It was almost a year ago that Jordy Mercer played his first game of the 2014 season at shortstop. Mercer came up in early May to play second base with Neil Walker on the disabled list. Walker returned on May 13th, and Mercer started his first game of the season at shortstop on May 15th. A few weeks later, Mercer was named the primary starter, which was a relief to Pirates fans who were tired of seeing Clint Barmes' bat in the lineup.

When it comes to the shortstop position, defense has a ton of value, and is highly underrated. That's especially true for a team like the Pirates, who have had the highest ground ball rate in baseball the last two years. Barmes has been one of the best defensive shortstops in the league, but has no offensive value. That overall package still has value, espe...

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