Center Field, Right-Handed Hitter
There’s a few spots that Delino DeShields could slot into for the Indians, but the ninth spot is the best fitting for his skill set. Being a batter that can lay down bunts and steal bases while also having the occasional home run is ideal for the last spot.
After you get through the top five in the order, DeShields is really the best of the bunch that is left over, having a .316 OBP. If he can get on base at the bottom of the order, then it makes it that much easier for the top of the order to be effective.
Instead of Santana just trying to get on base, he becomes the second runner on base. Instead of Hernandez trying to get Santana into scoring position, he’s trying to get DeShields home, and so on. In reality, the roles don’t change, it just becomes easier to produce runs by doing the same thing.
If DeShields can get on base once or twice a game from the nine-hole, that is more than enough to be a solid play from that part of the order. He most likely won’t win the game for the Indians, but he can very easily be a part of the reason why the Indians win, which is perfect for the last spot in the order.