Here at Marlin Maniac we have been providing you with our end of the season grades for the different Marlins players based on the position that they played. Our grades are reflective of how well the players performed based on reasonable individual expectations meshed with actual performance. Then we provide you with an overall grade for the position, which is based on a comparison with other players on other teams who play that particular position. For more information on our grading system, click here.
Today we are providing you with our review of the shortstop position. Up until now, we have been spotlighting at least two players for each position this season. Today will change since shortstop was by far the Marlins most consistent position during 2013. This was a result of a lack of injuries to Adeiny Hechavarria, and no one better to put in his place.
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Hechavarria was tabulated as the Marlins’ shortstop from day one this season. Adeiny came over from the Toronto Blue Jays during the blockbuster offseason trade and was viewed as a defensive wizard with a work-in-progress bat. He was expected to possibly mature into a potential 2-hole hitter and provide the Marlins with baserunners and speed. Unfortunately, Hechavarria showed that he is still a long ways away from even being competent with a bat in his hands. His slash line was .227/.267/.298. Regardless of your defensive prowess, those numbers are not acceptable. If the Marlins were an American League team it would have benefited them to DH for Hech and let the pitcher hit in many instances, but they aren’t, so they suffered.
This is not to say that Hechavarria didn’t show some sparks of potential along the way. He did have a grand slam and a 7 RBI game this season. He finished 5th in the National League in triples with 8, although that is probably more due to the spacious Marlins Park than actual ability. He also had a few plays like this one.
With this type of ability, you would think that Hechavarria would be a superior defender in the league. Unfortunately, the stats do not back that up. His defensive stats were right around league average, well below teammate Ed Lucas‘. Surprisingly his range was slightly below league average at .25 putouts less per 9 innings. This defense coupled with his atrocious hitting provided him with a WAR of -2.1 on the year, the worst on the team.
When analyzing the WAR at shortstop for all 30 major league teams, it is little surprise that the Marlins ranked dead last in that category as one of only 6 teams to post a negative WAR at the position. I am uncertain as to why there is not more of a push among Marlins supporters to find an upgrade. Either way, this is what determined my grade.