- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -
How The Mighty Have Fallen
Posted By Dave Cameron On May 30, 2008 @ 6:00 am In Daily Graphings | 8 Comments
At the end of the last decade, the American League boasted a pretty remarkable group of shortstops. It had almost always been a position of light hitters, but Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Derek Jeter provided all-star bats at the position and led to something of a revolution at the position. In fact, in 1998, the average American League shortstop hit .274/.323/.407.
10 years later, and things are back to normal. American League shorstops are hitting .254/.305/.354 so far this year, and if you’re filling out your All-Star ballot, you’re going to hard pressed to get excited about the shortstop vote. Derek Jeter is going to be the starter, but he’s hitting .280/.333/.382 and playing his usual awful defense. Michael Young will probably be the backup, but he’s hitting .278/.339/.408 and, like Jeter, is pretty lousy defensively, and his offensive production gets a boost from playing half his game in a hitter friendly park. Neither of them are having all-star seasons, but realistically, what are the alternatives?
Jhonny Peralta is hitting for power, but he has a .282 on base percentage. You have to be Ozzie Smith defensively to make an all-star team when you’re making outs that often, and Peralta is no Ozzie Smith.
Marco Scutaro is getting on base at a nifty .372 clip, but he has no power, and he’s Marco Scutaro.
Everyone else is either having a bad year or a bad career. The dearth of talent at the position is really pretty shocking, especially considering the quality of the players playing shortstop just ten years ago.
Article printed from FanGraphs Baseball: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs
URL to article: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-the-mighty-have-fallen/
Copyright © 2009 FanGraphs Baseball. All rights reserved.