Talk is often about how shallow third base is, but one can definitely argue that shortstop is a much tougher position to fill this season. While there have been some pleasant surprises thus far, can we really trust them over the course of 162 games? Let’s take a look at how things currently stand:
- Hanley Ramirez – Miami Marlins
- Jose Reyes – Miami Marlins
- Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
- Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
- Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
- Dee Gordon – Los Angeles Dodgers
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Jed Lowrie – Houston Astros
- Mike Aviles – Boston Red Sox
- Zack Cozart – Cincinnati Reds
- Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Rafael Furcal – St. Louis Cardinals
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
- Erick Aybar – Los Angeles Angels
- Yunel Escobar – Toronto Blue Jays
- Jhonny Peralta – Cleveland Indians
- Marco Scutaro – Colorado Rockies
Currently on the DL – Troy Tulowitzki, Emilio Bonifacio, Stephen Drew
- Hanley Ramirez has clearly rediscovered his form, showing both power (11) and speed (10). Put that together with a .254 average (which has fallen as he’s struggled lately, going 1-22 in his last 7 games), 37 RBI and 33 R and there is an awful lot to like. This will be the last season he holds shortstop eligibility, so enjoy it while you can.
- While Derek Jeter has played well enough to deserve being ranked seventh on this list, I would remain cautious with him moving forward. His numbers fell significantly from April (.389, 4 HR) to May (.293, 1 HR), not that it should surprise anyone. If he continues to post sub-.300 months without much power and little speed potential (he did steal 3 bases in May), he is going to continue to slip down the rankings. On May 4 he was hitting .404, but now is down to .315. Just keep that in mind.
- I know that I am a glutton for punishment when it comes to Dee Gordon, but there is still too much potential there. He has chipped in 17 SB, despite a terrible average, and there is no reason to think that he can’t improve on a .287 BABIP. He should produce significantly better numbers going forward and it still wouldn’t be a surprise to see him reach 50 SB on the year now that he’s back in the leadoff spot. Obviously, if the struggles continue for much longer he’s going to fall, but for now I remain optimistic as he’s shown signs lately (3 B, 4 R in his past three games).
- Zack Cozart’s overall numbers are not overly impressive (.248, 7 HR, 15 RBI, 35 R, 2 SB), but he’s hitting atop the Reds lineup and brings upside in his power and speed. Given his opportunity and potential, he is well worth using in all formats at this point, especially given the struggles of some of our preseason favorites (like Erick Aybar and Alexei Ramirez). However, I’d consider his spot on these rankings tenuous, at best.
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