Where Did You Go Dustin Pedroia?

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When the Milwaukee Brewers traded for third baseman Mike Moustakas (6 feet, 225 pounds) on the 2018 trade date, they moved Travis Shaw (6-4, 230) from third to second. A year later they put Moustakas there for 47 games. Neither Shaw nor Moustakas had ever played a single professional ball per second before.

“As an industry, we’re starting to realize that you don’t have to look a certain way to play a certain position,” said David Stearns, Brewers’ head of baseball operations.

In Colorado, McMahon’s initial reviews of the field were decidedly mixed.

McMahon’s Baseball America expedition report prior to the 2018 season noted that although McMahon was physically large for second base, he “impresses the Rockies in how he adapts to the position, although rival observers are less convinced.”

As the 2021 season kicks off the second half on Thursday, McMahon’s seven defensive runs saved at second base draw with Toronto Blue Jays’ Marcus Semien and Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher for the major league lead. This is despite McMahon spending half of his time at third base. Add his six DRSs to third and McMahon is the most valuable fielder in the majors.

While McMahon has become a success story on the field, the evolution of second base has also opened up options for good hitters without a natural position.

A third-learning college freshman in the juniors, Max Muncy played only three Class AAA games and two in the Cape Cod League as a runner-up before the Oakland Athletics placed him in the majors in 2016. The 215-pound build, Muncy played extensively second base for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s leading the National League with a base percentage of 0.414 this season and has offered versatility, spending time in five positions (first, second, third, right field and left) over the past few years.

“Muncy is a better athlete than people think: He can run, he can dunk – he’s a pretty explosive guy,” said Josh Byrnes, Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations.

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