Loading scores...
Prospect - Premium

Prospect Positional: 2B

by Matthew Foreman
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

This week’s Prospect Positional will cover second baseman, a position in which have been three more graduations, one position switch in (and another position switch out), and the potential for another high-profile promotion in the short term.

 

Note: All statistics are current through Sunday, June 29.

 

Updated top-12

 

Updated May 12 Pre-Season Name MLB Team MiLB Team
1 7 10 Arismendy Alcantara Cubs Iowa (AAA)
2 4 N/R Jose Peraza Braves Mississippi (AA)
3 Bubble N/R Devon Travis Tigers Erie (AA)
4 N/R 5 Wilmer Flores Mets Las Vegas (AAA)
5 6 N/R Micah Johnson White Sox Charlotte (AAA)
6 3 2 Alex Guerrero Dodgers Albuquerque (AAA)
7 10 4 Alen Hanson Pirates Altoona (AA)
8 11 11 Dilson Herrera Mets Binghamton (AA)
9 Bubble N/R Wendell Rijo Red Sox Greenville (Low-A)
10 N/R N/R Cheslor Cuthbert Royals Northwest Arkansas (AA)
11 N/R N/R Ryan Brett Rays Montgomery (AA)
12 12 12 Cory Spangenberg Padres San Antonio (AA)

 

Graduates

 

May 12 Pre-Season Name MLB Team MiLB Team
1 3 Mookie Betts Red Sox N/A
2 1 Kolten Wong Cardinals N/A
5 N/R Jorge Polanco Twins N/A
8 8 Delino DeShields Astros Corpus Christi (AA)
9 N/R Tommy La Stella Braves N/A

 

Mookie Betts was promoted to the major leagues after hitting.355/.443/.551 for Double-A Portland, and.322/.425/.444 for Triple-A Pawtucket.  If he hits, he could take over from Jackie Bradley, Jr. in the event Shane Victorino is able to get healthy enough to return.  In the short term, he should be owned in all but the shallowest formats.

 

Kolten Wong’s .228/.282/.304 line led to rumors that the Cardinals were trying to make a move to replace him before he went on the disabled list with an injury to his left shoulder.  He lacks star projection, but it is surprising how poorly he has hit.

 

Jorge Polanco was hitting .289/.363/.404 for the Fort Myers Miracle of the High-A Florida State League when the Twins called him up to the major leagues.  Polanco’s role appears to be as a pinch hitter and backup shortstop, and he will likely fill this role until Danny Santana returns.

 

Delino DeShields has become a fulltime outfielder, and is unlikely to return to the infield.  His prospect status is in question, as he has hit .241/.339/.345 for Double-A Corpus Christi for the season.

 

Tommy La Stella was hitting .293/.384/.359 through 47 games with Triple-A Gwinnett when he was called up and installed as Atlanta’s primary second baseman.  He is hitting .278/.347/.352 with 12 walks and ten strikeouts through 30 games.

 

Small sample size

 

Updated May 12 Pre-Season Name MLB Team MiLB Team
4 N/R 5 Wilmer Flores Mets Las Vegas (AAA)
6 3 2 Alex Guerrero Dodgers Albuquerque (AAA)
12 12 12 Cory Spangenberg Padres San Antonio (AA)

 

Wilmer Flores was hitting .307/.360/.500 with Triple-A Las Vegas when the Mets called him up to split time at shortstop.  Flores hit .225/.253/.300 over 25 games, which is hauntingly close to his .211/.248/.295 line with the Mets in 2013.  He was sent back down to Triple-A Las Vegas, and should be back in the major leagues later this year.

 

Alex Guerrero was hitting a superb .376/.417/.735 when he got into a fight with then-teammate Miguel Olivo, who bit off part of Guerrero’s ear.  Guerrero missed five weeks and recently returned to Triple-A Albuquerque.  The suddenly solid Dee Gordon blocks him, though he could see time in the majors if there is an injury or Gordon struggles.

 

Cory Spangenberg returned last week from the disabled list due to concussion-like symptoms, playing a few games with the Padres’ rookie-level team in Arizona before being promoted to Short Season-A Eugene.  He was hitting just .271/.300/.354 with Double-A San Antonio before going on the DL. Spangenberg has struggled to live up to his lofty draft position since hitting .316/.419/.418 across two levels in 2011.

 

Superb performance

 

Updated May 12 Pre-Season Name MLB Team MiLB Team
1 7 10 Arismendy Alcantara Cubs Iowa (AAA)
2 4 N/R Jose Peraza Braves Mississippi (AA)
8 11 11 Dilson Herrera Mets Binghamton (AA)

 

Arismendy Alcantara is hitting .305/.346/.547 with 22 doubles, ten triples and ten home runs through 79 games with Triple-A Iowa.  While there has been a lot of talk of Javier Baez shifting to second base, Alcantara has been the nearly exclusive second baseman in Iowa.  Alcantara has an offensive skillset similar to Angel Pagan, and could hit .280 with 15 home runs and 20-plus stolen bases.  He could be up in Chicago soon, which could cause a domino effect with the defensive positioning of other prospects.

 

After hitting .342/.365/.454 with High-A Lynchburg, Jose Peraza was promoted to Double-A Mississippi, where he seems to like more advanced pitching even better, hitting .400/.438/.533 over his first ten games in the Southern League.  Peraza lacks the upside of many other players on this list, but he could hit .280 with 30-plus stolen bases and gold glove-caliber defense.  Tommy La Stella needs to keep hitting, because his time as the starter in Atlanta could be numbered.

 

Dilson Herrera hit .307/.355/.410 over 67 games with High-A St. Lucie before being promoted to Double-A Binghamton, where he has continued to impress, hitting .366/.409/.512 with three doubles and a home run over his first ten games. Additionally, Herrera played shortstop in roughly one-third of his games with St. Lucie and two-thirds of his games with Binghamton.  He projects as a .300 hitter with 10-plus home runs and 25 doubles, and could be in the major leagues as soon as mid-2015.

 

Holding serve

 

Updated May 12 Pre-Season Name MLB Team MiLB Team
3 Bubble N/R Devon Travis Tigers Erie (AA)
5 6 N/R Micah Johnson White Sox Charlotte (AAA)
7 10 4 Alen Hanson Pirates Altoona (AA)
9 Bubble N/R Wendell Rijo Red Sox Greenville (Low-A)
10 N/R N/R Cheslor Cuthbert Royals Northwest Arkansas (AA)
11 N/R N/R Ryan Brett Rays Montgomery (AA)

 

Devon Travis has played well in his return from a strained pectoral muscle, putting up a .273/.315/.455 line with 10 doubles, four triples and four home runs in 41 games with Double-A Erie. Travis lacks elite upside, but he could be a solid second baseman who hits .280 with 20-plus doubles.

 

Micah Johnson hit .329/.414/.466 with Double-A Birmingham before he was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte, where he has continued to produce, hitting .281/.315/.372 through 28 games.  His strikeout rate has remained close to his Double-A rate, but he will need to either hit for a higher average or be more selective with pitches in order to increase his production.  Johnson has the talent to hit .280 with 20-plus doubles and 30-plus stolen bases.

 

Alen Hanson has hit .264/.299/.420 for Double-A Altoona, which is only marginally better than his .255/.299/.380 line for Double-A Altoona during 35 games in 2013.  The switch-hitting Hanson has hit .249/.289/.411 while batting lefty and .296/.320/.439 while hitting right-handed.  While some batters stop switch-hitting in the minor leagues, it is unlikely that the 21-year old Hanson will make such a change any time soon.  He has the talent to hit .300 with 30-plus stolen bases, but is likely a full season away from reaching the major leagues, if not more.

 

Wendell Rijo started 2014 well, hitting .309/.440/.471 in April, but has hit just .241/.302/.352 in May and June, including 47 strikeouts in 179 plate appearances (26.3%).  Rijo is an 18-year old in a full-season league, and the fact that he has not been completely overmatched by much older and more experienced competition is a great sign.  He has the potential to hit .300 with 30-plus doubles and good defense.

 

Cheslor Cuthbert is on this list despite having played zero games at second base as a professional.  He played third base until Hunter Dozier was promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he was shifted to first base.  His move to first base is temporary, as he will be moved to second base within the next week.  Cuthbert has the raw power to hit 20-plus home runs in the major leagues, but he may struggle to hit .270.

 

In August 2012, Ryan Brett was suspended for 50 games for taking Adderall, a banned stimulant that is commonly prescribed for attention deficit disorder.  After serving his suspension, he lit up the Florida State League, hitting .340/.396/.490 over 51 games before being promoted to Double-A Montgomery, where he struggled, hitting .238/.289/.400 over the last 25 games of the 2013 season.  Brett has lit up the Southern League in his return to Montgomery, hitting .297/.347/.445 with 16 doubles, four triples and five home runs in 69 games.  Brett has the talent to hit .300 while stealing 30 bases and playing good defense at second base.

 

On the Bubble (listed alphabetically)

 

Updated May 12 Pre-Season Name MLB Team MiLB Team
Bubble N/R N/R Taylor Lindsey Angels Salt Lake (AAA)
Bubble Bubble N/R Kean Wong Rays Bowling Green (Low-A)

 

The 22-year old Taylor Lindsey has struggled in his first exposure to Triple-A pitching, hitting just .233/.321/.380 with 11 doubles, two triples and seven home runs through 62 games.  He projects as a .300 hitter who hits 5-10 home runs and 25-plus doubles while playing a passable second base.

 

Kean Wong, the younger brother of Cardinals second baseman Kolten, is a remarkably similar player.  The 19-year old Wong has hit well for the season, hitting .320/.361/.375, and has done well hitting against lefties (.304/.319/.370) and righties (.324/.369/.377).  He is at least three full seasons away from the major leagues, but could turn into a .300 hitter with 20-plus doubles and a handful of home runs.

Matthew Foreman
Matthew Foreman is a baseball prospect writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter.