Before I get into the top five second basemen in the Orioles' minor league system, I wanted to thank everyone who offered their input on my list of the top first basemen in the organization.
It's always good to have an educated discussion between baseball fans that doesn't deteriorate into name-calling and arguments. I knew it was possible.
As I said in the post, the case could be made for any of the top three players -- Brandon Waring, Brandon Snyder and Rhyne Hughes -- to be at the head of the class.
Waring, who spent most of the season with the Single-A Frederick Keys, was at No. 1 in my list. However, I do see the point of those in favor of Snyder, who split the season between the Double-A Bowie Baysox and Triple-A Norfolk Tides. Despite a tremendous offensive season, Hughes loses points since he was only in the organization for a short time.
Now, let's move on.
Here is how I would rank the top five second basemen in the Orioles' minor league system.1. Justin Turner
2. Miguel Abreu
3. L.J. Hoes
4. Bobby Stevens
5. Omar Casamayor
If he didn't burn bridges within the organization at the end of the year, Keys second baseman Ryan Adams likely would have a spot near the top of this list.
The 22-year-old infielder was suspended by the team with a little over a week remaining in the season, and injuries also caused him to miss significant time in 2009.
Adams batted .288 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 59 games for the Keys. He also hit 14 doubles and scored 27 runs this season. Adams was No. 2 on my list last year despite making 52 errors in 119 games.
With Adams out of the picture, Tides second baseman Justin Turner earns the top spot in my rankings following his first year with the organization.
Turner, who was acquired last offseason from the Cincinnati Reds in the Ramon Hernandez trade, batted .300 with two home runs and 43 RBIs in 108 games for Norfolk.
The 24-year-old right-handed hitter, who also played shortstop and third base for the Tides this season, collected 28 doubles, 54 runs scored and nine stolen bases in the minor leagues.
Turner struggled a bit defensively with the Tides in 2009. He committed a career-high 21 errors, including 13 in 80 games at second base.
The Cincinnati Reds selected Turner in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB draft. He is batting .143 (2-for-14) with one RBI in 10 games for the Orioles this season.
Baysox second baseman Miguel Abreu continues to exceed expectations for someone who the Orioles selected in the 28th round of the 2005 MLB draft.
The 24-year-old infielder, who is nine days younger than Turner, hit .290 with four home runs and 45 RBIs in 130 games this season. He led the Baysox in doubles (31) and finished second on the team in stolen bases (25) and runs scored (55).
Abreu earned the Top Star Award after going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases in the Eastern League All-Star Game in July.
Hoes is the most intriguing prospect among the second basemen in the Orioles' minor league system. The 19-year-old infielder definitely has the highest ceiling of the players on my list.
After batting over .300 in his professional debut with the Rookie-level GCL Orioles last season, Hoes started the 2009 campaign with the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds.
Although Hoes struggled at times this season, the Orioles' third-round pick in the 2008 MLB draft finished with a .260 batting average, two home runs and 47 RBIs in 119 games. He was fourth on the Shorebirds in RBIs and doubles (19), and he finished fifth on the team with 20 stolen bases in 2009.
Defensively, Hoes needs to cut down on the errors. He committed a team-leading 28 defensive miscues this season. With the GCL Orioles in 2008, Hoes made 15 errors in 42 games.
While Adams was expected to be the everyday second baseman in Frederick, it was Bobby Stevens who shined at the position for the Keys.
Stevens hit .272 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs in 81 games for the Keys after only batting .213 in 49 games for the Rookie-level Bluefield Orioles last season.
On defense, the 22-year-old infielder only committed five errors for Frederick.
Bluefield second baseman Omar Casamayor grabs the last spot in my rankings after hitting .279 with one home run and 21 RBIs in 57 games this season.
The 22-year-old native of Venezuela led the Orioles with 37 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. Casamayor also hit seven doubles and committed eight errors in 2009.
You know the drill by now. Let me hear your rankings by posting a comment below.