Over the course of the last few weeks MLB Network has released top-10 position-by-position rankings, as calculated by The Shredder. The rankings have included players from the Los Angeles Dodgers such as, Yasiel Puig getting ranked the No. 3 center fielder, Adrian Gonzalez the ninth-best first baseman and Clayton Kershaw as the No. 1 starting pitcher in baseball.
Additionally, The Shredder ranked Hanley Ramirez the best left fielder at this moment despite his not ever playing an inning at the position in the Majors, and Matt Kemp as the No. 9 right fielder — after he was traded to the San Diego Padres.
This week The Shredder turned its attention to second baseman, which puts Howie Kendrick in the spotlight. After nine seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Kendrick relocates in Los Angeles and still finds himself ranked in The Shredder’s top-10 second baseman right now.
Kendrick checks in at No. 7, which is the same spot The Shredder had him ranked heading into the 2014 season. According to analyst Harold Reynolds, it’s too low:
I think the expectation has not appreciated the player. He’s averaged .292 his whole career, but I think the defense has gotten better. To me, he’s higher than where The Shredder has him and we’ll see that later as I unveil the true list. You said this earlier about coming out of the shadows — he played with a bunch of stars in Anaheim. I really think with the change to the Dodgers, going to LA, he’s going to finally get his just due of, ‘Wow. They traded for a star player.’
In 2013, Kendrick was ranked eighth by The Shredder and ninth in 2012. When converting the 2014 list of top-10 second baseman in order by WAR, Kendrick (5.4) jumped up to third behind Robinson Cano (6.4) and Ian Kinsler (5.5).
Since the 2013 season, Kendrick’s 116 wRC+ is fourth-highest among second baseman with a minimum of 600 plate appearances. He’s also batted at least .285 in eight of his nine career seasons.
Below is The Shredder’s complete ranking, with Cano maintaining the No. 1 spot a four-straight year.
|The Shredder||Harold Reynolds||Brian Kenny|
|1st||Robinson Cano||Robinson Cano||Robinson Cano|
|2nd||Dustin Pedroia||Dustin Pedroia||Jose Altuve|
|3rd||Ben Zobrist||Jose Altuve||Neil Walker|
|4th||Neil Walker||Ian Kinsler||Chase Utley|
|5th||Ian Kinsler||Howie Kendrick||Ben Zobrist|
|6th||Jose Altuve||Brandon Phillips||Ian Kinsler|
|7th||Howie Kendrick||Brian Dozier||Dustin Pedroia|
|8th||Chase Utley||Dee Gordon||Howie Kendrick|
|9th||Brian Dozier||Omar Infante||Brian Dozier|
|10th||Scooter Gennett||Kolten Wong||Jason Kipnis|
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