Jayson Nix, Marcus Giles and Ian Stewart will battle this spring for the starting 2B job. 25-year old righty swinging Jayson Nix appeared to be the favorite heading into spring training. He played in 124 games in AAA last season and he was 128 for 439 (.292 avg, .793 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 11 homers, 58 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. Nix was one of the better defensive 2B in the minors so he will have an edge over the other two guys there. The big question with Nix is if he will hit well enough to keep the job.
30-year old righty swinging Marcus Giles was brought in as a free agent to battle for the starting job. Giles played in 116 games last season for the Padres and he was 96 for 420 (.229 avg, .621 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 4 homers, 39 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Giles will need to get back to his career norms (.277 avg, .782 OPS) if he is going to win and keep the 2B job all season. He is still a good defensive 2B as he only made 7 errors in 112 games while showing good range.
The wildcard for the 2B job is top prospect Ian Stewart who is blocked at 3B by Garrett Atkins. The 23-year old lefty swinging Stewart played in 35 games for the Rockies last season and he was 9 for 43 (.209 avg, .633 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 9 RBIs. He also whiffed 17 times and looked a tad overmatched by big league pitching at times. Stewart played in 112 games in AAA ball last season and he was 126 for 414 (.304 avg, .857 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 15 homers, 65 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C