Every offseason, MLB Network runs through a series of programming. One such show is about the Top 10 Right Now at each position. And as we have done in both 2018, 2019, and 2020, we will go over our Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now.
Just a quick note about this list, it is a personal list, and everyone will value different things from each position. So I encourage you to make your own list and see who makes the cut on your list.
10. Tommy La Stella
The newly signed free agent, Tommy La Stella, comes in at number ten on my list. La Stella has been a very productive player the last two seasons. So as La Stella heads into a new environment in San Francisco, another solid season will likely follow suit. During the 2019-2020 campaigns, Tommy would produce OPS+’s of 118 and 127, respectively. Tommy La Stella won’t have to be “the guy” in San Francisco because of the number of talented veterans on the roster. And adding La Stella makes for a perfect fit.
9. Kolten Wong
Now, the offensive numbers for Kolten Wong aren’t exactly spectacular. But his glove is otherworldly and merits a spot on my list. When it comes to the infield, I love watching a great defender on the field. The grace with which they move their hands and feet is incredible. Kolten Wong is one of the best defenders in baseball, regardless of position. But there’s even less of an argument against him being one of the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now.
8. Ketel Marte
Ketel Marte didn’t have the best season in 2020. But looking at his 2019 campaign, the Arizona Diamondback would play an outstanding brand of baseball. Marte would finish fourth in the National League MVP voting. 2020 was a strange season for many a superstar player in MLB. And Marte would have his numbers also be affected by the shortened campaign. But as 2021 is expected to be a full campaign, Marte should return to form and rocket back up to the upper half of this list.
7. Jake Cronenworth
Prior to acquiring the KBO star, Jake Cronenworth was likely going to be the everyday second baseman for the San Diego Padres. And while that’s likely no longer the case, Cronenworth is listed as a second baseman for this countdown, thus his entry. Now, this may seem like a strange selection because Cronenworth would be a rookie in 2020, never seeing the Majors before that. However, the skillset with which Jake presented the world in 2020 is worth noting. Jake would play in 54 of the 60 games in 2020. In those 54 games, Cronenworth would have an OPS+ of 128 with a slash line of .285/.354/.477. Based on his 2020 performance, Jake Cronenworth is one of my Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now.
6. Jose Altuve
The former top man on the list of the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now, Jose Altuve. Altuve had a miserable season in 2020. Add in the fact that Altuve is coming off of the “Sign-Stealing Scandal,” and Jose would play noticeably different. But now, being a year removed, Jose Altuve can begin to reestablish himself in 2021 and get back to form.
5. Cavan Biggio
Cavan Biggio is one of the names that people will uncover in a big way in 2021. Like Cronenworth, Biggio is likely not going to find himself playing much second base after the signing of free-agent infielder Marcus Semien. However, as he’s listed among the second basemen, that’s where we list him. Across two seasons in the Major Leagues, Biggio has played a full season essentially. And across the 159 games since 2019, Cavan has 24 homeruns, 76 RBIs, and a slash line of .240/.368/.430. And while the Batting Average is low and the Slugging Percentage is mediocre, at best. Biggio’s On Base Percentage is where he truly shines. The at-bats put up by Cavan Biggio are a master class in working the pitcher. And that ability mixed with solid defensive metrics at the position, and it’s easy to see why Cavan Biggio is among my Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now.
4. Jeff McNeil
One of the most underrated second basemen in baseball is that of Jeff McNeil. When examining his numbers over his three-year Major League career, Jeff has produced. Since his debut in 2018, McNeil has produced an average OPS+ of 139. McNeil’s also averaged a slash line of .319/.383/.501, while amassing 30 homeruns and 117 RBIs. Jeff McNeil’s defense isn’t going to qualify him for a Gold Glove, but he’s adequate enough to support his offensive prowess.
3. Ozzie Albies
The Atlanta Braves second baseman, Ozzie Albies, is next on the list. Albies is a switch-hitting, Gold Glove-caliber, Top 19 Second Basemen Right Now type of player. And while 2020 was a slightly down season for Albies, there’s little question to his ability to bounce back. Ozzie will be entering his age 24 season in 2021. And with a full season expected, expect a great season out of one of the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now.
2. Brandon Lowe
Brandon Lowe is an interesting candidate for this list of the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now. Over the course of his three Major League seasons, Lowe has played in 181 games and produced an average OPS+ of 130 and an average slash line of .262/.342/.513. And although 2020 was a shortened season, Lowe would have a breakout campaign producing an OPS+ of 152, playing in 56 of the 60 games. So as the 2021 season approaches and we examine who the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now might be, it’s hard to overlook the Tampa Bay Rays Second Baseman.
1. DJ LeMahieu
There’s very little question about who is number one on my Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now; it’s DJ LeMahieu. Over the past two seasons, DJ has been an MVP candidate and a saving grace for the New York Yankees. Since joining the Yankees, DJ has a staggering average OPS+ of 145. And to give a little context about how good DJ has been in a Yankee uniform, DJ would play in Colorado for seven seasons and only hit 49 homeruns. In just one and a shortened seasons in New York, DJ’s hit 36 homeruns. Now homeruns aren’t everything in determining success and value. LeMahieu also plays spectacular defense for the Yankees and all over the infield.
Going into 2020 and now again in 2021, DJ should find himself planted mostly at second base. But his versatility allows the Yankees to move him around the infield where needed. And surprisingly, that movement doesn’t diminish his offensive output. Making DJ LeMahieu my number one choice for the Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now.