MLB Predictions: 5 MLB Stars Who Should Change Positions
Long before Joe Mauer had troubles this year with leg fatigue, people have been saying that he may need to switch positions to save some years of his career later down the road.
He is not alone though, as a few players are playing in positions where they are not best helping the team. In this article we will take a look at some of them. The players that need to change all play a variety of positions with varying level of success.
These players may currently be playing their position as well as anyone and should instead change to lengthen their career, while others are struggling to play a position that they have been playing for a long time.
When doing so, we will take a look at what the team has at the position, but we will still be going with players that be moves even if they have a great player at the other position. This is about the player and not so much the team.
Derek Jeter, SS
While "The Captain" has been playing shortstop for the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter has been hurting the team more than helping it defensively for a few seasons now.
This is an obvious selection to most, which is why we are starting off with him. Jeter's range and arm have deteriorated pretty quickly and he would be best suited for another position.
The optimum position for Jeter would likely be second base, but that spot is currently being held by Robinson Cano. Another would be to put Jeter in left field, but Brett Gardner is currently playing out there.
So what do with Jeter? Nothing is going to, he has held down the position too long and will continue to play shortstop. He would be better suited for another position, but it will never happen.
Carlos Lee, LF
Carlos Lee has quietly put up a pretty good career that seems to be winding down. Part of this is because he is losing some off the athleticism he used to have.
Last year, Lee put up a UZR of -17.4, one of the worst in the league. He is still an offense force at times though, so a position change may be helpful for him.
The best position would likely be for Lee to move to first base, but with Brett Wallace currently playing as well as he is there this seems unlikely.
Much like Jeter, Lee is going to be moving anywhere any time soon.
Corey Hart, RF
Corey Hart has a bat that can profile at just about any position when he is hitting well. The problem is that he isn't a great right fielder, as his -7.2 UZR from last year shows.
A move to first base could actually happen in 2012 if Prince Fielder doesn't return, which most people don't expect him to.
Moving to first base would likely be a good move for Hart and the Brewers. He has great size at 6'6", 235, and this will give their infield a great target to throw to.
This will be something to possibly look for next season.
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Mark Reynolds is the quintessential strikeout/home run guy that has set the strikeout record for a single season several times in his career. He's been a proven power hitter for a few year, but has also been a rather bad defensive third baseman.
The 2010 season was the first time in Reynold's career where he posted a positive UZR, but he has shown that it was probably just a fluke. His current UZR is -5.2.
A move to first base would be best for Reynolds. Derek Lee is currently holding down the position, but he won't be around for forever, and Reynolds could then be worked over at first base.
Joe Mauer, C
Joe Mauer is as good a baseball player as we have right now. He has put up great batting averages number his whole career and has shown a great ability to be a clutch player when his team needs him.
However, earlier this year Mauer was struggling with leg fatigue. In April?
Mauer is a fantastic catcher, certainly the game's best all around catcher. He plays good defense with a strong and accurate arm. He is also athletic enough to have earned a full-ride scholarship to play quarterback at Florida State University.
So, without that athleticism, is there any ready why Mauer couldn't play left field? Certainly he could play first base, but Justin Mourneau is currently over there.
This is not likely to happen for a few more years, but I think it does happen at some point. He is too important to the team not to make sure he can be on the field and in uniform for as long as possible.