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Previewing The 2022-23 Free Agent Class: Second Basemen

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With the offseason drawing nearer, MLBTR will likely be breaking down the free-agent class on a position-by-position foundation. MLBTR’s Anthony Franco already profiled this winter’s crop of catchers and first basemen. You possibly can take a look at the total checklist of this offseason’s free brokers right here, however at the moment we’ll take a deeper take a look at the choices for groups in want of assist at second base subsequent. It’s price noting that there are star shortstops (e.g.  Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner) who might technically be pursued as a second base possibility for a crew that already has an entrenched shortstop, however we’ll save that group for the shortstop preview.

High of the Class

The Phillies maintain a $17MM membership possibility on Segura, so he might technically go within the “2023 Choices” part later on this preview. Nonetheless, though Segura is an efficient participant who’s had a strong season, it’s likelier that the Phils pay the choice’s $1MM buyout than choose up that hefty wage. Segura has ample expertise at shortstop and has performed some third base as nicely, however he’s been a strict second baseman in Philly lately and different groups probably view him equally. The open market hasn’t been type to non-star, second-base-only gamers like Segura lately, even once they’re coming off respectable seasons.

That’s completely the case right here, as Segura has slashed .273/.335/.393 — good for a 106 wRC+ (suggesting he’s been six p.c higher than the league-average hitter). Segura is a troublesome strikeout however doesn’t stroll a lot and has slowly seen his energy dwindle to below-average ranges. He typically has strong however unspectacular grades for his glovework at second base. He’ll be 33 subsequent spring.

At his greatest, Segura does just a little little bit of the whole lot — hitting for energy, hitting for common, swiping some bases, enjoying strong protection — however doesn’t essentially excel in anyone space. It’d be a shock if he bought greater than two years in free company, and there are free-agent second basemen with increased ceilings however far much less current observe report. If you need the most secure guess to be a strong common on the place, Segura is the man.

As is commonly the case, we’re taking a look at a fairly skinny crop of established second basemen available on the market this yr’s market. That’s excellent news for Drury, who parlayed a minor league take care of the Reds right into a standout free-agent platform. Drury hit .274/.335/.520 and clubbed 21 house runs with the Reds earlier than a deadline commerce shipped him to San Diego. He hasn’t been almost pretty much as good with the Friars (.227/.270/.454) however continues to be hitting for energy. On the entire, Drury has a .261/.317/.501 slash this season — about 23% higher than the typical hitter by measure of wRC+.

Defensively, Drury embodies the “jack of all trades, grasp of none” trope, however second base has traditionally been his greatest place. He’s drawn common marks there all through his profession and once more in 2022. The 30-year-old righty has feasted on left-handed pitching however largely simply held his personal towards right-handers. Drury hit nicely in a tiny pattern of 88 plate appearances with the 2021 Mets however was a non-factor with the Yankees and Blue Jays from 2018-20, batting a mixed .205/.254/.346 within the tough equal of a full season of enjoying time (167 video games, 582 plate appearances).

Drury will get a giant league deal this winter. The questions are whether or not his Cincinnati contributions are overshadowed by his San Diego struggles, whether or not he’ll get a glance as a utility possibility or as a participant at one main place, and whether or not there’s sufficient curiosity to generate a multi-year supply.

Veterans Coming Off Down Years

Cano sat out your entire 2021 season serving a 162-game suspension for his second failed PED check and was launched by three totally different groups in 2022 — the ultimate season of the 10-year, $240MM contract he initially signed with Seattle. Cano hit simply .150/.183/.190 in 104 Main League plate appearances this season and won’t get one other MLB probability at this level.

One of many Padres’ marquee acquisitions on the 2021 commerce deadline, Frazier fell right into a deep stoop the second he was traded from Pittsburgh to San Diego. He was flipped to the Mariners in a cost-saving transfer final offseason and hasn’t rediscovered his Pittsburgh kind with what’s now his third crew. Frazier’s season in Seattle has been the worst full season of his large league profession. He’s nonetheless been a strong defender between second base and the outfield corners, however he’s hitting simply .235/.299/.308 in 579 plate appearances. Since leaving the Pirates, Frazier has a .243/.307/.315 slash in 790 plate appearances; he batted .283/.346/.420 in components of six seasons with Pittsburgh.

Lengthy a gentle common at second base, Hernandez has performed out his free-agent years on a sequence of one-year offers and may need reached the top of his time as an on a regular basis participant in Washington. After swatting a career-high 21 homers final yr, the switch-hitter has only one lengthy ball in 2022.  He’s nonetheless collected 27 doubles and 4 triples, however the swift disappearance of his energy has left him with a .245/.308/.315 batting line — about 23% worse than league common by measure of wRC+. Hernandez’s defensive marks at second base have taken a nosedive in current seasons, too, and Washington has begun enjoying him at different positions (third base, left subject) to make room for the youthful Luis Garcia.

Simmons is, in fact, primarily a shortstop. He noticed extra time at second base (106 innings) than at quick (104) in a quick and disastrous tenure as a  Cub, although. Simmons had two prolonged IL stints in 2022 resulting from shoulder issues, hit simply .173/.244/.187 in 85 plate appearances, and was launched final month. Since a pair of above-average seasons on the plate in 2017-18, he’s mixed for 1087 plate appearances with three groups (Angels, Twins, Cubs) and posted a mixed .244/.298/.311 slash — only a 68 wRC+.

One other veteran infielder who signed a one-year take care of the Cubs and was launched this summer season, the switch-hitting Villar mustered solely a .208/.260/.302 output in 220 plate appearances between Chicago and Anaheim this season. He posted strong numbers with the 2021 Mets and, from 2018-21, batted .259/.327/.408 (99 wRC+) with 58 homers and a hefty 105 steals in simply shy of 2000 large league plate appearances. Villar can play any second, third and shortstop however doesn’t grade out nicely at any of the three.

Utility Gamers

Diaz has performed not less than 45 innings at 5 totally different positions this season: all 4 infield spots and left subject. He was primarily a shortstop early in his profession and nonetheless has extra complete innings there than at any place. He by no means graded nicely there, and as he enters his mid-30s, he’ll be seen as extra of a utility participant. Diaz’s .255/.302/.427 line in 2022 is kind of much like the .259/.318/.433 slash he’s posted over 4 complete seasons with the ’Stros. He’s a right-handed bat who’s proven a fairly noticeable platoon break up over the previous couple seasons, although early in his profession he hit fellow righties higher than lefties.

Peterson has performed largely third base in Milwaukee this season and posted sensational defensive marks there, together with 10 Defensive Runs Saved and 5 Outs Above Common in simply 583 innings. He’s spent extra time at second base than another place in his profession on the entire, nevertheless. The lefty-swinging Peterson has revived his profession with a strong three-year run in Milwaukee, hitting .241/.339/.379 (100 wRC+) with a hefty 12.4% stroll charge, 16 homers and 22 steals in 677 plate appearances. He’s even dealt with lefties nicely in a small pattern over the previous two seasons, though a profession .217/.289/.282 output towards them nonetheless suggests he’s greatest deployed towards righties solely.

A hamstring pressure value Solano greater than two months, however since being activated, he’s batted .292/.343/.397 with 4 homers and 15 doubles in 280 journeys to the plate. Solano has been fairly good at house, in Cincinnati’s Nice American Ball Park, and below-average on the highway, however that is the fourth consecutive season he’s headed for not less than league-average offense. Courting again to his 2019 resurgence with the Giants, “Donnie Barrels” is hitting .303/.351/425 in 1055 plate appearances. He’ll flip 35 in December, although, and his defensive grades at second, third and shortstop lately are all missing. He’s posted glorious numbers in 166 innings as a primary baseman this yr, nevertheless (5 DRS, 2 OAA).

Depth Items

  • Ehire Adrianza (33): A switch-hitter with expertise everywhere in the infield and within the outfield corners, Adrianza has hit simply .215/.302/.320 in 415 plate appearances courting again to 2020.
  • Charlie Culberson (34): Since hitting a career-high 12 homers with the 2018 Braves, Culberson carries a .248/.291/.384 slash in 542 plate appearances. He nonetheless hits lefties nicely however has by no means had a lot success towards righties.
  • Matt Duffy (32): Duffy opened the season because the Angels’ second baseman however spent important time on the injured checklist this season, primarily resulting from again hassle. He’s hit .255/.311/.317 in 225 plate appearances. Duffy can play any of second, third or shortstop, however accidents have restricted him to 716 plate appearances over the previous 4 seasons.
  • Alcides Escobar (36): Escobar had a quick resurgence with the 2021 Nats, however that was the one time since 2014 his bat has been near common. He hit .218/.262/.282 in 131 plate appearances with Washington this yr.
  • Phil Gosselin (34): The journeyman utility participant has expertise at each infield spot and within the outfield corners. He hit .149/.182/.176 in 77 plate appearances this yr however did report a decent .259/.316/.371 slash in 475 plate appearances from 2020-21.
  • Rougned Odor (29): The O’s have considerably bizarrely given Odor 457 plate appearances regardless of poor defensive rankings (-9 DRS, -3 OAA) and a .211/.278/.366 slash that typically mirrors the .200/.270/.378 line he’s posted in 966 plate appearances since 2020.
  • Chris Owings (31): The massive numbers Owings posted in a tiny pattern with the 2021 Rockies look even flukier after he hit .107/.254/.143 in 68 plate appearances with Baltimore in 2022. He’s hit .190/.266/.300 over his previous 667 MLB plate appearances.

2023 Choices

  • Hanser Alberto (30): Alberto’s one-year take care of the Dodgers contained a $2MM membership possibility and a $250K buyout. Los Angeles will all probably go for the buyout after Alberto has batted .225/.235/.344 in 153 journeys to the plate. Alberto has strong defensive rankings across the infield and hits lefties nicely — profession .320/.337/.445 hitter in 577 plate appearances — giving him some bench attraction. His current poor showings will likely be onerous to miss, although.
  • Josh Harrison (35): Harrison’s subsequent plate look will likely be his four-hundredth, boosting his 2023 membership possibility worth from $5.5MM to $5.625MM. There’s a $1.5MM buyout, making it a internet $4.125MM possibility for the ChiSox. Based mostly strictly on his manufacturing — almost league-average offense and high quality protection at a number of positions — Harrison’s been price that quantity. The Sox have already got a crowded payroll and will likely be in search of extra manufacturing from a number of spots of their lineup, nevertheless. They could additionally really feel they will discover comparable manufacturing/worth both in-house or at a decrease internet worth elsewhere available on the market.
  • Jonathan Schoop (31): Schoop can technically turn out to be a free agent this winter, however he’d have to show down a $7.5MM participant possibility after hitting simply .203/.236/.327 in 484 plate appearances for that to occur. That’s clearly fairly unlikely, however it’s price mentioning that defensive metrics agree that Schoop has resurfaced as one of many sport’s premier defenders. He’s tallied 11 Defensive Runs Saved and posted a comically excessive 27 Outs Above Common at second base, per Statcast.
  • Kolten Wong (32): Wong’s $10MM membership possibility is a bit harder to foretell, if solely as a result of the Brewers are inclined to tread cautiously with membership choices and infrequently go for the buyout even of cheap offers. For Wong, that’d be a $2MM buyout, rendering this an $8MM internet choice. Milwaukee’s payroll subsequent yr is already loaded, and so they might really feel they will change Wong’s worth in-house. With an $8MM internet worth on the choice, it’s attainable he’d have some commerce worth to a crew who’ll be in search of some upgrades at second base. Wong is hitting .252/.338/.435 and has tied a career-best with 15 homers. His defensive marks have fallen beneath common, nevertheless, as he’s missed time resulting from a calf harm for a second straight season.

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