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Second Base

March 20, 2006
March 20, 2006

Table of Contents
March 20, 2006

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Second Base

The top of the list is stacked, but after the first six there are questions

By Rankings compiled by David Sabino

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

This is an article from the March 20, 2006 issue Original Layout

   Avg.HRRBIRunsSB 
1.NLAlfonso Soriano, Nationals.2683610410230No other middle infielder blends power and speed as well as he does.
2.NLChase Utley, Phillies.291281059316 
3.NLJeff Kent, Dodgers.289291051006 
4.ALJorge Cantu, Devil Rays.28628117731 
5.NLRickie Weeks, Brewers.23913425615 
6.NLMarcus Giles, Braves.291156310416 
7.ALBrian Roberts, Orioles.31418739227Biggest surprise of '05 missed the end of the season with a dislocated leftelbow and may not be ready by Opening Day.
8.ALTadahito Iguchi, White Sox.27815717415 
9.NLRyan Freel, Reds.2714216936 
10.NLCraig Biggio, Astros.26426699411Returned to second base last season and finished with a career high in homeruns.
11.ALMark Loretta, Red Sox.280338548 
12.ALMark Ellis, A's.3161352761 
13.ALRobinson Cano, Yankees.2971462781 
14.NLOrlando Hudson, Diamondbacks.2711063627Having escaped the Blue Jays and their conservative ways on the base paths,he's poised for a breakout year in steals.
15.NLJose Vidro, Nationals.275732380 
16.ALPlacido Polanco, Tigers.331956844 
17.NLRay Durham, Giants.2901262676 
18.ALRonnie Belliard, Indians.2841778712 
19.NLTodd Walker, Cubs.3051240501 
20.NLLuis A. Gonzalez, Rockies.292944513 
21.ALAaron Hill, Blue Jays.274340492 
22.ALAdam Kennedy, Angels.3002374919Coming off a solid season, but L.A. is stacked with high-powered younginfielders who could cut into his playing time.
23.ALMark Grudzielanek, Royals.294859648 
24.NLDan Uggla, Marlins (Double A stats).29721878815 
25.ALLuis Castillo, Twins.3014307210 
26.ALJose Lopez, Mariners.247225184 
27.ALIan Kinsler, Rangers (Triple A stats).274239410219 
28.NLJunior Spivey, Cardinals.232724379St. Louis's latest reclamation project at second base won't hit 20 homersor steal 20 bases, but he's a decent end-of-the-draft pickup.
29.NLKazuo Matsui, Mets.255324316 
30.NLJose Castillo, Pirates.2681153492 


SPOTLIGHT

Jorge Cantu

You weren't theonly one who didn't see Cantu's breakout season coming. Before hitting 28 homeruns and driving in a Devil Rays--record 117 runs in 2005, he was slow todevelop a power stroke. In two full Double A seasons ('01 and '02) he hit sevenhome runs in 1,024 at bats and had only seven more the next year, includingfour at Triple A. Cantu has never received the attention of ballyhooed TampaBay prospects such as Delmon Young and B.J. Upton, and in a 50-game stint inthe majors in '04 he didn't turn heads (two homers, 17 RBIs). But Cantu, 24, isthe real deal, a free swinger who is lightning quick on inside pitches. Once hebecomes more selective at the plate and settles at one position (he played 62games at third in '05 but enters this year as the every-day second baseman), heshould put up even bigger numbers.

DEEP SLEEPERS

ANDERSONHERNANDEZ, Mets Bret Boone retired, and Kazuo Matsui will be traded the secondNew York finds a taker, leaving this 23-year-old, who had 35 steals in theminors last season, with the job.

DONNIE MURPHY,Royals He came to camp looking ready to earn an every-day spot. If MarkGrudzielanek is traded, Murphy, who hit .313 with 10 homers in 214 Double A atbats last season, would get a look.

TONY WOMACK, RedsAfter a great 2004 in St. Louis, he fizzled with the Yankees last year. Yetthis 36-year-old still has blazing speed (53 steals over the last two seasons)and could become the starter.

PHOTOSEAN BRADY/WIREIMAGE.COM (CANTU)PHOTODOUG MURRAY/WIREIMAGE.COM (HERNANDEZ)