Throughout the week, we’re publishing our positional power ranking series. If you’re unfamiliar with the process or concept, Jeff explained the series on Monday. Today, I’ll be addressing second base. What fun!
Every position has its theme. You have the bright young things who play shortstop, the fly-ball revolutionaries occupying first base, the catchers who aren’t Buster Posey.
Second base has, in the past, been defined by the veterans at the top, but these rankings portend change in the form of young upstarts. Jose Altuve wrested the top of the rankings from Robinson Cano last year and has only widened the gap between himself and his keystone compatriots; he’s projected to be more than a win better than second place Brian Dozier. And as mentioned, the middle and bottom bits of the rankings feature names like Ozzie Albies, Ketel Marte, Yoan Moncada, and Luis Urias, all of whom could outperform their projections and shift their teams’ positions.
Calling it a “youth movement” is too strong; perhaps it might be better described as an “infusion.” Last year, just two of the top-10 players played the whole season while under the age of 30; this year it’s four. An infusion, indeed.
Meg is the managing editor of FanGraphs and the host of FanGraphs Audio. Her work has appeared at Baseball Prospectus, Lookout Landing and Just A Bit Outside.