Jonathan Schoop has become a key player on the Baltimore Orioles roster, but does that make him the best second baseman in the AL East, or even the best young 2B?
The Baltimore Orioles have seen their fair share of great second basemen over the years and it has been a position of success in the American League East. Names like Cano, Pedroia, Roberts all were regular All-Stars in the division.
Now, Pedroia remains, but otherwise, it is a new crop of the second baseman making a mark.
To recap, the end of 2016 rankings at the position looked like:
5. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Tampa Bay Rays
3. New York Yankees
2. Baltimore Orioles
1. Boston Red Sox
Of those, only the Rays will have a new starting second baseman this year, and the Blue Jays have a healthy Devon Travis.
Remember, if you disagree, or even if you agree, let your thoughts be known in the comment section!
5. Tampa Bay Rays
Brad Miller had hit 29 home runs in three seasons in spacious Safeco Field before 2016. In 2016, he hit 30 home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays, by far his best power numbers in a season.
Miller added that 29 doubles, 81 RBIs, 73 runs and 149 strikeouts, all career highs. He hit .243/.304/.482, with the batting average and on-base percentages close to his career averages.
So, was the power a fluke? It is hard to tell, but the Rays would love to see it again in 2017, and if he can hit for a better average, all the better.
Miller does not rate very well sabermetrically as a defender, probably in part to being a utility player who plays at various positions so that I wouldn’t judge him by the -1.4 and -1.5 dWAR numbers from the last two years. With Logan Forsythe gone, Miller will likely be the primary starter.
Behind him are Franklin, mentioned previously as the backup at 1B and also the corner OFs, and Tim Beckham. Beckham, the one-time top pick, continues to underperform, but last year played well enough to be a utility infielder.
Brett does not have much of a chance of making the roster, especially with Beckham in the way.