09/17/2009 2:15 PM ET
Hill: The Golden Age of second basemen
Jays All-Star notes critical mass of terrific keystone sackers
The Major Leagues are enjoying a Golden Age of second basemen, and what's really scary is that most of these guys are really young and haven't even reached their primes yet. There are a lot more great years to come from guys currently playing second base.
What's really impressed me is that these guys are doing it with the glove and putting up power numbers. It's fun to watch and makes you even more competitive. If you try to be better than the best, it's only going to push you to be better.
It would be very difficult for me to name just one person as the elite second baseman in the AL. There are just too many to choose from. Dustin Pedroia probably comes to mind first, because he's the reigning MVP, but he's far from alone.
For a second baseman to get an MVP Award is tough, but Pedroia just did everything right last year. He hit for average, he hit homers, and he had a total MVP season for a team that made the playoffs. He deserves every accolade he receives.
In addition to Pedroia you also have guys in our division like Brian Roberts and Robinson Cano, who are capable of unbelievable years to match what Pedroia did in 2008. In the NL, you have complete players like Chase Utley. I also like Orlando Hudson and Kelly Johnson, who does a good job with the Braves. I could really just keep naming good players who play this position.
That makes selecting a second baseman for the All-Star Game that much tougher and that much more interesting. It's good competition.
So, obviously, it was an honor to get chosen for the All-Star Game this season, but anybody who gets that call is quite deserving. If you don't end up going, that's fine, too, because you know it's a competitive environment. You can focus on the first goal for a player, which is to help win games for your team and bring home a championship.
Bottom line: it's a great time to be a second baseman in the Major Leagues. It's something I've wanted to accomplish since childhood. My favorite player growing up was Craig Biggio. He was my guy, and I love that I get to play the same position that he did.
Aaron Hill, selected by the Blue Jays with the 13th overall pick in the 2003 Draft out of LSU, was an All-Star for the first time in his career this season. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound second baseman enters the final weeks of the season with 32 home runs and 98 RBIs, both career highs.