The 10 Best Second Basemen Heading into the 2013 MLB Season
If there is one thing I know for sure about baseball fans, it’s that we all judge players differently. The position of second base is probably the hardest one to judge from an objective standpoint: some are strictly hitters, some are strictly fielders, some are a little of both, and very few are quality at both. Outside of the top three players, it was tough to differentiate the fourth best guy from the fifteenth best. One could definitely make a case for some of the guys I left off my list, but I have my own way of evaluating players.
Pictured above is Marco Scutaro, who turned himself into a postseason hero in 2012. While Scutaro was very good last season, I excluded him from the list in order to give him his proper recognition on the title slide.
Nevertheless, here are the 10 best second basemen heading into the 2013 season. I certainly will not object to you disagreeing, figuring that a lot of exclusions definitely have a case for being added. For the record, I do not hate your team or the player I excluded. I just didn’t like him quite enough to put him in the top ten.
Next up on the top ten rankings will me third base, which will definitely be A-Rodless.
Out of all of the mediorce guys to choose from, I felt Rickie Weeks was worth putting at number ten, Yes, Weeks was pretty bad last year. But I felt his performance in the second half of the season and his track record was enough to give Weeks the benefit of the doubt in 2013.
Since 2010, Neil Walker has easily been one of the most productive second basemen in baseball. He set a career high in fWAR (3.3) in 2012, aiding the Pirates to a respectable (for the Pirates) 79-83 record.
Danny Espinosa is one of the better fielding second basemen in baseball, giving him an extra push over some of the other guys that were left off this list. Espinosa is adequate with the bat, but has the potential to improve upon the .717 OPS he had in 2012.
When healthy, Chase Utley is a top three second baseman. He's still one of the better ones in the game, but there are just too many question marks heading into 2013 to put him in top five. That being said, there isn't a second baseman I like more than Chase Utley. He should be a hall of famer when he calls it a career.
It might be a little bit premature to put Aaron Hill this high after his remarkable 2012 season, but it's hard not be impressed by the Arizona Diamondback second baseman. While I don't think he will have another six-win season, I do believe he is capable of having a four-win season, especially in that ballpark.
Not too long ago, Kinsler was in the discussion as being one of - if not the - best second baseman in all of baseball. While that is still possible, I can't help but be concerned about the sharp decline in his numbers last season. With that being said, however, I bet Kinsler will be back in the top four by season's end.
I considered putting Kinsler ahead of DatDudeBP, but I guess I enjoy the flashiness of Phillips' game. Although Phillips refuses to take walks, he still is a solid hitter at the plate. and there isn't really anyone better than him with the glove.
This is where the list distances itself with the rest of the pack. The only reason why I don't have Ben Zobrist second on my list is due to the fact that he doesn't play second base full-time. However, with Yunel Escobar manning shortstop and Matt Joyce in rightfield, Zobrist will likely play most of his games at second in 2013, proving that he is one of the game's most elite players.
Like most players on the Boston Red Sox last season, Dustin Pedroia didn't play as well as we are all accustomed to. He did, however, have a solid 4.5 fWAR, even with the nagging injuries he had to deal with throughout the season. When completely healthy, you can bank on a five to six-win season from the former MVP winner.
Robinson Cano is baseball's best second baseman heading into the 2013 season. Although he struggled in the postseason, it's hard to overlook a second baseman who has slugging percentage over .500 in every season since 2009.