Unlike the other positional lists I have published this year, the second base rankings had very few graduates from 2012. Only Steve Lombardozzi (#7) graduated to the big leagues and four of the other players from last year’s list return for another engagement. It can be difficult to project players that have always been second basemen, as many of the best keystone players in the big leagues were converted from other positions during their minor league career. I refrained from including players that project to move to the position in the coming years, and focused on only those that play the position everyday right now.
1. Delino DeShields – Houston Astros
2. Eddie Rosario – Minnesota Twins
3. Kolten Wong – St. Louis Cardinals
4. Taylor Lindsey – Los Angeles Angels
It seems odd to group these four players together given the vastly different skill sets they bring to the table, but in the end, all of them pretty easily profile as everyday players. DeShields is the burner of the group with solid hitting abilities, some gap power and the ability to steal 50 bases a year. Rosario has the most pop of the group but also may lack the defensive chops to stay on the dirt. A move to the outfield could be in his future. Lindsey is the best pure hitter of the crew, with the potential to hit his way straight to the big leagues. Wong doesn’t have the stand out tool that the other three possess, but he is a well-rounded player that can contribute on both sides of the ball.
5. Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers
6. Angelo Gumbs – New York Yankees
I broke Odor and Gumbs apart because they are further away from the big leagues and carry additional risk. Odor is a very good hitter that mitigates a large amount of his risk by being very polished for his age. He could move quickly and may earn a spot in that top tier next year. Gumbs is an explosive athlete that is still learning to translate his tools to the field. He could be an impact player at the position but he also has an element of boom or bust in his profile.
7. Stefen Romero – Seattle Mariners
8. Cory Spangenberg – San Diego Padres
9. Tommy La Stella – Atlanta Braves
10. Starlin Rodriguez – St. Louis Cardinals
Much like the upper tier on this list, the final four in the rankings have a very disparate set of skills. Romero is the power guy that can put a charge in the ball, but he may end up moving off the dirt, much like Rosario. Spangenberg is a quality hitter with speed and a good approach. Starlin Rodriguez is a tooled up athlete that is still very raw as a baseball player. The surprise on the list may be Tommy La Stella, but the kid can flat out hit. He is a grinder with gap power, solid defensive abilities and the kid can just straight up play.
Just Missed: Scooter Gennett – Milwaukee Brewers, Tony Renda – Washington Nationals, Avery Romero – Miami Marlins, Jesmuel Valentin – Los Angeles Dodgers