The 2nd base crew is up next on our top tier of position breakdowns. This position always seems to be a tricky one to get unless you had the top guy. Now a day it’s a little deeper than most because those once top guys are now being ranked in the teens. All I know is, these top 5 are without a doubt a tier ahead of everyone else.
1. Jose Altuve- Altuve has been the top guy for the past 2 years now and once again should be this year. The guy is a complete player besides walks. He literally does everything else so well. He doesn’t strikeout, hits for a good average, scores a bunch of runs, hits for some power, and steals some bags. Last year he had more power than speed in hitting 15 homers and stealing 38 bags. In 2014 he hit 7 homers but stole 56 bags, so we definitely know he can do both. He also plays pretty much every day which is another plus. It would be nice if Altuve could get to 20 homers, but at this point I’m just being greedy because Jose is a stud.
2. Brian “The Doz Dog” Dozier- The Twins 2nd baseman really busted on to the scene 2 years ago, when he hit 23 homers and stole 21 bases. He was a true 20-20 guy which is very rare now a day. Last year, he only swiped 12 bases but powered up to 28 dingers. He also scored over 100 runs in the last 2 seasons and should do it for a 3rd with a good Twins lineup behind him. The one glaring hole is the batting average. The average is low because he doesn’t really walk but strikeouts a bunch. You will take that any day of the week though when your 2nd baseman can possible hit you 30 homers or even a 20-20 year. Those numbers at that position are extremely valuable.
3. Dee Gordon- The kid finally put it all together and was a monster last year. He hit for a league leading .333 average and stole 58 bases. That right their makes him elite in two categories. The average was something of a change from Dee, and he probably won’t be able to sustain that high this year. The average will take a dip but I don’t know how far because he is a very good contact hitter and puts a lot of balls in play. When you get a chance to nab a player that has 60+ steals potential, you go for it without hesitation.
4. Anthony Rendon- I’m giving Rendon a pass for last year. He was banged up and could never really get it going in his 80 games played. I know that sounds weird for a guy that was drafted known for his injuries, but 2014 was incredible. He hit 21 homers, drove in 83, stole 17 bases, and hit .287. So he is very similar to Dozier but with less strikeouts and a better average. The guy was getting drafted in the 2nd round to begin 2015, so the potential is there, but he must stay healthy to really attain it.
5. Rougned Odor- The final stats for 2015 might not look so great for Odor, but his last 91 games and his high prospect status gives us hope. In those final 91 games he batted .292 with 15 home runs, 52 RBI and 46 runs over his remaining 91 games. Just to give you some perspective, he had 16 homers total in 2015. Yes, this could have been just some crazy tear or it could be the beginning of this 22 year olds rise to the top.
Breakout: Kolton Wong- Speaking of highly regarded prospects, the 25 year old was once a top one. He has shown glimpses of being that stud we all want to see, but just hasn’t put it all together yet. He is only 25 but that time is running out. He has shown us double digit power numbers along with 15-20 plus steals so far, but no average. That is the weird thing because that was one thing people thought would be a constant from minors to majors. I think this is the year that the average comes up and Wong puts it all together and rises fast up the ranks.
Sleeper: Jonathan Schoop- Once again another highly regarded 2nd baseman prospect that the baseball world is waiting on. Now Schoop has always be a high K guy, but the power potential is why everyone was always so intrigued. The 24 year old struggled early with injury but found his rhythm in the 2nd half of last year and ended with good overall numbers. He ended with a .278 average, 15 homers, 39 RBIs in only 86 games. He also struck out 79 times to only 9 walks, so yea that’s the bad. Even with that terrible ratio he found a way to still have a decent average which is a bright side to a negative. If he can keep that average up there or even a little below that with 25-30 homerun potential, then we might have another Brain Dozier on our hands. Like I said before with Dozier, that type of power is rare for this position and makes these guys very valuable.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : George