Ranking The AL East Position By Position: Second Basemen
Unlike at catcher and first base, the AL East is truly home to a couple of elite second basemen. Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano are two of the best second basemen of all time, and while Ben Zobrist is primarily an outfielder now, he could bring another top notch second baseman into the ring.
Oct 3, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (24) watches his two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning during the game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
1. Robinson Cano- New York Yankees: It kills me to put Cano ahead of Pedroia on this list, but last year he was healthier and simply better. In his age 29 season in 2012, Cano put together his best all around season as he batted .313/.379/.550 with 33 home runs and 94 RBIs. Despite only average defense, Cano has really developed into one of, if not the best hitting second baseman of all time. Expect him to put up similarly big numbers in his contract year in 2013.
September 30, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) at bat in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 6 – 3. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
2. Dustin Pedroia- Boston Red Sox: Injuries ruined what could have been another great season for Pedroia, but by your average second baseman’s standards, he was fantastic again. In 141 games, he batted .290/.347/.449 with his typically excellent defense. Although very different players, Pedroia and Cano are on a similar level of elite-ness if both healthy. If Pedroia recovers well from a thumb injury which limited him in 2012, he should return to form and put up another great season for the Red Sox.
Sept. 15, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second basemanRyan Roberts
(19) doubles to left against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Yankees won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
3. Ryan Roberts- Tampa Bay Rays: Should Ben Zobrist start the season in right field, as expected, Ryan Roberts will be the Rays’ starting second baseman. Acquired last season from the Diamondbacks, Roberts fits into the new-fangled role of power-hitting second baseman. He hit just .235/.296/.360 with 12 home runs in 2012, but he hit 19 long balls the year before. Along with good defense, Roberts should bring a bit of pop to a lacking Rays offense in 2013.
August 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Los Angeles Angels second basemanMaicer Izturis
(13) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
4. Maicer Izturis- Toronto Blue Jays: The first acquisition of a momentous Blue Jays’ offseason, Izturis signed for 3 years and $9 million to be the Blue Jays’ starting second baseman. It’s a bit surprising that he merited a three year contract after a season where he batted only .256/.320/.315 for the Angels, but he does provide stability at an unstable position. The 32 year old Izturis will also bring a little bit of speed and defense to the table for the Blue Jays. He won’t be a star, but he may be a solid role player on the first good Blue Jays team in quite a while.
July 28, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins second basemanAlexi Casilla
(12) hits a two-RBI triple during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
5. Alexi Casilla- Baltimore Orioles: The trade of Robert Andino to the Mariners opens up the door for Casilla, claimed off waivers by the Twins. However, the question is why? Casilla is the perfect example of an all-glove, no-hit middle infielder as he’s never hit for much average or power in his previous six major league seasons. His career high in home runs in 2, and he hit only .241/.282/.321 in 106 in Minnesota. There’s no reason Casilla should be a starter, but at this point, the Orioles have nobody better.