Detroit Tigers: 1996-2002
This list seems to divide itself into three parts. We just got through part one. Part two includes four second baseman who were all very solid members of Detroit’s history. Up first is Damion Easley.
Easley spent seven of his 17 big league seasons in Detroit. He might wish he had spent his whole career in Detroit however, as he was most productive while on the Tigers.
In fact, 17.7 of his 20.4 career bWAR came in a Tigers uniform.
From 1997-1999, Easley was one of the best second baseman in all of baseball.
Easley came over to Detroit in a late-July trade with the Angels in 1996 for reliever Greg Gohr. Gohr threw 24 ill-fated innings for the Halos before leaving baseball for good.
Easley, however, flourished in the Motor City.
From 1997-1999, Easley was one of the best second baseman in all of baseball. He posted three consecutive 20 home run seasons while stealing 10 or more bases.
In 1997 he hit .264 with 22 home runs, 28 stolen bases, and a 117 OPS+. It remains the only 20-20 season by a Tigers second baseman in team history.
Easley made the All-Star team in 1998 and was awarded the Silver Slugger award. He hit .271 with 27 home runs, 100 RBI, and 15 stolen bases.
1999 saw Easley hit 20 home runs for the third straight year. He added 11 steals and hit .266.
Easley saw his production dip across the next three seasons before Detroit released him ahead of the 2003 season. He hopped around four different teams before officially retiring in 2008.
Easley finished his Tigers career with 104 home runs, 81 stolen bases, 174 doubles and a 17.7 bWAR. He ranks in the top-50 in Detroit history in each of those categories.
Easley was one of the best hitting second baseman in Detroit history. He was no slouch with the glove either and finds himself at the tail end of a great group of Detroit second baseman.
Our next player continues the trend of modern, power hitting second basemen: