by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Second base has never been viewed as a particularly deep position, though that no longer appears to be the case. There are numerous options, ranging from high upside youngsters, veterans who are on the downside and everything in between. Let’s take a look at how things currently stand:
1. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
2. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
3. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
4. Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
5. Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
6. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
7. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins
8. Daniel Murphy – New York Mets
9. Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
10. Kolten Wong – St. Louis Cardinals
11. Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
12. Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Jedd Gyorko – San Diego Padres
14. Ben Zobrist – Oakland A’s
15. Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Remember the days when Robinson Cano was the clear-cut top option at second base? Those days are well behind us, as he’s been surpassed at this point. The power regressed, as expected, though it wasn’t simply ballpark related (52.6% groundball rate, average distance on non-groundballs of 256.590).
- Jason Kipnis has battled injuries all offseason, with back spasms being the latest issue to sideline him. If he can get healthy there’s a good chance that he rebounds and posts strong numbers (though his ranking will obviously take a hit if he’s not ready for Opening Day). A year ago we would’ve placed him right with that top tier and it’s not impossible that he’s back there by year’s end. For more on Kipnis, click here.
- The third tier is an intriguing one, with all three players having the potential to move up. Murphy is banged up, unfortunately, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on him. As for Walker, some people likely don’t believe in last year’s breakout. That said the power surge appears to be for real, he has the potential to hit for a strong average and also hits in the middle of the Pirates lineup. In other words, after the top names are off the board there’s an awful lot to like.
- After the top three tiers, there’s no real “star” at this point. Instead there appear to be a lot of interchangeable parts as there are four more players included in this tier. Players like Pedroia, Zobrist & Utley are on the downsides of their career and Kendrick has always been a player with limited upside.
- Of the players outside the upper tiers, Gyorko may offer the most potential. He has ample power, even playing in Petco Park, and also should post a significantly better average than last year’s .210 (.253 BABIP despite a 21.8% line drive rate). Think of him as someone on a similar level to Jhonny Peralta, who is an underrated source of power from a middle infield spot.
Make sure to check out all of our 2015 rankings:
- First Basemen
- Third Basemen
- Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40
- Starting Pitchers: 1-20 | 21-40
- Relief Pitchers
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