5 Players Who Could Replace A Legend
Sep 15, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy (2) throws to first base during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Baltimore Orioles defeated Toronto Blue Jays 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Age: 32; Bats/Throws: Right/Right; Career Numbers: .261 batting average, 167 HR, 579 RBI
Yankees fans have had a good look at Hardy during his four seasons with Baltimore and a few things have stuck out. One is Hardy’s excellent fielding, which has won him two Gold Glove awards in the past two seasons. While Hardy has seen his power disappear this season, he could easily pick up his power numbers again.
Remember, this is the same guy that hit 20 or more home runs in each of his three seasons before 2014, and had hit 20 two times before that. Camden Yards is a friendly ball park but… I mean come on… it’s Yankee Stadium. The friendly dimensions of Yankee Stadium should help with bringing some power back to his game. Hardy has been a leader on and off the field, and fits the type of overall player the Yankees are looking for to replace Derek Jeter.
Hardy is 32, and the Orioles will likely extend him a qualifying offer, meaning that the Yankees would have to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. But, luckily Hardy won’t break the bank as he bats for a mediocre batting average and the drop in power (especially compared to others at his position) won’t garner him a blockbuster contract. Many people see Hardy as a perfect fit for the Yankees and he’d definitely make the lower half of the Bombers’ lineup a lot more respectable.