Okay. Letís change gears for a moment. My team has an All-Star shortstop. They also have a couple decent shortstop prospects in the minors. And then they went out and drafted yet another shortstop in the first round of the most recent draft! What are they thinking?!? Do they have a clue?
Dear Disgruntled in Draftville; Yes, they do have a clue and they are thinking that they want to acquire the best collection of talent possible.
Then why so many shortstops?
I just told you! They want to acquire the best collection of talent possible! Just because a player is a shortstop in the minors does not mean he will play there in the Majors. And just because a player is drafted as a shortstop does not mean he will play there even in the minors, let alone if he ever makes it to the big leagues. Many, many, many major league players that are not shortstops were one day shortstops either in the minors, in college or in high school.
Think of it this way, when you have a high schooler with legitimate hopes of entertaining a professional career, heís going to be the best athlete on his team. And where do the best athletes play? Shortstop. It does not mean he will remain at shortstop at a more competitive level. For when he gets to the next level (either the minors or college) heíll be competing against several other guys who were also high school shortstops. And they canít all continue to play shortstop. The ones who do remain at shortstop in the minors may not even continue to stay there while they advance through the system.
Itís possible for a team to draft 5 shortstops among their first 10 selections, only truly anticipating that perhaps 2 of them will continue to play the position a couple seasons later. The others will move to other positions.
Most major league second basemen were minor league shortstops. Shortstops can grow out of their position and move to third base. A great majority of young shortstops are weeded out and moved to the outfield where fielding and arm strength are not as highly valued. Only the best remain.
Anyway, in general, shortstops are good athletes with quality tools. Why not try to accumulate as many good athletes with quality tools at positions all over the field?