For the year as a whole, Hardy had a BABIP of .263. Recognizing that the type of batted ball can influence BABIP, it is important to note that Hardy's outcomes (33% groundball, 22% outfield fly, 5% infield fly, 15% line drive, and 3% bunt, according to The Hardball Times Annual) were almost identical to the major league averages. Accordingly, I feel comfortable suggesting that Hardy should have come closer to hitting .277 than .247 for the year.
A solid defensive shortstop hitting .277 with some power...you don't need me to tell you how valuable that is. The difference between Hardy's BABIP and his "shoulda been" BABIP is enough to put him on my list of the top underperformers, but as he didn't have a career average to compare his '05 stats with, he wasn't included in the study.
Looking ahead, Lederer should make Brewers Nation (is there a "Brewers Nation?") quite hopeful:
Look for Hardy to avoid the sophomore slump and put up a Bobby Crosby-like .280/.350/.460 line. If so, he could emerge as perhaps the #1 or #2 shortstop in the NL in 2006.
If Hardy can do this, and he slots in as the #2 hitter, pushing Weeks down to #6, our 1-6 could be a tremendous balanced attack. There obviously won't be a Pujols-like masher in the middle, but with solid years from Clark-Hardy-Jenkins-Lee-Fielder-Weeks, we'll wear out a whole lot of NL pitchers.