The Brewers' J.J. Hardy is realistic about his future with the club,
knowing he likely will be traded to make room at shortstop for Alcides
Escobar, one of the game's top shortstop prospects.
Hardy recalls being impressed by Escobar the first time he saw him,
when Hardy was rehabilitating a shoulder injury at the Brewers'
spring-training facility in Arizona in 2004.
"(The Brewers) had
brought over a ton of new kids from the Dominican and Venezuela, all 16
and 17 years old," Hardy says. "I picked out Escobar out of all the
guys. I didn't even know he was a shortstop. But he was having fun,
smiling, laughing. I gave him bats and gloves. The next thing I knew,
he was the shortstop who was going to take my job."
though, should be in demand. He led National League shortstops with 74
RBIs, ranked fourth among all shortstops in on-base/slugging percentage
and was third overall at short in the plus-minus defensive rankings at
Bill James Online.
This would be a giant error. Hardy/Escobar should be moved to second. While obviously Hardy brings a better return than Weeks, he is also exponentially better at baseball. While I can see why Hardy would not necessarily want to do it, he'd really have no choice. By all accounts Escobar is an excellent defensive shortstop, and clearly neither of them is going to make the Brewers worse defensively at second.The Brewers have the means to plug a giant hole in their lineup, but it seems as though they are unlikely to do so.