Tagged: chase utley

Second Baseman of the Decade

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Second base is my favourite position.  I played baseball for 15 years and second
base was the position I played more than anywhere else.  The reason I started there when I was really
young was without a doubt Roberto Alomar, who was my favourite player as a kid;
as with many other Canadian kids.

 

Second baseman of the decade is another no-brainer.  There’s only one name that comes to mind,
although defensively was never considered elite, he was at least good enough
with the glove to remain at that position for his entire career.  That player is Jeff Kent.  You could make the case that Kent is the best
offensive second baseman of all time (or at least he’s up there with Sandberg
and Hornsby).  We’ll get more into his
numbers shortly, for now, let’s reel off the top three.

 

3rd
Chase Utley

chase utley.jpgThe only reason
Utley isn’t higher on this list is that he didn’t start his career until 2003, missing
the first three years of the decade.  In
spite of that, Utley was still 2nd in home runs (161) and RBI (585)
and was first in On-Base Percentage (.379) and On-Base Plus Slugging (.902).  The power Utley possesses is remarkable when
you consider his listed weight is only 170; I outweigh him by about 10 pounds
and am considered by some to be scrawny. 
When all is said and done, Utley may be the best we’ve ever seen at his
position.  He’s already had three
30-homer seasons and has driven in more than 100 in four seasons.

 

2nd
Placido Polanco

placido polanco.jpg

MLB Network’s list of the top 9 second baseman did not include Polanco, which was flat out
crazy.  Guys like Dustin Pedroia, who
made the list, will no doubt one day be one of the best, but to put him on this list ahead of Polanco is
insane.  INSANE.  Polanco led all
second basemen in both hits (1,581) and was second in games played (1,332) and
average (.305).  Polanco is also
considered one of the best defensive players in all of baseball.  He has been moved to third by his new
employers, the Phillies, but has proven in the past that he is just as competent
there.

 

1st – Jeff
Kent

jeff kent.jpg

Kent was hands-down, number one among second basemen.  He hit 216 home runs, 55 more than second
place Utley and had 850 RBI, 265 more than Utley.  Kent will assuredly be a first ballot
Hall-of-Famer, providing his name does not surface in any steroid scandal.

 

Honourable Mention

Ray Durham – one of the most underrated players in the game

 

Jose Vidro — .303 average and fourth in both hits and RBI
in the decade.

 

Robinson Cano – only played in half of the decade, but still
hit .306, better than any other second baseman in the decade

As always, here are the numbers:

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Games Played

Luis Castillo

1346

Placido Polanco

1332

Adam Kennedy

1323

Ron Belliard

1270

Jeff Kent

1266

 

Average

Robinson Cano

.306

Placido Polanco

.305

Jose Vidro

.303

Jeff Kent

.300

Freddie Sanchez

.299

 

 

Home Runs

Jeff Kent

216

Chase Utley

161

Bret Boone

146

Craig Biggio

139

Ray Durham

132

 

 

RBI

Jeff Kent

850

Chase Utley

585

Ray Durham

579

Jose Vidro

560

Bret Boone

559

 

Hits

Placido Polanco

1581

Luis Castillo

1547

Jeff Kent

1429

Jose Vidro

1287

Brian Roberts

1274

 

OBP

Chase Utley

.379

Luis Castillo

.374

Jeff Kent

.371

Jose Vidro

.366

Roberto Alomar

.362

 

OPS

Chase Utley

.902

Jeff Kent

.889

Robinson Cano

.818

Jose Vidro

.818

Bret Boone

.814