don't see how anyone can say otherwise.
--As for Uribe, I just don't have confidence in that guy. Even if the power stays (and last year seems to be a bit of an aberration) he still rarely walks and Ks a lot. He never hit for average even in the minors. I think the best case scenario with him over the long-term is .260 20HRs, but it could be a lot worse.