Wednesday, March 23, 2005

J.J. Hardy Report

J.J. Hardy, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Drafted 56th Overall (2nd Rd), 2001 Draft, HS, Tucson, AZ
Bats R/Throws R
22 YO, 6'2", 181 lbs

Hardy is one of the better shortstop prospects in baseball when he's healthy. Notice the qualifier. That if weighs more than 3 Cal Pickerings and a Prince Fielder. It hangs over Hardy in the same way that it hangs over pitching prospects. Hardy was set to take a victory lap in Indy last year before taking the starting shortstop job in Miller Park for the next decade. However, he tore his labrum and was out for most of the season.

2004 Indianapolis: .277/.330/.495, 10 2B, 4 HR, 9 BB, 8 K, 101 AB
mL Career: .272/.335/.402, 69 2B, 2 3B, 25 HR, 111 BB, 133 K, 1142 AB

For reference sake, in his breakout 2003 campaign with Huntsville, he hit .279/.368/.428 with more walks (58) than strikeouts (54). He can hit and he has a good glove. If can stay healthy, he's an All Star. I worry about that shoulder though. His shoulder popped out of socket when he swung at pitch in a spring training game. I don't like the sound of that. And shoulder injuries have a nasty tendency in pitchers to re-occur. I don't know if that tendency carries over to hitters, but it is enough for me to push his final grade down a level. But if he's healthy, he's as good a prospect as Ian Kinsler, and unlike Kinsler, he has the opportunity to stick at shortstop long term.

Hardy's been struggling in spring training, so he's probably heading to Milwaukee's new AAA affiliate in Nashville while Bill Hall acts as the stopgap for at least the first couple months of the season. Long term, Hall is more of a super-utility player and no real threat to Hardy's job security.

ETA: mid 2005
3 1/2 Stars



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?