Power hitting, Gold Glove short stop, sounds like Cal Ripken Jr. but this player profile is on J.J. Hardy. The Baltimore Orioles acquired Hardy in 2011 in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. That trade included…. The Twins were willing to trade Hardy because he had a history of getting injured. Hardy put his injury history behind him when he arrived in Baltimore.
Hardy is a power hitting short stop who makes plays easy. The Orioles have had many great short stops in their long history but, since Miguel Tejada left the Orioles the short stop position was a weakness for the Orioles. When Hardy arrived he sured up the short stop position and provided leadership for the Orioles.
To get Hardy the Orioles traded Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey, the Orioles also got Brendan Harris and $500,000 in the deal with the Twins. Hoey was a long time Orioles prospect but never found success in the majors.
Hardy has great coordination and is nearly automatic in the field. Hardy’s sure glove has earned him two Gold Gloves as an Oriole. Hardy is not a fast player but his long strides help his range in the field. Hardy is a much better fielder than Tejada was, even though Tejada had a good arm he never had the range that Hardy had. While running the bases Hardy is surprisingly slow.
Most of Hardy’s power comes when he pulls the ball just about all his home runs go to left field. Hardy’s best offensive year with the Orioles came in 2011, when he was in his first season with the Orioles. Hardy had a .269 batting average and hit 30 home runs that season. Hardy is also a doubles machine, hitting 27 or more doubles in each season with the Orioles.
In the club house Hardy is known for being a great table tennis player. Hardy has become a fan favorite in Baltimore and was voted an All-Star starter in 2013.
I think Hardy is one of the best overall short stops in the league and if his career continues with the Orioles will go down as one of the best the Orioles have had. Hardy could increase his average a bit, but other than that Hardy is as good as they come when it comes to short stops.
Here is Hardy talking about his leadership role with the Orioles.
Here are Hardy’s career stats.