On Wednesday afternoon, MLB.com released their off-season list of the top-10 second basemen across the league. We wouldn't expect many Athletics to appear on these positional rankings, but some fans were surprised to see Zack Gelof appear in the 9th spot on the list of second basemen.
The list was headlined by Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts. Now, this one is cheating a bit because despite Betts getting 70 starts at second for the Dodgers in 2023, he started 107 games in right field. The Dodgers will likely continue to have Betts split time between second and right in 2024, and it seems fair to debate whether he belongs on this list at all.
The rest of the guys on the list are the usual suspects. Marcus Semien, Jose Altuve, Ketel Marte, and Luis Arraez round out the top 5, while rookies Gelof, Matt McClain, and Edouard Julien help round out the bottom half.
There are some interesting omissions, however
The most glaring one is Ozzie Albies, the three-time All-Star who is coming off a season in which he hit .280 with a .849 OPS while posting 33 homers and 4.7 bWAR. Albies could have been listed in the top-3 and it's hard to believe anyone would have blinked an eye. Omitting him entirely is borderline criminal.
Also omitted was Padres star Ha-Seong Kim, who posted 5.8 bWAR, received down-ballot MVP votes and won a Gold Glove award.
Don't get me wrong -- I do think Gelof deserves the recognition. He had an outstanding debut season, hitting .267/.337/.504 with 14 homers and 14 steals. That's a 30 homer - 30 steal pace over a full season. Gelof also plays strong defense at the keystone and should be one of the Athletics' best players for the next handful of years.
Gelof has the potential to be a top-10 second baseman in MLB. It's obviously a bit subjective, especially when you take playing time into consideration. Overall, it's a fair take. Gelof is in the conversation, and he's almost certainly inside the top-15, so it just comes down to how you shuffle the players around.
With any luck, he'll be a bit higher up the list heading into 2025. We're excited to see what he brings to the table for 2024 and should be one of the biggest reasons anyone watches Oakland A's games next year.