After an exceptional season for Baltimore Orioles All-Star Jonathan Schoop, where does he rank in Nate Wardle’s American League East positional rankings for second basemen?
Names at the position in the past have included Robinson Cano, Brian Roberts, and the ageless Dustin Pedroia. Now, a new crop of second basemen exist for the most part, but they continue to carry the banner of success that was held before them.
I wondered in my preseason rankings if maybe this was the year that Dustin Pedroia started to drop off. I also wondered just what kind of numbers Devon Travis would put up if he stayed healthy.
It turns out, in reality, neither of these players were healthy in 2017, but even if they were, they would have taken a backseat to an emerging star.
The preseason rankings looked like:
- Boston Red Sox
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Baltimore Orioles
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
Again, remember the players included at these end of season rankings are only those who started at least 10 games at the position unless otherwise noted.
5. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays continue to search for second basemen, and still, haven’t found one (although Oriole fans may wonder about Beckham).
Brad Miller played almost 100 games at the position and hit .201/.327/.337 with nine home runs, 13 doubles, 40 runs batted in and 43 runs. It was the worst year of Miller’s career, and one has to wonder what the Rays may look to do moving forward.
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Not only was the offense not great, but he made 11 errors in 87 starts, for a fielding percentage of .969. That error number was tied for third-most in the American League, and the fielding percentage the worst at the position. The range numbers were not good either.
Somehow, Miller managed a 1.0 offensive WAR to partner with his -0.2 defensive WAR. Not what the Rays needed from someone they were paying over $3.5 million to.
Daniel Robertson was similarly poor, hitting .206/.308/.326 in 75 games and 254 plate appearances, with single digits in home runs (5) and doubles (7) and 19 runs batted in and 22 runs scored. His defense was better, however with a defensive WAR of 0.5 while playing the infield and outfield.
Beckham, who will appear on these rankings later for the Orioles, started 17 games for the Rays at second base. His defense was not good, both regarding his range and also his fielding percentage at second base, but his offense was much better than his teammates.
Miller remains under contract, but one has to answer if he will still be the starter moving forward.