As is the nature in today's world of network television sports, air time must be filled up by any means necessary. The more controversial the programming can be, the better it is for the network. Thus many sports networks rank players and greatest teams of all time. Because everyone loves to argue for their favorite team, right? (I'm looking at you Bleacher Report). MLB Network is no different, the national past time's television arm has a running series about the best player per position. This Thursday, the network ranked second basemen:
Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now:
1. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
2. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
3. Ben Zobrist, Oakland Athletics
4. Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers
6. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
7. Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
9. Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
10. Scooter Gennett, Milwaukee Brewers
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve ranks sixth on the list created by MLBN's "Shredder". The "Shredder" take into account "a number of offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced and traditional, plus projections for the upcoming season". Brian Kenny ranked Altuve second, and Harold Reynolds ranked him third on their personal lists respectively.
Altuve took home the 2014 American League Batting Crown, leading the league in batting average (.341), hits (225), and stolen bases (56) in last season. Altuve ranked second in WAR* (6.0)and wRC+**(135) among second basemen , trailing only Robinson Cano (6.4, 136). Altuve was first in offensive WAR (6.6) at second base*.
Yes there are detractors to Altuve, his defensive metrics aren't as pretty as his offensive number, but how does the shift effect those numbers? Not to over use one season for Altuve, there is some level of regression coming this season. ZiPS projects Altuve war to be under 4 this coming season. But, sixth seems a bit low for the 2014 batting champion.
What say you TCB? Watch the segment about second basemen here:
*Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference
**Stats courtesy of FanGraphs