J.J. JAMES JERRY HARDY
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   SS
Home: N/A Team:   ORIOLES
Height: 6' 1" Bats:   R
Weight: 200 Throws:   R
DOB: 8/19/1982 Agent: Mike Seal-Ryan Ware-Lagardiere
Uniform #: 2  
Birth City: Tucson, AZ
Draft: Brewers #2 - 2001 - Out of high school (AZ)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2001 AZL Brewers   5 20 6 5 2 1 0 1 0   1 2     .250
2001 PIO OGDEN   35 125 20 31 5 0 2 15 1   15 12     .248
2002 CAL HIGH DESERT   84 235 53 98 19 1 6 48 9   19 38     .293
2002 SL HUNTSVILLE   38 145 14 33 7 0 1 13 1   9 19     .228
2003 SL HUNTSVILLE   114 416 67 116 26 0 12 62 6   58 54     .279
2004 IL INDIANAPOLIS   26 101 17 28 10 0 4 20 0   9 8     .277
2005 NL BREWERS $316.00 124 372 46 92 22 1 9 50 0   44 48     .247
2006 NL BREWERS   35 128 13 31 5 0 5 14 1 1 10 23 .295 .398 .242
2007 NL BREWERS $400.00 151 592 89 164 30 1 26 80 2 3 40 73 .323 .463 .277
2008 NL BREWERS $2,650.00 146 569 78 161 31 4 24 74 2 1 52 98 .343 .478 .283
2009 NL BREWERS $4,650.00 115 414 53 95 16 2 11 47 0 1 43 85 .302 .357 .229
2009 PCL NASHVILLE   18 71 7 18 2 0 4 12 0 0 3 9 .284 .451 .254
2010 MWL BELOIT   3 10 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .333 .200 .200
2010 AL TWINS $5,100.00 101 340 44 91 19 3 6 38 1 1 28 54 .320 .394 .268
2011 IL NORFOLK   3 9 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 .417 .222 .222
2011 AL ORIOLES $5,850.00 129 527 76 142 27 0 30 80 0 0 31 92 .310 .491 .269
2012 AL ORIOLES $7,417.00 158 663 85 158 30 2 22 68 0 0 38 106 .282 .389 .238
2013 AL ORIOLES $7,417.00 159 601 66 158 27 0 25 76 2 1 38 73 .306 .433 .263
2014 AL ORIOLES $7,917.00 141 529 56 142 28 0 9 52 0 0 29 104 .309 .372 .268
2015 AL ORIOLES $11,209.00 114 411 45 90 14 0 8 37 0 0 20 88 .253 .311 .219
2015 EL BOWIE   3 12 2 4 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 .333 .417 .333
2016 AL ORIOLES $12,500.00 115 405 43 109 29 0 9 48 0 0 26 68 .309 .407 .269
2016 EL BOWIE   3 11 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .417 .364 .364
2017 IL NORFOLK   9 22 6 5 1 0 1 3 0 0 9 7 .452 .409 .227
2017 AL ORIOLES $13,637.00 68 236 21 50 11 1 3 21 0 1 11 44 .250 .305 .212
Personal
  • One of Hardy's buddies back in Arizona was Dustin Yount, son of Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount.

    "We were good friends all through high school, playing against and with each other on different teams," Hardy recalled. "I've been to their house a few times, hanging out. I met Robin but I never really talked to him a lot."

  • J.J. was a huge Arizona Diamondbacks fan while growing up. He attended the Diamondbacks' inaugural game in 1998. And in 2001, he said he was perched near the concourse behind home plate for Game 7 of the World Series when Luis Gonzalez slapped his World Series-winning single past New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

    The Tucson Sabino High star was in attendance for both Game 6 and Game 7 of the World Series, cheering on the Diamondbacks despite being the second-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers only months earlier.

    "I was a pretty big fan," said Hardy. "You didn't even know people, and you were hugging them and high-fiving them," Hardy said.

  • As a high school pitcher, Hardy was clocked in the 89-92 mph range, so some teams considered drafting him as a pitcher.

  • In 2001 Hardy was a member of the U.S. Junior National team, which won the silver medal in Edmonton, Canada. In 2003, he played for the U.S. Olympic Qualifying team.

    ATHLETIC FAMILY

  • Hardy's cousin, John, was the starting shortstop at the University of Arizona in 2003 and 2004.

  • J.J. really likes playing racquetball, and started when he was young.

    "It helped keep me in shape and help the quick-twitch muscles," he says. "My Dad is a tennis pro, so I've gone to him for help on some things. The strokes in tennis and racquetball are kind of similar, and he's helped me work on getting more power in my backhand," Hardy said in 2003.

  • Hardy's father, Mark, is a former professional tennis player, at one time being ranked 323rd ATP Tour.

  • His mother, Susie, once played on the LPGA tour, being ranked behind only Nancy Lopez in college. She had to give up golf when she became inflicted with a nerve disorder in her hands (possibly carpal tunnel syndrome).

    CLOSE BROTHERS

  • J.J.'s older brother, Logan, was a scratch golfer and terrific all-around athlete, but chose to join the Army. Logan spent time in the Middle East, returning to the U.S. in July 2003. Then, Logan had another tour of duty: six months in Iraq.

    "He went through mental trauma," J.J. said. "He saw things that normal people don't see. He was the one who volunteered to drive a Humvee through roadblocks."

    Logan is now safely back in the states.

  • In 2004, J.J. spent six months of the season in a physical rehabilitation program after dislocating his left shoulder while playing at Class AAA Indianapolis. The injury required surgery, ending Hardy's season only a month after it had begun.

    Players will tell you the toughest part of coming back from any major injury is the daily grind of mind-numbing rehabilitation exercises, which Hardy went through at the Brewers' training complex in Phoenix.

    "It was the toughest thing I've ever been through," said Hardy, a second-round draft pick in 2001 who probably would have made his Major League debut sooner if not for the injury. At the beginning, I was down and depressed."

    To the rescue came Hardy's brother, Logan, who is 17 months older. Logan had just returned from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division, and thus was well acquainted with the horrors of war. The Army actually made Logan come home against his will, eventually giving him a medical discharge over what was considered erratic behavior.

    "It was time for his unit to come home but he wanted to stay," J.J. said. "I talked to him about it. He said they trained him to be a soldier and do everything that way, and he wanted to stay over there and keep doing it."

    Logan Hardy was in a communications unit that was part of the first wave of soldiers to enter the palace of deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, shortly after fighting broke out. He had the option of staying off the front lines but volunteered to drive Humvees for the Army Rangers, well aware that vehicles were being destroyed on a regular basis by roadside bombs.

    "They thought he was crazy," J.J. said. "He came home and I saw him a few times. From what he's seen over there in war, you've got to expect something. But I think I know him well enough to know he was OK."

    With the added trauma of going through a divorce, Logan returned to Arizona—the family home is in Tucson—and eventually settled into J.J.'s house in Tempe. Each day, he would watch his younger brother trudge off to the Brewers' complex for his physical therapy, then return in a discouraged mood. And talk to Logan. 

    "He was just the older brother you could lean on," J.J. said. "Any time I was down, and I was definitely depressed, he said the right things to pick me up. We had a lot of talks, and he basically brought my spirits up. He would say all the things that pretty much anyone would say, but it meant more coming from him. He would tell me that things happen for a reason and say 'you're going to make it.'" (Tom Haudricourt-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-4/6/05)

  • J.J.'s brother, Logan, was also going through doubts and fears. He was  battling the emotional horrors of war and the distress of a broken marriage, moved into his Phoenix-area home and the two brothers battled and beat depression together.

    Logan was fighting life, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He says, "I couldn't really cope with real life," Hardy said. "It was a totally different world for me. I didn't have a job, I didn't talk to friends, I didn't talk to anybody. It was pretty much [the] nightmares. I couldn't sleep. Over there, you got used to sleeping an hour and a half at a time before you got ambushed. When I got back, I'd lay in my own bed. I was used to sleeping on the cot. I was up every hour, just looking around."

    "Between the two of them, J is going, 'My career is over,' and Logan is going, 'My life is over.' He was so not right after coming back from the war," Mark Hardy said. "He's a great guy, a fun kid, and there was nothing left of his personality after he got back from Iraq. You didn't know how it was going to go, but we trusted both of them when they were together. The two of them together was a whole lot more comfortable than either of them apart."

    For the first couple of weeks, a period J.J. Hardy describes as "a miserable time," the new housemates talked about very little of any substance. Hardy spent mornings at the Brewers' spring training facility nearby, working to get his shoulder back in shape. In the afternoons, they debated what ball they wanted to whip around the house and what they wanted on their pizza. The serious topics would have to wait as the days trickled by.

    They kept the shades down, the lights off. "It was dark in there for months at a time," Hardy recalled. And phone calls were mostly ignored. Their idea of getting out of the house was taking a couple of steps out the door and into J.J.'s new Jacuzzi. But that's also where the tension and the uncertainty began to thaw. They began talking openly, and eventually every fear came pouring out. Healing began.

    Logan Hardy rediscovered his sense of humor and regained his old routine. J.J.'s shoulder, after extensive rehab, was getting better. They started going out for meals and meeting friends. Months later, Hardy was healthy enough to report to big league spring training and win the job as the Brewers' Opening Day shortstop in 2005. Logan Hardy got a job at an auto glass company and moved out of his brother's place about a year and a half after moving in.  (Jeff Zrebiec-Baltimore Sun-3/20/11)

  • During the offseason before 2003 spring training, Hardy lived with three of his friends from the Milwaukee organization: Brad Nelson (the Brewers 2002 Minor league Player of the Year), Mike Jones (Milwaukee's No. 1 draft pick in 2001), and Chris Saenz (a relief pitcher picked in the 28th round of the same draft). They worked out together.

    "We drive about 40 miles to work out Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with Keith Wilson, the head minor league strength and conditioning guy for the Brewers. It's lifting weights and running and all that stuff. After the workouts we try to do something active, whether it's running or golf or playing racquetball, which I love to do."

  • J.J. started dating his girlfriend, Britany, in February 2001. They were still together in 2003.

  • J.J. was named to the 2003 United States team for the fifth annual All-Star Futures Game. That contest was on Sunday, July 13, at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago as the preliminary event for festivities leading to the All-Star Game two days later.

  • Hardy is competitive and mature for his age. He is a team leader. The only problem: His intensity can cause him to wear down at times. But overall, his makeup is very good. He is reserved and soft-spoken, but plays with real intensity.

  • Before 2004 spring training, Baseball America ranked J.J. as the third best prospect in the Brewers' organization, behind Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder. And before 2005 spring camps opened, the magazine again rated Hardy #3 behind Weeks and Fielder.

  • In 2009, Hardy tried to change his mental game, going along with then-Brewers manager Ken Macha's suggestion that he see a sports psychologist, which resulted in an anti-depressant medication that Hardy deems "his worst decision ever."

  • J.J.'s Favorites: TV Show - Two and a Half Men; Movie - The Hangover; Music - Country; Athlete in another sport - Andy Roddick; First Job - Soccer referee.

  • In a room full of great players, J.J. Hardy is the best. Hands down. He doesn't hesitate when asked about it. The Orioles' shortstop is confident that he is the best ping-pong player in the Orioles' clubhouse.

    "If anyone gets me on the table, chances are I win," Hardy said. "We've got seven or eight guys in this clubhouse that are really, really good at ping pong."

  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter shared a tidbit about Hardy: "You should hear our younger players when they talk about him," said Showalter of his Gold Glove shortstop during Spring Training in 2015. "They speak with reverence. Absolute reverence. That gives you an idea of his standing in the game right now." (Kolligan – mlb.com - 2015)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2001: The Brewers drafted Hardy in the second round, out of Sabino High School in Tucson, Arizona. In July, J.J. signed for a $735,000 bonus. Brian Johnson was the scout who signed him.

  • January 12, 2009: J.J. and the Brewers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.65 million contract.

  • January 19, 2010: Hardy and the Twins avoided arbitration, settling on a $5.1 million contract for 2010.

  • November 6, 2009: The Twins sent OF Carlos Gomez to the Brewers, acquiring Hardy.

  • December 9, 2010: The Orioles sent righthanders Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson to the Twins; receiving Hardy, INF Brendan Harris, and $500,000.

  • July 16, 2011: Hardy and the Orioles agreed on a three-year contract extension. It is worth a reported $22.5 million and has a partial no-trade clause.

  • October 9, 2014: The night before the O's first appearance in the ALCS since 1997, J.J. signed a three-year contract with the Orioles,

    The contract, which comes with an option for 2018, goes into effect after his current deal expires at the end of this season. The deal is worth $40 million, according to media reports.

    "Why not now, really?" Dan Duquette said. "When we looked at the market, we thought the best chance to sign J.J. was before he went to free agency because he's distinguished himself as one of the top shortstops in the league. And J.J. let us know that he wanted to continue his career here in Baltimore."

Batting
  • J.J. stands for James Jerry.
  • Hardy hits from a straight-up batting stance. He exhibits good bat speed, so he has good home run power for a middle infielder. He lines the ball all over the field.

    He has strong hands and uses his hands very well. He stays back and drives through the ball. He can hit 20–30 home runs a year, even though he is just 200 pounds.

    "I think everyone knows that I don't have a whole lot of power going the other way, so in order for me to leave the ballpark, I need to go basically left-center over. So I'm looking for a pitch that I can drive that way, and if not, maybe take a single the other way," J.J. said in June 2013.

  • The ball comes off his bat really well. Hardy makes hard contact consistently. His hand-eye coordination is excellent. He is a natural hitter.
  • He is patient enough to draw walks, showing good plate discipline. He rarely ever swings at the first pitch. In fact, in 2008, J.J. swung at a pitcher's first offering only 8.4% of the time—the lowest percentage in all of MLB.

    Hardy likes the ball to be from the middle of the plate/in.

  • Hardy is a good hit-and-run guy. He can be counted on to put the ball in play during an at-bat. He helps manufacture some offense.

  • As of the start of the 2017 season, Hardy's career Major League stats were: .258 batting average, 184 home runs and 1,433 hits, with 664 RBI's in 5,551 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Hardy is a good shortstop, but he is not flashy. So he doesn't catch people's eyes so quickly.  He has the soft hands and strong arm and has a quick release and athletic moves. It is really his instincts and competitive play that opens eyes.
  • He plays shortstop a lot like Cal Ripken played it. He is always in the right spot at the right time.

    Hardy also reminds you of former Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis—intelligent, not real flashy, but always makes the routine plan and knows where to be.

  • J.J. is better at second base. He is solid there, making it look easy. Again, not flashy, just effective in making the plays. He is an intelligent and instinctive player with a good competitive nature.
  • Hardy can play most anywhere in the infield, and with his arm and ability to track down the ball can also play right field. He is athletic—light on his feet. He has smooth and easy defensive actions. He has big foot but displays steady, solid footwork
  • J.J. may not have exceptional range, but he has superior instincts in the field which give him above average range. He gets to a lot of balls, and then he makes the plays on them. He works hard at it. He's fluid in the field; he never gets tense or tight. He stays relaxed on every ball that's hit, which results in soft hands.

    Hardy is fundamentally sound. And his throws have been described as having Alan Trammell-like carry to them. They travel on a line and arrive at first base chest-high.

    GOLD GLOVER

  • For the 2012 season, Hardy led A.L. shortstops in fielding percentage for the second consecutive year.

    And he won his first Rawlings Gold Glove.

  • Hardy repeated in 2013, winning his second Gold Glove. Hardy led all A.L. shortstops in games (159) and double plays turned (108). He also ranked in the top four in assists (2nd-403), putouts (3rd-230), total zone runs (3rd-4), and fielding percentage (4th-.981).
  • In 2014, Hardy won his third Gold Glove award as the best SS in the A.L.

  • In a sense, baseball players are a lot like other craftsmen. They have tools they become comfortable with over the years, and it’s hard to make a change when a manufacturer discontinues or alters a product. That’s sort of what happened to Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy in the 2013 season, although it was actually baseball’s umpires who led to a change in Hardy’s most treasured piece of equipment.

    Since he broke into the majors in 2005, Hardy used a Rawlings Pro 200 4K 11-1/2 inch model glove. It’s made of “kipskin leather” and is a cream color. If you Google “Rawlings Pro 200 4K” you can quickly find the “J.J. Hardy Game Day Glove” for $329.99.

    There’s just one problem. Hardy can’t really use it in a game. Or at least not now. Apparently, in 2012, umpires began complaining that the cream color made it difficult for them to view the ball entering the glove—affecting calls such as short hops versus catching the ball in the air.

    “Umpires didn’t want us using this color anymore because they have a hard time seeing the ball go in because it is kind of the same color as the ball—but not really,” said Hardy.

    The spring of 2013, Rawlings told Hardy they would still make him his version of the glove, but they couldn’t guarantee that umpires would allow him to use it. They told the same thing to infielders, pitchers and outfielders that used the creamed color leather.

    “So it’s not an official rule,” Hardy said. “But I don’t want to push it.”

    So Hardy is now using a Rawlings Pro 200 4RT. It’s supposedly an exact replica, just a rust colored glove. And, yet, Hardy senses that it is different.

    “It is the same glove; same leather, just a different color. And I just don’t like it as much,” Hardy said. "It just doesn’t feel the same.”  (Dan Connolly-Baltimore Sun-5/16/13)

  • As of the start of the 2015 season: Since Hardy joined the Orioles in 2011, only two shortstops have more defensive runs saved than Hardy. 

    ShortstopDefensive Runs Saved
    Andrelton Simmons          88
    B. Ryan          49
    J.J. Hardy

             44       (Source: ESPN.com)

  • During the 2014 season, J.J. ranked second among AL shortstops with 99 double plays turned, third in fielding percentage (.978) and assists (394), and fifth in putouts (187).

Running
  • Hardy has about average speed—6.5 seconds in the 60-yard dash.
  • Though J.J. isn’t exceptionally quick, he plays above that. His sharp instincts for the game make up for a lack of speed.
Career Injury Report
  • May 9, 2004: Hardy suffered a separated left shoulder when he swung and missed a pitch. It popped out for the third time since September 2003. This time he had surgery for the subluxation. The labrum was repaired by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. His season was over.

    Brewers general manager Doug Melvin compared Hardy's injury to the one suffered by former Brewer Richie Sexson and said Hardy "probably could have gutted through it" without surgery, as Sexson plans to do. But given Hardy's youth and the fact that his shoulder has popped out of socket three times, surgery was deemed the best route.

  • October 2005: J.J. was allowed to pass up an invitation to play for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. He was hobbled by foot (plantar fascitis) and hip flexor issues and exhausted after his first season in the Major Leagues.

  • May 17, 2006: Hardy was on the D.L. after he severely sprained his  right ankle on a play at home plate when he slid into Phillies catcher Sal Fasano. J.J. was thrown out on the play and had to be helped off the field.

    By the end of June, the sprain had healed but J.J. remained sidelined because of a loose tendon on the outer part of the ankle that periodically (and painfully) "snaps" in and out of position when he put weight on the joint.

  • June 13, 2008: J.J. had a strained rotator cuff and sat out just a few games. Team physician William Raasch determined there weren't any tears, so surgery wasn't a need. Instead, he rested the shoulder and strengthened muscles around the area.

    Hardy's shoulder also has a subluxation, which means a partial dislocation of the joint, and Hardy sometimes gets a “dead-arm” feeling. The joint isn’t completely coming out but it is “moving around” and creates friction, which shuts down the rotator cuff, leading to the feeling.

  • May 5-25, 2010: Hardy was on the D.L. with a bruised left wrist. He jammed it while sliding into third base.

    June 8-July 3, 2010: J.J. went back on the D.L. with soreness in his bruised left wrist. His wrist was immobilized for about 10 days to let the bruise heal.

  • April 8-May 10, 2011: Hardy had to leave a game with a strained left oblique muscle. He went on the D.L. the next day.

  • March 27, 2012: J.J. received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder to help alleviate nagging discomfort in the area. But there was nothing structurally wrong with the shoulder.

  • Septemer 5, 2014: Hardy was sidelined with back spasms. He flew to Baltimore (from Boston) for an MRI on Sept. 9.
  • March 20-May 7, 2015: J.J. began the season on the D.L. with a strained left shoulder. Hardy was injured on March 17 when he collided with 2B Jonathan Schoop while diving for a ground ball.

  • August 24-September 8, 2015: Hardy was on the D.L. with a left groin strain.

  • May 3-June 18, 2016: Hardy was on the DL with a hairline fracture in his left foot.

  • June 19-Sept 8, 2017: JJ was on the 60-DL with right wrist fracture.