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Know Your 40: Jayson Nix

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Jayson Nix is versatile, but is he really any use?

Al Bello

Name: Jayson Nix
Position: Second Base/Third Base/Shortstop
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Age as of Opening Day 2013: 30 (born 8/26/1982)
Height: 5'11" Weight: 195 lbs.
Remaining Contract: One year, $900K (Free agent after 2016)
2012 Statistics: (MLB) 25 games, .227/.272/.280, 1 2B, 1 HR, .248 wOBA, 48 wRC+

Jayson Nix is a baseball player, says Joe Girardi. Clearly, he meant that Nix brings a gritty and versatile style of play to the team. He can play all over the field - second base, shortstop, third base, even some outfield, and he's been recently taking balls at first base as well. Versatility is a great thing when you're a baseball player, but unless you're Ben Zobrist it doesn't actually mean you're any good.

Nix's best positon is second base, where he has scored a 12.1 UZR/150 throughout his career, but Robinson Cano exists, so Nix might be used there a total of one time in a season. That leaves the majority of his use split between shortstop and third base. Unfortunately he has not been much good in those positions, scoring a -32.7 UZR/150 at shortstop and a -0.8 UZR/150 at third base. Last season was the most innings (134) he played at shortstop in one season and he managed -2.1 range runs saved and that was a season with a fully functional Derek Jeter. Now Jeter will be gone and Eduardo Nunez has been hurt and ineffective.

Jayson Nix is somehow even more useless with the bat. He has a 71 wRC+ in his career and at 30 years old this is what he is going to be. Right now he is batting .227/.272/.280 in 81 plate appearances, good for a 48 wRC+. He has hit one home run this season and that was the miraculous home run off Justin Verlander, which might be considered the spark that ignited the Yankees' run since the second week of the season. Despite all his shortcomings, his one positive is that he can hit lefties well enough. By well enough, I mean league average, with his 93 wRC+.

Are you sensing a pattern? Everything Jayson Nix is supposedly good at he's actually not that good at it at all. He's versatile, but not really, he can hit lefties, but he really just doesn't suck against them like he does against right-handers (lifetime 59 wRC+ against them). Jayson Nix is a backup infielder who has been given way too much playing time due to the injuries to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, and Eduardo Nunez. He is the backup to the backup and that's about it. He is a baseball player because he happens to make a living by playing baseball and that's really it.