by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Out of any position on the diamond, shortstop may be the biggest one in flux (outside of possibly starting pitching). There are a slew of youngsters who have already emerged onto the scene (like Jean Segura and Andrelton Simmons) and significantly more on the horizon. How many of them stay at shortstop, or switch to another position, remain to be seen but the upside is incredible.
Let’s take a look at how things currently look for dynasty league owners:
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers (30-years old)
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies (29-years old)
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals (28-years old)
- Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers (24-years old)
- Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves (24-years old)
- Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs (24-years old)
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays (30-years old)
- Everth Cabrera – San Diego Padres (27-years old)
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers (25-years old)
- Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs (21-years old)
- Carlos Correa – Houston Astros (19-years old)
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays (32-years old)
- Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians (28-years old)
- Brad Miller – Seattle Mariners (24-years old)
- Addison Russell – Oakland Athletics (20-years old)
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals (27-years old)
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles (31-years old)
- Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals (31-years old)
- Jed Lowrie – Oakland Athletics (29-years old)
- Jonathan Villar – Houston Astros (22-years old)
- Some people may want Jean Segura pushed up even higher on the list, but it’s hard to buy into his power (12 HR in ’13, but 11 in the first half). In other words, don’t buy into his power, but with average, speed and runs scored he should continue to be one of the better options in the league. Think of him as a similar player to Jose Reyes (though with a little less power), but significantly younger.
- Speaking of Reyes, a player who depends on his speed who is 30-years old? Of course there’s going to be short-term value, but he could lose it all fairly quickly. Keep that in mind before investing heavily in him.
- The presence of Starlin Castro that high on the rankings may be surprising, but if these rankings were published a year ago he likely would’ve been in the Top 5 and possibly Top 3. Everyone is quickly jumping ship because of his awful 2013 (.245, 10 HR, 9 SB), but he’s still just 24-years old. He also still has 20/20 potential and could easily improve on his strikeouts (18.3% in ’13, 14.5% or better the previous three seasons). Simply put, don’t jump ship.
- Brad Miller made a good impression in his first taste of the Majors, hitting .265 with 8 HR and 5 SB over 306 AB. He had 15 HR and 23 SB in the minors in 2012 and definitely has the upside, though not necessarily as much as some other prospects. Keep that in mind that, while he will make an immediate impact, his long-term value isn’t the same as some others.
- Xander Bogaerts would be a Top 5 option, but he is entering the season with 3B eligibility and not SS eligibility. Just keep that in mind.
- Jonathan Villar is young and is going to get an opportunity, but is he going to hit for enough of an average? You also have to wonder what the long-term value is, with Carlos Correa coming up through the ranks. Time will tell, but be cautious.
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