1.24.2013

Los Angeles Angels 2013 Depth Chart: Shortstop

Can Aybar stay healthy in 2013
 so the Angels don't have to
dip into their thin talent pool?
Where does Erick Aybar rank among other shortstops in the league? Top 10? Top 5? Aybar doesn't seem to get a lot attention among the Reyes' and Tulowitzki's of the world but the 29 year-old from the Dominican Republic has been a solid and consistently good shortstop for the past three years.

Since 2010, Aybar has posted a combined 7.9 WAR, good for 7th (tied with Starlin Castro) amongst all shortstops. Not the best, but good. As a result, Jerry Dipoto rewarded Aybar with a 4-year, $35 million-dollar extension early last season.

After some fluctuating offensive stats earlier in his career, Aybar's last two years have been extremely similar. His K-rate remained around 11% and he swiped 50 bags in that span. Then there is this:

2011: .279/.322/.421
2012: .290/.324/.416

We can probably expect similar production in 2013 from the Angels starting shortstop.

Beyond Aybar, the Angels depth at shortstop drops off somewhat dramatically. The go-to utility infielder for 2013 seems to be Andrew Romine. After six years in the minors and with the departure of Maicer Izturis to Toronto, the 27 year-old infielder's time has finally come to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. Romine will offer very solid defense at shortstop (or wherever else he is needed) but is limited offensively. Romine doesn't hit for a lot of power but has shown the ability to make good contact in the minors as well as a propensity for taking a walk posting a .352 OBP in his minor league career.

To pad their depth, the Angels went out and added 25-year old minor leaguer Tommy Field. They also have invited infield journeyman Brenden Harris, and Luis Rodriguez to spring-training as non-roster invitees. Field will probably find himself as the starting shortstop in Salt Lake City with Harris or Rodriguez also being offered some sort of minor league contract.

The Angels will hope for a healthy season from their starting shortstop because the cast behind him isn't much to write home about. Since Dipoto traded prospects Alexi Amarista and Jean Segura last year, the depth at the shortstop position for the Angels looks much more thin this year.

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