2014 Dynasty Rankings: Top 20 Shortstops

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:

  1. Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers (30-years old)
  2. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies (29-years old)
  3. Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals (28-years old)
  4. Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers (24-years old)
  5. Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves (24-years old)
  6. Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs (24-years old)
  7. Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays (30-years old)
  8. Everth Cabrera – San Diego Padres (27-years old)
  9. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers (25-years old)
  10. Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs (21-years old)
  11. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros (19-years old)
  12. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays (32-years old)
  13. Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians (28-years old)
  14. Brad Miller – Seattle Mariners (24-years old)
  15. Addison Russell – Oakland Athletics (20-years old)
  16. Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals (27-years old)
  17. J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles (31-years old)
  18. Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals (31-years old)
  19. Jed Lowrie – Oakland Athletics (29-years old)
  20. Jonathan Villar – Houston Astros (22-years old)

Thoughts:

  • 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.

*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide and be entered to win an autographed David Price mini bat!  The guide comes complete with projections of over 600 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day).  For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league!  For more information and to place your order, click here. ***

Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings:

9 comments

  1. Marky Mark says:

    Bogaerts has SS & 3B eligibility in my yahoo leagues.

  2. costaricanchata says:

    hey Eric :
    not sure i understand everth above elvis.

    the only “categories” in which everth out-performs elvis:
    SB/PA (.086/.057)
    and,
    SB success rate (.80/.76)

    elvis is two years younger and plays on a better offensive team.

    i think he’s going to come up huge this year.
    (evan grant expects him to assume more of a leadership role on that team, with young, hamilton, and now kinsler gone … despite his playful clubhouse attitude.)

    both players have 5 years of mlb experience .

    • bigwang says:

      Elvis also seems to have a better ability to stay on the field. But when both are healthy Cabrera’s big edge in steals is hard to ignore – as you mentioned on a rate basis he steals a lot more than andrus.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Maybe I am a little biased, because I’ve never been a big fan of Andrus. They both lack power, so that’s irrelevant.

      In fact, the average/runs/RBI are all relatively close (not enough to sway you one way or the other). The biggest difference is Cabrera’s stolen base potential. It is a big edge and it is enough to make me lean in that direction.

      • costaricanchata says:

        and i think that “potential” is not skill-based,but rather a product of playing on a weaker offense.
        there’s not much incentive/opportunity to
        steal a base when your team is up by five runs.
        so,where conventional thinking has it that home runs and stolen bases are individual stats (whereas rbi,runs are more the result of team effort and opportunity) perhaps it is time to look at stolen bases under a different microscope.
        maybe you are correct,Eric. maybe it’s just easier to say that you like his “potential” better, without opening the can of worms that is babip/avg/risp/etc.,
        (similar to the way saber-heads are reluctant to tackle svo’s when evaluating and projecting closers), because it’s just too complicated and too dependent on team-factors to determine with any hope of accuracy.
        but, it is also for those same reasons that i will choose the younger player on the better team … in this instance .

        thank you for allowing this discussion.

        • Jmax says:

          If youth and offensive output is a deciding factor, where does ADP come into play? As we all know the gap that is likely between Andrus and Cabrera is substantial.

        • bigwang says:

          i believe the correlation between SVO and team winning % (among other things) has been well explored by fangraphs, you can Google it up.

          As for stolen bases they are always going to be a product of team environment in addition to personal talent. For example if a team has big homerun hitters or if the manager is more conservative, then the baserunner won’t steal as much. (it is possible though to steal lots of bases even on a high scoring team with a big run differential, just look at ellsbury)

          It would be quite hard to predict steals i think simply because there are so many factors involved and the whole process is so dynamic. Therefore for now I think we pretty much have to rely on past performance as the main indicator until someone is smart enough to come up with a stolen base predictor.

  3. CJ says:

    I am in a keeper league and am torn between keeping Starlin Castro or 2B/3B Matt Carpenter. Thoughts?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Is there any dollar cost involved? How long can you keep?

      I still like Castro’s upside, and Carpenter’s bat won’t profile as well as a 3B long-term. If we are talking about 2014, Carpenter does get an edge. Long-term, I’m still leaning Castro

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