Ranking the New York Mets Second Basemen of the Last 20 Seasons

The New York Mets had a steady rotation of second basemen over the last 20 seasons. One common theme is their second basemen tend to carry the team during the postseason. Our first two names on the list exemplify postseason excellence the best.

1. Daniel Murphy (2008-15)

Daniel Murphy put together one of the greatest postseasons in baseball history. In 2015, he hit .421 with seven home runs, including homers in six consecutive games to lead the Mets to an NL Championship. Murphy did not play second base every day until 2012 and was raw at the position but turned himself into a very serviceable defender. He is third all-time on the Mets doubles list with 228.

2. Edgardo Alfonzo (1995-2002)

Edgardo Alfonzo spent the earlier part of his career at third base but moved over to second when Robin Ventura arrived in 1999 and stayed there until 2001. During that period, he hit .293/.381/.487 and averaged 23 home runs and 34 doubles per season. Alfonzo added an All-Star appearance, four postseason home runs, and only made 22 errors during those three seasons.

3. Jeff McNeil (2018-19)

Jeff McNeil settled in at second base during his rookie season in 2018, but the acquisition of Robinson Cano made him a utility guy in 2019. As a second baseman, he is hitting .323 with nine home runs, 19 doubles, and six triples. When baseball starts again, he will likely play a majority of third base.

4. Neil Walker (2016-17)

Neil Walker had the tall task of replacing Daniel Murphy and played great. The only problem came with Murphy’s power surge with the Washington Nationals over shadowed Walker’s greatness. He batted .275/.344/.462 with 33 home runs in 186 games in Flushing.

5. Jose Valentin (2006-07)

Jose Valentin earned his ranking based on his revival season of 2006. The 36-year old veteran batted .170 the year prior and took the job away from Kazuo Matsui. Valentin batted .271 with 18 home runs and 62 runs batted in to stabilize the bottom of the Mets order.

6. Luis Castillo (2007-10)

Unfortunately, Mets fans will only remember Luis Castillo for his dropped pop-up against the New York Yankees. He batted .274 with 55 stolen bases and still played Gold Glove defense at second base. Castillo only made 21 errors over 365 games.

7. Robinson Cano (2019)

The Mets took a significant risk in bringing in Robinson Cano, and he played just okay during his first season with the Mets. It was a tale of two seasons for Cano; he hit .240/.287/.360 with only four home runs during the first half of the season. Cano returned to his hall of fame form in the second half batting .284/.339/.541 with nine home runs and could have done more damage if a hamstring injury did not slow him down.

8. Roberto Alomar (2002-03)

Roberto Alomar seemed like a safer risk than Cano, but Alomar never produced as a Met. Like Cano, he only played okay but never put up his All-Star caliber numbers. Alomar’s .265 average was the lowest he had with any team he played with for at least 200 games.

9. Ruben Tejada (2010-15, 19) 

Before primarily playing shortstop, Ruben Tejada spent the first two seasons of his career playing second base. Never known for his power, he slashed .256/.338/.314 with only one home run but had 27 doubles in 174 games.

10. Kazuo Matsui (2004-06)

Kazuo Matsui was the definition of disappointment after coming with so much hype that Jose Reyes had to play second base in 2004. While the Yankees struck gold with a different Matsui, the Mets got one decent season in 2004 with Kazuo, but he was playing shortstop in all but three games. He hit .274 with 32 doubles during his rookie season but failed to keep himself on the field during the following two. Matsui ended up with the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Eli Marrero.

New York Yankees: Can Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar avoid the “sophomore slump”?

New York Yankees, Gleyber Toress, Miguel Andujar

In 2018, New York Yankees youth products Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar burst out into the scene in New York with Tyler Wade struggling and newly acquired Brandon Drury injured.

Once they came, they made immediate impacts including multiple¬†walk-off hits and big home-runs. Both players had WAR’s over 2.0. Many baseball fans always worry about the dreaded “sophomore slump” that many players go through after a successful first season in the big leagues.

With Didi Gregorius out with an injury, the Yankees are relying on Torres and Andujar to pick up the slack on both the offensive and defensive end.

So many extra-base hits for the Yankees:

Combined between Torres and Andujar, the two had a total of 95 extra-base hits last season. Miguel Andujar brought more power between the two, but Torres could put one out or get a double when he needed to.  In 2018, Andujar tied the record for most doubles by a rookie in the American League with 47.

As he continued to go through the season, people began to compare him to Manny Machado who early in his career had a lot of doubles, and as he developed he turned them into home runs.

Machado had 51 doubles in his first full season. His first time up was long enough to count him as a rookie, so if he was a rookie in 2013 when he had all of those doubles, Andujar wouldn’t have a share of the rookie record. The Yankees are hoping that Andujar put enough muscle onto his body this winter to do the same thing Machado did with his hitting.

Fielding was a weakness:

Once the end of last season rolled around, Andujar had the worst third base fielding in the MLB, with his fielding percentage less than 95 percent. His glove wasn’t the issue, most of the mistakes he made were just throwing and judgment errors, including his baseball IQ. Andujar has been working hard during the winter to improve his fielding so he can continue to have a starting spot.

Last year at times, Andujar would be removed late from the game and replaced with Neil Walker or Ronald Torreyes. With both players gone, he doesn’t have much of a backup, DJ LeMahieu being the most likely.

Torres’ fielding percentage was just a hair over 96 percent, with his shortstop fielding percentage under 93 percent. That number is slightly concerning, as he likely could be the opening day shortstop with LeMahieu at second. The hype on Torres was his strong defense, and he did make several great plays last season but booted some of the easier ones.

Poor play on defense sometimes leads a player to have poor hitting, and if their poor defense continues in 2019, they may have some trouble at-bat. They need to keep that same mindset at the plate, and more strength may lead to more home runs. Hopefully, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres can avoid the “sophomore slump” in 2019 and make an impact on both sides of the ball.

New York Yankees: Was Luke Voit A One Hit Wonder Or Is He A Gem?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

On July 28th, 2018, the New York Yankees acquired first baseman Luke Voit in a deal that sent LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP Giovanny Gallegos to the St. Louis Cardinals.

This trade made Yankees fans extremely happy, but not because of Voit. Chasen Shreve had been with the Yankees since 2015, and overall pitched poorly and Brian Cashman could not move him to the minors due to him being out of minor league options.

There was hope for fans that Shreve would be DFA’d or traded, and that finally happened. Shreve had an ERA of 4.26 in 2018, and in 2016 had an ERA of over five. He wasn’t working out and traded him just to get rid of him because he really had no spot and the same as Voit with St.Louis.

Finally getting a chance with the New York Yankees:

In 2017, Luke Voit appeared in 62 games for the Cardinals 28 hits, 18 RBI, and 4 HR. That would translate of a major league average of .246 that year.

In 2018, he started the season with the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA affiliate of Cardinals. He bounced up-and-down from the MLB to AAA a lot that season, not really able to get comfortable and batting for the Cardinals, but .299 for the Redbirds.

Once he was traded to NYY, he was assigned to the Scranton/Wikes-Barre Railriders and continued to rake, batting .310. With Greg Bird continuing to struggle and injuries still an issue, Voit was called up and made an immediate impact for the Yankees.

Once Voit was called up, he went right to work and took Greg Bird’s spot away. Bird was playing extremely poor, making errors and batting a terrible .199 over 82 games.

The more Voit played, the better he played. He hit a whopping .333, had an OBP of .405, and his slugging was through the roof at .689. In 39 games, he amassed 14 HR and 33 RBI. Also must note, the home-runs he was getting weren’t really with much help of the short porches down the lines of Yankee Stadium, he was hitting Aaron Judge like home-runs that were no-doubters.

He would only really sit when there was a match-up with an RHP that Aaron Boone didn’t like, so Bird or new Miami Marlin Neil Walker would start.

Other options still exist:

Though Voit had that instant success with the Yankees in 2018, many still wonder if he is the man in 2019 at first base. A lot of players have historically struggled in their sophomore season, and could he be the next?

Neil Walker signing with Miami obviously takes away any thought of him returning in 2019 to play first. DJ Lemahieu has signed for the next two seasons to be a utility player, and though he hasn’t played a lot of first base recently, he could still be an option.

Obviously, the Yankees still have Greg Bird, but it seems that he has played worse as more time goes on. Miguel Andujar could possibly play first, but that likely won’t happen unless the Yankees sign Machado. Entering the offseason, the Yankees were shopping a first baseman, expressing serious in then Arizona Diamondback Paul Goldschmit, now being traded to Voit’s previous home, St. Louis.

Several men have the opportunity to win the first base job in Spring, but will it be Voit? If it is Voit, will he have the same success? Only time can find out.

New York Yankees: Neil Walker Signs With Marlins Despite Return Rumors

New York Yankees utility man Neil Walker has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins, for two million dollars. Entering this off-season, there became a lot of talks about the Yankees possibly resigning him for another year.

Before the Yankees got Troy Tulowitzki and had announced they had serious interest in Manny Machado, Walker may have been an option to start the season at second base while Gleyber Torres shifted to Shortstop to fill the shoes of the injured Didi Gregorious.

Yankees’ Walker 2018 performance:

In 2018, Neil Walker had statistically his worse season after getting off to a dreadful start, before finally picking it up just before the all-star break. He hit .219. had an OBP of .309, and had a slugging percentage of .354, all career lows. Though he did have several clutch hits to start rallies and a couple walk-offs.

He wasn’t able to really get it going until he saw more of a role with the team. He first saw an everyday role when Gleyber Torres saw DL time in July, then playing some RF when Aaron Judge was injured and Giancarlo Stanton needed to rest or DH to nurse hamstring tightness.

Walker had previously not seen OF action, but needed to when the team was in a ‘next man up mentality’. He also learned how to play third base after Brandon Drury had gone down with an early season injury, and knowing that they may need help on defense with Andujar having fielding skills that need development.

How he will impact the Marlins

Walker will serve as a veteran in another utility role in Miami, but most likely playing more first base. Ex-Yankees Starlin Castro and Martin Prado occupy second base and third base, and the most support will be needed at first base.

The Marlins no longer have a true first baseman after they traded Justin Bour to Philadelphia, now signing with the Los Angeles Angels. The Marlins have a very young, underdeveloped team that needs veteran support and all-around depth. I know that Walker would much rather play for a contender, but this is a good fit for him.

New York Yankees: The Ellsbury Effect

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

With the start of the Major League regular season a week away, the New York Yankees have a decision that needs to be made:

Who is making the roster to replace the oft injured Jacoby Ellsbury? Jacoby was at one time and six hours North of the Bronx a very productive Major League ballplayer. However, throughout his time in the pinstripes, Ellsbury has been less than a shell of his former self.

Ellsbury has played for the Yankees across four seasons, in that time he has only managed to have one season above “replacement level” production (2014), according to Baseball Reference’s OPS+. 2014 was Jacoby’s first season in the Bronx and his last truly productive season.

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Now, with Ellsbury set to begin the season on the shelf, this opens up a spot on the 25-man roster to “Break Camp” with the team heading North. Manager Aaron Boone told members of the media that Tyler Wade has made the ball club. Many believe that he will be the starting second baseman on Opening Day in Toronto on March 29th.


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The Yankees current roster consists of:

Catchers: Gary Sanchez & Austin Romine
First Baseman: Greg Bird
Second Basemen: Tyler Wade & Neil Walker
Third Baseman: Brandon Drury
Shortstop: Didi Gregorius & Ronald Torreyes
Left Fielder: Brett Gardner
Center Fielder: Aaron Hicks
Right Fielders: Aaron Judge & Giancarlo Stanton
Starting Pitcher: Luis Severino, Mashiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray & Jordan Montgomery
Relief Pitchers: David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, Adam Warren & Chasen Shreve
Closer: Aroldis Chapman

Who Gets A Shot ?

That gives you 24 out of 25 players to start out the 2018 season for the New York Yankees. The injury to Ellsbury leaves an opening. Some who have thought that it could have been someone like Tyler Austin who was having a tremendous Spring, but he was reassigned back to Minor League camp on March 21st before the Yankees game against the Orioles. This however does leave the opening for the starter in the same game…. Luis Cessa.

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Cessa has been up and down for the Yankees since his acquisition by the Yankees in December of 2015. Cessa has pitched 106 innings for the Yankees to the tune of a 4.49 era. Luis will have an opportunity to show what he has earlier in the season as the Yankees will have five straight games to open up the start of the regular season.

The injury to Ellsbury could have been the golden ticket to the Bronx for a premium talent like Clint Frazier, however, they both went down at similar times and have stayed out recovering. Clint won’t be getting that opportunity.

This season will be a defining point for Clint Frazier, as with the number of outfielders already on the Major League roster and an impending free agent who hasn’t been shy about stating his fandom for the Pinstripes looming. Frazier once healed up from his concussion must set the world by storm, if he has any hopes of staying in Pinstripes.

Lasting Impression:

Jacoby, much like Clint Frazier, has seen the writing on the wall. And while his contract is rather cumbersome, it’s not impossible to think GM Brian Cashman can sell his talents to another team and move his monetary obligations elsewhere.

Ellsbury’s injury will be a foreshadowing of the potential future the Yankees will have. If the first few weeks of the season pass and Ellsbury has not returned vying that 25th spot on the roster, he may be replaced by a rising prospect.

Jacoby Ellsbury will have a major effect on the Yankees success this season; when healthy he could be a productive fourth outfielder, if unhealthy his spot will provide the launching pad for the top prospects in the top sixth farm system in all of baseball.

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New York Yankees Player Preview: Neil Walker

The most recent off-season move for the New York Yankees is one that is terrific. Neil Walker is a nine year veteran, entering his tenth season and his first in pinstripes.

Walker was signed to a one year deal and will be competing for the Yankees starting second base job. The veteran is coming off a season in which he played for both the Mets and Brewers.

Walkers numbers last season, as per MLB.com:

.265 AVG, 14 HR, 49 RBI, .362 OBP, .439 SLG

What Walker brings to the Yankees:

He is a switch hitter who is a power threat. Walker hit a career high 23 home runs with the Mets in 2016, as per MLB.com. Playing in Yankee Stadium this season will be an advantage for him.

Walker can easily hit over 23 home runs in Yankee Stadium but, that is if he stays healthy. Walker has a history of back problems and he needs to maintain healthy to give the Yankees the type of productive year he want to.

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Walker is also a solid defender which is a plus given how he is a threat at the plate. Some second baseman’s are one dimensional and are good at either hitting or defense not usually both. Walker also provides the Yankees with depth at first, and third base.

Walker is a great addition that will add to the already stacked lineup the Yankees have. He is terrific person in the clubhouse to have around Tyler Wade, who will most likely make the team.

2nd Base Battle:

Brian Cashman has stated that the second base competition was still open even after the signing of Walker. Tyler Wade and Gleybor Torres were the favorites heading into spring to win the job. Torres was optioned to minor league camp on March 13, so he’s been taken out of the running for the job.

Wade has played fantastic this spring and will definitely make the team on Opening Day. Wade might win the starting job at second, but I think it is more likely that Wade will be the Yankees super utility player, like the Cubs have in Ben Zobrist.

My Opinion:

I expect Walker to get a majority of reps at second to start the season and I think he will have a very productive year in pinstripes. Walker will be a great veteran to have around the clubhouse.

ALERT: New York Yankees Signing Free Agent Neil Walker

It was announced this morning that the Yankees have agreed to a deal with free agent 2nd Baseman Neil Walker. The deal is a one year, $5 Million dollar deal, but is still pending a physical, according to MLB.com.

Walker’s Background:

Walker is an eight year veteran who has played for the Pirates, Mets and Brewers. The former Brewer has a career .272 AVG and has combined for 120 HR as, per MLB.com. He is a solid defender who will most likely be the opening day second baseman for the Yankees.

This is a good deal for the Yankees as it allows Torres to further develop in Triple A and gives them an extra year to control his destiny.

All in all, the deal is a win for the Yankees. They get a good defender at 2nd, and a player who can hit 20 HR’s per-season. This may not be the last deal of the off-season as the Yankees are still scouting the market for a starting pitcher.