KEYSTONE KINGS: Baseball’s Best Second Basemen
Today’s guest author is Jeremy Wolf of The Wolf’s Den. Jeremy is a left-handed hitter on the Chaparrel High School baseball team in baseball rich Scottsdale, Arizona. Jeremy hopes to play baseball in college and eventually be a general manager of an MLB team (he sounds perfect for fantasy baseball, doesn’t he?). He claims that MLB Network is the “best thing that ever happened to me.” I agree Jeremy. Not sure my wife would though.
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The Leagues Best 2nd Baseman
The second base position is evolving. You have to be able to hit for power, average, you need a strong arm and you must have range. Who in the league has all those attributes??*(all based on the 2011 season and projection for 2012 season.)
1. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
BRONX CHEER: Robinson Cano is baseball's best second baseman.
2011 Season: .302AVG/ 28HR/ 118RBI/ 104RUNS/ 8SB?Summary:
He has the sweetest swing in the major leagues right now, definitely, top 5 of all time. He knows how to hit and he has the smoothest fielding ability in the league. Why is he #1 over Kinsler? Not because he is a Yankee, everyone knows he would be just as good on any other team, but because he gets big hits and big RBIs in big games. He has a knack for getting on base an a knack for scoring runs. Definitely top 5 hitters in the league right now.?2012
Projection: .310AVG/ 25HR/ 110RBI/ 95RUNS/ 20SB
2. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
2011 Season: .255AVG/ 32HR/ 77RBI/ 121RUNS/ 30SB?Summary:
Definitely the safest bet for second place. He is a very good fielder with a very strong arm. He’s got a good eye at the plate but seems to be in a pitchers count every at bat because of his aggressiveness. He’s got great power, more power than Cano, but still lacks the average. Great speed and seems like he scores every time he gets on base. Look for a strong season in 2012 because he might need to carry the team.?2012
Projection: .260AVG/ 28HR/ 90RBI/ 115RUNS/ 25SB
3. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
2011 Season: .307AVG/ 21HR/ 91RBI/ 103RUNS/ 26SB
Summary: Five feet, nine inches. I bet you have heard that so many times, but it’s true. His small stature packs a pretty huge punch. A great fielder, a great player, a great hitter and a great teammate.?2012
Projection: .300AVG/ 18HR/ 87RBI/ 95RUNS/ 20SB
4. Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds
2011 Season: .300AVG/ 18HR/ 82RBI/ 94RUNS/ 14SB
Summary: Multiple Gold Gloves, and many more to come. He’s got power to all fields and he flies around the bases. He’s got one of the funkiest stances I have ever seen, but it works. He’s got a passion for the game and a passion for playing hard. He is the leader of that team and he will let everyone knows what he thinks. He plays like Orlando Hudson, and being a big fan of Orlando makes me a big fan of this guy. Look for a big big year from Brandon.
2012 Projection: .310AVG/ 25HR/ 90RBI/ 100RUNS/ 27SB
5. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
JACKS: Chase Utley and wife Jen are very active supporters of the Pennsylvania ASPCA.
2011 Season: (103 Games) .259AVG/ 11HR/ 44RBI/ 54RUNS/ 14SB
Summary: You gotta love this guy. Utley is a professional, he is the definition of the term. He plays hard and he plays well whenever he gets in. Though I am a Mets fan, I do Respect this guy. You got to! He has earned it. Let’s hope he stays healthy in 2012.
2012 Projection: (150 Games) .270AVG/ 28HR/ 86RBI/ 110RUNS/ 10SB
6. Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
2011 Season: .273AVG/ 12HR/ 83RBI/ 76RUNS/ 9SB
Summary: Simply put, he had a fantastic season last year. It was a very nice season to watch. He has got a great glove and the fans of Pittsburgh love that young nucleus they have growing. With players like Andrew McCutchen, James McDonald, Garrett Jones, and their closer Joel Hanrahan, look for above .500 seasons for the next few seasons.
2012 Projection: .280/ 19HR/ 86RBI/ 90RUNS/ 18SB
T7. Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers
2011 Season: (118 Games) .269AVG/ 20HR/ 49RBI/ 77RUNS/ 9SB
Summary: Hurt for part of last year, and really got nothing to work in the playoffs. He was 6 for 41 in the two playoff series against the Cardinals and the Diamondbacks. Definitely has raw power but the glove and the average need to get a tad it better. Look for the same type of season this year, and likely without Prince Fielder he will have a little bit more pressure on him to produce.
2012 Projection:(145 Games) .260AVG/ 25HR/ 80RBI/ 75RUNS/ 15SB
T7. Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays
2011 Season: .269AVG/ 20HR/ 91RBI/ 99RUNS/ 19SB
Summary: In my opinion, one of the most valuable players on any team in the league. He can play at every single position and he switch hits. He hits for power, average, he can field and he can throw. Definitely one of those players you want on your team.
2012 Projection: .280AVG/ 18HR/ 95RBI/ 106RUNS/ 27SB
8. Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves
2011 Season: .233AVG/ 36HR/ 82RBI/ 88RUNS/ 1SB
Summary: If I made a list of the biggest arms in the league, He would be number 1. He has got so much raw power, but he really needs to get that average up and he needs to be better with the glove. He was under the Mendoza line for the beginning of last season. That rampage he went on brought a) the Braves to the playoff hunt, and b) his average up a lot. Though he ended the season at a .233 average, look for more quality at-bats and a higher average in 2012.
2012 Projection: .250AVG/ 28HR/ 86RBI/ 90RUNS/ 5SB
9. Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels
2011 Season: .285AVG/ 18HR/ 63RBI/ 86RUNS/ 14SB
Summary: One of the most under-rated guys in the league. He goes out there and plays the game hard. In 2012 look for a big season because of the acquisition of Albert Pujols. In that entire lineup, Kendrick might benefit the most.
2012 Projection: .300AVG/ 20HR/ 70RBI/ 106RUNS/ 16SB
10. Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals
2011 Season: .236AVG/ 21HR/ 66RBI/ 72RUNS/ 17SB
Summary: Plainly put, what an incredible rookie year. He got his name out there as a potentially great player. Though the average was low, he had big hits in big spots. Look for plenty more big hits and big home runs for many years to come.
2012 Projection: .250AVG/ 23HR/ 70RBI/ 82HR/ 12SB