April 2013 Stats: 29/98, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 4 SB
If I'm a fan of a team that needs help at second base, I'm terrified about this ranking.
For whatever reason, second base is a young man's game. In 2012, there were only seven second basemen over the age of 30 who had 300 or more at-bats. With 11 home runs and a .256 average, Chase Utley was the only one to both hit eight or more home runs and bat .222 or better.
Last season wasn't exactly an anomaly, either. With the exception of Jeff Kent—who "inexplicably" batted .302 with 20 home runs at the age of 39—second basemen tend to rapidly decline around their 33rd birthday.
Roberto Alomar batted .336 with 20 home runs when he was 33, but dropped to .266 with 11 home runs at 34. At 35, he was hitting .258 and averaging a home run every 103.2 at-bats.
Joe Morgan was hitting .288 with 22 home runs during his 33rd year on Earth. Over the next two years combined he hit just 22 home runs while batting .243.
Ryne Sandberg batted .304 with 25 home runs during the season in which he turned 33 years old. It was the sixth consecutive season in which his WAR increased from the previous year, reaching an impressive 7.3. After that 33rd birthday, he never again topped 3.0 in a season.
In case you're unclear on where this history lesson is coming from, Chase Utley turns 35 this December, and he's already been on a significant decline since the end of the 2009 season. I thought about leaving him off of this list altogether, but someone is going to stupidly offer him a 3 year / $36 million contract this winter. Just watch.