MLB: The game’s most valuable second basemen

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 12: Kolten Wong #16 of the St. Louis Cardinals steals second base, beating the tag of Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals, during the first inning of Game 2 of the NLCS at Busch Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 12: Kolten Wong #16 of the St. Louis Cardinals steals second base, beating the tag of Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals, during the first inning of Game 2 of the NLCS at Busch Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees
(Photo by J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday via Getty Images) /

MLB’s most valuable 2B of 2019

2. D.J. LeMahieu, New York Yankees, $9.557 million value, $12 million salary

Like Muncy, LeMahieu is rated at second because he played more innings there than anywhere else, although in truth he was a handyman with the Yankees. He delivered 580 innings at second, another 400 at third base and a final 262 at first.

Also like Muncy, his true value derived from his bat, which regenerated the heights of his career reached when he won the National League batting title with the Rockies in 2016. For New York, LeMahieu hit a career-best 26 home runs with a  career-best 102 RBIs and a .327 batting average exceeded only by the .348 that won him that 2016 batting title.

Add that all up and you get a 6.0 WAR that was bettered by only one player rated at second base. Translate that to real money based on the positional averages and it comes out to $6.395 million in salary.

LeMahieu played second exactly like you would expect a veteran to play it. His range, 4..24 chances accepted per nine innings, was acceptable, ranking 10th and equating to $1.255 million in salary.

Beyond that, if LeMahieu got to a ball he handled it. He laid down a .993 fielding average that was exceeded only by Albies, and which was worth $984,000.

When they signed LeMahieu, it’s doubtful the Yankees envisioned using him for 1,242 innings…but that’s what they did. That, too, was solidly inside the position’s top 10, justifying a top final $922,000.

His $9.557 million “earned” salary” may not quite match the $12 million he actually received, but the Yankees will be glad to cover the difference.