In my continuing trip down memory lane I’ll review the second base position to see how my prediction for the top-10 at the position panned out (the following list is taken from the 2009 Fanball Annual Guide that was on newsstands prior to the start of the 2009 season).
To read previous positional reviews click on the following link:
1. Ian Kinsler
2. Brian Roberts
3. Chase Utley
4. Brandon Phillips
5. Dustin Pedroia
6. Dan Uggla
7. Robinson Cano
8. Mark DeRosa
9. Kelly Johnson
10. Rickie Weeks
Kinsler was injured yet again and hit a career worst .253 making this call a bust right? Well, not really. Kinsler went 30/30 with 31 homers and 31 steals, as he also knocked in 86 runners while crossing home plate 101 times. Nothing wrong that that effort at all.
Roberts is historically good, and I’ve written it before. He has produced at least 100 runs, 30 steals and 40 doubles in 3-straight years. It may not sound like much, but it is an all-time major league record for second sackers.
Utley would have been the #2 guy on the list if it wasn’t for concerns about his surgically repaired hip (remember this was back in January when we thought Utley could miss April, and yes, I would have still had Kinsler higher than Utley last season even if dude was healthy). All Utley did was go 20/20 for the first time while hitting 31 bombs with 93 RBI and 112 runs.
You are pretty darn good when you’re an afterthought after the top group despite going 20/20 in each of the past three years. If you have to “settle” for Phillips consider yourself in good hands.
Dustin Pedroia didn’t repeat his MVP effort of 2008 (.326-17-83-118-20), but that was never going to happen anyway – though he got awfully close. He settled in and had a fine season one that was well worth a top-5 selection at the position (.296-15-72-115-20).
Uggla is a beast at the dish, a fact I recounted in Player Movement Thoughts.
Cano was, simply put, amazing. He hit a career best 25 homers, knocked in his second best total of 85 runners, scored a career-high 103 runs all the while batting .320 with 48 doubles. Time to include this man in the discussion of outright stars at the position.
DeRosa was traded from the Indians to the Cardinals, and dealt with a left wrist injury that eventually required surgery when the season was over. He wasn’t great, but it’s not like a .250-23-78-78 line is weak if you play second place.
Johnson completely tanked – completely. After 2-straight years of at least .276-12-68-86-9, Johnson struggled all year hitting just .224 with eight homers and 29 RBI in just 303 ABs. Eventually the Braves turned to Martin Prado who hit .307 and now appears the favorite to start at second for the club in 2010.
I was higher on Weeks than anyone on staff. Though mid-May, I was looking like a genius. Unfortunately, Weeks was once again struck by another wrist injury, and as a result he appeared in a mere 37 games. Still, if we quadruple his effort we would end up with a .272-36-96-112-8 line which would have made me look like a genius. What could have been.
By Ray Flowers