Is Ryan Roberts the future starting 2B of the Arizona Diamondbacks? It’s looking more likely. Ryan Roberts has been on an offensive surge the last seven days, batting .417. Since July 20, the day Felipe Lopez was traded to the Brewers, he has raised his average from .257 to .288. He’s had at least one hit in 9 of the past 13 games. His recent performance has brought about murmurs that Roberts may be the Diamondbacks every day second baseman for the 2010 season, but there are also questions of whether or not Roberts can be an every day player.
Roberts has never played more than 10 games in a season until this year and was the last man added to the Diamondbacks roster coming out of spring training. There is not a lot of prior history to judge Roberts on. He’s not a six year veteran who has hit .260 on his career and then suddenly hits .300 and parlays that into a $30 million dollar, three year contract extension.
Any decision made on Ryan Roberts will be made somewhat blindly due to the lack of past history, but looking at the free agent second baseman available next season Roberts may be the best option. If he finishes the year batting around .270 and continues to play solid defensively (he has a fielding percentage of .989) he most likely will be the starting second baseman on opening day.
Below is the list of 2010 free agent second baseman, minus players who have previously played for the Diamondbacks, i.e. Hudson, Lopez, Eckstein, and Counsell. When comparing Roberts’s $400,000 salary and his season stats to this list it will be hard for the front office not to at least take a chance on him.
Ronnie Belliard (35) salary $1.9 million, season BA .206
Jamey Carroll (36) salary, $2.5 million, season BA .287
Alex Cora (34) salary $2 million, season BA .256
Mark DeRosa (35) salary $4.75 million, season BA .251
Jerry Hairston Jr. (34) salary $2 million, season BA .257
Adam Kennedy (34) salary $400k, season BA .289
Mark Loretta (38) salary $1.25, season BA .234
Placido Polanco (34) salary $4.6 million, season BA .263
Juan Uribe (31) salary $1 million, season BA .279
Roberts is 29, and assuming he keeps his batting average up he will be younger, cheaper, and just as good as or better than anyone on this list. He also has a very respectable SLG % for a 2B, .458. Among NL 2B only Chase Utley has a higher SLG. There are still two months of baseball to be played, and Roberts only has 153 at bats on the season, about 40% of what an everyday player would have, so his stats fluctuate more easily. He should get about 200 more at bats through the end of the season, so there will be a decent base to judge his stats on. For a team fighting to keep salary low, Roberts is looking like a very attractive option.