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Top 10 second base prospects

With catcher and first base out of the way, the next logical step is second base. There is a lack of depth at second and the reason why makes a lot of sense. The best athletes in college and high school play shortstop. Second base is typically guys like Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler who have already converted from shortstop.

I tried to be nice to Robinson Cano....but it's so hard to not hate the Yankees. I did go back and edit it to try to say a few nice things about him at least.

As always the format is name - age/team - avg/obp/slg/r/rbi/2b/3b/hr/so/bb/sb/cs

Rickie Weeks - 22/MIL - .320/.435/.655/43/48/14/9/12/51/28/10/1 in 203 AB's/55 G's in AAA - Weeks, already starting at second for Milwaukee, is head and shoulders above every other second base prospect in baseball. He's had the potential for the last couple of years and this year he put it all together for some spectacular results. His power numbers have spiked, he's stealing bases with a great success rate, and he hasn't shown a sign of weakness. He struck out in 25% of his AB's, but that didn't slow him down. He's showing pretty good patience at the major league level and while his numbers there aren't fantastic, he's still holding his own. He already has 4 HR's in 80 AB's and is 4/4 in stolen base attempts. At the age of 22, he will struggle at times in the bigs, but he's only going to get better.

Dustin Pedroia - 21/BOS - .324/.409/.508/39/40/19/2/8/26/34/7/3 in 256 AB's/66 G's in AA - Pedroia was promoted to AAA a couple of weeks ago, but hasn't played a game in over a week after being plunked by a pitch in the wrist. Pedroia is pretty much the complete package. He plays great defense, gets on base, doesn't strike out, and hits for a little bit of power. He's adapted very quickly at every level of pro ball and many in Boston are already calling for his promotion to the majors. He needs to prove himself at AAA first, but if all goes well he could be starting in Fenway on opening day, 2006.

Robinson Cano - 22/NYY - .289/.316/.471/32/27/15/2/6/25/8/0/0 in 204 AB's/54 G's in the majors - The Yankee fans who look at this guy as some sort of savior need a serious reality check, but he's starting in the majors at the age of 22 so he has to be doing something right. He is showing New York that it's a mistake to pay millions for mediocre talent like Tony Womack when you can find replacement level talent like Robinson Cano right there in the minor leaguesHe still needs to improve before he actually becomes as good as he's already made out to be by some, but he's young enough to be able to improve. He needs to take some more walks to improve a poor OBP. His power at the major leagues is already better than he's displayed at any level as a pro with the exception of half a season in AA last year. He might be able to keep it up, but he hasn't really been considered a power guy.

Ian Kinsler - 23/TEX - .276/.340/.474/55/56/17/1/14/53/26/10/2 in 308 AB's/77 G's in AAA - Kinsler came out of nowhere last year to hit 51 doubles and 20 home runs over two minor league stops. He plays a pretty average defense, but he is developing some surprising power for a middle infielder. His SLG and OBP have both fallen off a little bit from last year, but he's still hitting the ball pretty hard and he has been very good on the basepaths. He has the tools to develop into a very solid, all-around major leaguer and he's not very far away from contributing in Texas if they can find a spot for him.

Josh Barfield - 22/SD - .286/.338/.390/40/35/9/0/8/71/26/10/3 in 315 AB's/85 G's in AAA- Last year Barfield's struggles could be blamed on an injured hamstring, but this year his numbers haven't been much better. His power numbers are actually down from what he's put up as a pro. He projects to be a 20-25 HR guy, but he's been going downhill since an impressive 2003 season. He still has the upside and ability and he's young enough that his struggles at AAA aren't that worrisome.

Howie Kendrick - 21/ANA - .375/.418/.617/60/40/18/5/10/38/14/13/4 in 240 AB's/54 G's in high A - Kendrick doesn't walk much and his numbers are boosted by playing in a pretty good hitter's park. Despite that, his numbers are still impressive. He doesn't strike out very often and hits the ball pretty hard for a middle infielder. He's on pace to break personal bests in nearly every offensive category as a pro. The real test will come when he is promoted to AA.

Marcus Sanders - 19/SF - .296/.391/.423/56/29/13/4/5/58/43/40/4 in 284 AB's/71 G's in low-A - He takes a lot of walks, he hits an extra base hit here and there, but most of all he steals bases. He already has 40 steals in 44 attempts so far this year and, if he keeps it up, he will become a pretty good leadoff hitter. He has shown a bit more power than what you'd expect from a speedy second baseman, hitting 5 home runs already this year. At such a young age, he still has a long way to go, but he's definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Delwyn Young - 23/CHC - .295/.344/.466/43/45/19/0/11/72/23/1/3 in 305 AB's/78 G's in AA - Young is developing into a pretty decent power hitter. He strikes out a lot more than he walks, but he still manages a good AVG and decent OBP. He doesn't have much speed on the bases or much range in the field and will likely end up in left field before making his debut for the Dodgers.

Elliot Johnson - 21/TB - .273/.350/.449/42/33/10/3/8/49/24/28/5 in 227's/56 G's in high A - Just as Johnson was starting to hit the ball he was promoted to AA. He was getting on base, hitting a decent amount of extra base hits, and he was stealing bases. After his promotion he lost his ability to draw a walk or hit for extra bases putting up a .273/.309/.312 line in 77 AB's. He needs some time to adjust to the new level. We'll have a better idea on whether or not he has a future ahead of him by the end of the season.

Hernan Iribarren - 21/MIL - .320/.378/.419/48/35/10/7/2/63/28/29/8 in 303 AB's/77 G's - Iribarren hasn't been around long enough to really establish himself as a pro, but the ability that he has shown so far has been pretty impressive. He doesn't hit for power. Even his doubles total is very unimpressive. The fact that he's one of the top ten speaks volumes about the lack of depth at second. He has a long way to go to make it to the pros and he's going to be relying on his speed to get him there.

Players to watch - Travis Hanson - Called the best defensive infielder in the Saint Louis system by Baseball America, this 24 year old's bat is starting to come around in AA to the tune of .289/.363/.465...Eric Patterson - At 22 he's too old for high-A, but the speedy Cubs' infielder is hitting with a .339/.410/.494 line...Jeff Kippinger - The 25 year old already has 116 at bats as a Met and has shown a great ability to make contact with the ball striking out only 13 times this year in 255 AB's while hitting .337/.377/.455...Travis Denker - He's 19 and playing in low-A so he has quite a ways to go, but with a .293/.416/.502 line in 283 AB's he's going to be considered a big time prospect very soon.