Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top Ten Second Baseman

10) Dan Uggla, Braves

Had an awful first half last season batting .185, but had a 33 game hitting streak after the All Star break. Finished with a .233 average, .311 OBP, and a .453 slugging pct. Uggla finished 4th in the National League in home runs with 36 and was 5th in 2010 with 33. Has had 5 straight 30 home run seasons. Uggla is a poor defender though, and tied for the NL lead in errors by a second baseman last year and has been in the top five every season he's played.

9) Neil Walker, Pirates

Walker led National League second baseman in RBIs last year with 83. He also was third in assists and 1st in putouts by a second baseman last year. Hit .273 and was 9th in the NL in doubles with 36. Walker is entering his third season and could move up the list this year.

8) Rickie Weeks, Brewers

Weeks made his first All Star team last season, but was hurt in the second half. Weeks has been injury prone during his career, with the exception of the 2010 season when he played 160 games. Weeks also struggled in the postseason and tied for the league lead in errors by a second baseman. Weeks defense isn't the best and he has led the NL in errors by a 2B four seperate occasions. However, Weeks has good power for the position.

7) Howie Kendrick, Angels

Kendrick had his best season to date in 2011, batting .285 with 18 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 14 steals. He also made his first All Star team last year. Kendrick is regarded as a good defender as well. The Halos just gave Kendrick a four year extension this month worth 33 million and he will be an Angel until at least 2015.

6) Ben Zobrist, Rays

Primarily a second baseman now, Zobrist can play about anywhere in the field. Zobrist was 6th in the American League with 72 extra base hits last season. He compiled a .269 average, .353 OBP, hit 20 home runs, drove in 91 runs, scored 99 runs, and stole 19 bases. Zobrist also finished 16th in AL MVP voting.

5) Ian Kinsler, Rangers

Mizzou alum Kinsler had a pretty good year last season. Kinsler was 2nd in runs(121), 5th in home runs(32), 5th in walks(89), and 9th in stolen bases(30) in the AL. Kinsler has made two All Star teams in his career and has been the sparkplug of two World Series teams. He also finished 11th in MVP voting last year.

4) Chase Utley, Phillies

Its safe to say Utley was the best second baseman in baseball from 2005 til 2010. The last two years he's played in 115 and 103 games, so health is a concern for Utley, who has had problems with his hip. His batting average, on base pct., and slugging pct. last year were the lowest for him since he became a starter. If fully healthy this season, he could have a bounceback year.

3) Brandon Phillips, Reds

Phillips was the National League's best second baseman last year and won his third Gold Glove. He batted .300 with a .353 OBP and a .457 slugging pct. He was 9th in runs(94), 7th in hits(183), 4th in doubles(38), 2nd in assists, and 5th in putouts by a second baseman in the NL. Phillips also hit 18 home runs, 82 RBIs, and stole 14 bases making his second straight All Star appearance.

2) Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

2008 AL MVP Pedroia had another all around good year last season. He won his second Gold Glove and was 7th in batting average(.307), 7th in on base pct.(.387), 6th in hits(195), and 9th in total bases(301) in the American League. Pedroia also set career highs for home runs(21), RBIs(91), and steals(26).

1) Robinson Cano, Yankees

Cano had another monster season last year, making his third All Star team and finishing 6th in MVP voting. He was 2nd in RBIs(118), 3rd in doubles(46), 7th in hits(188), and 7th in runs(104) in the AL. Cano also hit 28 home runs and won his third Silver Slugger. His average was .302, OBP .349, and slugging pct. .533. Don Mattingly once predicted Cano would win a batting title, is 2012 the year for him to do it?


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