Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Eric Hosmer's .670 OPS is fourth-worst among major league first basemen.
First base: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals (.231 BA, 9 HR, 39 RBI)
After a 2011 season in which he compiled a .799 OPS with 19 home runs and 78 RBI, Hosmer looked ready to take his place as baseball's next great first baseman. In the process, he would carry the Royals to contention in the AL Central. Unfortunately, he got off to an abysmal start, batting .188 in April and has been trying to climb out of that hole ever since.
Second base: Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals (.232 BA, 7 HR, 24 RBI)
With 21 homers and 66 RBI in his rookie season, the Nationals hoped Espinosa would be a dependable top-of-the-order hitter. Considering Espinosa hit .236 last year, perhaps a vast improvement shouldn't have been expected. Moving him down in the lineup may have taken some pressure off, but it hasn't led to better production.
Shortstop: Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers (.260 BA, 5 HR, 27 RBI)
Peralta was an improbable All-Star in 2011, making Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski look like a genius for taking a chance on a shortstop whose best days appeared to be gone. At the All-Star break last year, Peralta had an OPS of .891 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI. This year, his OPS is .698, and his power numbers have taken a dive. He has also played much worse defensively.
Third base: Ryan Roberts, Arizona Diamondbacks (.237 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI)
Roberts was the embodiment of the D-Backs' 2011 season. Nothing much was expected from a career utility man who spent most of 2010 in the minors. But Roberts broke out to become Arizona's everyday third baseman, hitting 19 home runs with 65 RBI. This year, Roberts has a .639 OPS, compelling the D-Backs to look for outside help at third base.
Catcher: Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians (.221 BA, 5 HR, 30 RBI)
The Tribe did all they could last season to prevent Santana from wearing down, playing their young catcher at first base for 66 games. Yet Santana is batting like someone who is tired out. Last year at the break, he had 13 homers and 41 RBI and went on to hit better in the second half. This year, Santana has five homers and 30 RBI. Is it because he's been catching more?