Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Rosenthal's NL Rookie? James Jerry Hardy.

Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News doles out his preseason MLB awards. His pick for the NL Rookie of the Year is none other than Brewers SS J.J. Hardy.

Rookie of the Year:
J.J. Hardy, Brewers. Everyday shortstops usually fare well with voters. Hardy's instincts will carry him, though he might not be as strong offensively as last year's top rookie shortstops, Bobby Crosby and Khalil Greene.

I happen to agree with him, and not just simply because he is a Brewer. Even though it was an extremely small sample last season at AAA, Hardy is definitely improving his offense. That was considered his only shortcoming prior to last season. Hardy will draw his walks, rarely K, play stellar defense, and hit around .270 in the low-pressure 8th spot in the Brewers order. Most people consider him a Top 30 prospect in the entire league, and Baseball America has him as the #3 prospect in the Brewers system. If he continues to prove his torn labrum is completely healed, and his power stroke continues to improve like it started to last season, he could easily be an All-Star in no time. Here's some various projections for Hardy's 2005 season:

Baseball Prospectus PECOTA: .268/.328/.437, 15 HR, 19.3 VORP
Baseball Forecaster: .264/.337/.411, 12 HR
ZIPS: .252/.347/.397, 15 HR
John Sickels: .256/.330/.396/, 12 HR

I think all Brewers fans would be happy with those numbers, especially those by BP.

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