Gio Urshela made 28 appearances at shortstop in 2021, mostly holding down the position at the end of the season after the Yankees concluded Gleyber Torres was better suited at second base.
Urshela’s move from third base was not supposed to be a permanent one, but he sounds eager to log more time at short in the future. He recently told the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff that he enjoyed the change while speaking during an appearance at Community School 55 in the Bronx.
“I kind of liked it,” Urshela said. “I really enjoyed playing shortstop because you get more involved in the game. Every play, you’re going to be involved. Third base, I just wait for the [ball] and that’s it. You don’t move that much. It feels a little bit different, like you get more tired probably after a game [at shortstop].
“You’ve got to move… but at the same time, I like it.”
Urshela said he’ll play wherever he’s needed in 2022. He logged 200 innings and made two errors at shortstop this past season. Urshela’s DRS was -1 and his UZR was -0.2, per FanGraphs. He totaled zero outs above average in 79 attempts at shortstop, per Baseball Savant. That mark was better than Urshela’s -5 at the hot corner, though he had nearly four times as many attempts at third.
It’s hard to gauge Urshela’s prowess at shortstop over such a small sample, but he is a capable emergency option at the very least.
The position is expected to be an area of focus for the Yankees this winter, as several premium shortstops are set to hit free agency. That includes Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Javier Báez, Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. However, the Yankees also have a few talented shortstop prospects waiting in the wings, including Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. New York could opt for more of a stopgap free agent instead of spending big on the position depending on how close the organization thinks those farmhands are.