Today we’re starting off a new series, instead of a traditional top ten or top five, or heck even a top three, we are going to look into the best at each position and also discuss the future and even the most recent past of it. I’m starting this new series off with second base…

The best second baseman in baseball? The last seven years, it’s been an argument essentially between Robinson Cano, then of the Evil Empire, New York Yankees and Dustin “the Laser Show” Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox. Dustin won the American League MVP in 2008, and Cano put the Yankees on his shoulders from 2010 on.

This year we’ve seen something different. While Robinson Cano is fifth in the Bigs in terms of OPS, he’s sixth in WAR. Cano, however has seen a power disappearance with only four home runs to date (June 29, 2014), as he seems to miss the power happy venue of the new Yankee Stadium. During his years in the launching pad in the new Stadium, Robinson laid claim to the best hitting second baseman in baseball. Now that he signed his 10 year, $24 million per year contract in Seattle, his power has dipped beyond belief. Not exactly a good sign for a 31 year old who just signed a 10 year contract.
MLB: All Star Game-American League Practice Dustin Pedroia won the MVP in 2008, and has been battling injuries ever since. This year, he’s 12th in OPS and 5th in WAR – but that doesn’t distinguish himself from his own extension, albeit team friendly. Pedroia was always considered to be number one or two when it came to second basemen, but like the rest of the Red Sox, he is heavily struggling when it comes to this season.

Ian Kinsler seems to be heads and shoulders above all other second baseman in 2014, with a 3.7 WAR (second place is Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros with a 3.0 WAR). Kinsler originally pushed Pedroia as the two were teammates at Arizona State University. Kinsler came up as a highly touted prospect and a cog in the Texas Rangers line up over the last few years. But the Rangers needed to find a place for their top prospect entering play this year, Jurickson Profar. So the Rangers upgraded at first base via a trade with the Detroit Tigers that brought rotund slugger, Prince Fielder back to Texas.

While Kinsler has cemented himself as the best second baseman in the Show this year, both Profar and Fielder are on extensive stints on the DL, and are both out for the season. Profar with a shoulder injury and Fielder with neck surgery – Kinsler vowed to make his former team pay for shipping him away and publically stated he hoped the Rangers would go 0-162. While that may not have offended his friends and former teammates, it seems as though the Curse of Kinsler is in deep effect down in Arlington. Kinsler meanwhile, has done nothing but thrive for a contender in Detroit this year.

Other players have surely arrived or increased their level of play, such as Minnesota’s Brian Dozier, leading all MLB second baseman with 15 home runs. Jose Altuve with his .343 batting average and his 34 stolen bases. Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and son of former major leaguer “Flash” Tom Gordon, has resurrected his once floundering career with a .770 OPS and 40 stolen bases for the second place Dodgers.

Kinsler may remain on top this season, but there are several prospects in the wings waiting to come up and give him a run for his money. Including the man whom replaced him Jurickson Profar in Texas and slugger short stop prospect Javier Baez of the Cubs who may be swapped to a new position as Starling Castro is blocking him at the bigs level. According to Baseball America, the highest rated, true second baseman prospect also comes from the Rangers organization in Rougned Odor (ranked at no. 42), with the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong next on that list (at no. 58, but he has a .586 OPS this season and a .5 WAR), Devon Travis (also in the Tiger organization, ranked at no 84), and lastly (at no. 92) Angel farm hand Taylor Lindsey. Without Baez potentially making that change (as it could also be Castro changing to second base), Kinsler may have this to himself and Altuve moving forward (with possible competition from the Indians’ Jason Kipnis, considered a top three second baseman in Spring Training, but has missed significant time this season with injury).

But one thing still remains true, while Cano and Pedroia are still top tier second basemen, it seems the best of both players are behind them. While the Laser Show seems more able to continue with steady production, as he was never the power hitter, Cano has a lot of proving to do without the aura and mystic (and short right field porch) of Yankee Stadium.

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