We talk about weak positions a lot, but AL shortstops may be the weakest of any position in the Major Leagues. My Top 4 shortstops all reside in the NL, and the position isn’t particularly deep in general. Keep that in mind as you look at these rankings:
- Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
- Erick Aybar – Los Angeles Angels
- Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Yunel Escobar – Toronto Blue Jays
- Jhonny Peralta – Cleveland Indians
- Cliff Pennington – Oakland Athletics
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas city Royals
- Sean Rodriguez – Tampa Bay Rays
- Jamey Carroll – Minnesota Twins
- It is a weak group, to say the least. While Cabrera may sit atop these rankings, he comes with a significant amount of risk of his own. As I said recently when I updated the mixed league rankings (click here to view), he entered the year with 18 career HR over 1,610 AB (though he hit 25 HR last season). I’m not about to suggest that he’s going to regress back to his previous levels, but I also wouldn’t expect a repeat performance. Keep that in mind.
- Cliff Pennington was highly touted entering 2012, but he fell flat. There was nothing specific in the metrics to tip us off on the problem, he just simply didn’t run as much (14 SB vs. 29 in ’10). Before you completely write him off, don’t underestimate his surge in the second half (.303, 5 HR, 8 SB). He could be a perfect post-hype sleeper on draft day.
- Speaking of shortstops that were heavily hyped, you don’t have to look much further than Alcides Escobar. While he has struggled in the Major Leagues, he is still just 25-years old, has speed and makes good contact (12.6% over 1,183 AB). It’s just a matter of time before he puts it all together.
- Of all the options Aybar could offer the best value on draft day. Once an unheralded option, he has been getting a lot of hype this offseason. He’s going to hit atop an Angels lineup that now features Albert Pujols. What isn’t there to like? He’s not going to bring much power, but he could hit .280+ with 25 SB and 80 R.
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Make sure to check out the rest of our AL-only rankings: