Deep Dive: Free agent second basemen

Top of the class: Eric Sogard, with a 2.6 bWAR in 2019, is the best free agent second baseman available. (@EricSogard)


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position

Second base seems to be in good hands on the South Side for 2020, with 2018 first-rounder Nick Madrigal primed to take over the position. Also, Danny Mendick played well in September for the White Sox, while a decision’s yet to be made whether to offer Yolmer Sánchez salary arbitration. With that said, what are the team’s best options at second base if they decide to pursue one via free agency?

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Eric Sogard
Tampa Bay Rays
B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: 2.6
Stats: .290/.353/.457, 396 AB, 23 2B, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 8 SB, 38 BB, 63 K
Age: 33

Jonathan Schoop
Minnesota Twins
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 1.6
Stats: .256/.304/.473, 433 AB, 23 2B, 23 HR, 59 RBI, 1 SB, 20 BB, 116 K
Age: 28

Brad Miller
Philadelphia Phillies
B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: 1.4
Stats: .260/.329/.565, 154 AB, 6 2B, 13 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB, 15 BB, 45 K
Other positions played: Third base, Left field, Shortstop, Right field
Age: 30

Brock Holt
Boston Red Sox
B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: 1.0
Stats: .297/.369/.402, 259 AB, 14 2B, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 1 SB, 28 BB, 57 K
Other positions played: Right field, First base, Shortstop, Left field, Third base
Age: 31

Wilmer Flores
Arizona Diamondbacks
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 0.8
Stats: .317/.361/.487, 265 AB, 18 2B, 9 HR, 37 RBI, 0 SB, 15 BB, 31 K
Other positions played: First base
Age: 28

Arizona has a $6 million club option for 2020, which can be bought out for $500,000.

Starlin Castro
Miami Marlins
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 0.8
Stats: .270/.300/.436, 636 AB, 31 2B, 22 HR, 86 RBI, 2 SB, 28 BB, 111 K
Other positions played: Third base, Shortstop
Age: 30

Brian Dozier
Washington Nationals
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 0.7
Stats: .238/.340/.430, 416 AB, 20 2B, 20 HR, 50 RBI, 3 SB, 61 BB, 105 K
Age: 32

Jason Kipnis
Cleveland Indians
B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: 0.5
Stats: .245/.304/.410, 458 AB, 23 2B, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 7 SB, 40 BB, 88 K
Age: 32

Hernan Perez
Milwaukee Brewers
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 0.0
Stats: .228/.262/.379, 232 AB, 11 2B, 8 HR, 18 RBI, 5 SB, 11 BB, 66 K
Other positions: Shortstop, Third base, Right field, First base, Left field
Age: 29

Ben Zobrist
Chicago Cubs
B/T: S/R
2019 bWAR: -0.1
Stats: .260/.358/.313, 150 AB, 5 2B, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 0 SB, 23 BB, 24 K
Other positions played: Right field, Left field, Shortstop
Age: 38

Yangervis Solarte
Miami Marlins
B/T: S/R
2019 bWAR: -0.2
Stats: .205/.247/.315, 73 AB, 5 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB, 4 BB, 16 K
Other positions played: Left field, Shortstop, Third base
Age: 32

Gordon Beckham
Detroit Tigers
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: -0.6
Stats: .215/.271/.372, 223 AB, 13 2B, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 3 SB, 13 BB, 68 K
Other positions played: Shortstop, Third base, First base
Age: 33

Scooter Gennett
San Francisco Giants
B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: -0.7
Stats: .226/.245/.323, 133 AB, 7 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 41 K
Age: 29

Josh Harrison
Detroit Tigers
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: -1.0
Stats: .175/.218/.263, 137 AB, 7 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 SB, 6 BB, 27 K
Age: 32

Chris Owings
Boston Red Sox
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: -1.1
Stats: .139/.209/.233, 180 AB, 6 2B, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB, 14 BB, 78 K
Other positions played: Third base, Shortstop, Center field, Right field, Left field
Age: 28

Eduardo Nuñez
Boston Red Sox
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: -1.5
Stats: .228/.243/.305, 167 AB, 7 2B, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 5 SB, 4 BB, 27 K
Other positions played: Third base, Shortstop
Age: 32

Six Pack of Stats: Twins 8, White Sox 2

Early turning point: The White Sox’s chances were never favorable after Jonathan Schoop’s first home run. (FanGraphs)


The White Sox lost their second straight game to the AL Central leaders. Let’s take a look at some numbers from tonight’s loss.

.091

The White Sox were just 1-for-11 (.091) with runners in scoring position. José Abreu, king of timely hitting and RBIs, got the only hit in those situations, which was a double in the first. Teams that only manage one hit with runners in scoring position generally do not fare well, which was the case tonight.

2

The White Sox issued two intentional walks early on in this game (one in the third and one in the fourth). Neither of those hitters came around to score, but very seldom is it a smart idea to give an opponent a free baserunner.

5

As a result of Tim Anderson’s 24th error of the season, the Twins scored their fifth run of the game to take a 5-1 lead. Anderson has now made five more errors than anyone else in the majors this season. Errors can be a misleading statistic, and shortstops see a ton of action, but needless to say, that is still not a distinction we want to see him have.

28.4

The biggest play in this game in terms of win probability added was the three-run homer by Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop. That home run, which came with two outs in the second, increased the Twins’ odds of winning the game from 38.8% to 67.2%, a difference of 28.4 percentage points.

106.25

The White Sox got two doubles in the first inning to grab an early lead. Leury García led off with a sharp liner that left the bat at 103.2 mph, and two batters later, Abreu hit one even harder (109.3 mph) to drive home the game’s first run. The average exit velocity on these doubles was 106.25 mph.

3,960

Tomorrow’s starter for the White Sox will be Dylan Cease, who has allowed eleven home runs in nine career major league starts. The players who hit those homers totaled 3,960 feet rounding the bases. Cease has allowed at least one home run in all of his starts, which is a trend that he will hopefully break tomorrow afternoon.

Twins use the long ball to top White Sox, 8-2

Breaking the ice: José Abreu drove in the first run of the game with a double in the first inning. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)


Chicago fell behind in the second inning and could not claw their way back in a tough, 8-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

However, the White Sox’s offense got off to a strong start tonight against Twins starter Jake Odorizzi. Leury García and José Abreu both hit doubles in the first inning, as the White Sox got on the board first. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived, as the Twins responded in the top of the second.

After a Kansas City Special by Eddie Rosario and a sharply-hit single by Ehire Adrianza, the Twins had two on with two away. Jonathan Schoop got a 1-1 cutter to his liking, and he launched it 403 feet to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. As bad as that inning was, though, it could have been worse without this excellent catch by García.

The Twins tacked on a couple more in the third inning. Still leading 3-1, they loaded the bases with nobody out after a hit by pitch, a double, and an intentional walk (come on, Ricky). After an RBI force out off the bat of Eddie Rosario, the Twins expanded their lead to three. The next hitter, Miguel Sanó, reached base on a fielding error by Tim Anderson, his MLB-leading 24th error of the season. Due to the error, the Twins led, 5-1.

In the fourth, the White Sox had a great scoring opportunity. After Yoán Moncada and Anderson singled, Eloy Jiménez drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases with only one out. However, the White Sox could only push one across, as Matt Skole grounded into a force out to drive in Moncada, but Welington Castillo struck out to end the inning.

The score remained 5-2 until the top of the eighth, when Schoop went deep off reliever Jace Fry for his second homer of the day. Schoop made a 10-foot improvement on his first home run, this time smashing a 413-footer. Fry’s day only got worse, as the next batter, Jake Cave, doubled. Then, Mitch Garver hit a two-run homer to put the game out of hand. After Garver’s 443-footer, the Twins led by a score of 8-2. The runs that scored on the Garver home run were the last two that scored for either side.

The Twins improved to 81-51, while the White Sox fell to 60-72. The White Sox will wrap up this three-game series against the Twins tomorrow afternoon. That game will start at 1:10 CST, NBC Sports Chicago will televise it and WGN 720 will have your radio coverage. Dylan Cease is the White Sox’s probable starter, and Lenny Gore will have your coverage here on SSHP. Let’s end the series on a high note.