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Five Bold Second Base Predictions for 2019

Speed, with a bit of pop.

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Three Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

To be honest I have a big group of “which version of Player X will I get this year?” among the second basemen who have been up and down recently. The Top 3 seem to change each year.

1 . Javier Baez does NOT exceed 80 runs, 80 RBIs, or 20 steals this year.

Justification: I’m not sold. That simple. I want to make sure I’m open on this concept so you don’t get burned by not selecting him. I think he had a phenomenal year last year, but I am guessing he regresses down to 2017 type numbers. His lack of walks concerns me, as does his high strikeout rate. He had a .347 BABIP last year (which is in line with his history in that stat) but his ISO spiked, his speed score spiked and his line drive rate spiked. I don’t see all of this lining up the way it did in 2018.

2016: 142 games, 50 runs, 59 RBIs, 12 SB, 3.3% BB%, 24% K%, .273 Avg
2017: 145 games, 75 runs, 75 RBIs, 10 SB, 5.9% BB%, 28.3% K%, .273 Avg
2018: 160 games, 101 runs, 101 RBIs, 21 SB, 4.5% BB%, 25.9% K%, .290 Avg

2. Yoan Moncada finishes Top 5 in runs and steals.

Justification: I don’t think Yoan is the elite player he was built up to be, but I think he is a very talented player who can have a lot go his way when his bat gets hot. He was 12th last year with 73 runs, and 11th in stolen bases with 12 swipes. The two things that will help his runs: First, his .235 average is getting better as his plate discipline improves, allowing for more on base opportunities. Second, as the White Sox continue to rebuild he gets more help. His stolen bases will be a byproduct of getting on base and getting a green light to swipe more bases as the team becomes more competitive.
March: .200 Avg
April .274 Avg
May .205 Avg
June .197 Avg
July .231 Avg
August .212 Avg
September .301 Avg

3. Daniel Murphy has over 100 RBIs and posts a batting average over .315.

Justification: He had 20 at-bats at Coors in 2017. Here are his lines: five runs, eight hits, one double, one triple, two home runs, 11 RBIs, and an average of .400. Coming back from his injury, here is how his August and September played out:
August: 109 AB, 13 Runs, 11 RBIs, .321 Avg
September: 93 AB, 17 Runs, 8 RBIs, .290 Avg.

The RBI pace falls short there, but the Coors Field effect should help with his RBI total (not to mention being on a team that I think is slightly better than Washington.

4. Devon Travis finishes with 60+ runs and RBIs for the first time in his career.

Justification: He has a career littered with time off—ailing aches and a knee injury derailed his 2018 campaign. This is likely his last chance to impress (after he signed through arbitration just recently) or he will stay in the minors. I think that motivation propels him to new heights. His BABIP the first two years in the pros was .340+ and he was on pace for 90 runs and RBIs, then the last two years his BABIP dropped to .225 and lower. As a result, he can’t get past 45 runs or RBIs per season. If he can find one quasi-consistent season in the middle, he will fall into that 60/60 space. I think this is that year.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

5. Ian Kinsler is a Top 10 second baseman.

Justification: I sure hope this one is bold enough for everyone. The 36-year-old is on his fourth team in as many years, and that team is San Diego. Conversely, he is also just two years removed from a 117 run, 83 RBI year where he had a .288 average. The last two years have been garbage, where he has knocked in fewer than 60 RBIs with a sub-.250 average. I think this is his resurgent year, where he can show that there is still a year or two left in his bat. His plate discipline has remained unchanged (BB rate, K rate, and swing % are all in line) and his ground ball/fly ball metrics have not changed too much. His BABIP has tanked from north of .300 to .244 last year. Add to all of this some groin persistence, which likely damaged his 2018 value.


Who would you rather have?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Yoan Moncada
    (175 votes)
  • 7%
    Ian Kinsler
    (14 votes)
189 votes total Vote Now