Paul Janish: Why the Atlanta Braves Shortstop Is a Perfect Fit for His New Team

Baily DeeterSenior Writer IIIJuly 20, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 19: Paul Janish #4 of the Atlanta Braves dives for a ground ball against the San Francisco Giants at Turner Field on July 19, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Braves are looking to make a major splash at the trade deadline, and they are in the hunt for a lot of great players on the trade block.

But before they made a major move, they made a minor move that will have a major impact.

Atlanta dealt a minor league reliever (Todd Redmond) to the Reds for shortstop Paul Janish, who is a one to two-month replacement for the injured Andrelton Simmons. Janish isn't a great hitter, and he has very little power. However, he will still help the team a lot.

Janish is a great defensive shortstop, and he can definitely make some tough plays there. Since Simmons and Jack Wilson are hurt, the Braves would've been stuck with Tyler Pastornicky at shortstop. Pastornicky doesn't have great offensive stats, and he is not good at defense.

Even though he isn't a great hitter, Janish is definitely better than Pastornicky and Wilson. Wilson is a career .265 hitter, but he has hit .255, .249, .243 and .169 in his last four years. Both Pastornicky and Wilson are nothing more than utility players and while you could argue that Janish is also a utility player, he is the best shortstop on the roster.  

He doesn't strike out, so if the Braves need to move a runner or need a sacrifice, Janish can do that. If not, he can hit. Janish doesn't walk too often, but he can get on base. He has a career .289 on-base percentage.

That stat may not sound too good, but for comparison, Pastornicky has a .288 on-base percentage. And, Pastornicky's defense is a lot worse than Janish's.

If the Braves need a defensive replacement late in games, Janish can be that guy. A lot of teams turn to great defensive players to come in during the late innings to try to make a play if a ball comes his way. Janish can play third and second base, so he could come in as a defensive replacement near the end of a game.

Even though the addition of Janish doesn't seem to have a big impact on the Braves, it will definitely help them. Simmons will be out until at least mid-August and could possibly be out until September. Wilson is beginning a rehab assignment and will probably be back in around two weeks, but he isn't much help either. Wilson has a .169 batting average this year, and he has a career fielding percentage of just .977.

Like I've said again and again, Janish is a much better defensive shortstop than Wilson and Pastornicky, and they're both in the same range when it comes to hitting. With Simmons out for at least a month, the Braves will turn to Janish a lot to make big plays on defense. He'll be hitting a lot too, and he'll probably start the majority of the time at shortstop.

And it's because Janish is the best shortstop on the team right now. Plus, he may very well be the most valuable .221 [career] hitter to ever don an Atlanta Braves uniform.