Free Agent Face-to-Face: Second Base Battle Royale


For teams looking to improve at second base, many free agent options are already gone. Marcus Semien went to the Rangers, Javier Baez to the Tigers, Eduardo Escobar to Mets, Caesar Hernandez to Nationals and Rough smell to the Orioles. Chris taylor and Leury Garcia returned to their clubs from 2021, the Dodgers and White Sox, respectively. It seems that some people in the industry believe Trevor’s story should be moved to second base, but it’s unclear if Story himself agrees with that assessment. It is also possible that another shortstop will be moved second, such as Jose iglesias, although he has only 21 games of second base experience in his career so far and has not matched Story’s offensive output. For teams looking to upgrade the keystone, which is still available to be signed after the lockdown?

Josh harrison, 34, had an appalling campaign in 2019 but has been solid the past two seasons. During 2020 and 2021, he played 171 games and reached .279 / .343 / .402. This equates to a wRC + of 104 and 1.8 fWAR. Of those 171 games, he played the second goal in 114 of them, as well as a lesser time at third base and shortstop, with brief stints at three outfield runs and even an inning in the field. first goal. Statcast doesn’t like his defensive work in those tertiary positions, but he was worth 8 OAAs as a second baseman in 2021.

Jed lowrie, 38 in April, has only played nine games in 2019 and 2020 due to injury. 2021 was a solid rebound, however, as he appeared in 139 games, hitting .245 / .318 / .398, for a wRC + of 100, exactly the league average. However, nearly half of those games saw Lowrie enter DH or appear as a pinch hitter, as he only played the second base in 71 of them, as well as three innings in the third.

Donovan Solano, 34, has just had the best three years of his career. From 2019 to 2021, he played 236 games, hitting .308 / .354 / .435 for a wRC + of 114. In most of those games, 172, he appeared at second base, while seeing limited action at third. and short. Statcast have pegged their second base defense as near average over those three seasons.

Jonathan villar, 31 in May, has alternated hot and cold in recent years. In 2019, he hit 24 home runs, stole 40 goals and slashed .274 / .339 / .453 for a wRC + 107 and 3.9 fWAR. In the shortened 2020 campaign, he only hit two dingers, stole 16 bases, and hit .232 / .301 / .292 for a wRC + of 65 and -0.3 fWAR. He turned things around again in 2021, with 18 homers, 14 goals stolen and a line of .249 / .322 / .416, 105 wRC + and 2.1 fWAR. He only played nine games in the second, as the Mets used him extensively in the third and short. Statcast was not in love with his defense in 2021, setting him at -3 OAAs overall.

Matt duffy, 31 in January, had a tough 2019 and was unable to carve out a place in the major leagues in 2020. Signed by the Cubs for a minor league deal ahead of the 2021 season, he was able to carve out himself a spot on the opening day roster and stay with the club all season long, with the exception of a two-month stint on the IL. He played 97 games and reached .287 / .357 / .381, for a wRC + of 102 and 1.5 fWAR. He played 56 games in third, 21 in second, five at shortstop, three at left field, two at first base and even recorded a third inning on the mound. Statcast gave it a -4 OAA rating on second base in this small sample.

Matt Charpentier, 36, had a formidable run from 2012 to 2018, with a WRC + of at least 117 for seven consecutive seasons. However, this has been a direct drop since then. He finished 2018 at 140 but fell to 96, 85 and 70 over the next three campaigns. His strikeout rate also gradually increased, from 23.3% in 2018 to 26.2%, 28.4% and 30.9% in the following three years. He has played 34 second baseman games this year and has been rated average by Statcast. There’s no doubt these have been a tough few years, but if he could come close to his previous high, he could be an intriguing rebound candidate.

Each of these players has warts, but none of them should require a huge financial commitment. Villar was the only one to make MLBTR’s top 50 free agents, and is expected to secure a two-year, $ 14 million contract. But which do you prefer? Give your opinion in the poll below.

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