MLB: Ranking the Top 20 Second Baseman

Sean Delorge@@sdelorgeCorrespondent IIIMay 17, 2012

MLB: Ranking the Top 20 Second Baseman

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    We are fortunate as fans that the second-baseman position is possibly deeper than it has ever been.

    Despite it primarily being a defensive position, there are several players that are potent offensive players.

    While the top three players are a notch above the rest, this is one of the deepest positions in the game right now.

    Here is my list of the top 20 second baseman.

1. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees

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    Even though he may not be directly under the spotlight because he is on such a deep team, Robinson Cano is the best second baseman in baseball.

    He is a combination of Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler. He hits for average and for power, making him the best offensive player at his position.

    Cano also is a really good defensive player, which is evident by the Gold Glove award he received in 2010.

    He plays nearly every day and is still in his prime. Cano still has room to improve, which is scary for opposing pitchers.

2. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

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    Not only is Dustin Pedroia one of the best-hitting second baseman in the league, he is also one of the best defensive players at his position, as evidenced by his two Gold Glove awards.

    The former shortstop has great range, a plus arm and turns a great double-play, making him a well-rounded defensive second baseman.

    Pedroia is also one of the best hitters at his position. While he may not hit as many home runs as other players on this list, his career batting average is over .300 and he is a doubles machine.

    Combine all of that with great leadership and Pedroia is a franchise player.

3. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

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    Ian Kinsler is a 30/30 player that is a potent middle-of-the-order bat.  

    While he isn’t an elite fielder, he is good enough that it isn’t a detriment to his team defensively.

    Kinsler is known for his long-ball ability; he had two 30-home-run seasons and 124 career home runs coming into 2012. He also has the speed needed to be a consistent threat to steal bases.

    One thing that keeps Kinsler from being higher on this list is that despite his plus bat, he has yet to drive in 100 runs in a single season.

Good but Not Great

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    4. Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds


    Phillips is a great defender and a well-rounded offensive player. He combines his Gold Glove-caliber defense with 30/30 potential and was rewarded with a contract extension in the offseason.



    5. Ricky Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers


    Despite his slow start, he has 30-home-run power and has the ability to steal 20 bases. He is an above-average fielder and has just entered his prime.



    6. Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates


    Walker has yet to peak, but he is a solid defender, hits for average and has shown he can do all this with very little protection around him.



    7. Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves


    Uggla, like Kinsler, is more known for his bat than his glove. He is an average defender that has limited range, but he has 30-home-run power.



    8. Howie Kendrick, L.A. Angels


    Kendrick is a good defender and hits for average. He is only 28 and still has room to improve at the plate.



    9. Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays


    This versatile player would be higher on the list if he was more consistent. He works the plate well, can hit 25 home runs and plays great defense.



    10. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies


    When healthy, Utley is arguably the best second baseman in the game. However, until he shows that he can regain his All-Star form, there are more questions than answers.

Either Need to Improve, Past Their Prime or Just Average

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    11. Dustin Ackley, Seattle Mariners


    He is full of upside, but even as a young player he has shown patience at the plate and the ability to be an above-average fielder at his position.



    12. Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians


    He is young, but he's shown that he has the ability to hit for average and play good defense up the middle.



    13. Jemile Weeks, Oakland Athletics


    The younger brother or Rickie Weeks, he doesn’t have the same power, but he hits for a better average. He is also quicker and has the potential to be a much better defensive player.



    14. Omar Infante, Miami Marlins


    He hits for average and plays really good defense. If he could show a little more pop, he would be higher on the list, but he has most likely peaked.



    15. Kelly Johnson, Toronto Blue Jays


    A late-bloomer that has 20-home-run power and can play above-average defense. He would be higher on the list if he was more consistent.



    16. Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles


    He was once one of the top-five players at his position, but between injuries and age, he is a shell of his former self. He still hasn’t retired, so there is a chance that he makes a comeback.



    17. Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox


    He is still young, but he can’t seem to put it all together. He has all the tools needed to be much higher on this list, but he has regressed every season since his rookie year.



    18. Daniel Murphy, New York Mets


    He can hit for a high average, but he lacks pop. He would be higher on this list if he was a better defensive player.



    19. Ryan Raburn, Detroit Tigers


    Rayburn is a decent hitter and plays above-average defense. The only reason he isn’t higher on this list is because he doesn’t excel at any aspect of the game.



    20. Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks


    He has shown he can hit for power and average, but he hasn’t put it all together since 2009. He is also an underrated defensive player.

Honorable Mentions

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    Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals


    If he can combine the pop he showed in 2011 with a better average then he will be a potent offensive player. He plays good defense and has room to improve at 25 years old.



    Robert Andino, Baltimore Ravens


    Now that he is a full-time player, he has a chance to show that he belongs.



    Jose Altuve, Houston Astros


    Despite his size, he is an above-average fielder and hits for average.