by John Viril—
All season long, the Kansas City Royals have struggled to get production at 2nd base. Chris Getz opened the season as the starter and proceeded to hit .212/.273/.288 for a miserable .561 OPS. 38-year-old utility player Miguel Tejada has performed well in limited duty (.310/.355/.448), but manager Ned Yost wisely does not wish to over-expose him. Enter fellow utility player Elliot Johnson, who went 7-16 with a HR, triple and double in the last four games against Tampa Bay. Overall, Johnson is now hitting .252/.286/.346.
Given the sad state of 2nd base in Kansas City, that performance will win him the job for the foreseeable future.
Elliot Johnson has more than his recent surge at the plate to recommend him. Not only is Johnson a switch-hitter—which helps balance the lineup—he has also been terrific in the field. Johnson currently has a phenomenal Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 (UZR extrapolated to 150 games) of 21.0, good for third highest among 2B with more than 150 in...