by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Does any position have as many questions at the top of it as shortstop? You could argue at least three or four different players for the top spot, though they all come with their flaws (most of which are a history of injuries). Of course, the questions don’t stopped there as many of the viable options come with significant concerns. How do things currently stack up? Let’s take a look:
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers
- Everth Cabrera – San Diego Padres
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
- Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
- Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Brad Miller – Seattle Mariners
- You could easily argue who belongs at the top of these rankings, though most of the candidates have often struggled with injuries (Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes). Ramirez’ power/speed combination is what gives him the edge at this point, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see him miss a good chunk of time and fail to produce like the top option.
- Everth Cabrera is another player who faces questions heading into 2014, given his suspension due to his involvement with Biogenesis. Luckily he isn’t a power hitter, so you wouldn’t think it will have a major impact but who really knows.
- Surprised to see Jose Reyes over Jean Segura? They are surprisingly close, though it’s impossible for us not to give Reyes the edge (click here for a full reason as to why). While Segura hit 12 HR last season, only one came in the second half and his overall fly ball rate was 23.3%. He may have the advantage in SB at this point, but with a likely fall in power (as well as an advantage in R/RBI), Reyes is the better overall option.
- It’s easy for people to write off Starlin Castro after a disastrous 2013 season, but that would obviously be extreme. To find out why we view him as a viable bounce back option, click here.
- We will talk about Andrelton Simmons in much more detail in the next few weeks, but his power is clearly developing, he has double-digit stolen base potential and he should vastly improve on his .248 average from 2013 (8.4% strikeout rate, .247 BABIP). He should be a great buy on draft day.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: