Gone are the days of superstars playing shortstop.
Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra are sitting on a couch somewhere. So is Miguel Tejada. Alex Rodriguez hasn’t played shortstop in a decade, and that guy Omar Vizuel, coaches first base for the Detroit Tigers.
The shortstop position has returned to being a predominantly defensive position, and with Jose Iglesias one of the best glove men in the game, he has become one of the best shortstops as well.
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Speaking of middle infielders, shortstop A.J. Simcox, who the Tigers drafted in the 14th round, elected to sign with Detroit over staying another year at the University of Tennessee. That means Simcox will forego his senior season at Tennessee to being his professional career.
That also means Detroit has signed 16 of their first 17 selections in the 2015 draft. High school shortstop Nick Shumpert, the team’s seventh-round pick, is the only player the Tigers drafted in the first 16 rounds who remains unsigned. In total, Detroit has signed 27 of their 41 picks.
In short order, Iglesias emerges as one of AL’s best – Chris McCosky, The Detroit News
"Look where the position is now, 15 years later. Jose Iglesias is the lone American League shortstop hitting above .300. His .775 OPS leads the league at the position, as well. And, no American League shortstop has hit more the six home runs or knocked in more than 31 runs.“That was a unique time, when you had all those guys — A-Rod, Jeter, Tejada, Garciaparra — at once,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Right now at shortstop, I think, because of declining offense across the league, there has been a refocusing on the importance of defense at the shortstop position.“I think it’s kind of gone back to the way it was before those guys came around.”"
SS A.J. Simcoz picks Tigers over Tennessee return – Dustin Dopirak, Knoxville New-Sentinel via The Detroit Free Press
"Tennessee baseball coach Dave Serrano was hoping that whom he believed would be the best returning shortstop in the SEC would be on his roster.Instead, he has another hole to fill.Tennessee junior shortstop A.J. Simcox signed a professional contract with the Detroit Tigers, who took him in the 14th round of this year’s Major League Baseball draft, and will forgo his senior season, according to a post on the UT baseball program’s official Twitter account Monday."
Detroit Tigers draft list: Just one of team’s first 17 picks remains unsigned – Chris Iott, MLive.com
"The Tigers have come to terms with their top seven picks and 16 of their top 17. High school shortstop Nick Shumpert, the team’s seventh-round pick, is the only player the Tigers drafted in the first 16 rounds who remains unsigned.The Tigers have agreed to terms with 27 of their 41 picks, including 26 of their top 29."