Positional Preview: Second Base

Today we reach the second base portion of our positional overviews, but I'm starting to conclude that there are 10 teams too many to fill - at least if you wanted 30 teams filled with above average players; I'm keeping an eye on the as we go on. Same game, different position name, top 30 second baseman ranked by at-bats and filtered by OPS: Utley, Kent, Polanco, Cano, Johnson, Pedroia, Hudson, Phillips, Roberts, Weeks, Uggla, Kinsler, Kendrick, Hill, DeRosa, Wigginton, Sanchez, Ellis, Grudzielanek, Belliard, Matsui, German, Castillo, Blum, Miles, Biggio, Lopez, Durham, Giles, and Barfield.

The league average second baseman had an OPS of .748, which puts them above an average catcher and below an average first baseman. Chase Utley blew everyone else away by at least .101 points, that everyone being namely Jeff Kent who lead third place by .029 points. Placido Polanco, Robinson Cano, Kelly Johnson, Dustin Pedroia, Orlando Hudson, Brandon Phillips, Brian Roberts, Rickie Weeks, and Chad Uggla finished at least .050 points above average and Ian Kinsler along with Howie Kendrick barely missed.

Utley formed the double play combination with National League Most Valuable Player Jimmy Rollins in Philadelphia and proved why he's becoming the comparison for offensively talented second baseman. Although his BABIP suggests he was lucky when compared to his xBABIP it's the second straight season in which it's happened - back to back flukes or an abnormal tendency? I'd love to say Utley's best seasons are ahead of him, but he's 29 now, which seems absurd until you remember he didn't break into the big leagues until he was 26. I'm not sure if this is his peak, but a .332/.410/.566 line is not at all a bad career season for a second baseman, even if his OPS sustained nearly a .200 point drop from home (1.074) to the road (.886).

Four players finished at least .100 points below league average - Jose Lopez, Ray Durham, Marcus Giles, and Josh Barfield. Give credit to Bill Bavasi, he's pushing Lopez by bringing in uh...Miguel Cairo, hmm, I guess it makes sense to give Lopez a boost by bringing in an older player who had a worse season than him, maybe he should just trade for Ray Durham.

I'd like to focus on the Padres second base situation, Barfield was of course traded last off-season and went on top post a .594 OPS, Giles was his replacement and hit .621, and now it appears Tadahito Iguchi will be the heir to the second base crown, he wasn't listed on the original document because my spreadsheet had his stats split between teams, but he would've finished approximately 22nd and bumped Barfield off the list with a .747 OPS.  The thing about Giles is nothing outside of his constantly declining HR/FB rates and slightly lucky BABIP has changed since he posted an OPS over .900 in 2003. As for Iguchi's OPS has declined three straight seasons and he's headed to a pitcher's park, probably not smart to have him on your fantasy team.

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