2015 Fantasy Rankings: Top 15 Shortstops

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Shortstop was never a particularly deep position, but this season you could argue that there isn’t a safe option available.  Even the players considered the best in the league carry significant risks (generally in regards to their health).  It certainly makes creating a draft strategy difficult, doesn’t it?  Do you gamble on one of the elite staying healthy?  Do you wait and hope to catch lightning in a bottle with a “lesser” option?  That’s a discussion for another day, but let’s take a look at how our rankings currently stand:

1. Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox
2. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
3. Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
4. Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
5. Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
6. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
7. Starlin Castro – Chicago Cubs
8. Jimmy Rollins – Los Angeles Dodgers
9. Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royals
10. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
11. J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
12. Jhonny Peralta – Cleveland Indians
13. Ben Zobrist – Oakland Athletics
14. Danny Santana – Minnesota Twins
15. Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs

Thoughts:

  • This will likely be the last season Hanley Ramirez carries shortstop eligibility, as he is expected to move to LF in Boston.  That doesn’t impact us for 2015, as the move to Fenway should help to boost his upside potential.  Of course, much like Tulowitzki and Reyes he carries a significant risk in regards to staying on the field.
  • While Bogaerts had his issues last season, a lot of people speculate that his move to 3B helped to cause them.  He finished strong (.313 with 4 HR in September), will be just 22-years old at the start of the season and carries the same potential he did a year ago.  In other words, don’t overlook him.
  • Sure it was a good season for Starlin Castro (.292, 14 HR, 65 RBI, 58 R, 4 SB), but he doesn’t carry significant power (14 HR is his career high) and the speed has disappeared (13 total SB over the past two seasons).  What exactly is there to love?  Unless he was going to hit .320+, which he’s not likely to do, he’s a mid-range option with some potential.
  • We took a closer look at Danny Santana, who is likely going to be one of the more overvalued players in ’15, a few weeks ago.  Make sure to check out the article by clicking here.
  • It’s easy to overlook Alcides Escobar, but there’s a good chance that he moves into the leadoff role this season (as he did late in the year in ’14).  That should mean more SB opportunities (he swiped 31 bases as it is) and runs scored, to go along with a strong average.  He’s certainly not a player to overlook.

Make sure to check out all of our early 2015 rankings:

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6 comments

  1. CJ says:

    I’m a believer in Bogaerts, even for this year.
    But some sites such as CBS have Bogaerts projected around the 15th SS
    I really want to keep him over Dozier, but fear Bogaerts is too far away from reaching that potential.

  2. Ryan says:

    I agree with everything you say about Castro, but I would also add that he has four things going for him that he didn’t have last year –
    1) He is age 25, which is the bottom end of the age range of when a players power develops – he won’t be a slugger ever, but the power should help drive the ball with authority to a larger range of the field;
    2) He will be in a lineup where someone other than Rizzo will knock him in – I am looking at you Baez, Bryant, and Soler,
    3) He proved to himself (and the world) that he can adjust from prolonged funks (aka 2013) and
    4) He has a great coach in Maddon that will make the most of Castro’s best skil set – swinging for contact.

    Castro may not ever be a top 3 ss, but he is set up for a great season – I would take him over Bogaerts and A. Ramirez – two players who should be serviceable ss. Bogaerts is very young, and A. Ramirez is a what you see is what you get kind of guy.

  3. JL says:

    I think Reyes is living off this name a bit. He’s still very good but on the downslide and think he should be behind Hanley, Tulo, Desmond and Starlin. Xander passes him this time next year.

  4. Biff Malibu says:

    12-team six keeper league: how does this sound for legitimate strategy… Keep tulo n Jose Reyes both playing Reyes at utl instead of keeping Evan longoria?? This comes based on idea of 3b being deeper pool than last year n longoria’s tinkering of his swing. Additionally I gain an insurance policy of two top SS’s that both seem prone to injury. Would you risk it knowing you have mad bum n strasburg with goldschmidt, rendon to back up Reyes n Tulo?

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    CJ – I really like Bogaerts (clearly), but I also would go Dozier without a question between the two. I expect a big season for Bogaerts, but there’s still a ton of risk.

    Ryan – They are all fair points, but I still believe in the others upside a little bit more (especially Bogaerts). I certainly could understand your point of view, though!

    JL – For Reyes it’s a matter of health and how much his legs can withstand. If he’s still running, he’s more than “name” value.

    Biff Malibu – I don’t consider it a “risk” to keep them both, though there is a lot of health concerns. The fact is that I have them both ranked ahead of Longoria anyways, so it makes sense. At the same time, could you package one of the SS and Longoria for an even better option?

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