Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ranking the top 10 second basemen in MLB

by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

I made up this list by asking a couple of people to send me their top ten players for each position. Whatever position each player was on the list, they received that many points. The player with the least amount of points, got the top spot. If a player was not included on a top ten list, they received an “11”. I want to thank all of the people who voted and there will be another top ten list coming out again on Monday. Enjoy.

1. Robinson Cano
Last season’s stats: HR: 33 RBI: 94 AVG: .313 OPS: .929 OBP: .379 SLG: .550
Robinson Cano extinguished all doubts this season by showing that he is the best second baseman in baseball. He easily led all second baseman in pretty much every category and has a higher WAR than all second baseman, easily. Second place trails him by nearly four points. All stats have their flaws, but a margin by that much must mean something. Along with his bat, he is also one of the best defensive second baseman in baseball making tough plays look like routine grounders. Cano earned the top spot this year.

2. Brandon Phillips
Last season’s stats: HR: 18 RBI: 77 AVG: .281 OPS: .750 OBP: .321 SLG: .429
Brandon Phillips had a pretty average year; on paper. In reality, he had a pretty good year. He was always consistent and always had the clutch hit when the Reds needed it. He also stepped in very nicely in the superstar role when Joey Votto went down and proved that he was one of the best teammates in the league. Also, his glove is still the best in baseball, and I don’t care who won the Gold Glove. All you need to do is watch him for one game and you know how good he is. His defense won the Reds at least three games this season and it also helped Phillips earn a couple of MVP votes.

3. Dustin Pedroia
Last season’s stats: HR: 15 RBI: 65 AVG: .290 OPS: .750 OBP: .347 SLG: .449
The Red Sox had an awful year but, Pedroia sure didn’t. He didn’t put up the flashy power numbers, but he was the key part of the Red Sox offense the entire season and was really the only person in Boston playing good baseball. He has the most heart out of probably any player in baseball and is definitely not afraid to get his uniform dirty. Pedroia is a great player and an amazing teammate, who will do anything to win.

4. Aaron Hill
Last season’s stats: HR: 26 RBI: 85 AVG: .302 OPS: .882 OBP: .360 SLG: .882
Aaron Hill was by far the best second baseman last season. The only problem for him is that this list is not based on last year alone, but on the second baseman’s career. He hasn’t had a great career, but this was his breakout year. Before he goes higher, he’s going to have to put up these numbers again. He showed his versatility this season by hitting for the cycle not once, but twice. I’m a believer in Hill and I really hope he proves me right this season.

5. Howie Kendrick
Last season’s stats: HR: 8 RBI: 67 AVG: .287 OPS: .725 OBP: .325 SLG: .400
Kendrick had a down year power-wise by slugging a career low .400, but he was still top-ten among second baseman in pretty much every other category. He is a very consistent player and even though you can’t really count on him to provide that spark of power, he’s always there when the Angels need him.

6. Neil Walker
Last season’s stats: HR: 14 RBI: 69 AVG: .280 OPS: .768 OBP: .342 SLG: .426
Neil Walker didn’t have as many at bats as the players above, but he made the most of his limited playing time. There is no doubt in my mind that if he would have gotten 600 at bats, he would have hit 20 homeruns and driven in 90 runs. He really impressed me and the rest of the voters last season, as he and Andrew McCutchen almost led the Pirates to a winning season. He had the fourth highest OPS out of all second baseman and he is ninth in average. He built off the solid year he had last season and he has to stay healthy and get his 600 at bats, if he wants to get up on this list.

7. Chase Utley
Last season’s stats: HR: 11 RBI: 45 AVG: .256 OPS: .793 OBP: .365 SLG: .429
Chase Utley missed most of the year because of an injury and he wasn’t too impressive coming back. Don’t get me wrong, he still played like a top ten second baseman, but he didn’t play like himself. He was a top-5 second baseman at least for the past couple seasons, but before I can put him that high, he has to return to form that won him 4 silver sluggers. He might be the most important player on the Phillies and he was the big reason for their late season turnaround. Before I can put him higher, he has to show me that he can come off this injury and play at an elite level like I know he can.

8. Marco Scutaro
Last season’s stats: HR: 7 RBI: 74 AVG: .306 OPS: .753 OBP: .348 SLG: .405
Marco Scutaro’s stats don’t do enough justice for how good he was last season. Once traded to the Giants, he hit .362 with a .858 OPS. He absolutely went on a tear that carried all the way to the post season where he won the NLCS MVP and led the Giants to a World Series win. His heroics during the playoffs and his amazing season with the Giants earned him a 3-year, 20-million dollar contract with San Francisco. He was second out of all second baseman with a .306 average and was top-10 in countless other categories. He is definitely one of the best second baseman in the game. 

9. Daniel Murphy
Last season’s stats: HR: 6 RBI: 65 AVG: .291 OPS: .735 OBP: .332 SLG: .403
Daniel Murphy had a great season even though he played at a new position and it was his first full major league season. He is fourth out of all second baseman in average and had a solid OPS even with his lack of power. This was his first year, so I can’t put him to high on the list, but I am very high on Daniel Murphy. He has a lot of potential defensively and offensively and I expect bright things for him in the future.

10. Dan Uggla
Last season’s stats: HR: 19 RBI: 78 AVG: .220 OPS: .732 OBP: .348 SLG: .384
Dan Uggla may have had the worst season out of any top-notch second baseman last season. He did hit 19 homeruns and drive in 78, but a .220 average is never even close to acceptable. In defense of Uggla, I’m going to mark down 2012 as just a bad year. He did have an anemic .230 average in 2011, but he did hit 36 homers and slugged .453. I expect him to return to those numbers next season with a little higher average. I’m not saying 2010 form where he won the Silver Slugger, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he does.

1 comment:

Ian Kinsler said...

What... did I get traded to the Yomiuri Giants, or something?