Continuing our series of the best Baltimore Orioles to play the game in the last 30 years, let’s move around the bases to second.
Second base is often the least respected position, but not for the Baltimore Orioles. Some outstanding men have fielded this position.
But, the defensive skills at second base are slightly different. This position requires agility and range. Players at second base do not have to be as tall as those who play first. They need to have quick feet, but still have the ability to hit for average or better.
Today’s best second basemen are players who are agile and strong. They can cover a serious amount of ground, often going deep into right field or off into foul territory to snag a fly. They need to work with the shortstop to make double plays, and they have to help prevent steals from first.
When looking at the best second basemen in the last 30 years, let’s look at who was at the top in 2019. According to batting stats, Yankees DJ LeMahieu lead the league with a slash of .327/.375/.518. Mike Moustakas hit 35 home runs to lead the MLB. Orioles second baseman, Jonathan Villar, led 2019 second basemen with 40 stolen bases.
Not to be forgotten in 2019 is Hanser Alberto. After joining the Orioles in March of 2019, he and Villar split their time between second and short. Alberto also occasionally filled in at third and in the outfield, too. When comparing his batting stats to the rest of the men who played second, he had the second-highest batting average of .305. He finished above perpetual leaders like Whit Merrifield, Jose Altuve, and Jason Kipnis.
Let’s look back at the best second basemen from the 2010s, 2000s, and 1990s.