Second basemen tend to be overlooked. Chase Utley‘s relatively low profile despite arguably being the best non-Pujols position player in baseball for the past half-decade is just one glaring example. Maybe it’s because it isn’t a star-studded position in general, because the defensive standouts at shortstop get more attenion, or because of the superior hitters on the infield corners. What this means for FanGraphs is that the number Fan Projections for second basemen tend to be relatively low, especially for the players on the lower end of expectations. So let’s take a look at some second base candidates from the teams of the (equally overlooked) American League Central and see how you think they will do in 2010.
Despite a horrible 2010 follow-up to his impressive 2009 debut, Gordon Beckham currently seems to have a pretty firm grasp on the White Sox’ second base job. Which Beckham will show up in 2011? Alexi Casilla of the Twins’ second base situation is also pretty much guaranteed to start the season for his team, as with the departure of Orlando Hudson, he’s really the only major-league-ready option the team has..
Cleveland’s second base situations is as murky as the options are uninspiring. Former Phillies prospect Jason Donald seemed to have the inside track on the job at the beginning of the off-season, but since then there have been reports that Zombie Orlando Cabrera will be competing for the position, as well. Where this leaves Luis Valbuena is anyone’s guess. This is a situation where the insights of fans are important not only for projecting true talent, but also playing time distribution.
The same can be said for the Detroit Tigers. Scott Sizemore got his shot in 2010, but got sent down to AAA after struggling to start the season. The diminutive Will Rhymes apparently has the inside track on the starting job in 2011, but one wonders if the Tigers are really going to give up on Sizemore that quickly. How this all shakes out if and when Carlos ‘Where Will They Try to Hide My Glove This Week’ Guillen returns from injury (I know, real shocker) is another situation calling for insight from the fans.
Last but not le– well, lastly, the Kansas City Royals don’t really have a position battle at second heading into the season. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be due to having a quality player at the position. Chris Getz came over in a trade from the White Sox during the 2009-2010 off-season, pretty much got handed the job before the season, got hurt, came back, and played horribly while getting jerked around. The Royals seem to really like Getz, and they don’t have any other options. Perhaps the fans have a better insight into his potential. Speaking of Royals who get jerked around last season, Mike Aviles is slated to start the season at third base, but he’s just a placeholder for Mike Moustakas, who will likely be called up after
his service time is sufficiently gamed he gets a bit more seasoning at Triple-A. Will the Royals use that opportunity to finally fulfill their longstanding desire to bury Aviles once and for all, or will they give him an extended look at second base if Getz continues to struggle?