Should Marcus Semien Make the Mount Rushmore of MLBbro Second Baseman?

Should Marcus Semien Make the Mount Rushmore of MLBbro Second Baseman?

It is no secret that Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien is on a career high run at the plate these days. Semien extended his hitting streak to 25 games on Tuesday night, matching Ian Kinsler in 2008 and Michael Young in 2005 for the second-longest in Rangers history. The team record is 28 games, set in 2000 by Gabe Kapler, now the manager of the San Francisco Giants.

 

Semien has also reached base in 33 consecutive games. He’s a five-tool phenom with growing respect across the league, who’s nearing the 200-homer mark and has finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting twice. He’s already won a Gold Glove — at shortstop.

 

 

When Marcus Semien stole the spotlight from Aaron Judge last week, it was the continuation of a production that we haven’t seen much from the second base position in baseball history.

 

 

  • He went 4-6 from the plate with a home run, two doubles and a single finishing a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
  • At the time he extended his hitting streak to 22 games.
  • He extended his on base streak to 30 games which tops MLB.
  • His current on base streak is the longest by a Texas player in the past five years.  
  • Our MLBbro notched season highs in hits, runs and total bases.

 

To be clear, when MLBbro.com founder Rob Parker places a MLBbro on Home Boi Highlights, he is officially on fire and the California kid and the 2021 MLBbro Player of the Year has had more than his share of features on the segment. 

 

 

His hitting slash of .306/.375/.506 during this hitting streak (entering Tuesday night) is impressive, but his even keeled approach to the streak is more important as he broke down his success to MLB.com last weekend.

 

“Just plate discipline and hitting the fastball,” Semien said of what’s worked during the recent stretch. “I think that those are always the keys for me. I want to be a good offspeed taker and a good fastball hitter. If it’s a mistake, do damage – as we all strive to do – and it’s been working so far.” 

 

With Marcus Semien once again in the AL MVP conversation, just two seasons after setting the record for homers by a second baseman (45), is it time to start looking at the hottest hitter in baseball and see if he belongs on the Mount Rushmore of MLBbro second basemen? 

Lou Whitaker:

 

This MLBbro icon was one half of the greatest Detroit Tigers infield tandem in history with his tag team partner, shortstop Alan Trammell. “Sweet” Lou Whitaker manned second base with a consistency that contributed to the Tigers dominating the 1984 season, finishing with a World Series title over the San Diego Padres.

 

 

It is a mystery (To be kind here) that Lou is not in the Hall of Fame, even though his partner in the middle of the infield is. They hold numerous records for 2B/SS combos in MLB history.

 

In 19 years, Whitaker played his entire career in Detroit finishing with a .276 batting average, 244 homers, 1,084 RBI over 2,390 games. The argument about this MLBbro icon’s continued exclusion from the Hall of Fame is a conversation for another day, but these stats speak for themselves.

 

  • 1978 American League Rookie of the Year
  • Five straight AL All-Star teams (1983-87)
  • Four Silver Slugger awards (Best hitter at player’s position)
  • Three Gold Gloves (Best fielder at a specific position)
  • Best season: .320 batting average with 12 home runs, 40 doubles and 72 RBI. His play earned him 8th in AL MVP voting. 

 

Joe Morgan:

 

The late MLBbro icon was so good as an MLB analyst for decades that some fans may forget that Joe Morgan was one of the greatest second baseman to ever play the game. He ranks either first or second to Roger Hornsby on most all-time lists. Mr. Morgan was the two-time MVP catalyst of the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine” dynasty in the 70s. Morgan’s resume is so long, it has to be shortened to highlights…

 

  • A two-time National League MVP (1975-76).
  • Five-time Gold Glove Award winner.
  • Named an All-Star in all eight seasons with the Reds.
  • A career .271 hitter with 268 homers, 1,133 RBI, 1,650 runs scored and 689 stolen bases.

 

 

Morgan, along with Pete Rose and Hall of Fame teammates Tony Perez and Johnny Bench provided World Series championship production in 1975 and 1976 after reaching the World Series in 1972 in Morgan’s first year.

 

22 year playing career with a 25-year broadcasting career? G.O.A.T. status at the second base position.  

 

Jackie Robinson:

 

Like he wouldn’t be on Mount Rushmore, right?

 

Major League Baseball has given a whole day to the greatest influence on the game of baseball…period. What other player in baseball history has every player in MLB using their number on an annual basis? 

 

 

Stats will never tell the story of what Jackie Robinson has done for the sport, the country and history in general. The Los Angeles Dodgers won six pennants in this MLBbro Icon’s ten seasons. Mr. Robinson delivered Brooklyn a World Series title in 1955. He retired with a .313 batting average, 972 runs scored, 1,563 hits and 200 stolen bases.

 

All of this excellence while enduring the vilest prejudice imaginable from teammates and fans. There’s G.O.A.T. status and then there’s Jackie Robinson. A level of greatness that can never be achieved without total understanding of the man.

 

Is it fair to Marcus Semien to compare his play to these great second basemen? Well, as he continues to accumulate stats and move up the ladder, it’s not farfetched that by the time his career is over he might have surpassed someone on this list as far as the new generation is concerned. 

Mookie Betts Will ‘Start About 40 Games At Second Base’ This Season | Darin Erstad, Mookie Is On Your Golden Heels

Mookie Betts Will ‘Start About 40 Games At Second Base’ This Season | Darin Erstad, Mookie Is On Your Golden Heels

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts’ off field versatility has been well documented over the years, but now the six-time All Star will finally get an extended opportunity to show his versatility on the baseball field. The Dodgers lost shortstop Gavin Lux early in Spring Training, which forced utility guy Miguel Rojas into the everyday role at short. Utility infielders have become extremely valuable in today’s game, and this move left the Dodgers without one.

 

 

But fortunately for manager Dave Roberts, Betts has been waiting for his opportunity to return to the infield dirt. Before the season began, Roberts gave us an idea of how he plans to use his superstar this season. “The way I envision it, Mookie starts about 40 games at second base and 110 in the outfield,” said Roberts. 

 

Roberts’ decision to use Mookie more in the infield is something that comes after years of Betts lobbying the Dodgers organization to make the change. 

 

“I’ve been having that conversation for probably the last three or four years,” Betts told MLB Network Radio when asked about his desire to play second base again.  “It’s just my desire to get back in the infield because that’s my home, but they pay me to be out in right. And I definitely enjoy being out in right for sure… but you only play the game for so long and I would like to get back to my roots before it’s all said done. But if I gotta stay in right, I gotta stay in right.”

 

Now for those who don’t remember, Mookie was primarily a second baseman in the minors, but with Dustin Pedroia already a star in Boston at the major league level, he was forced to the outfield. “I didn’t ask to go to right field. I was forced out there.” 

 

“I’ve been out there for nine years now, so it’s kind of easy to miss,” he continued. “But yeah, all through my life, that’s where I played — infield. The only time I’m going to go to the outfield is when the game starts. But I take ground balls at short every day.”

 

The Dodgers hesitancy to move Betts to the infield full time is certainly understandable when you consider that Mookie has been arguably the best right fielder in the game over the past decade. Last season, he claimed his sixth Gold Glove Award while leading all National League right fielders with five Outs Above Average, and only injury has ever slowed his production from the corner spot.

 

 

 

If Mookie were able to duplicate his defensive excellence in the infield, he would only be the second player in MLB history to win a Gold Glove in the outfield and infield. Los Angeles Angels legend Darin Erstad took home Gold Glove Awards in 2000 and 2002 while playing the outfield and eventually took home another in 2004 while playing first base. 

 

Mookie would be the greatest player in MLB history to make such a switch, and it would come at a time where he could very well refuse. Last season, Betts had a .873 OPS while hitting 40 doubles, 35 home runs and scoring 117 runs. Add his Gold Glove and top five finish in the MVP voting, Betts’ only real incentive to play second again is his own passion for the game. 

 

That’s what separates the good from the All-Time Greats.

Veteran MLBbro Niko Goodrum’s versatility continues to pay off as he makes his second consecutive start at second base on Sunday for Houston Astros.