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The Middle Infield Positions Have Regressed To What They Used To Be In The MLB Power Wise

Carlos Correa led all Shortstops with 22 HRs in 2015 - despite not being called up until early June. With how rare his power is at the position currently, this will be an automatic advantage for the Houston Astros for the next half - dozen years .

Carlos Correa led all Shortstops with 22 HRs in 2015 – despite not being called up until early June. With how rare his power is at the position currently, this will be an automatic advantage for the Houston Astros for the next half – dozen years. Brandon Crawford was the only other Shortstop to hit the 20 HR plateau in 2015.  The position has receded to what it used to be over 20 – 25 years ago when Cal Ripken was a rare player to hit for power at Short.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Onwer) 

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Part of going over the winter transactions wire for all players available in the league has taught me even more of what I had thought about the state of the MLB currently.

Since steroids have been removed practically from the game, Third Base, Short Stop and Second Baseman have seen their numbers plummet offensively.

You could also lump the First Baseman, Outfielders and Catchers to this list as well, however they still own the predominant amount of power hitters in the game.

So you have a need a Third Base this offseason…That is bad news for you because David Freese is the best available Free Agent on the market.

Kris Byrant, Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado have revitalized the hot corner in the last few years. Having said that, all the best players are all under contract and the ability to acquire them in Free Agency is very remote - as evidence that David Freese is the best available player at the position on the open market.

Kris Byrant, Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado have revitalized the hot corner in the last few years. Having said that, all the best players are all under contract and the ability to acquire them in Free Agency is very remote – as evidence that David Freese is the best available player at the position on the open market.

How about SS?  You will likely overpay for the services of Ian Desmond, and what kind of player/fielder will come off in Asdrubal Cabrera.  Veterans Jimmy Rollins and Alexei Ramirez will probably cost too much and not provide that kind of value in return.

This was a reason why I gave Angels new GM Billy Eppler praise for acquiring Andrelton Simmons last week – despite the fact he is to receive $53 MIL over the next five seasons.

Granted there are a few good players at 2B available in Ben Zobrist, Daniel Murphy and Howie Kendrick at 2B.  But other than Murphy’s incredible 2015 NLDS and NLCS, these guys don’t generally club the baseball out of the yard.

There are still elite power hitting players at the Second Base Bag with Robinson Cano, and Brian Dozier has been awesome in the last two years.

Did you know that those two gentlemen were the only two to go yard 20+ times in the Majors at the position last year? It was the second straight year like that with Dozier and Neil Walker only accomplishing the feat in 2014 as well – tying with 23 HRs each.

For the past decade, this amount has been rapidly dwindling.  6 – 7 years ago there were guys who routinely clubbed 30+ HRs at the position like Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips, Aaron Hill and Cano.

Third Base does have its stars at the position like Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado, while Todd Frazier is coming off two big power seasons as well.

The hot corner also has stalwart young studs like Kris Bryant, Manny Machado and Kyle Seager  to dominate the league for the next 10 years.  Plus there are several great veterans like Matt Carpenter, Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria to throw out there too.

Point being, there is a reason why clubs love to pick up a guy like Juan Uribe every year.  It is because the Third Base position as a whole is in total scarcity.  It was a why a player like Pablo Sandoval was so handsomely paid in the last off season.

There were also only two Shortstops that had over 20 HRs, and they were Brandon Crawford, and AL Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa, who led all of the MLB with big flies at the position with 22 – even though he wasn’t even called up until June.

Troy Tulowiztki should hit more than 20+ HRs every year – but he always struggles to stay healthy.

Guys that were mashing 20+ HRs on a regular basis before were also Hanley Ramirez, who has recently switched to the Outfield and now First Base, and also J.J. Hardy had an abysmal last few years for power after routinely punching out 20+ HRs into the seats before that.

Off on a tangent here, but in 2006, a SS for the Brewers named Bill Hall clubbed 35 HRs to led the league for the position.

We don’t see guys like Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Jeter playing at an MVP caliber clip from the position.  Jimmy Rollins also snuck out an MVP in 2007.  He was the last SS to win the award in the NL.

A-Rod was the last American League Shortstop to win the award.

Positional HR leaders in 2015 for the MLB

C – Brian McCann, NYY – 26

1B – Chris Davis, BAL – 47

2B – Brian Dozier, MIN – 28

SS – Carlos Correa, HOU – 22

3B – Nolan Arenado, COL – 42

DH – David Ortiz, BOS – 37 (Nelson Cruz did have 44 HRs but spent lots of time in the OF).

CF – Mike Trout, LAA – 41

LF – Yoenis Cespedes, DET – NYM:  35

RF – Nelson Cruz, SEA – 44

OF – Nelson Cruz, SEA – 44

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly's, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly’s, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

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Posted on November 18, 2015, in HRs, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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