Jordy Mercer was a 1.4 WAR shortstop in 2013. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
In my opinion, shortstop is the hardest position to fill at the major league level. That's probably not just my opinion. There's a reason why teams don't trade young shortstop talent. There's a reason why guys like Yuniesky Betancourt get starting jobs in the majors. Shortstop is the hardest position to defend, requiring the most athleticism. Catcher might be tied, but catching requires skills completely different than shortstop, and you don't always have to be as athletic to play the position.
The Pirates had a good shortstop for the longest time in Jack Wilson. He was great defensively, and had decent hitting for the position. But Wilson was traded in 2009, and quickly started the decline of his career after that. Meanwhile, the Pirates had no one internally to take over. They went with Ronny Cedeno for a few years, but he was frustratingly inconsistent. They turned to Clint Barmes in 2012. He was one of ...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.