Short Stop: Aledmys Diaz or Jordy Mercer
Aledmys Diaz, or as I prefer to call him “El Cubano,” had a surprisingly great rookie year for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016. In 111 games last season, “El Cubano” manages to bat .300 with seventeen HR and sixty-five RBI. If anybody had told you that’s where Diaz would be at the end of 2016, please refer that person to Mozeliak.
If we expand his stats to cover a 162 games, Diaz would keep up his .300 average, but his home run total and RBI total increase to twenty-five and ninety-five respectively. His RBI total would have surpassed Stephen Piscotty‘s RBI total to lead the team.
So there is no understating what Diaz can do for the Cardinals with his offense. He figures to slot in between Fowler and Carpenter in the two hole. One thing that I would like to see Diaz improve on is his base running. Although he does not have blazing speed, it would be nice to see the Cardinals play with the “Hit and Run” sign on this year.
While Diaz has plus offense, his defense needs some big time work. Diaz complied a dWAR of .2 in his first season. He also posted a -3 Runs from Fielding in his fist season as well. So it’s safe to say he wasn’t the greatest at SS, but luckily the Cardinals have Jose Oquendo back to work with Diaz. I’m hoping to see improved defensive play from Diaz in Spring Training.
If there is one position the Pirates need to find an upgrade in, it’s at SS. Now, im not saying that Jordy Mercer is a bad player; he is just not that great either. Offensively, Mercer has struggled his entire career. His career average hovers just at .257 and is not known for much, if any power.
Unfortunately, his 2016 was just like his career numbers. He sported a .256 average with eleven HR. Nowadays in the MLB with SS like Carlos Correa and Corey Seager, Mercer doesn’t come close to what they offer.
Defensively, he was actually worse than Diaz. His dWAR was -.3 and his Runs from Fielding sat at -9. So defensively, Mercer is a liability to the Pirates. The only way to reverse this trend is to look in house and see if anyone in the minor leagues is ready or look to other big league clubs.
El Cubano is a better player than Mercer is and will only get better as he matures.