Baltimore Orioles: 2014 Season Grades – Infielders

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Oct 14, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy hits a RBI double against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning in game three of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Short Stop. Baltimore Orioles. J.J. HARDY. B+.

In a sentence, J.J. Hardy’s power numbers are down, but his batting average is up. I personally think this is the better scenario.

Hardy will not be winning a Gold Glove this year, as he had too many errors – though most of them were in a stretch of just several games. But all in all, his defensive consistency ranks him as among the best.

When you look back at the stats on the first page of this article, and then factor in his glove, one can see how there are few short stops who bring more to a team than does Hardy. And for this he has received his lucrative contract extension – a key move that gives the Orioles direction for other decisions to be made.

Hardy batted .268 for the season with nine home runs. Much of the year, however, his average was higher than the final number.

The number that most stands out for me about Hardy’s 2014 season is his average with runners in scoring position – at .315.  In 2013, it was .234; in 2012, it was .264.  I’ll trade the power numbers for an ability to hit in critical situations.

I still think he stands too far off the plate, and that this therefore has him powering balls into the deep part of the outfield where they are often caught. Closer to the dish would allow him to turn better on inside pitches while giving better plate coverage.

Hardy is an asset, and being tough with the grades, we’ll give him a “B+” for the season.