TORONTO -- There was a time, not that long ago, when Howard Kendrick aspired to be an adequate defensive second baseman.
If the statistical data accumulated by Fangraphs.com culminating in UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) is on the money, nobody is better at the position in 2011 than the Angels' primary second baseman.
Boston's Dustin Pedroia has a higher overall UZR than Kendrick, but Kendrick's fewer appearances at the position -- he has played first and left field as well as second this season -- account for the discrepancy.
Based on 150 games, Kendrick moves to the top of the list in the Majors with a 23.0 rating, compared to Pedroia's 20.7. Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips, third in the Majors, is far behind Pedroia and Kendrick at 10.6.
Pedroia is the overall leader (17.4 to 15.0) largely because he has played 1,301 innings at second compared to Kendrick's 877.
Peter Bourjos trails only Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury in the UZR center-field ratings in the American League. Bourjos is third overall, with Arizona's Chris Young second.
Kendrick, Bourjos and shortstop Erick Aybar are the leading Angels in the controversial WAR (wins above replacement) ratings. Aybar ranks ahead of Jimmy Rollins, Derek Jeter and Asdrubal Cabrera at his position. Kendrick trails only Pedroia and Ian Kinsler, while Bourjos is tied for seventh among center fielders.