Last week, Jon made an interesting observation on Twitter:
#Orioles JJ Hardy is 171 PA away from being the first SS since 2010 to have over 400 PA and no home runs. Second since 1995.Hardy is currently batting .285/.313/.355 (.296 wOBA). His .332 BABIP is certainly helping (career .276) to inflate those numbers somewhat, but considering he hasn't hit for much power at all, his batting line could look a whole lot worse. (He's also definitely still valuable defensively at shortstop.)
— Camden Depot (@CamdenDepot) June 12, 2014
He's currently just one of three qualified major leaguers who haven't homered yet (the other two are Adeiny Hechavarria and Norichika Aoki). His homerless streak is also up to 83 games. His previous high before that was 42 games in 2005. Hardy is likely to hit at least one home run in the next few weeks, or at least hit just one before the end of the season. But what if he doesn't?
Since the expansion era (1961), only six players have had seasons in which they received at least 600 plate appearances, didn't hit a single homer, yet still had an on-base percentage over .300 and a slugging percentage over .350. Here they are:
The most recent was Juan Pierre in 2007. And it didn't happen a single time in the 1990s.
Unless something goes horribly wrong, Hardy will hit a home run at some point in 2014. But there are some things to be concerned about, especially when it comes to deciding whether to re-sign him. If he's no longer the same player who can hit 20-25 home runs, he may not be in Baltimore in 2015.