Preliminary 2012 Rankings: Top 10 Shortstops

Before we get into the rankings, let me put in a little disclaimer.  These are extremely preliminary rankings for 2012 (prior to my projections being done) and have a lot of room for movement as the offseason progresses.  They are done just on the surface, so as you look at them keep that in mind (and all numbers are prior to yesterday’s game):

  1. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
  2. Hanley Ramirez – Florida Marlins
  3. Jose Reyes – New York Mets
  4. Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
  5. Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
  6. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
  7. Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
  8. Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
  9. J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
  10. Stephen Drew – Arizona Diamondbacks

Thoughts:

  • Can Troy Tulowitzki stay healthy for an entire season?  That really is the one question hanging over him, isn’t it?  For the second consecutive season he battled injuries and, despite the impressive .302, 30 HR, 105 RBI line it starts to bring significant questions.  He’s proven to be a consistent .300/30/95 player with the upside for more, so it is nearly impossible not to place him atop these rankings.  Just make sure you have a viable option to fill the 2-3 week gap.
  • It was an awful season for Hanley Ramirez and will almost certainly drop him from first round consideration.  Should the poor showing deter fantasy owners from trusting him, though?  He has long proven his value and there is no doubting that a .275 BABIP helped contribute to his struggles (he had previously never been below .327).  Look for a strong bounce back campaign.
  • The questions surrounding Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins are very similar.  Where will they land this offseason?  Can they stay healthy for the entire year?  Answers to those questions will help determine their final value on these rankings.
  • J.J. Hardy made us remember the days of 2007 & 2008, hitting .269 with 30 HR, 80 RBI and 76 R in 2011.  One of the things that could cause a little concern was an increased fly ball rate (43.4%), though it’s really not enough to make us declare him a huge risk.  The bottom line is that he finally found a home and appears to be back to fantasy viability in all formats.
  • There are a ton of potential stolen base options, including Emilio Bonifacio and Dee Gordon, who fell just short of making the list (at least for now).  Shortstop is not as shallow of a position as it once was, huh?

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Make sure to check out all of our preliminary 2012 rankings:

8 comments

  1. Matt says:

    What about Jhonny Peralta?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He’s right there in the discussion for the final few spots. It was a great year, but I couldn’t see him being better than #8 at this point. In my preliminary look, I believe I had him in the 11-12 range, but that definitely could change as I dive in a bit deeper.

  2. Pat says:

    As Will Ovton noted recently, SS is surprisingly deep. No way I’m risking a 1st or 2nd round pick on HanRam after his terrible season.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It is deep, but if he’s sitting there in the mid-to-late second round I can’t imagine letting him go by. There’s just way too much upside to let one poor year completely cloud our judgement. He is the same player who was in the discussion for the #1 spot recently.

      Prior to last season he had four straight years hitting over .300 with 20+ HR and 27+ SB. Depending on where he hits, he’s also going to provide plenty of RBI and R. A deep position is one thing, but Hanley is a potentially elite player.

      • Brandt says:

        Think of Albert Pujols a couple of years ago when there was an elbow scare. In some leagues he dropped down to the low 1st round / high 2nd round. Granted, this is comparing a rumor to a down season, but the payoff is the same where you could possibly get great value at a reduced rate.

        • Pat says:

          I wouldn’t consider first or second round a reduced rate or a spot to draft a “potential” elite player rather than an elite. I would also want more news on Ramirez’ injury before I would feel comfortable making him a top 3 shortstop. There’s a chance he won’t be ready for the start of next season.

  3. Marky Mark says:

    In a long-term keeper league, how much of a difference is there between Starlin and Andrus?

  4. TY says:

    pertaining to Hanley, IF HEALTHY, im taking him in the 2nd round all day long, think MATT KEMP here…. this guys a proven stud, could finish #1 overall, how many guys can u say that about? NOT MANY. I wouldn’t let one off year curb my thinking to the point of he’s not even a 2nd rounder, because if you don’t take him in the 2nd round, SOMEONE WILL…. now could he flop? sure but so can anyone else.

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