Friday, November 7, 2014


With the retirement of Derek Jeter, the Yankees are naturally looking for a shortstop. In fact, they are trying to figure out their plans for both middle infield positions. Because Stephen Drew was the de facto shortstop/second baseman last year, you might be tempted to think that this is your Plan A. If so, you should re-think that.

Maybe it was the dreadful lineup the Yankees played day after day that made him look worse than he was. That would have been hard to do. He hit .162 on the season, and .150 for the Yankees. Eight hitters actually had higher slugging percentages than he had OPS (.536). The only thing that was worse than watching him take an at-bat was watching him take an at-bat with runners on. His batting average fell about 10 points with runners on vs. with no one on. With men in scoring position and 2 outs, his average dropped to .118. That is as close as you are going to get to “automatic out” while still playing at the major league level.

His one redeeming quality might be his glove. His defense is not bad, albeit he is better at shortstop. The Yankees tried to use him at second, but his fielding percentage was below the league average there. At shortstop, his career numbers are just above the league average, making him a defensive asset. Nevertheless, he is no Omar Vizquel. By that, I mean a shortstop who hits below average, but his play in the field is good enough that it is net positive and that he’s helping the team. Stephen has not helped his team since 2010 in Arizona, when he hit .278, had an OPS just over .800, and hit double-digits in home runs.

Drew is still 32, and maybe he can find his way back to hitting decently. There are a bunch of baseball people who believe he is young enough to regain his stroke. With the market for shortstops being as tight as it is, the Yankees may find him appealing as the “best available”. If the Yankees bite, they may end up regretting it. If we sign him and he continues to hit on the interstate, we may begin asking ourselves “Couldn’t we just promote some minor leaguer, which costs a lot less and has a lot more upside potential???”  I’m just saying.

--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row

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