As teams start to funnel into spring training, it’s time to look at some position rankings for this upcoming season. Opening Day is only 46 days away! It’s time to talk baseball. We continue the position ranking series talking about 2nd basemen. Who are the Top 10 second basemen entering the 2017 season?
1. Jose Altuve (Houston Astros)
Altuve is the best player at the position and it’s not even close. The 5’6″ lightning rod capped off the 2016 season with a .338 average and .396 on-base percentage. He has also stolen 30 or more bases for five straight years and is often times a distraction for pitchers. Altuve, 27, is just now entering his prime as Houston looks like they will be a dangerous team for many years to come.
2. Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox)
It’s hard to find a player who puts in more effort on a daily basis than Pedroia. On defense, he literally hops prior to every pitch just to try to give him that extra second to get to a ball by always staying on his toes. I would say his odd strategy pans out as he is the best defensive 2nd basemen there is with his +12 defensive runs saved in 2016. Offensively Pedey hit .318 with a .376 OBP. Pedroia’s clubhouse presence added to his talent puts him 2nd on the list.
3. Robinson Cano (Seattle Mariners)
Cano’s massive contract often times overshadow how good this guy is. He slugged a career-high 39 homers in 2016 so there is a reason to believe he has a number of good years left. To go along with his incredible offense, Cano is still a stud defensively too as he was a 1.6 War defender this year.
4. D.J. LeMahieu (Colorado Rockies)
It’s hard to ignore LeMahieu’s 2016 season where he posted a .348/.416/.495 stat line. Those numbers over a full season suggest his breakout season is no fluke. LeMahieu’s career numbers are far worse but at 28 he is just now entering his prime.
5. Jason Kipnis (Cleveland Indians)
Kipnis had a solid 2016 season hitting 23 homers to go along with a .275 average. Kipnis is also a plus defender and walks a ton (.343 OBP). Outside of a down 2014 season, Kipnis has been one of the best 2nd basemen four quite some time.
6. Rougned Odor (Texas Rangers)
Odor had a huge rise in his power number in 2016 hitting 33 jacks in 2016. Odor, 23, has been steadily improving over his first 3 years and figures to keep getting better. The only downside to Odor is he doesn’t walk much (only 19 in 2016) and is considered a poor defender (-9 defensive runs saved).
7. Daniel Murphy (Washington Nationals)
Murphy has been on a complete tear since the 2015 postseason. Murphy hit a staggering stat line of .347/.390/.595 in 2016. That .595 slugging percentage was good for 2nd in the majors last season behind only David Ortiz. Murphy’s below average defense (-1.0 defensive War) drops him a tad on the list.
8. Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs)
This one is a bit of a projection but it’s hard not to love Baez’s game. In limited at bats with the Cubs, Baez hit .273 in 2016 and will now take over as the team’s primary 2nd baseman this season. Baez is also a lightning rod on the base paths. I’m not sure many 2nd basemen have a higher ceiling. The only question is will he be able to reduce his high strikeout rate as he ages?
9. Ian Kinsler (Detroit Tigers)
Kinsler, 34, is the model of consistency hitting at least .275 the past 4 years. He is also a terrific defender even nearing the end of his career with his +12 defensive runs saved. Kinsler 28 homers in 2016 were also the most of his career since 2011.
10. Brian Dozier (Minnesota Twins)
It’s hard to overlook Dozier’s 42 homers in 2016. It was a huge jump from his previous two years when he hit 28 in 2015 and 23 in 2014. His mediocre batting average of .268 and meager fielding puts him 10th on the list.