Top 10 Right Now – Second Basemen

This position could look a whole lot different next year with the possible position changes of Daniel Murphy and Robinson Cano (both to 1B) and Javy Baez and Gleyber Torres potential moves to SS depending how the Addison Russell and Troy Tulowitzki/Didi Gregorius situations play out, respectively.  Furthermore, with both Torres and DJ LeMahieu now in the Bronx, it’s likely just one will qualify to make this list ahead of the 2020 campaign.

A new list will be published each Monday leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting in February. The lists will highlight the Top 10 players at each position, managers and executives, finishing up with the Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking of each of the position’s number one player.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and already been published:
Nov. 12 – Executives
Nov. 19 – Managers
Nov. 26 – Catchers
Dec. 3 – Left Fielders
Dec. 10 – First Basemen
Dec. 17 – Starting Pitchers
Dec. 24 – Designated Hitters
Dec. 31 – Third Basemen
Jan. 7 – Right Fielders
Jan. 14 – Relief Pitchers
Jan. 21 – Second Basemen
Jan. 28 – Center Fielders
Feb. 4 – Shortstops
Feb. 11 – Ultimate Top 10

Below are two lists, one (“Statistical”) shows players ranked per a combination of their 2018 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. Offensive, defensive, base running and all-inclusive stats are included in the calculations.  The second (“Adjusted”) list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on track record, injuries and projections and reflects our ranking of the players as they head into 2019.

The list in which the players appear depends mostly on where they played the most games (or innings) in 2018 but also where they project to play this coming year if substantially different than last (i.e. role player getting a more permanent position).

2018 Statistical Top 10
10. Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
9. DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees
8. Robinson Cano, New York Mets
7. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
6. Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays
5. Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
4. Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
3. Jed Lowrie, New York Mets
2. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
1. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals

Adjusted Top 10
10. Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies
9. Brian Dozier, Washington Nationals
8. Jed Lowrie, New York Mets
7. Daniel Murphy, Colorado Rockies
6. Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
5. Robinson Cano, New York Mets
4. Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
3. Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
2. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

In consideration (with their rank from last year’s list): Jonathan Schoop (7), LeMahieu (9), Wendle, Wong, Jurickson Profar, Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoan Moncada, Dustin Pedroia, Ketel Marte, Jeff McNeil, Starlin Castro, Adam Frazier

Notes: Altuve openly battled injuries last year and still had a nice season.  With a little rest, he should have no problem still being number one when we produce this list a year from now… maybe it’s no coincidence that his name rhymes with “hit,” because Whit Merrifield did plenty of that in ’18… Cano looks to be the guy at 2nd primarily in NY… Murphy should like hitting at Coors Field… with no set position, Lowrie figures to see enough time all over the diamond to put up some good numbers… Dozier crashed hard last year but he should rebound a bit in DC… the Phillies don’t recognize how good Hernandez is… there’s just too much evidence that Baez – who would have placed 2nd just behind Altuve – will be the Cubs’ primary shortstop this year that we’ll take him out of play here and move his candidacy to the already crowded SS list in two weeks… LeMahieu was already borderline even with a regular position.  With the Yankees planning to move him around, it’s tough to get him in there… typically, I don’t like late bloomers to continue doing impressive things, but McNeil has a long track record of hitting and getting on base in the minors.  It’s likely he would have cracked the top 10 but the acquisition of Cano puts his position and number of at-bats in question… really like Adam Frazier if the Pirates can just get him in there every day.

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