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Bill Hall, God Amongst Men (and Shortstops)

Remember that time when Bill Hall had to fill in for the better part of a season because JJ Hardy got hurt?  And how the defense really suffered because of it?  And then, when JJ was healthy again, the Brewers threatened to move Hall to the outfield to get him regular playing time?

Uh, yeah.  As if it weren't a dumb idea already, here's more evidence.  According to David Pinto's Probabilistic Model of Range, Bill Hall was the second best shortstop in the majors last year, right behind Adam Everett and just ahead of Craig Counsell.  In other words, based on 2006 performance, Billy is as good a fielder as the guys who have jobs even though they can't hit.

I mean, dude.  Hall was worth a win and a half above average with the glove.  Let's do the math here: according to VORP, Hall was 44 runs above replacement at the plate, relative to shortstops.  So the fielding skill moves him up to six wins above replacement.  Consistent six win players are the types of guys who sign 5-year, $45 million contracts--though Juan Pierre appears to have gotten one of those as well.

I really don't want to spend the whole offseason writing stuff like this about why Bill Hall should not be moved to left field, but as long as the evidence keeps mounting and Doug Melvin appears to be making plans with that in mind, I just may have to :).