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2011 Offseason – Second Base Monday, November 22, 2010

Posted by jkcmason in Mariners.
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The Mariners likely have a lot to be excited about in the near future at second base. Dustin Ackley is proving to be exactly what was expected in the number two overall pick from 2009. In his first full professional season Ackley has shown a lot of promise and athleticism learning a new position at second base and showing his aptitude while at the plate. His plate awareness and bat control show that he could soon be a great asset to the Mariners lineup. It is generally agreed upon that Ackley will make his debut next season, but the Mariners need to prepare to start the season with him in AAA.

Chone Figgins was the starting second baseman for the Mariners last season and was a large let down. Many believe that Figgins should move to third base this season where he proved to be a plus defender two years ago for the Angels.

What I would try to do

I would do what I could to keep Figgins at second base.  I do realize that the stats point to Chone being a better defensive 3rd baseman than he is a 2nd baseman, but in this case I don’t think that the stats are telling the complete story.  Figgins has a quick first move quick or he couldn’t survive at the hot corner, Figgins is fast and has good range, Figgins has great hands when he wants them, and Figgins has good foot work around the bag.  He has all of the tools to be a quality 2nd baseman, but last year he lacked the motivation.  He was playing for a losing team and a manager he didn’t like, which made it hard for him to concentrate and give his full effort.

The second reason to keep Chone Figgins at second is the quality of bat that you could bring in at 3rd base is a lot better than the bat you could bring in at second. 

What I expect the Mariners to do

With Ackley close to ready and Figgins unhappy, I expect the Mariners to move Figgins to 3rd base and find an inexpensive fill in to start the season at second.  They will likely find a player that would have the ability to play both positions up the middle so that when Ackley does get called up, the player could be used in a utility role.  Jerry Hairston Jr., Felipe Lopez, Nick Punto, Christian Guzman, and David Eckstein are potential candidates for this role

My 2nd Baseman – Chone Figgins

Mariners Addition – Jerry Hairston Jr.

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