2010s All-Decade Team: Infielders

As the final days of the 2010-19 decade tick down, let’s take some time to consider, and vote on, the best players of this period in MLB history. More after the jump.

Our objective is to identify the best 25 man team of this decade. We’ll start with infielders in this post, continue with outfielders in the next post, and conclude with pitchers, catchers and the rest in a final installment.

For our opening election, we’ll select six infielders for our team, the voting leader at each infield position, and the two players with the next highest voting scores (voting rules are at the end of the post). Voting is open until 23:59 EST on Sunday, December 22nd.

Qualifications for ballot eligibility are based only for play in the 2010-19 decade. Eligible players must meet all of these criteria:

  • 3000 PA
  • 50% of games at one infield position
  • 20 WAR or Top 10 in WAR for the position

Here are the candidates.

First Base

Rk Player WAR/pos OPS+ PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Joey Votto 52.1 152 6150 2010 2019 26-35 1411 5009 847 1532 327 16 231 759 1046 1088 67 23 .306 .428 .516 .944 *3/HD7 CIN
2 Miguel Cabrera 43.5 153 5795 2010 2019 27-36 1360 5028 799 1595 324 5 268 941 689 936 14 8 .317 .399 .544 .943 *35D/H DET
3 Paul Goldschmidt 43.1 141 5390 2011 2019 23-31 1253 4572 806 1337 292 20 243 807 733 1225 127 33 .292 .391 .524 .916 *3/HD ARI-STL
4 Freddie Freeman 37.4 137 5703 2010 2019 20-29 1346 4953 798 1451 319 22 227 805 646 1168 43 21 .293 .379 .504 .883 *3/H5D ATL
5 Anthony Rizzo 32.7 130 5173 2011 2019 21-29 1207 4414 663 1204 262 18 218 729 581 820 57 33 .273 .373 .488 .862 *3/H4175 SDP-CHC
6 Carlos Santana 30.5 121 6147 2010 2019 24-33 1435 5127 765 1284 294 16 232 766 944 1013 46 18 .250 .367 .450 .817 *32D/5H97 CLE-PHI
7 Joe Mauer 27.7 117 4966 2010 2018 27-35 1159 4348 599 1279 270 15 71 526 571 738 18 12 .294 .376 .412 .788 *32D/H9 MIN
8 Adrian Gonzalez 27.0 127 5108 2010 2018 28-36 1231 4563 596 1326 284 4 180 778 460 854 5 5 .291 .355 .473 .828 *3/H9D SDP-BOS-LAD-NYM
9 Albert Pujols 26.5 121 6149 2010 2019 30-39 1424 5541 757 1485 274 2 290 963 511 709 53 11 .268 .331 .475 .806 *3D/5H STL-LAA
10 Brandon Belt 23.2 120 4221 2011 2019 23-31 1084 3662 513 957 231 32 129 472 502 985 43 19 .261 .354 .448 .801 *3/7H9D SFG
11 Jose Abreu 21.2 134 3906 2014 2019 27-32 901 3547 483 1038 218 14 179 611 245 776 10 5 .293 .349 .513 .862 *3D/H CHW
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/11/2019.

Second Base

Rk Player WAR/pos OPS+ PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Robinson Cano 54.2 132 6228 2010 2019 27-36 1451 5647 828 1695 363 16 237 878 478 830 34 17 .300 .359 .496 .855 *4/DH356 NYY-SEA-NYM
2 Ian Kinsler 40.5 104 6036 2010 2019 28-37 1373 5433 879 1443 294 30 174 636 487 755 152 61 .266 .332 .427 .759 *4/DH15 TEX-DET-BOS-LAA-SDP
3 Jose Altuve 38.5 127 5458 2011 2019 21-29 1243 4985 734 1568 299 28 128 538 360 623 254 74 .315 .364 .463 .827 *4/DH6 HOU
4 Ben Zobrist 37.3 114 5707 2010 2019 29-38 1354 4901 743 1311 303 33 125 620 703 806 92 40 .267 .359 .419 .778 *4976/HD3851 TBR-OAK-KCR-CHC
5 Dustin Pedroia 35.9 114 4658 2010 2019 26-35 1031 4143 598 1225 249 11 98 513 446 508 91 35 .296 .363 .432 .795 *4/DH BOS
6 Brian Dozier 24.5 107 4884 2012 2019 25-32 1137 4301 663 1053 231 21 192 561 487 968 105 36 .245 .326 .442 .768 *4/6HD1 MIN-LAD-WSN
7 Howie Kendrick 23.9 112 4924 2010 2019 26-35 1239 4540 597 1324 258 30 103 543 292 851 93 35 .292 .339 .430 .768 *47/3H5D98 LAA-LAD-PHI-WSN
8 DJ LeMahieu 23.5 98 4454 2011 2019 22-30 1100 4047 610 1223 196 33 75 451 324 667 80 41 .302 .354 .423 .776 *4/53H6D CHC-COL-NYY
9 Chase Utley 23.2 104 4050 2010 2018 31-39 1046 3547 501 907 194 32 98 440 364 587 71 11 .256 .338 .411 .749 *4H/3D5 PHI-LAD
10 Jason Kipnis 22.2 102 4849 2011 2019 24-32 1121 4290 594 1120 252 23 123 529 449 910 135 33 .261 .333 .417 .750 *4/D8H CLE
11 Neil Walker 21.8 110 5071 2010 2019 24-33 1271 4508 601 1208 234 22 149 606 455 907 31 22 .268 .339 .429 .768 *43/H59D7 PIT-NYM-MIL-NYY-MIA
12 Brandon Phillips 21.2 98 4988 2010 2018 29-37 1166 4617 632 1298 237 14 117 568 250 635 100 48 .281 .324 .415 .738 *4/5HD6 CIN-ATL-LAA-BOS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/11/2019.

Third Base

Rk Player WAR/pos OPS+ PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Adrian Beltre 51.0 130 5253 2010 2018 31-39 1252 4783 696 1466 288 12 227 801 370 648 10 4 .307 .358 .514 .872 *5D/H BOS-TEX
2 Josh Donaldson 44.8 136 4476 2010 2019 24-33 1038 3841 652 1048 226 12 219 645 557 885 38 8 .273 .369 .509 .878 *5/DH263 OAK-TOR-CLE-ATL
3 Evan Longoria 42.4 119 5992 2010 2019 24-33 1410 5351 723 1417 307 23 237 817 516 1171 41 17 .265 .331 .464 .795 *5/DH TBR-SFG
4 Nolan Arenado 38.7 122 4357 2013 2019 22-28 1031 3936 626 1160 253 27 227 734 347 664 16 15 .295 .351 .546 .897 *5/HD COL
5 Manny Machado 36.9 119 4735 2012 2019 19-26 1082 4307 603 1200 232 14 207 598 361 797 58 27 .279 .335 .483 .818 *56/H BAL-LAD-SDP
6 Kyle Seager 30.4 113 5286 2011 2019 23-31 1261 4755 597 1218 268 13 198 666 442 926 47 26 .256 .324 .443 .767 *5/4H6D SEA
7 Justin Turner 27.7 128 3805 2010 2019 25-34 1060 3353 476 980 225 8 120 469 329 554 34 10 .292 .367 .472 .839 *5H4/63D7 BAL-NYM-LAD
8 Anthony Rendon 27.3 126 3927 2013 2019 23-29 916 3424 571 994 245 15 136 546 409 610 45 16 .290 .369 .490 .859 *54/H6 WSN
9 Matt Carpenter 26.7 126 4807 2011 2019 25-33 1149 4056 712 1092 284 27 148 531 641 947 25 17 .269 .372 .462 .835 *534/H9D7 STL
10 Todd Frazier 26.0 109 4737 2011 2019 25-33 1186 4200 585 1019 202 14 214 624 424 1037 72 37 .243 .320 .450 .770 *5/3HD7649 CIN-NYY-CHW-NYM
11 Jose Ramirez 25.3 119 3138 2013 2019 20-26 770 2774 451 776 197 22 110 391 301 361 117 28 .280 .351 .486 .837 *546/7HD CLE
12 Kris Bryant 25.1 136 3105 2015 2019 23-27 706 2643 486 751 167 16 138 403 369 733 34 18 .284 .385 .516 .901 *57/938HD6 CHC
13 Chase Headley 24.7 106 4760 2010 2018 26-34 1181 4196 540 1102 221 12 109 494 480 1057 79 26 .263 .343 .399 .742 *5/3HD4 SDP-NYY
14 Martin Prado 24.2 101 4993 2010 2019 26-35 1200 4594 556 1303 256 22 86 516 320 575 36 24 .284 .331 .405 .736 *574/H369D ATL-ARI-NYY-MIA
15 David Wright 21.1 128 3206 2010 2018 27-35 738 2813 397 794 168 13 102 409 348 653 77 34 .282 .362 .460 .822 *5/H6D NYM
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/11/2019.

Shortstop

Rk Player WAR/pos OPS+ PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Andrelton Simmons 36.9 91 4153 2012 2019 22-29 1030 3836 437 1029 181 23 67 396 257 370 65 24 .268 .316 .380 .696 *6/HD ATL-LAA
2 Troy Tulowitzki 30.4 123 3576 2010 2019 25-34 859 3179 494 931 180 8 160 537 333 577 26 9 .293 .363 .506 .868 *6/HD COL-TOR-NYY
3 Francisco Lindor 28.6 118 3244 2015 2019 21-25 717 2904 478 835 178 15 130 384 260 455 93 25 .288 .347 .493 .840 *6/DH CLE
4 Elvis Andrus 28.1 87 6427 2010 2019 21-30 1478 5783 810 1595 281 40 67 589 468 870 269 98 .276 .331 .373 .704 *6/DH TEX
5 Brandon Crawford 23.6 94 4718 2011 2019 24-32 1251 4230 483 1055 222 38 98 536 398 937 31 28 .249 .316 .389 .706 *6/H SFG
6 Marcus Semien 20.6 106 3384 2013 2019 22-28 805 3055 439 783 161 21 108 357 301 681 62 24 .256 .323 .429 .752 *6/54HD CHW-OAK
7 Xander Bogaerts 19.9 112 3930 2013 2019 20-26 914 3545 542 1022 228 14 107 503 321 715 53 14 .288 .350 .451 .801 *6/5HD BOS
8 Jean Segura 19.6 97 4440 2012 2019 22-29 1045 4135 563 1181 191 40 76 376 214 596 181 60 .286 .326 .406 .733 *64/H LAA-MIL-ARI-SEA-PHI
9 Asdrubal Cabrera 19.3 106 5651 2010 2019 24-33 1370 5099 670 1349 300 19 165 659 427 1015 69 24 .265 .326 .428 .754 *645/HD3 CLE-TBR-NYM-PHI-WSN-TEX
10 Erick Aybar 18.5 90 4446 2010 2017 26-33 1106 4091 497 1093 209 30 49 355 231 531 129 49 .267 .310 .369 .679 *6/H541D LAA-DET-ATL-SDP
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/11/2019.

VOTING RULES: For each infield position, you must submit a ranked ballot with exactly 3 names. Scoring will be 5-3-1. Please use a new comment (not a reply to another comment) for your vote, and please refrain from “strategic” voting. Happy voting!

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30 Comments on "2010s All-Decade Team: Infielders"

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Mike L
Guest

Fascinating that Albert Pujols decline phase has been so long that he’s 9th on a 10 year list of 1st Basemen, and one the two behind him, Jose Abreu, has only played six seasons.

Doug
Guest

It was a decline phase for Albert, but he still ranks first on that list in HR, RBI and fewest K’s.

You could say pretty much the same thing (i.e. long decline phase) for Beltre, yet he still ranks first in WAR on the third baseman list.

Mike L
Guest

51 WAR over Beltre’s last 9 years is qualitatively a heck of a lot better than Albert’s last ten.

Paul E
Guest

1B: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt
2B: Altuve, Zobrist, Kinsler
3B: Donaldson, Machado, Beltre
SS: Tulo, Lindor, Bogaerts

didn’t vote for Cano becuase of the PED’s….maybe Tulo should have tried them? Beltre was the opposite of Tulo and Cabrera – he stayed healthy for a long time.

Doug
Guest

To your point, Tulo ranks 15th in WAR (and 5th in WAR per PA) among shortstops thru age 29. But, among the top 50 in that group, he ranks 41st in G and PA after age 29.

Dr. Doom
Guest
My vote: 1st: Joey Votto, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt 2nd: Robinson Cano, Jose Altuve, Ian Kinsler 3rd: Adrian Beltre, Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria SS: Andrelton Simmons, Francisco Lindor, Troy Tulowitzki Not a lot of changes from the total WAR for me. Doug mentioned his baises; mine, as always, is toward big seasons. That’s what pushes Altuve above Kinsler at second. It didn’t change anything for me at third, but if Arenado or Machado had one more year, I’d be willing to be they’d have topped Longoria for third at third. The only change I made from my calculations was placing… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

I’m more confident in us than I am in the MLB.com writing staff. But they’ve just finished this same exercise. Here are the results of their balloting.

Paul E
Guest

to their credit, not one mention of the term “”WAR” in the entire article.

Josh Davis
Guest
I’m giving my vote with an eye towards peak. That is to say, who am I going to remember as the best of the best when I look back at this time period. That is subjective, to be sure, but I think it is not irrelevant when picking an All-Decade Team. 1B: Cabrera (on the strength of his MVP’s and Triple Crown), Votto and Goldschmidt 2B: Altuve (I see him MVP worthy in 2016-17), Cano and Kinsler 3B: Beltre, Donaldson (he does have the MVP, but just didn’t play enough to be my #1), Arenado SS: Tulowitzki, Lindor, Simmons (seems… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Here’s mine:

1B: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt
2B: Cano, Altuve, Zobrist
3B: Beltre, Donaldson, Arenado
SS: Tulo, Lindor, Bogaerts

Dr. Doom
Guest
I know in my head that Joe Mauer was more a first baseman than a catcher in this decade… but in my heart, I’m not sure I knew the extent. Here’s Mauer’s decade broken down by games played at each position: 1B – 603 C – 311 DH – 232 RF – 2 (one third of an inning in his final season and, bizarrely, an entire, 9-inning game against the Yankees 8/18/11) Compare, for example, to Albert Pujols, whom I have NO problem picturing as a DH. Here’s his positional breakdown over the last decade: 1B – 1102 DH –… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Two players I want to just shout out: Adrian Gonzalez’s one decade peak from 2006-2015 saw him manage 1000 RBI and post a 137 OPS+. He’s not a Hall of Famer or anything, but he was a great hitter. The numbers would be a lot flashier if he had played in more favorable circumstances than San Diego for his best seasons. Ben Zobrist is another player that’s not going to get a lot of love in these votes, but really deserves a mention. Zobrist was one of the best multi-position players of all-time (I’d put the serious candidates as Stan… Read more »
Voomo
Guest

Would you take Zobrist over Tony Phillips?

Dr. Doom
Guest
You know, Phillips is a good thought. I wasn’t thinking of him when I wrote this, which I now feel very stupid about. As to your question, in a head-to-head, yes I probably would take Zobrist. I don’t think Phillips was ever as good as Zobrist’s 2009 season. Zobrist has a mildly higher OPS+ (113-109), but Phillips has thousands more plate appearances. Still, I tend to lean a little more on peak seasons. Phillips hit a 130 OPS+ exactly once, and it was 130 right on the money. Zobrist was over 130 three times. Phillips has more black ink, Zobrist… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Zobrist is the only guy to ever score and knock in exactly 91 runs while walking exactly 91 times in the same season
Phillips scored 836 runs from 1990-1997, second in MLB to only B. Lamar Bonds (880).

Richard Chester
Guest

All players with R = RBI = BB (minImum of 40, 1901-2019)

# ….. Year ….. Player
91 ….. 2009 …. Ben Zobrist
72 ….. 1965 …. Al Kaline
66 ….. 1978 …. Phil Garner
61 ….. 1963 …. Woodie Held
60 ….. 2007 …. Stephen Drew
52 ….. 1945 …. Steve Mesner
48 ….. 1936 …. Ripper Collins
48 ….. 1903 …. John Gochnauer
47 ….. 2004 …. Alex Cora
43 ….. 1915 …. Ivan Howard

John
Guest
Here’s my choices: 1st: Cabrera, Rizzo, Votto 2nd: Cano, Altuve, Zobrist 3rd: Beltre, Rendon, Donaldson SS: Tulo, Javy Baez, Bogaerts If we were going for the one best SEASON by position, 1st base would easily be Cabrera. He won the 1st Triple crown in 900 years. He gets the nod at 1st any way. Zorilla was a surprise to me. I knew he was valuable, but wow! Baez wasn’t nominated, and it’s a small sample compared to the others, but he belongs somewhere. I came this close to listing him first. His smaller sample & lack of nomination are why… Read more »
koma
Guest

1B
1. Joey Votto
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Paul Goldschmidt

2B
1. Robinson Cano
2. Jose Altuve
3. Dustin Pedroia

3B
1. Josh Donaldson
2. Adrian Beltre
3. Nolan Arenado

SS
1. Troy Tulowitzki
2. Francisco Lindor
3. Xander Bogaerts

Doug
Guest

Today (Sunday) is the last day to vote, so if you’d like to cast a ballot, please do so now!

Kazzy
Guest

1st: Votto, Miggy, Goldy
2nd: Cano, Altuve, Pedroia
3rd: Beltre, Longoria, Donaldson
SS: Simmons, Tulo, Lindor

Doug
Guest

Thanks everyone for participating. Here are the results, based on 8 votes cast, showing points and first place votes.

1B: Cabrera 30 (4), Votto 30 (4), Goldschmidt 9 (0), Rizzo 3 (0)
2B: Cano 33 (6), Altuve 28 (2), Zobrist 5 (0), Kinsler 3 (0), Pedroia 3 (0)
3B: Beltre 34 (6), Donaldson 24 (2), Longoria 4 (0), Arenado 4 (0), Machado 3 (0), Rendon 3 (0)
SS: Tulowitzki 29 (5), Lindor 19 (0), Simmons 16 (3), Boegarts 4 (0), Baez 3 (0), Andrus 1 (0)

So, our elected infielders are Cabrera, Cano, Beltre, Tulowitzki, Votto and Altuve.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Doug, why Cabrera over Votto, out of curiosity

Doug
Guest

Only the alphabet. They’re tied with exactly the same number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place votes.

Paul E
Guest

But why Altuve? Is that a typo or is he the middle infield reserve?

Doug
Guest

There are six infielders chosen, the top voting score at each position, and the next two highest voting scores.

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[…] our voting to select the best 25 man team of this decade. We started with infielders in the first post, chose outfielders and a DH in the second post, and will choose pitchers, catchers and the rest in […]

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