Re: Shortstop of the future
Of all NL SS with at least 100 AB this year, Izturis is 22nd of 24 in terms of OPS. That is not average, that's very bad. "Maybe he's just slumping" you say. Then I point out that Izturis has a career OPS of .631.
Yes, he's a gold glove caliber defender. However, you are right in your comparison with Royce Clayton. Royce Clayton, by virtue of his skill and longevity, has cost his team more runs with the bat than any player in history other than Neifi Perez. Average is David Eckstein. It's Felipe Lopez, excluding last year.
I am not against having a strong defensive SS. But don't make the mistake of thinking that a GG doesn't have to have a modicum of offensive ability -- or underestimate how bad an offensive player that guy may be. As visable as errors or a lack of range are, every analysis we're able to do suggests that a poor fielder but good batter is of much more value than the inverse.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.