Welcome to the Diamond Battles, a series on CruelFan.com, that will highlight the top players at each position in MLB. With the season nearly here, it’s never a bad idea to get a top refresher on the top 5 at each position. Let’s take a look at the second baseman position.
DJ LeMahieu – New York Yankees
I love a good come from behind story and this is exactly what LeMahieu is. He was kind of a fringe guy for the Rockies for a few seasons and the Yankees took a chance on him. The short walls in Yankee Stadium and an odd resurgence has turned him into one of the top guys in the league at the position. At 32-years-old, he just got a solid new contract after hitting 336/.386/.536 over the past two seasons. He’s a guy who can hit you 25-plus homers in a season as he has two Silver Sluggers under his belt, a Gold Glove, and three All-Star nods. This was a guy who was underrated but was paid handsomely.
Ozzie Albies – Atlanta Braves
This is hands down my favorite player on this list. Few guys in the majors are as young and exciting as Albies. It looks like the Braves have a really top-notch young core on their hands and there is no doubt that Albies plays into all of that. In 2019, he led the National League in hits and he was only 22-years-old. An injury made his 2020 numbers look a lot worse than they were in 2019, but we are talking about a guy who in a two-year span hit 48 home runs, 29 stolen bases and 9.7 rWAR altogether. He will be a staple at second in the MLB power rankings for a long time.
Ketel Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks
Talk about a truly underrated guy at second base, Ketel Marte is the guy. The Diamondbacks have traded away a lot of their top talent away over the last few seasons but Marte has stuck around and for good reason. In 2019, he really broke out of his shell after a solid 2018. In that breakout season, he hit .329/.389/.592 with 32 home runs, 10 stolen bases and 7.2 rWAR. He is the top man in the Dbacks lineup and is only 27-years-old. In that 2019 season, he finished 4th in MVP voting and earned himself a trip to the MLB All-Star game. Last year, the power wasn’t there but he still hit .287 with a plus .730 OPS.
Brandon Lowe – Tampa Bay Rays
Brandon Lowe nearly won Rookie of the Year in 2018 and has been a fixture for the Rays over the past few seasons. Tampa Bay is a team that always has a good farm system and he is one of the products of that. Lowe is great at drawing walks and getting on-base, but the thing that is really surprising about him is that for a guy under six foot, he has excellent pop. In the shortened MLB season, he hit 14 home runs with a .554 slugging percentage.
Jake Cronenworth – San Diego Padres
This is a bit of a wild card pick on our part. At 26-years-old, Cronenworth is pretty old to just be making his Major League debut in 2020. But he wasted no time once he finally broke into the bigs, hitting 285 AVG, .354 OBP, .477 SLG and finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting. He was traded from the Rays and looks to be a big part of the Padres lineup as a guy who gets on and gets driven in.
By: Matt Lively CruelFan.com