First Half Summary, Second Half Foretell: Second Baseman (Video w/ Article)
Jason Kipnis has flown on the scene faster than Aroldis Chapman’s 104 MPH fastball. The third-year player is tied with Jose Altuve for most stolen bases among 2B with 21. When comparing the league’s best second baseman, the Sun Devil alum is 1 of 3 to produce more than 50 RBI and 50 (57-53) runs along with 1 of 3 hitting over .300 with double-digit home runs.
There have been two other second base surprises this year one coming out of the AL and the other out the NL.
Matt Carpenter leads the National League with 72 runs and is hitting a position best .321 before the break. He hits leadoff for the NL’s best hitting attack and as long as the average remains above .300 and the OPS around .905, where he is currently hitting, the numbers will be there at the end of the season.
Fifth-ranked second baseman Howie Kendrick has more hits than Robinson Cano in the first half. I won’t be able to come up with a better stat for Kendrick so I will stop there.
WHO LEADS THE 2ND HALF IN AVERAGE, RUNS, HOME RUNS, RBI’S
All the numbers for Dustin Pedroia are there with the exception of six home runs. A career .304 hitter gives him as good as a chance as anybody hitting third in baseball’s hottest lineup to have the best average among 2B in the second half.
Matt Carpenter is hitting .321 and bats at the top of the lineup for baseball’s best hitting team with RISP. Leading all 2B by a wide margin of 15 runs in the first half gives him the nod for scoring the most runs in the second half.
Robinson Cano hit a career-high 21 home runs in the first half this year. A dozen of his home runs came on the road. We all know how short that porch is in right field of Yankee Stadium. With guys like Dan Uggla, Jason Kipnis and Brandon Phillips trying to keep pace with Cano’s power, I say there is very little chance Cano isn’t the Home Run King among 2B.
Brandon Phillips leads all 2B with 74 RBI. He is the only 2B to consistently hit in the cleanup spot. With guys like Choo and Votto, who are one and two in the league in OBP, batting in front, Phillips will have second half opportunities to drive in runs.
SECOND HALF SLEEPERS
Dan Uggla hit more than 30 home runs in five straight seasons ending the streak during last years 19 home run season. I’m not telling you to go bonkers over four home runs in his last dozen games, but it’s something to keep an eye on as Uggla is only in his seventh year and power can be slim pickins at the 2B position. A good buy-low option heading into the second half.
Baltimore 2B Brian Roberts usually hits in the nine spot for Baltimore, but Manager Buck Showalter has experimented with Roberts at the leadoff spot before the break. That is big news for any fantasy owner. Anybody who hits in front of double machine Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Crush Davis is worth taking a look at in the second half.
Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko led all rookies in hits before his DL stint. He’s back and for all we know healthy hitting near the middle of the lineup.
White Sox Gordon Beckham missed almost 2 months in the first half due to injury but hit .335 pre All-Star break. The struggle comes against lefties who he is only hitting .154 against, but against righties he is mashing .390.
Arizona 2B Aaron Hill is a .272 career hitter with more than 25 home runs in his last three of his last four seasons. Manager Kirk Gibson has moved Hill to the No.3 spot in front of one of the best hitters in baseball Paul Goldschmidt. Hitting in the No.3 spot is a glory hole for offensive production.