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June 13, 2011

How Hardy stacks up against recent Orioles shortstops

As reported earlier on this blog, the Orioles are looking to pursue a contract extension for shortstop J.J. Hardy (read the full story here).

Hardy's performance at the plate has been a welcome change for an Orioles team that had grown accustomed to getting little or no offensive production from its shortstop. Though Cesar Izturis did a fine job defensively the past two years, Orioles shortstops ranked in the bottom four in the 14-team American League in just about every significant offensive category since 2008. Last year, Orioles shortstops, which included Izturis, Robert Andino and Julio Lugo, were second to last in the AL in batting average (.236), on-base percentage (.277) and homers (one) and last in slugging percentage (.272), on-base plus slugging percentage (.549) and RBIs (31).

Here's a look at how Orioles shortstops have fared in the major offensive categories since 2008, compared with Hardy's numbers in 36 games this season (in parentheses, where those numbers ranked in the 14-team American League). Hardy technically does not qualify among AL shortstops because he has only 129 at-bats, so for these purposes, players with 120 or more at-bats are counted.

Year Avg.    HRs  RBIs OBP      SLG        OPS
2008   .218 (14) 2 (T13) 44 (14) .259 (14) .276 (14)  .535 (14)
2009   .249 (11) 4 (14)   40 (14) .290 (12)  .323 (13)  .613 (12)
2010   .236 (13) 1 (13)   31 (14) .277 (13)  .272 (14)  .549 (14)
Hardy   .287 (5) 6 (T4)   19 (10) .363 (2)     .473 (3)     .836 (3)

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 7:38 PM | | Comments (9)
        

Comments

I would be very happy to have JJ Hardy for another couple of years! I say 2 yr with an option for a third, so lets make it 3yr/21 million dollars. I would be down with that! I think he will do just fine!
Plus, I would like to see Andino stick around as well. I think Hardy and Andino make a pretty darn good double play combo. Now, if the O's can figure out who's going to play first base in 2012 we might have something here.

PS ON MLB Trade rumors a writer for the Rangers thinks the O's would be good trading partners with us. I would tell Nolan Ryan and the Rangers to go and pound sand. If we trade anyone from our bullpen, the O's would have nothing left for 2011.

Jeff:

An addendum:

J.J. Hardy is 3rd in the AL is OPS, behind only Peralta and Cabrera and 2nd in OBP behind only Peralta.

Then figure in the defensive numbers.

J.J. Hardy is 1st. Zero errors in 36 games and 175 chances.

Peralta is tied for second with a .986 fielding percentage.

So, J.J. Hardy is arguably the best SS in the AL this year.

(Jeff, can you tell I like stats?)

I think Hardy will do much better than 3/21 on the open market.

Hardy is a solid shortstop who has both offense and defense, a real sparkplug. Let's sign him to an extension!

Jeff,

I was at the game Sunday sitting in section 92, row 1. There is no way Jones could have caught Longoria's drive. The ball was never more 15 feet in the air but at the end of its path, it simply took a wicked left hook similar to what golf balls do.

Steve D said:

"I think Hardy will do much better than 3/21 on the open market"

It's that kind of thinking that will have the O's outbidding themselves. He's having a solid year, but it's still only one year and he's an injury risk. If the O's offer him $6-7mil/season, he'd be stupid not to take it.

Not that I don't like Guthrie , because I do. I only would trade him for one reason. The reason is we owe it to him for all the good baseball he has given us . This man has given us his all . He's a very good pitcher and deserves a better fate . The only reason for not trading him is if he doesn't want to be traded. We owe him this much.
Curt

Assuming he stays healthy, Hardy is perfect insurance for leadoff hitter when Roberts is unable to due to poor production/health. Let's face it- Roberts will be 34 this year; he's no spring chicken, and it seems to me that he's already in decline.

Locking up Hardy until Machado is ready is a great move. It shores up 3/4 of your infield, hopefully with that last 1/4 being Prince Fielder.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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