J.J. Hardy Living Up To Expectations
Unless Hardy goes into a late season slide, he will hit 25 homers.
At the beginning of the year, we at Fantasy Baseball Dugout named J.J. Hardy of the Orioles as the 2011 Surprise Player of the Year in the American League.
Hardy is having a fine season in 2011 just as we predicted. The Orioles shortstop has belted 20 homeruns with 52 RBI and sports a .270 batting average.
We knew he’d have a better power season based on the ballpark homerun index of Camden Yards versus that of cavernous Target Field in Minneapolis. But, even Hardy’s hitting coach Jim Presley didn’t anticipate him returning to the 26 homers that he hit in 2007.
“He’s not a 25-home run guy,” Presley said, “but he’s big enough and strong enough, especially in our ballpark to hit 15, 18, 20 homeruns and drive in 74. If he’s going to be hitting in the ninth spot in the order, we need him to do that.”
Sorry Coach, but Hardy already has 20 dingers! And, 74 RBI is hardly out of Hardy’s reach.