New York Yankees: All-time best second basemen in franchise history

Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees - (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees - (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees – (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees franchise has existed since 1901, and there have been several terrific second basemen to don the pinstripes.

To qualify to be among the best second basemen in Yankees’ history, players needed at least 1500 plate appearances, and they had to play second base more than any other position. They needed to have at least 13 Wins Above Replacement to qualify.

The goal was also to be objective rather than subjective, so rankings were based on Wins Above Replacement, according to Fangraphs. This takes into account base running skills, defensive prowess, and well as offensive skills.

This means some well-know, relatively modern players such as Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblauch, and Alfonso Soriano missed the cut.

Let’s get to it!

New York Yankees all-time best second basemen

43. . 1965-1974. New York Yankees. Horace Clarke. 8. player

New York Yankees all-time best second basemen – No. 8: Horace Clarke

13.5 WAR

Horace Clarke debuted for Yankees in 1965 and played into the 1974 season. He had the unfortunate luck to be the primary lead-off hitter through the third-longest playoff drought in Yankees’ history.

He had little power, hitting just 27 home runs and 23 triples over his career. He never recorded more than 26 doubles in a single season. He never reached 50 runs batted in, but he did score a fair amount of runs, averaging 70 a season from 1967 through 1973.

He never struck out more than 64 times, and he never walked more than 64 times. His highest batting average in a season was .281, 13 points higher than his next best mark.

He did lead the league in at-bats twice and in singles twice. Defensively, he led all second basemen in putouts four times and assists six times. He also committed double-digit errors in six straight seasons.

He also had some speed, accumulating 151 steals with the Yankees.

Clarke was consistent and durable, just not flashy. He still ranks eighth all-time in Wins Above Replacement among all Yankees’ second basemen.