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Where does Jason Kipnis rank among AL Central second basemen?

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So far we have seen third base at the bottom and shortstop at the top of the AL Central rankings. How does Jason Kipnis rank amongst the other second basemen?

How does Jason Kipnis rank in the AL Central?
How does Jason Kipnis rank in the AL Central?
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

With Francisco Lindor rating out at the top of the division and Giovanny Urshela at the bottom, where will Jason Kipnis finish when comparing him to the other AL Central second basemen?  Let's review the projections for 2016.

Cleveland Indians

Jason Kipnis will be entering his fifth straight season as the starting second basemen for the Indians. He is signed through 2019 with a club option in 2020. He has had one of those on again, off again patterns so far. Unfortunately if the pattern holds, 2016 will be a down season. The backup will be Jose Ramirez once again.

Based on the LGT Top Prospect series, it appears Mark Mathias is the next in line but is still many years away. Claudio Batista is another name to keep an eye on.

Jason Kipnis

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

620

11

267

342

399

324

105

2.6

ZIPS

622

11

275

346

415

337

3.0

Marcel

509

11

275

347

418

Chicago White Sox

Brett Lawrie was obtained this past offseason for a pair of minor leaguers. I believe he was originally going to play third for the Sox until they made a deal for Todd Frazier. Lawrie has been steady, if not spectacular since his breakout rookie season. Leury Garcia will back up here. Carlos Sanchez will also be also available, but he has really struggled in his two chances so far.

Jake Peter is the likely top second basemen in the system, with a .260/.330/.348 line in High-A ball last year.

Brett Lawrie

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

473

16

256

309

422

317

98

1.4

ZIPS

509

15

255

310

406

313

2.0

Marcel

529

16

261

311

415

Detroit Tigers

Ian Kinsler has provided a decent glove and a pretty decent bat in his two years in Detroit. He is signed through 2017 with a team option in 2018. The projections have him slipping this year as he is entering his age 34 season. He will be backed up by Andrew Romine and Mike Aviles.

There isn't a prospect in the Top 30 for the Tigers in the MLB Pipeline. The hitter closest to the majors is likely Tony Thomas, but he was 28 in Double-A last year. The second baseman with the best numbers last year was Junnell Ledezma, down in Rookie ball.

Ian Kinsler

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

648

14

269

318

410

317

98

2.9

ZIPS

640

12

277

324

411

326

4.0

Marcel

610

13

276

323

415

Kansas City Royals

The Royals, by default, will be going with Omar Infante again this year. He is signed through 2107 with a team option in 2018. He hit pretty well in Detroit in 2013 but slumped badly in 2014. In 2015, he hit even worse, putting up a .220/.234/.318 slash last year for a pitiful 49 OPS+. If Ned Yost decides to bench him, they will likely go with Christian Colon.

I could see Raul Mondesi or another prospect moving over temporarily as the top rated prospect with a second base marking is Ramon Torres, who hit .264/.308/.354 between High-A and Double-A last season.

Omar Infante

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

330

4

253

284

352

277

71

0.1

ZIPS

488

5

253

278

354

275

0.0

Marcel

485

7

251

285

361

Minnesota Twins

Brian Dozier has the most power of all of the second basemen here. He is also signed to a team friendly deal through 2018. Although he has power, he does not get on base at a decent clip. The projections have him about the same as he enters his age 29 season. Both Eduardo Escobar and Eduardo Nunez can provide backup at this position.

There isn't a second baseman in the Top 30 MLB Pipeline, but I can see either Jorge Polanco or Nick Gordon switching over. The top guy in the system by OPS is Levi Michael, who played half a season in AA last year.

Brian Dozier

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

fWAR

Steamer

671

20

241

320

406

317

99

2.6

ZIPS

649

24

244

318

437

333

3.0

Marcel

623

22

241

320

431

My take

For this one, the choice is not easy. Do we take Kipnis because of the hometown bias? Do we take Dozier and all of his power but limited on base skills. Or do we go with the veteran Kinsler who has been very consistent?

I'll have to give Kipnis the nod, just because I think he can outperform both Kinsler and Dozier from an overall standpoint. And Infante definitely gets the bottom spot.

1. Kipnis

2. Kinsler

3. Dozier

4. Lawrie

5. Infante

Please post your rankings in the comments.

Previous Entries:

Third Base

Shortstop