Let's continue to work our way around the diamond with a look at another very disappointing position: shortstops.
If you've just now noticed that J.J. Hardy had a disappointing season, I'm sorry. Hardy underachieved our expectations by 143 OPS points. possibly the single largest gap between expectations and reality on the 2009 Brewers.
Meanwhile, the sample size is small, but Alcides Escobar exceeded our expectations in all three slash lines, and cemented his status as the Opening Day shortstop for 2010.
Speaking of small sample sizes: There's probably nothing too this, but check out Craig Counsell's splits by defensive position in 2009:
Counsell had a career year in 2009, and his numbers were good at second, great at third and incredible (in a small sample) as a pinch hitter. Yet somehow he was terrible as a shortstop. I'm not sure if that's relevant or just a small sample size quirk, but I thought I'd share it and let you decide for yourself.
|Player||Projected %||Actual %||Diff|
Clearly, Hardy's underwhelming performance had something to do with him getting significantly less playing time, although his service time may also have had something to do with it. Escobar didn't play as much as many of us thought he should when Hardy was back in September, but still contributed nearly four times as often as we expected him to.
Again, when these projections were made Craig Counsell had yet to re-sign with the Crew. Many of us projected him to play anyway, but he likely would have gotten a larger share of the projection if we'd been sure he'd be back.