JJ Hardy was deemed expendable after the 2010 season because the Twins were looking for more speed. Many fans felt he lacked range in addition to having an average arm. I disagree with both of those arguments, but to each his own. Let's see where Hardy ranks defensively by looking at Minnesota Twins shortstops since Ultimate Zone Rating began as a defensive metric in 2002. I'm going to use a minimum of 500 innings played at shortstop to be included on this list. After going through the list of those that played shortstop for the Twins since 2002, seven seasons stood out.
Number 7: 2004 Cristian Guzman UZR 6.5 in 1,304 innings.
Number 6: 2008 Nick Punto UZR 8.1 in 530 innings.
Number 5: 2010 JJ Hardy UZR 8.1 in 858 innngs, gets nod over 2008 Punto because of more innings played.
Number 4 : 2007 Jason Barlett UZR 8.5 in 1,194 innings.
Number 3: 2006 Jason Bartlett UZR 11.6 in 879 innings.
Number 2: 2005 Jason Bartlett UZR 12.6 in 585 innings.
Number 1: 2005 Juan Castro (believe it or not) UZR 13.2 in 568 innings.
OK, so JJ Hardy wasn't the best shortstop to come through Minnesota. He wasn't too bad though. He was a better fielder than anyone else that's played shortstop for the Twins since 2002 not named Jason Bartlett...I guess Juan Castro too. Oh well, I hope 2011 goes well for JJ Hardy, he gets to be managed by Buck Showalter and play with Vladimir Guerrero. I still feel he deserved another season playing in the Twin Cities.