We continue our wrap around the diamond, grading the Seattle Mariners position players by position. Today, we take a look at the second base position and how their players performed this season.
At second base, the Mariners have had 2 primary players handle the position, veteran Dee Gordon and rookie Shed Long. A few other players have handled the position, but none of them for a long enough time frame to be considered for our purposes.
Remember, all grades are subjective and are open to multiple interpretations. We are using standard high school grading where an A+ is perfect and an F- is the worst of the worst. With that in mind, let’s get started.
After a poor first year in Seattle, Gordon returned determined to make 2019 his return to All-Star form and things got off to a promising start. Unfortunately, every time it appeared like Gordon had turned a corner, he got hurt again, leading to his second consecutive sub-par season.
He has flashed signs of his old self but has been too inconsistent to earn a grade much higher than this. He may be playing his final games in Seattle as GM Jerry Dipoto will likely look to trade him this off-season.
Ultimately, Gordon’s legacy in Seattle will be one of disappointment, albeit extremely entertaining. The injuries played a big role in his season, but still, his overall body of work just isn’t that impressive.
Thankfully, the Mariners already have there next second baseman on the roster and man, is he having an impressive rookie campaign. Shed Long, acquired from the Yankees as part of the 3-team Sonny Gray deal, wowed Mariners fans in Spring Training, and after a rough go of things early, Long has really stepped up.
His slash line is nearly identical to Ozzie Albies, a comparison made by Ty Gonzalez yesterday. Long still has a ways to go defensively, but is a good athlete and should be at least average at second base long term.
The Mariners began the year with the idea of developing Long into their utility option of the future and that plan is not dead. Long has logged some innings in left field and third base and will continue to do some next spring as well.
Long is going to hit enough to warrant regular playing time, but perhaps not enough to be an everyday player. He still has time though and will be given all of 2020 to show if this sample size is legitimate or not.
Long battled through injuries off and on this season and still put up excellent production in AAA and with Seattle. He will start 2020 with the Mariners and could lock up second base for a long time.