2010 MLB Draft Preview: Second Basemen Lackluster, As Usual

Second base is traditionally one of the weaker positions in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Very few top second basemen at the Major League level were drafted at that position; instead, they typically move to second after playing shortstop at either the collegiate or high school levels. Rickie Weeks, taken second overall in the 2003 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, is the recent exception.

This year is no different. One player has taken a step forward this spring to become a likely first-rounder in Kolbrin Vitek, but he's equally likely to move to center field or third base in the future as he is to stay at second.

Behind Vitek is a quality player, Jedd Gyorko, who is currently a shortstop, but has absolutely no chance of staying there as pro.

Finally, three more collegiate second basemen round out the group, which is typical, as most high school middle infield prospects play on the other side of second base.

These five players are solid contributors, and they should go within the first 10 rounds.

Kolbrin Vitek  

School: Ball State   State: IN   Year: Jr.   Height: 6-3   Weight: 195

Bats: R   Throws: R   Birth Date: 4/1/89   Last Drafted: Never

Year

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

2008

34

128

28

39

4

3

5

24

3

1

14

20

.305

.388

.500

2009

50

208

57

81

25

4

13

67

17

9

28

34

.389

.473

.736

2010

56

223

71

82

20

3

17

68

16

4

32

36

.368

.452

.713


Kolbrin Vitek was known equally as a pitcher and hitter coming into this spring, but his tools took him to another level; scouts have focused in on him as a hitter with good athleticism. He's played extensively at both third and second base in his career, and he's at second base this year in order to keep his arm rested enough to pitch, as he's still Ball State's best starter. Scouts think he will work best in center field due to his athleticism and lack of aptitude in the infield, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that he stays at second base in the long-term.

Vitek's tools are the most well-rounded of the available second baseman. He's an above-average hitter with above-average raw power, and he's a plus straight-line runner. While his hands and footwork at second base leave something to be desired, his quickness allows him to have adequate range to handle the position well. His arm is an obvious plus, and he can touch 93 on the mound. That's more of a left side of the infield arm, and if he profiled for a little more power and better hands, he'd be thought of purely as a third baseman. Center field might be his long-term home, but he's going to need to learn routes on the fly. He should go off the board somewhere in the middle third of the first round.

Jedd Gyorko  

School: West Virginia   State: WV   Year: Jr.   Height: 5-10   Weight: 195

Bats: R   Throws: R   Birth Date: 9/23/88   Last Drafted: Never

Year

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

2008

56

232

62

95

17

3

8

63

4

3

17

26

.409

.450

.612

2009

55

228

74

96

28

1

8

58

1

1

32

25

.421

.492

.658

2010

56

232

71

88

26

1

19

56

1

2

42

23

.379

.470

.746


Jedd Gyorko is currently a shortstop, but the odds are that he'll end up at either second or third base as a pro. He lacks the offensive profile for third base, so even though his range at second would likely be below-average, he fits best there. Gyorko wasn't a highly recruited player coming out of high school, but after three prolific offensive seasons, he's leaving West Virginia as one of the more heralded players to go through the program. He gets plenty of negative comments about his body and his glove, he's likely to be a productive Major League hitter.

Gyorko features an above-average to plus hit tool, and he could be a .300 hitter at the Major League level due to his sound approach, which means hitting the ball where it's pitched. He's extremely patient and works pitchers, and he's difficult to strike out. His power is only average, but he's not cheated on pitches to drive, and he could turn out to have a similar offensive profile to Rangers third baseman Michael Young. He's a below-average runner and has below-average range defensively, but he has an average arm that could play well at second base. He will need to continuously work on his defense to be good enough to warrant a spot, but as a hig- makeup player, he's expected to be a solid starter. He should be off the board in the supplemental first round or the second round.

Chris Bisson  

School: Kentucky   State: KY   Year: Jr.   Height: 5-11   Weight: 185

Bats: L   Throws: R   Birth Date: 8/14/89   Last Drafted: Never

Year

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

2008

27

51

9

8

3

0

0

4

3

3

8

11

.157

.271

.216

2009

53

222

49

80

9

3

2

52

13

2

20

28

.360

.417

.455

2010

51

210

43

69

12

1

5

35

32

7

28

33

.329

.416

.467


Chris Bisson is a Canadian prospect that only moved over to second base this spring to accommodate a better defensive shortstop in teammate Taylor Black. Bisson sat on the bench as a part-time player during his freshman year, but he was a breath of fresh air with his hard-nosed play for the Wildcats as a sophomore in 2009. After leading the Cape Cod League in steals last summer, he was expected to step up even more as a junior. However, he's basically stagnated due to an offensive approach that is questionable. Instead of letting his plus speed play out, he's tried to drive the ball in the air too much, causing a decline in his batting average and only minimal returns on his actual production. However, he remains a solid prospect, and with some tweaking, he could be a solid contributor as a pro.

His tools rely on the plus speed mentioned above. He causes havoc on the basepaths, and he's made big strides in reading pitchers over the last 12 months. He's a hard worker with an aptitude for learning, and even though his hit tool is average and he has very little raw power, he's going to be productive enough offensively to squeeze out a starting spot on a number of teams. Defensively, he has above-average range for the position, but a fringe-average arm limits him to the right side of the infield for the foreseeable future. He could return to shortstop in a pinch if needed, but that doesn't use his natural tools as effectively as second base does. He could be off the board as early as the third round and shouldn't last into the sixth round.

Phil Gosselin  

School: Virginia   State: VA   Year: Jr.   Height: 6-1   Weight: 185

Bats: R   Throws: R   Birth Date: 10/3/88   Last Drafted: Never

Year

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

2008

40

141

21

43

10

1

2

20

6

2

14

31

.305

.391

.433

2009

65

255

54

79

18

3

6

64

24

3

37

43

.310

.405

.475

2010

55

226

58

87

21

4

8

50

16

3

34

39

.385

.465

.619


Phil Gosselin has split time between second and left field for one of the best college teams in the country at Virginia. Thus, scouts are fairly split on whether he profiles better in left or at second, but there is some consensus that it's at least worth a shot to see if he can handle second at the next level. As you can tell from his stats, he's had a breakout season of sorts, showing exceptional ability to hit the ball hard to all parts of the ballpark. He is the definition of a doubles hitter with enough power to keep pitchers honest, and he's going to be productive with the stick as a pro.

Gosselin's overall tools don't necessarily stack up well compared to some of his peers. As somewhat of a professional hitter without a true defensive home, he's flashed an above-average hit tool with fringe-average raw power, and he's going to make pitchers work. A lot of his strikeouts are a function of how many pitches he takes, and he's going to be an asset in a major league lineup as a number two hitter. He's an average runner underway, but an above-average baserunner and he reads pitchers well. Defensively, his range is a little below-average up the middle, but his arm is average and good enough for second. He's played shortstop before, as well, and if anything, he's as steady as they come with the glove. He should go somewhere in the range of the fourth to sixth round.

Ross Wilson  

School: Alabama   State: AL   Year: Jr.   Height: 5-11   Weight: 185

Bats: R   Throws: R   Birth Date: 11/9/88   Last Drafted: 2007 (SD-35)

Year

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

2008

62

258

60

76

11

4

15

47

9

4

21

47

.295

.355

.543

2009

55

215

59

76

15

2

9

47

8

4

35

38

.353

.456

.567

2010

51

194

35

47

5

2

7

38

4

2

33

45

.242

.362

.397


Ross Wilson burst onto the national scene as a freshman at Alabama, having one of the best freshman seasons offensively in recent SEC memory. After improving upon that as a sophomore, he's taken a major step back as a junior, and his draft stock has predictably plummeted. Wilson is notable for his background, as he was a notable high school quarterback and is the brother of former Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson, but he chose baseball as his sport because of his natural tools. Despite going backwards this spring, he still has solid tools and could make a pro career out of baseball.

Wilson's tools are mainly centered on his bat and legs. When he's reading pitchers right, he has an above-average hit tool with average raw power, a nice bonus from a middle infielder. He's also an above-average runner, but he struggles to turn that speed into on-field production. He's raw in the baserunning aspect of the game, and he's been pressing a little too much this spring. Defensively, he has above-average range at second and a solid-average arm, and he could be the complete package if he snaps out of his season-long funk. He's dropped his stock somewhere into the sixth to 10th round range, but if he's signable, a team could get a steal if Wilson turns it back around.

Previous positions broken down by MLB Bonus Baby's Andy Seiler:

Catcher, led by top prospect and projected No. 1 pick Bryce Harper

First Base, featuring power-hitting former Red Sox draft pick Hunter Morris

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