This is the third post in this series reviewing the Kansas City Royals offensively, position by position. You can go back and read the posts on catchers (including a series preview) and first basemen.
So, let’s take a look at who played second for the Royals in 2010 and how they hit while they were playing that position. I left out Willie Bloomquist and Wilson Betemit as they had very few plate appearances.
Mike Aviles got the bulk of the duties at second in 2010, but I was kind of surprised to see how much time Chris Getz got. I know the Royals really wanted to see what he had, but it still seemed like he was in less than 64 games. It certainly was a tale of two players though. Aviles had a wOBA of .336 while Getz posted a .274. Those numbers are reflected in their sOPS+ which shows Aviles as roughly 12% better than the average second baseman and Getz about 37% worse. The only category which Getz was an improvement over Aviles is his walk rate.
Giving Chris Getz all of those plate appearances gave the Royals a good look at their new acquisition, however it clearly had a negative impact on the overall offensive output. Aviles by himself is a top three offensive second baseman in the American League, but Getz drags that down to seventh overall. As a unit, they probably aren’t walking enough, but putting the ball into play wasn’t an issue. Both Aviles and Getz have a low strikeout rate, which helped the unit put up the second best number in that category.
Defensively, Getz looked good and Aviles is no slouch either. In fact, Aviles was the only Royal other than Zack Greinke and Bruce Chen to get votes in the Fielding Bible Awards. It will be extremely interesting to see how the Royals handle this position and these two players next year. Aviles’ arm will be completely healed from the Tommy John surgery he had last season, so he can play at third base, shortstop or second base. I am quite sure the Royals still want to get an extended look at Getz because he has above average speed, is an above average base-runner and has shown a decent glove.
I don’t foresee the Royals making any off-season moves at second base this year. Between Aviles and Getz they are covered for 2011. How they are going to split time will be the key question. However, that could come down to who is the everyday third-baseman prior to the arrival of Mike Moustakas. I’d bet that Getz is the opening day second baseman with Aviles at third. Coming down the pipeline, Johnny Giavotella could be the second baseman of the future. He is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League after having a breakout offensive year at double-A Northwest Arkansas. His defense is reportedly below average, but his offensive ability is solid and his makeup is off the charts.