As the rankings by position in the AL East move on, the position of second base is one that for three teams in the AL East has a lot of questions.
Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Herrera, Mike McCoy
Easy to rank the Red Sox first here. What really needs to be said about Pedroia? He is the heart and soul of the Red Sox team, he is a gritty, tough player who does everything well in order to help his team win. The four-time All-Star, former MVP used to have tough competition for the best second baseman in the division, but Robinson Cano now resides in Seattle. A career .300 hitter, Pedroia played in 160 games last year for the Red Sox and the 30-year-old shows no signs of slowing down. The backups here will see little time at the position.
Tampa Bay Rays
Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez, Logan Forsythe
Another easy ranking, Zobrist has been the spark plug for the Rays for several years. Primarily a second basemen, Zobrist made 117 starts there last year, but also played in the OF for the Rays. Zobrist was an All-Star in 2013 and continues to help the Rays manufacture runs at the top of the order. The numbers for Zobrist will never pop out and amaze you, but he gets the job done. He always seems to come up with the big hit to keep a rally going, or make the play the Rays need in the field. Rodriguez, as the utility man for the Rays will see most of the starts when Zobrist isn’t manning second base.
New York Yankees
Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Scott Sizemore
To be honest, I don’t expect much here at all. But how do you rank the next three teams ? They all have giant question marks at second base. But Brian Roberts is the most proven name among them. Roberts hasn’t played a full season since 2009, and he hasn’t played more than 80 games since. To say he is injury-prone at age 36 would be accurate. Yet, that can be said about a good amount of the Yankees lineup. If healthy, Roberts will be a healthy bat who can work the count and hit doubles. His range is diminished, but Roberts will make most plays he can get to in the field. If he can’t stay healthy, Johnson will be the starter, but he also could be expected to fill that role at third base or first base. Brendan Ryan could also play second base if Derek Jeter is completely healthy. Ryan of course provides sterling defense, but little with the bat.
Ryan Flaherty, Jemile Weeks, Alexi Casilla, Jonathan Schoop
The Orioles were willing to let Roberts go because they believe in the potential of Ryan Flaherty. The Rule 5 pick from the Chicago Cubs in 2012, Flaherty was sent back to AAA last April-May to rediscover his hitting ability, and he did. The utility infielder has good range in the field, and has more power in his bat than any other second baseman in the division. If Flaherty can’t cut it, the Orioles hope Weeks will rediscover the talent he showed in his first season with the A’s. Casilla is back as a utility infielder, but will have to beat out Weeks to make the team. Schoop will need another year of seasoning in the minors before the Orioles top positional prospect makes it to the majors.
Toronto Blue Jays
Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, Chris Getz, Steve Tolleson
Ryan Goins is the projected starter at second base for the Jays, a player who has played all of 34 games in the majors to a .252 batting average with 41 total bases. He made his debut with the team on August 23, 2013 and played in most of the Jays’ games the rest of the year. Goins is likely going to become the starter if he can prove more with the bat, as he is largely considered a good fielder. Behind him is a parade of utility men who do not strike fear into anyone.