I'm really looking forward to seeing what second base will play out to be this season. The strategy will be to platoon rookie Dustin Pedroia and utility infielder Alex Cora. Pedroia's a righty, Cora's a lefty.
Pedroia had limited success in 89 ABs with Boston last season. However, his Pawtucket numbers were fairly good. He hit .305 in AAA with a .384 OBP. He didn't hit for much power, but few second basemen do. He's hitting .297 in Spring Training, with an OBP of .383. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he'll do for us this year and beyond.
He and Cora will split time. Bill James inane baseball stat predictors have proclaimed that Pedroia will have 611 ABs this season. Unless Cora gets hurt, Pedroia hits .375, or the Sox play a TON of extra inning games, this will not happen. At the most, Pedroia will get around 400 ABs, I think.
Cora only hit .238 last season, but if his appearances are limited to favorable situations, that could improve a bit. He and Pedroia currently have the same number of ABs this Spring, and Cora also has a .297 average. Although, his OBP is a lower .325. Cora's presence will keep some pressure off Pedroia.
I expect Pedroia to hit around .270 or so, with an OBP around .350. Cora will hit .240 with an OBP around .310. We're not going to get much offensive production from second base this year, and I expect that Cora and Pedroia will be hitting near the tail end of the lineup.
In case of emergencies, Youkilis might be plugged in at second base, but this will be in dire circumstances.