By David Kerr

2013 Shortstop Rankings

1. Jose Reyes
2. Troy Tulowitzki
3. Starlin Castro
4. Ben Zobrist
5. Jimmy Rollins
6. Ian Desmond
7. Hanley Ramirez
8. Elvis Andrus
9. Asdrubal Cabrera
10. Erick Aybar
11. Danny Espinosa
12. Derek Jeter
13. J.J. Hardy
14. Alcides Escobar
15. Josh Rutledge
16. Jed Lowrie
17. Alexei Ramirez
18. Everth Cabrera
19. Andrelton Simmons
20. Zack Cozart
21. Marco Scutaro
22. Johnny Peralta
23. Jean Segura
24. Stephen Drew
25. Mike Aviles
26. Cliff Pennington
27. Dee Gordon
28. Hiroyuki Nakajima
29. Ruben Tejada
30. Yunel Escobar

UPDATED 3/20/13:
Hanley Ramirez falls from #3 to #7.
Stephen Drew falls from #20 to #24.
Andrelton Simmons rises from #23 to #19.

Overall Thoughts

Naturally the top two Shortstop’s in Fantasy Baseball have to both be injury prone. Jose Reyes and Troy Tulowitzki are both ultra-talented, but neither can seem to stay healthy for an extended period of time. Over the past four seasons, they’ve played an almost identical amount of games. Tulowitzki has actually played in more games in that time span, 463 to 455. He’s coming off of a groin injury that cost him the final four months of the season and it supposed to be fully healthy and ready to go for Spring Training. He’s also playing in the World Baseball Classic, so he’ll be tested early on whether or not his groin is ready for game action. Jose Reyes has moved from the pits of South Florida to a stacked lineup north of the border. Toronto is going to have one heck of an offense this season and Reyes will be leading off. As usual, he’ll be good for 100 plus runs, 35-40 steals, and 10 or so homers. My only real reservation with Reyes is playing half of his games on the turf at Rogers Centre in Toronto. He’s had a history of hamstring issues, so there is a bit of a gamble involved. Nevertheless, I love the prospect of him hitting at the top of Toronto’s lineup so it’s easily worth the risk.

This is the season that Hanley Ramirez is going to bounce back to his 2010 numbers. He’s going to play Shortstop and hit in a great lineup. He may not get back to .300, but .280 seems very realistic. It’d be nice to see him get back to around 30 steals, but that number will probably be in the 20-25 range. A projection? .282-95-22-105-21.

For a guy that’s headed into his fourth full season in the Majors, it is amazing that Starlin Castro is only 22 years old. He’ll be 23 by Opening Day. Castro is going to continue to progress as a hitter and will likely be the number one Shortstop when he finally hits his prime in a few years. I’d like to see his Walks increase, but even if he stays at his career BB% rate of 5.2, he’s still going to hit around .300 every season. He’s that good of a pure hitter.

Sure and steady, Jimmy Rollins continues to be a very valuable player. Sure, he’s probably not going to hit over .250, but if he hits 15-20 homers and steals 30 bags, that more than makes up for it. Some owners may have reservations on his age, but I’d dive right in this season. He has a few good years left.

Be cautious of Ian Desmond‘s 2012 power surge. Including his years in the Minors, he never hit more than 13 home runs in a full season before he hit 25 last year. I think that number comes back to earth a bit this year. Look for between 15-18 homers. One thing you do not have to worry about with Desmond is his speed. He’ll steal 20 plus bags with ease. He’s hitting in a great lineup so be confident in his run producing ability.

I’m somewhat down on Elvis Andrus headed into 2013 because of his slack of steals in 2012. In the second half of 2012 he only stole five bags. He basically just stopped running. For Andrus to have full value, he needs to be stealing at least 35-40 bags. He has very little pop, so it’s imperative that he’s exceptional in at least one category. A repeat of last year just isn’t going to cut it.

I like Erick Aybar. He’s a solid all around player that gets you a little bit of everything. He’ll produce similar numbers to Asdrubal Cabrera yet be drafted a few rounds later.

Derek Jeter lead the league in hits last season with 216, but he’s also coming back from a broken ankle not to mention the fact that he’s 38 years old. I’m still a believer though. He’s gunning for 4,000 hits and I think he’ll reach that milestone before it’s all said and done. Don’t forget about J.J. Hardy. He provides big power from a weak power position. You could do a lot worse.

If you’re looking for steals late, grab Everth Cabrera. He led the National League last season and should have no problem reaching 40 again. The rest of his numbers aren’t pretty, but you can’t just pluck 40 steals out of thin air.

I like Zack Cozart to take a relatively big step forward this season, especially in the stolen base department. In 2010, he stole 30 bags for the Reds’ AAA affiliate, Louisville. I think he could steal 10-15 this season and that would definitely up his value.

Keep an eye on Andrelton Simmons and Jean Segura. Both will be starting for their respective teams and are nice flyers late. Don’t expect immediate production, but there is value in both players. Segura especially has had great speed throughout his stops in the Minor Leagues.

Another speed demon to watch is Dee Gordon. He doesn’t have a starting job right now, but if Luis Cruz flames out, Hanley Ramirez could move to third and Gordon could grab the job at Shortstop.

Yunel Escobar is better than Clint Barmes therefore he locked up my number 30 spot. Obviously, that isn’t saying much. You don’t want to own Escobar, or Barmes for that matter.

One notable exception on my list is Jurickson Profar. He’s the top prospect in all of baseball and could be starting the season as the Rangers Second Baseman. He’s been a Shortstop throughout his minor league career, but would likely be eligible at either position in most leagues. My rankings will update as we get closer to Opening Day and it’s likely Profar will land in my top 30 at both 2B and SS. If you’re in a 12 team league and getting down to the last few rounds in your draft, grab Profar. The unknown is his case outweighs the low ceiling type of players that would be available at that point.

Thanks for reading! Agree with my Rankings? Disagree? Please leave a comment. I’d love to interact with you. Look for my Top 100 Outfield Rankings Monday morning. Have a great weekend! Click below to follow me on Twitter!



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