I'll admit I was wrong when it comes to Second Base and Auburn. Originally, I thought it would go (by default) to Zach Alvord. Mainly because Alvord actually had experience there (5 starts in 2011) and projected as a 4 in the Major League Level. Or so I thought. Alvord is listed as a 2013 SS Prospect by Baseball America and actually started more games at SS last year (11) than at Second Base.
We will chalk that up to a lack of information on my part, and it won't be the first correction and a bit of backtracking I will have made from earlier predictions. I mean, my original third base prediction is already, how we say, "caput." More on that at another time.
For now, let's look at Second Base and a position that looks like it will be filled with a familiar face in an unusual place.
What Auburn Needs at Second Base:
To me, Second Base is all about reaction, leadership, and good baseball sense. A second baseman should be the field general that's actually in the field--knowing the tendencies of runners, relaying signals from the catcher, and preventing steals. As for his bat, it's just a plus. A good solid defensive second baseman can usually keep himself in the lineup even if his bat suffers.
It's not neccasarily a pick. It's just know whom it's probably going to be. Creede Simpson has been working almost exclusively at Second Base and it's a move that the coaches have been talking (and raving) about. From Rivals:
The outfield depth has allowed Pawlowski to move senior Crede Simpson to second base. Simpson hit .254 with three home runs and 17 RBI last year.
"Crede Simpson is a guy who has played center field and right field and in high school he played shortstop," Pawlowski said. "We've moved him to second base. We've been experimenting with that quite a bit. He has done a real god job for us and right now we are leaning at putting Crede Simpson at second base."
As mentioned above, moving Creede to the infield will allow more flexibility in the outfield and will put 3 speedy left handed bats in the lineup (Gonzalez, Tella, Andrews). Creede has the wheels, he has the bat, and he has the leadership. It's not a position that he's unfamiliar with, as Creede was a 2B/SS coming out of high school at Auburn High.
The Dark Horse:
Call it a hunch, but I really think Dan Glevenyak cracks the lineup somewhere at some point. It's not looking like there is a full time starting role in the cards for him, but he should serve as a nice fill-in when needed.
The Wild Card:
Kent Rollins. A former Air Force football commit, Rollins was a 48th Round Pick by the San Diego Padres. His normal (and probably more natural position) is Shortstop, where was a 2011 All-State selection. Either way, he has the perfect attitude, even if he might not get the playing time. From Scout:
"I'm just looking forward to getting out and being with the guys in the fall," Rollins says. "I want to see what kind of team we'll have for the spring. As far as my role in the spring, if I can help the team out somewhere hopefully I'll be able to do that. I'm just here to help the team. I just couldn't imagine being at a better place."
Rollins has a unique story and definitely has the skills to crack the lineup.