POLL: Who Should Play Second Base for the Angels in 2015?


The Angels starting lineup figures to be pretty predictable in 2015, but who will handle the second base spot remains a mystery heading into spring training. The Halos traded away All-Star second baseman Howie Kendrick this offseason, leaving just Grant Green as the only viable in-house option to supplant Kendrick. Jerry Dipoto and his staff have been aggressive in acquiring infielders this offseason. However, there have been no indications from management who will see the majority of starts at second base in the coming season.

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After starring as a high schooler in Anaheim, Grant Green has proven himself to be a very valuable asset to his hometown squad. Green put together decent numbers through 40 games in 2014, batting .273, with 1 home run, and 11 runs batted in. Green has posted a batting line of .259/.293/.347 across 239 career at bats in the Major Leagues. The 27-year-old saw time at five different positions last year, but has failed to impress at second posting a 4.30 career range factor per 9 innings. The 6’3, 180 lb. second baseman’s minor league numbers suggest he could develop into a quality offensive contributor. Green has a slash line of .313/.360/.482 over parts of three seasons in triple-A. FanGraphs has low expectations for Green in 2015, as they have projected him to hit just .258, with 3 home runs, 18 RBI’s, and tally just 0.4 wins above replacement across 44 games.

Jul 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Josh Rutledge (14) fields a ground ball during the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels dealt for Josh Rutledge from theColorado Rockies immediately after trading Kendrick. Rutledge has the most big league experience of the players competing for the starting second base gig. The 25-year-old infielder has participated in 266 career games, and tallied 871 at bats during his three seasons in Colorado. Rutledge faired reasonably well in 2014, posting a .269 batting average, with 4 home runs and 33 RBI’s across 105 games. Rutledge has put up middling offensive numbers in the show, with a career slash line of .259/.308/.403. The University of Alabama alum has experience playing both second base and shortstop. His 4.76 range factor per 9 innings at second base suggests he has the ability to be a plus defender at the position. As a member of the Rockies, Rutledge failed to match the .360/.436/.548 batting line he put up during his time in triple-A. FanGraphs anticipates Rutledge will win the starting job this spring in Tempe. The soothsayers at FanGraphs have projected he will hit .241, with 9 home runs, 50 RBI’s, and post 1.1 wins above replacement across 126 games in 2015.

The Angels claimed second baseman Johnny Giavotella off waivers from the Kansas City Royals this past December. Giavotella has seen time in 125 games during the last four seasons with the Royals, but he failed to establish himself as the club’s primary second baseman. Giavotella struggled in limited action in 2014, hitting just .216, with 1 home run, and 5 RBI’s over 37 at bats. The 27-year-old has a batting line of .238/.277/.324 across 437 career at bats with the Royals. His 4.29 career range factor per 9 innings leaves plenty to be desired defensively, as does his career .974 fielding percentage. Just like with Rutledge and Green, Giavotella has the potential to develop into a quality contributor on offense. Over the course of four seasons in triple-A, he has posted a slash line of .315/.384/.451. FanGraphs Steamer is projecting Giavotella will see time in 40 games next season in Anaheim, and he will hit .262, with 2 home runs and 15 runs batted in.

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Taylor Featherston spent the entire 2014 season playing for the Colorado Rockies double-A affiliate in Tulsa, OK. The Angels acquired the 25-year-old infielder from the Chicago Cubs after he was selected by the Cubs in the rule 5 draft. Featherston represents the underdog in this competition, but his skill set may turn a few heads this spring in Tempe. The TCU alum hit .260, with 16 home runs, 57 RBI’s, and 14 stolen bases over 497 at bats last season. Featherston has put together a career slash line of .276/.346/.457 in four seasons in the minor leagues. With a career 4.90 range factor per game in the minor leagues, Featherston has proved himself to be a strong defender up the middle. FanGraphs does not expect Featherston to see any time in the Major Leagues this season, and thus have no steamer for him.

This debate about who should start at second base for the Angels is sparking some strong feelings amongst fans. Here at Halo Hangout, we wanted your opinion, so we concocted a poll. Vote for your favorite, and see who the rest of the fans want to see playing second base this season in the big A.

Thank you for voting!

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