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Rays Spring Training position watch: Second base

What’s on second? Probably Brandon Lowe.

Will Vragovic / Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are likely to rely on Brandon Lowe as their primary second baseman. But Lowe also plays several other positions, and there are several other players who have experience at second base. Who (or, following Abbott and Costello should we ask “what”) are we likely to see at second?

Lowe’s slow postseason may lead Rays fans to forget how great a hitter he was over the first month of 2020. He absolutely blistered the ball during the month of August, only to see a steep drop off during September that dampened any hopes he had of receiving the award. His struggles continued into the postseason, where he hit just .118/.183/.276 over 82 plate appearances.

Regardless of his prolonged slump over those final two months of play last year, Brandon Lowe still figures to be the Rays starting second baseman on Opening Day. The only competition surrounding the position during Spring will be who gets the most reps as the backup at the position, with Mike Brosseau and Joey Wendle likely sharing that role depending on match-ups.

Several players unlikely to make the Opening Day roster will get looks at the position, though, and that may be telling for the Rays future plans. Wander Franco, Taylor Walls, and Vidal Brujan are three top prospects Kevin Cash will surely want to see at second base this Spring.

Of those prospects, Vidal Brujan is the only with second base as his primary position. With 399 games that he has played in the minor leagues, Brujan has played second base in 323 or 81% of those contests.

Meanwhile, Taylor Walls is considered to be amazing defender, particularly at short stop. A versatile switch hitter, second base is just one of the positions at which we’ll see Walls this spring. And although Franco’s primary position is at short stop, the Rays will likely have him work at any position he can competently field just in order to get his bat into the lineup.

Along with Franco, there are several other players with invites to camp who will receive time all over in the infield, including at second base, with Greg Jones, Xavier Edwards, Esteban Quiroz, and the versatile Miles Mastrobuoni all taking up spots on the Rays spring training roster.

So although Brandon Lowe has a lock as the primarily second baseman, look for Kevin Cash to use spring training as an opportunity to check out a number of potential backups at that position.