I am going to start with some extremely early 2013 positional rankings, just so we can all get an idea of where people currently sit. Keep in mind these rankings are preliminary and before I have done any of my projections. That means that there is going to be a lot of room for fluctuation between now and draft day.
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Jose Reyes – Miami Marlins
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
- Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
- Josh Rutledge – Colorado Rockies
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
- Danny Espinosa – Washington Nationals
- Erick Aybar – Los Angeles Angels
- Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
- Can Troy Tulowitzki actually stay healthy for an entire season? After seeing his 2012 campaign end in late May, that question hangs over him even more than ever. He’s obviously still going to be a top option, but it’s hard to place him atop the rankings at this point.
- Starlin Castro is hitting .284 with 14 HR, 78 RBI, 77 R and 25 SB. The runs were down due to hitting fifth for a while this season, though that number could easily improve (assuming he settles back into the third spot with Anthony Rizzo hitting cleanup). Throw in the fact that seeing him hit .300+ is extremely realistic (he should improve on a .315 BABIP) and he is clearly one of the elite at his position. The question is, should he be #1 or #2? That is going to be a debate for the offseason, and something that we may go back and forth on right up until draft day.
- Despite missing time, Ian Desmond has shown his 20/20 ability, with 25 HR and 21 SB in just 504 AB. While the power could easily regress (18.7% HR/FB), there’s no reason to think that a healthy Desmond can’t be 20/20 again in 2013.
- It will be interesting to see what happens with Elvis Andrus this offseason. It is easy to imagine the Rangers moving him in an attempt to open up shortstop for Jurickson Profar, one of the top prospects in all of baseball (if that happens, Profar could find himself at the tail end of these rankings). If Andrus is somewhere else, he may not have the potential to score as many runs, so consider his value in flux at this point.
- Can we expect Derek Jeter or Jimmy Rollins to replicate their success in 2013? While both are obviously going to remain viable options, it’s hard to imagine them being this good again next season. Just keep that in mind.
- Josh Rutledge made an instant impact in Colorado and is hitting .285 with 8 HR, 36 RBI, 35 R and 7 SB in 260 AB. He brings power and speed and should slide over to second base full-time next season when a healthy Tulowitzki returns to the lineup. As a low-end option, he should have massive upside.
Make sure to check out the rest of our extremely early 2013 rankings: