Continuing a ranking of the eight position starters for the Diamondbacks, here’s where we’ve been:
#8 – 3B Ryan Roberts
#7 – 2B Aaron Hill
#6 – LF Gerardo Parra
#5 – 1B Paul Goldschmidt
#4 – SS Stephen Drew
If you want to look for a reason why the D-Backs are a contender, look no further than their players up the middle. Catcher, shortstop and centerfielder are traditionally the three hardest positions to fill because–to be effective–they require more skill than any other positions on the diamond.
Stephen Drew’s overall numbers don’t look overly impressive, but he is a shortstop…and an above average one at that. Any chance for longterm success for the Diamondbacks relies on Drew getting healthy quickly from his brutal 2011 ankle injury. Drew’s an average defender who has moderate range (13th in 2010) but is sure handed (4th in fielding % in 2010). Offense is the best part about Drew as he’s shown the ability to get on base and post a low .800s OPS, which is more than acceptable for the typical light hitting position. If Drew is the third baseman or an outfielder, there is no way that you can justify this ranking, but as it stands he has the ability to hit .285 with 15-18 HRs and 75 RBI which is more than any team could ask for from their shortstop.
While Willie Bloomquist was able to fill in admirably for Drew for a short period of time–as I’ve discussed–after his initial hot streak he falters quickly when in an everyday role enhancing the need for Drew to be healthy. Here’s hoping that Drew has no lingering effects from his ankle injury, as his defense and base speed can’t really afford to take much of a hit.
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