Remember when shortstop was a tough position to fill? That no longer appear the be the case, as the position has developed a mix of emerging young talent and older stars who still hold value. Who should you be targeting? Who could be overvalued? Let’s take a look at how things currently stand:
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
- Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
- Josh Rutledge – Colorado Rockies
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
- Erick Aybar – Los Angeles Angels
- Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- I know Elvis Andrus is widely viewed as one of the better shortstop options in the league and it wouldn’t surprise me if he performed better than my ranking. That said, it is impossible for me to push him any higher on this list heading into the year. He has never proven that he can actually sustain his production for an entire season, loses some value hitting second (since he’ll be asked to move runners along a little more) and adds no power. I’ve already discussed why I would actually prefer Alcides Escobar over Andrus for the upcoming season, which you can read by clicking here.
- Starlin Castro at #2? While he is coming off a career worst .283 average (.315 BABIP should improve), he showed increased power (14 HR as part of a 55 extra base hit campaign) and more opportunities to run (25 SB in 38 attempts). With improved luck and another year of development, there is no reason to think he can’t take another step.
- Can Troy Tulowitzki actually stay healthy? We all know that’s the biggest question, because if he does he is among the elite in the game.
- While Josh Rutledge struggled late in the year (.209 with 1 HR), he showed off his power/speed potential after being recalled. Moving to 2B should provide regular playing time hitting second, ahead of Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. That’s an enviable spot to be in, especially for a player who could go 20/30.
- Jimmy Rollins & Derek Jeter may be getting close to the end of the road, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t hold fantasy appeal. Both remain solid options, depending on the makeup of the rest of your squad.
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Who’s too high? Who’s too low?
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Make sure to check out our 2013 rankings (all of which will be updated in the next few weeks):