Shortstop was once viewed as a relatively shallow position, though that no longer is the case. There are numerous viable options, both early and late in your draft. Let’s take a look at how things currently breakdown:
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
- 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
- While you would think Starlin Castro being slotted into the #2 spot in the lineup would be a good thing, it does bring with it a few concerns. Will he be given the green light to run with Anthony Rizzo at the plate, especially considering how many times he was caught in 2012 (13)? How often will he be asked to move runners along, whether it be bunting or hitting the ball to the right side? It does give a little hit to his potential value, though keep in mind that it is no lock he sticks hitting second all year long.
- Jimmy Rollins is not the same player that he once was, I don’t think anyone would argue that fact. However, he has gone at least 15/30 in three of the past four seasons (the exception being 2010 when injuries limited him to 350 AB). Of course, the price you pay is getting a .250 hitter (.250 or below in three of four seasons), though it’s hard to call that a given. He makes good contact (13.7% strikeout rate in ’12 was his highest since 2003) and hits the ball hard (19.0% line drive rate in ’12), so you would think the averages would be better. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him deliver a .270 mark, would it?
- We don’t generally think of Ben Zobrist as a shortstop, but he did get enough games there in 2012 to qualify. Couple his versatility with 20/15 ability and there is an awful lot to like. For a more detailed look at Zobrist, click here.
- Surprised to see Elvis Andrus so low? Even more surprised to see Alcides Escobar ranked above him? Andrus is consistently overhyped, as he brings no power and hasn’t proven that he can sustain his production throughout the season. Throw in the fact that he is coming off a down year, while Escobar is coming off a breakout performance, and it makes even more sense. For a comparison between the two players click here.
- Josh Rutledge is going to be moving to second base this season, but he opens the year with eligibility at shortstop and nowhere else. While he did struggle in September (.209 with 1 HR), he looked extremely promising both at Double-A and in his first two months in the Majors. There’s some risk, but after the top names are off the board he offers as much power/speed as anyone.
What are your thoughts of 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):