Every year MLB Network puts on a series entitled “Top 10 Right Now” at each position in the game of baseball. And over the years I have joined along and made my list. Now prior to last season it didn’t mean much beyond being a personal exercise. Last year having had LaracuenteLedger.com, I now have a platform to display my list. And this year I’ll be keeping with the decade-long tradition. I follow along with MLB Network and release my list as they air the corresponding episode of each position. So we begin with the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now.
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Each time I sit down to make out my list of the Top 10 at each position I look to the graphic above that MLB Network releases. I usually have an idea in mind of my top players at each position but then I research and try to make my best decision. Now the selection process is somewhat like a fantasy draft of each position as an individual draft. But by the same token one must take into account previous output and estimate what the player can do in the upcoming season at that position. And it’s because of that mindset that guys like Chris Taylor and Ben Zobrist don’t make my list. I don’t see them getting each time at second base to qualify. So number ten is…
No. 10: Jonathan Schoop
Although the 2018 season was a bit of a struggle for Jonathan Schoop, he is one of the better second basemen in all of baseball. Schoop even in a down year hit 21 home runs and that power output should still play a major factor in 2019. With Schoop now on the Minnesota Twins revamped roster I think he will have a better level of production because of being better protected. For Schoop, 2019 should see a return to All-Star form.
No. 9: Dee Gordon
Admittedly, Dee Gordon didn’t have the best season in 2018. But he is a guy that has the tools necessary to take his place in the top ten right now. With Robinson Cano now a New York Met, Dee is unencumbered when it comes to playing second base. Not having to be concerned with splitting the playing duties between second and center field, Gordon can play relaxed and loose. And that means he can run wild. Most teams don’t run or steal bases but with the speed that Gordon possesses he can add that feature quite easily to the Mariners lineup. Look for Dee Gordon to have a big season in Seattle.
No. 8: Cesar Hernandez
2018 was a difficult year for Cesar Hernandez because by many reports he played hurt all season long. But despite that potential injury, Cesar was still very productive for a blossoming Phillies lineup. The additions that the Phillies have made this offseason should help protect Cesar even more. And that should allow Hernandez to get even more opportunities at the plate to do damage. In 2018, Cesar achieved career highs in home runs, RBI’s, and total bases. And 2019 should be a healthy and even more productive year for the Venezuelan switch-hitting middle infielder.
No. 7: Ozzie Albies
The Atlanta Braves second baseman is poised for a breakout season. Albies in 2018 was hidden in the shadow of Ronald Acuña Jr. who had a stellar rookie campaign. Ozzie Albies would have a solid rookie season but would probably attest to expecting more of himself. And it’s in 2019 that we should see more out of Ozzie. The levels of competition in the National League East are about to rise. And the potential superstar that resides inside of Ozzie Albies should make his presence known in a significant way in 2019.
No. 6: DJ LeMahieu
For all intents and purposes, DJ LeMahieu had a down season in 2018. Injuries took a toll on the otherwise consistent infielder. Dj only played in 128 games in 2018, a mark he has surpassed every season since 2013. But despite playing in just 128 games, DJ hit 15 home runs (career best) and is likely beginning to find his power stroke. Wherever DJ ends up, 2019 should be the introduction to the player that DJ will become for the remainder of his career.
No. 5: Robinson Cano
New team, old city, old Cano? Robinson Cano is coming back to his roots in New York City. But this time as a member of the New York Mets. And even though he will be across town from where he was, Cano should find the surroundings a bit more comfortable. Now let’s be clear about something when speaking about Robinson. He had an incredible tenure in Seattle. While most players have gone away for a big payday and struggled Cano did not. Each and every season, Cano would produce. Sure maybe not the same power numbers he could have had with the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium. But nevertheless, it was a very successful tenure in terms of personal success and stats.
Coming back from his PED suspension in 2018 people questioned if Cano would still have it? And he answered that question with a resounding yes. Now despite being a year older and “remove from PED’s” we will have to see what Cano can be, but if the second half on 2018 is an indicator, Cano will be just fine.
No. 4: Whit Merrifield
One of the best yet least spoken about players in Major League Baseball is Whit Merrifield. Whit had an outstanding 2018 campaign for the Kansas City Royals. Hitting 12 home runs and driving in 60, Merrifield also added 45 steals to his stat line last season. And when you factor in his 192 hits, you start to get a picture of the player. Now that being said, Whit increased his On Base Percentage in 2018, but only to .367. So that is one area of improvement that’s needed. But as each season has passed, Merrifield has gotten exponentially better, and 2019 should be no different.
No. 3: Gleyber Torres
The young Yankee phenom is poised to have a big sophomore campaign. In his rookie season, Gleyber Torres showed the ability to play solid defense and have a knack for hitting in crucial spots. Going into 2019, Torres will not be looked to for the bulk of his teams offensive load, and that should allow him to have a very good season quietly.
No. 2: Scooter Gennett
Another man playing in the middle of the country that you may not have heard of that is a stellar second baseman is Scooter Gennett. Scooter has average 18 home runs and 75 RBI’s during his six-year Major League career. Gennett has grown exponentially as a player over the last two seasons in Cincinnati and 2019 should see even more growth. The Cincy second baseman set many career highs in 2018 and for his efforts received his first All-Star selection. In the upcoming 2019 season look for Scooter to have an even better year.
No. 1: Jose Altuve
Now was this even a question? Even in the injury stifled season that 2018 was, Jose Altuve is still the best second basemen in the MLB. In only 137 games, Altuve still had an OPS of .837 with 169 hits and 13 home runs. In 2019, Altuve should be healthy and therefore get back to the form we have come accustom to from Jose.