2018 AL East Positional Rankings: Infielders - Page 4 of 6 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Paul Folkemer

2018 AL East Positional Rankings: Infielders

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

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Second Base

  1. Jonathan Schoop, Orioles
  2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
  3. Neil Walker, Yankees
  4. Devon Travis, Blue Jays
  5. Brad Miller/Joey Wendle, Rays

It’s a changing of the guard at the keystone position. Pedroia, who’s been the undisputed best second baseman in the AL East for years, now slips to second in my rankings behind Schoop. The 2017 Most Valuable Oriole posted 32 home runs, 105 RBIs and an .841 OPS during his breakout season, enough to outweigh Pedroia’s defensive advantage. Schoop, 26, is a better bet for the present and future than the 34-year-old Pedroia, who has been limited to 105 or fewer games in two of the past three seasons.

The Yankees made a shrewd, late-winter signing in Walker, whom they inked to a one-year, $4 million deal March 12. That’s a steal for a solid infielder who’s been a better than league-average hitter in all eight of his full seasons. The slow-developing hot stove season almost left Walker out in the cold before the Yankees swooped in.

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Travis, the Jays’ hard-luck second baseman, is injured so often that he makes Nolan Reimold look like Cal Ripken Jr. Since debuting in the majors on Opening Day of 2015, Travis has yet to play a full season, suffering from shoulder and knee injuries that have limited him to 213 games in three years. If he can finally stay healthy — a gigantic if, to be sure — he’s likely a better player than the Rays’ Miller, who had a miserable season at the plate in 2017 and is no better with the glove. Wendle, a utility type who is with his third organization, could get more starts if Miller isn’t up to snuff.

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