In our fourth installment of "Dream Home Run Derby Participant's", we're going to be looking at the 6 hole:
Now for awhile in the late 90's and early 2000's, Major League Baseball had a sudden spike in production from the shortstop position. Call it what you want, as it was in the steroid era of baseball, but regardless there were guy's who could tear the cover off the ball. There still are a select few that are power bats.
This list could get fun and the debate should be beautiful.
Without further ado, let's take a look at our mashing shortstops, once again, in no particular order:
1. Alex Rodriguez - I'm getting this one out the way early. And yes I also had him as a third baseman. But he came up a shortstop and his best year's as a professional baseball player have come as a shortstop, so I don't really need to elaborate why he's here.
2. Nomar Garciaparra - Nomah! The former Red Sox great could always hit. When healthy, he was a lock for over 20 hard hit homerun's and over 100 RBI a season for the red hose. We all loved the batting glove stretches and the toe tapping inside the batter's box, but when he saw a first pitch fastball coming, chances are he was going to hit a missile at the Green Monstah!
3. Troy Tulowitzki - This is baseball's premier power hitting shortstop. This kid is amazing. He carries around a slick glove at short and posses' 35 home run power. Obviously the thin air at Coors Field helps a bit, but in his case, it wouldn't matter because he is so strong and can muscle most out of any field.
4. Hanley Ramirez - A kid who has a little bit of a hard time staying healthy, but still show's flashes of how strong he really is. He can hit a ton of no doubters no matter he is in the lineup, no matter what team his is on, he is just an offensive weapon. So we when he get's good wood on the ball, watch out!
5. Miguel Tejada - Yes, the original Miggy. The "in his prime" Miggy. The one that won the AL MVP in 2003. When he donned an Oakland Athletics uniform, he was an absolute force. Hitting well over .300 most year's, with the capability of hitting 20+ home run's, there wasn't a place on the field that he couldn't hit. He could hit a rocket in a flash at Oakland Coliseum, which is saying quite a bit.
6. J.J. Hardy - Though on a little bit of a power outage with a better batting average, Hardy still has plenty of pop in his bat as evidence by his season's in Baltimore. Mostly a pull hitter, I'm not going to lie, I like see the ball jump off his bat. He's got a sweet and compact Utley-ish stroke at the dish.
Again, another difficult decision awaits us. Not life or death or anything like that, don't be ridiculous. I really liked Miggy's MVP season. But I always liked how A-Rod as a shortstop before he became a Yankee. Nomar was always fun to watch regardless and Tulowitzki is unbelievable as we speak. With that said:
My Verdict: Hanley Ramirez
Cal Ripkin Jr. Bill Hall Rich Aurilia Jimmy Rollins Ian Desmond Barry Larkin
Tough one but I'd like to see who you guys think I've missed.