Shortstop is definitely not the deepest of positions in baseball and, in the National League, it is clearly top heavy. Let’s take a look at how things currently look:
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Hanley Ramirez – Miami Marlins
- Jose Reyes – Miami Marlins
- Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
- Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
- Dee Gordon – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Emilio Bonifacio – Miami Marlins
- Stephen Drew – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Zack Cozart – Cincinnati Reds
- Marco Scutaro – Colorado Rockies
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Jed Lowrie – Houston Astros
- There is a significant drop-off in talent from Dee Gordon to Emilio Bonifacio (with Bonifacio hitting second there is no guarantee he is going to get a significant number of chances to run, as well as the risk of a BABIP regression). While there is some potential upside as we move down the rankings (most notably Zack Cozart), I would definitely prefer to own one of the top few players.
- The 2012 season will likely be the last time you can use Hanley Ramirez as a shortstop, at least for the foreseeable future. There are definitely concerns, especially having posted groundball rates above 50% each of the past two seasons. That said, he has something to prove. I would expect a bounce back season from him and would be willing to invest in him early on (click here for my projection for 2012).
- Yesterday I looked at Zack Cozart, who is the one shortstop that I would be willing to roll the dice on if I missed the top names. Click here to view the article.
- Starlin Castro appears primed to hit third in the Cubs lineup this season. It is going to be interesting to see how he fares in the spot, though as a perennial .300 hitter he should be able to amass a good number of RBI. Throw in a weak lineup, which won’t stop him from attempting to steal some bases, and it should be a good fit. We all know the potential upside he possesses and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him emerge as one of the elite players at the position before long.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: