Second to none
The Twins’ Brian Dozier hit 42 home runs last season, leading a strong offensive surge by major league second basemen. Here are 10 other stalwarts (listed alphabetically) at the position during its glory era:
Jose Altuve, Houston: The 26-year-old won his second batting title in three seasons last season (.338) and slugged .531. He also has stolen 30 or more bases for the past five seasons. He is only 5-6 and 160 pounds but hit 24 homers in 2016. Gold Glove in 2015.
Robinson Cano, Seattle: Cano, 34, had 39 home runs and 103 RBI in 2016. He’s a two-time Gold Glove winner with a career batting average of .307 and slugging percentage of .498.
Dee Gordon, Miami: The National League batting champion (.333) and a Gold Glove winner in 2015, Gordon, 28, was suspended for half of 2016 for using PEDs. Also a two-time NL stolen bases champion.
Dustin Pedroia, Boston: A four-time Gold Glove winner, two-time World Series champion and the 2008 AL MVP. Pedroia hit .318 last season and has a career .445 slugging percentage.
Ian Kinsler, Detroit: Last year’s AL Gold Glove winner, Kinsler is a four-time All-Star who had an .831 OPS in 2016. High marks for durability and baseball IQ.
Jason Kipnis, Cleveland: With 23 HRs and 82 RBI last season, Kipnis improved his power numbers and helped lead the Indians to the World Series.
DJ Le Mahieu, Colorado: The 2016 NL batting champion (.348) was a much better statistical player at home. Remains to be seen if last year was an anomaly. A Gold Glove winner in 2014.
Daniel Murphy, Washington: Had a breakthrough season at age 31 with a .595 slugging percentage in 2016, second only to David Ortiz. It also was the second-highest mark (Jeff Kent, .596 in 2000) for a second baseman since 1928.
Rougned Odor, Texas: The volatile 23-year-old hit 33 home runs and drove in 81 runs last season, but his 22 errors were the most among AL second basemen.
Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs: The World Series MVP might be one of baseball’s best second basemen, but he could lose his starting spot to fielding whiz Javier Baez. One of them will play a utility role for the world champs this season. Zobrist, 35, has a career .831 OPS.