FANTASY BASEBALL 2012: SHORTSTOP RANKINGS
(FANTASY BASEBALL: OFF-SEASON ADDITIONS: AL)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: OFF-SEASON ADDITIONS: NL)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: SP/RP THE HYBRID PITCHER)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: ADAM DUNN 40 HR SEASON)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: SPRING TRAINING PART 1)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: CATCHER RANKINGS)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: RELIEF PITCHER RANKINGS)
(FANTASY BASEBALL: SHORTSTOP RANKINGS)
Strategy: If you miss out on Tulowitzki in the 1st round. Do yourself a favor and get Hanley Ramirez who could be a fantasy beast as a rare 30/30 guy at the position. If you miss out from the elite category, there is a solid amount of SS’s that you can grab later. I would keep waiting as there are a lot of sleepers at the position this year with Mike Aviles, Zack Cozart, and Ian Desmond who could all be great options.
Feel free to ask questions and I will respond.
#1. Troy Tulowitzki – Prediction (.314 Average. 37 HRs. 114 RBIs. 14 SBs. 102 Runs).
Tulo is a rare breed of constant power, batting average, and solid speed. Qualifying at SS is the cherry on top and he is worth the high draft pick in all leagues. 35 HRs, 100+ RBIs makes him an elite option. To add a batting average over .300 and 10+ SBs, makes him debatably a top 3 pick in deep leagues.
#2. Hanley Ramirez – Prediction (.290 Average. 32 HRs. 96 RBIs. 37 SBs. 100 Runs)
The most underrated fantasy option in the game today Hanley went from debatable #1 overall pick in drafts last season, to 2nd round pick this season. On top of that he gets 3rd Base eligibility, and Jose Reyes who will be in scoring position more times than not in front of him in the batting order. Han Ram is a 30/30 talent with 40/40 potential. With less leadership comes less responsibilities. With fewer responsibilities, comes less with pressure. With less pressure comes, huge fantasy baseball seasons.
#3. Jose Reyes – Prediction (.320 Average. 10 HRs. 65 RBIs. 80 SBs. 110 Runs)
Reyes has 80 SB potential. In fact the last season he played 160 games he stole 78. Now moving to Florida, all hands are off deck as they want to see their money pay off. Reyes will have the green light over and over again, just remember how dominant Bonifacio was out of nowhere last season.
#4. J.J. Hardy – Prediction (.279 Average. 34 HRs. 94 RBIs. 1 SB. 65 Runs)
J.J. really broke out in a huge way last season. The amazing thing about his 30 HR campaign in 129 games is, it never stopped. He was a constant HR force the entire season which is rare from any hitters standpoint. I am a believe he can not only approach these numbers, but beat them. Hopefully he does not hit lead off as that was a terrible move for his RBI totals, still managed 80.
#5. Jimmy Rollins – Prediction (.260 Average. 22 HRs. 70 RBIs. 32 SBs. 102 Runs)
Jimmy put up 16 HRs to go along with 30 SBs in 142 games. From the SS position those numbers are elite, and with no Ryan Howard to begin the year, Rollins will have to be the leader of that offense. Rollins still has speed with 2003 being the last full season he played where he failed to swipe at least 30 bags. If Rollins stays healthy, you have yourself a huge fantasy sleeper.
#6. Starlin Castro – Prediction (.310 Average. 17 HRs. 72 RBIs. 25 SBs. 85 Runs)
Starlin hit 10 Bombs and swiped 22 bags in his first full season. As a SS those numbers do get the job done, however there is definitely a drop off between him and the top 3 of Tulo, Han Ram, and Reyes. I would let some else reach for the potential 20/30 guy. It may not come this season and there are safer options around the same time his name is called on draft day.
#7. Dee Gordon – Prediction (.267 Average. 1 HR. 34 RBIs. 65 SBs. 100 Runs)
24 SBs in 56 games. Project that out to a full season on a small ball offensive team and you got yourself an easy 50 SBs with the chance for plenty more. Dodgers network has already flashed the name 70 bags and a lot of people are ready to jump on the bandwagon. That is if they can catch up to the speed of the son Tom Flash Gordon.
#8. Elvis Andrus – Prediction (.269 Average. 4 HRs. 54 RBIs. 41 SBs. 108 Runs)
All speed, and no power, makes Elvis an overrated fantasy option. The good news for Andrus is that he plays for Texas, which means you will hit into RBI situations even when you don’t try. His power rate will leave you less than satisfied, but the 50+ RBI potential, and 40+ SB’s will leave his owners happy. Dee Gordon is a much better option who goes at least 7 rounds later.
#9. Alexei Ramirez – Prediction (.282 Average. 20 HRs. 75 RBIs. 10 SBs. 80 Runs)
Alexei has never been able to build off of his rookie 21 HR season. What he has done though as stayed at a consistent 15-18 HR type of player with 70 RBI potential to go along with being a double digit SB threat. From the SS position those numbers are more than solid as he will not hurt you in any category, including his career .279 batting average. Keep in mind, he is a 4th year pro at 30 years old, but not done yet.
#10. Jhonny Peralta – Prediction (.272 Average. 24 HRs. 87 RBIs. 1 SB. 68 Runs)
Jhonny has always been a solid source of power from the SS position since his first full season with the Indians. He never got better as a power hitter as the 24 he hit that season is still his career high. However playing in this Tigers lineup, there will be plenty of RBI chances for him to build a huge campaign.
#11. Asdrubal Cabrera – Prediction (.283 Average. 12 HRs. 62 RBIs. 15 SBs. 80 Runs)
In Asdrubal’s first five seasons he hit a total of 18 HRs. About 3+ per season. Last year he managed to knock out 25 bombs. Was he juicing? We may never know. What I do know is that I tend to stay away from guys who all of a sudden have a breakout year with more than doubling their power total when they are 6 feet 180 lbs. Double digit steals are expected, but I will let someone else play with fire.
#12. Emilio Bonifacio – Prediction (.250 Average. 2 HRs. 33 RBIs. 31 SBs. 90 Runs)
Emilio is a great fantasy baseball option. He qualifies at multiple positions, and he steals a lot of bases. He is looking to be the everyday center fielder, and with the chance of being on base behind Jose Reyes. There should be plenty of double steals where no ball is thrown to attempt to get Emilio out. He should steal 30 bags again easily. However you should expect a lot of sacrifice bunting, and Luis Castillo showed us in the past if you bat 2nd, you are going to lose on SB opportunities. There is a risk.
#13. Ian Desmond – Prediction (.264 Average. 13 HRs. 68 RBIs. 27 SBs. 70 Runs)
Ian will strike out a lot, 139 times last season. But what he will do is give you solid SB potential 25 of 35, and decent pop with 10 Bombs. I like young players with 10-20 potential at the SS position. Playing in the Nationals lineup he has a great chance to increase those numbers with his RBI total.
#14. Mike Aviles – Prediction (.290 Average. 15 HRs. 65 RBIs. 17 SBs. 75 Runs)
You gotta love the potential of Aviles as a full-time option in Boston. The lineup has talent all around that will leave Mike with a lot of RBI chances. Especially if he can get back to that .300 batting average form he flashed a season ago. Nice wheels, with some pop leaves him as a great sleeper.
#15. Derek Jeter – Prediction (.291 Average. 7 HRs. 75 RBIs. 15 SBs. 117 Runs)
It appears the train has passed for Derek Jeter. He is 37 years old, coming off a season where he only hit 6 HRs to go along with 16 SBs in only 131 games. The good news for Jeter however is that in the Yankee lineup he will be presented with plenty of RBI chances. If he can bat .297 like he did a season ago, 70 RBIs are easily in reach for the future hall of famer. He was also score a lot of runs.
#16. Erick Aybar – Prediction (.280 Average. 11 HRs. 50 RBIs. 20 SBs. 85 Runs)
It was not the 10 HRs that made Aybar special. It was the rare accomplishment that he stole 30 bags. The season before that he swiped 22, and the season before that it was 14. Based on that trend, 38 is the next number. However in an offense that is loaded with great hitting now with Pujols and a healthy Morales. It is hard to imagine the Angels being as aggressive on the base paths. His value will depend where he bats in the opening day lineup.
#17. Zack Cozart – Prediction (.290 Average. 11 HRs. 59 RBIs. 19 SBs. 68 Runs)
2 HRs in 11 games. Cozart has some serious potential, especially when you include he hit over .320 during that span of 37 ABs. Playing in the sandbox ball park in Cincinnati, you can expect a potential sleeper at the thin SS position. He does have wheels as he stole 55 bases in his last two season in the minors.
#18. Jed Lowrie – Prediction (.259 Average. 15 HRs. 60 RBIs. 4 SBs. 55 Runs)
Lowrie has nice power potential and moves from the high pressure Boston to the I do not care if win 60 games Astros. Jed will get his chance to finally prove his power potential with no competition for playing time. Now is his chance to show who he is as a player.
#19. Alex S. Gonzales – Prediction (.265 Average. 19 HRs. 67 RBIs. 2 SBs. 60 Runs)
Alex has 20 HR potential, the question is will he tap into it. The Brewers could use all the power they can without Prince on that lineup card. He is off to a hot start this Spring so there is no reason to think he cannot keep it going.
#20. Sean Rodriguez – Prediction (.260 Average. 14 HRs. 60 RBIs. 13 SBs. 65 Runs)
Sean Rodriguez has always had potential to be a huge player in the majors but has never had the chance to put it together for a full season. As an everyday guy last year, Rodriguez looked solid about a two RBIs a week. He did hit 29 HRs in in 365 ABs one season in the minors, so the potential is there especially getting the chance to open up as the everyday SS.
#21. Alcides Escobar – Prediction (.255 Average. 5 HRs. 44 RBIs. 30 SBs. 75 Runs)
Good speed potential, with little power. Imagine Elvis Andrus with less SBs, and a team with the complete opposite of the Rangers lineup.
#22. Stephen Drew – Prediction (.265 Average. 13 HRs. 65 RBIs. 5 SBs. 68 Runs)
Once again a season starts and Stephen Drew will miss the beginning of it. That is okay as Drew is a great fantasy option when healthy on the field. He was slumping for a majority of last season and I would almost disregard the 5 HRs in 86 games. He was once an elite talent, and I am sure he is still out to prove it on a dynamic Diamondback lineup.
#23. Yunel Escobar – Prediction (.280 Average. 13 HRs. 40 RBIs. 2 SBs. 68 Runs)
A SS with low double-digit power and no speed. Low RBI production, and a solid batting average. I am talking about Yunel Escobar. A player that is more hype than fantasy reward, I would avoid him on draft day as your team does not gain a whole lot with him in your lineup. A big drop off from the tier ahead.
#24. Clint Barmes – Prediction (.240 Average. 15 HRs. 65 RBIs. 4 SBs. 55 Runs)
Barmes gets another chance to revitalize his career moving to Pittsburgh. He does still have that 20 HR potential as he hit 12 HRs in 123 games with Houston a season ago.
#25. Marco Scutaro – Prediction (.295 Average. 11 HRs. 56 RBIs. 3 SBs. 66 Runs)
Slapzilla takes his bat to Coors field where he will see if the ball really does travel further. Marco is no lock to keep his job the entire season as Herrera or even EY Jr. is capable of stealing 2B at any moment. You know Tulo is never going to sit unless an injury. If Marco manages to hold onto the job all season, double digit HR numbers can be found. Always solid for batting average.
#26. Ryan Theriot – Prediction (.267 Average. 2 HRs. 34 RBIs. 27 SBs. 80 Runs)
The riot gets a chance to make a splash in SF. No not a splash over the McCovey cove, it would be amazing if he did that. But a chance to steal 30 bases on a small ball team. It is a long shot, but it would not be a huge surprise as he has shown 20+ SBs in a season is no problem doing it each year from 2007-2010.
#27. Rafael Furcal – Prediction (.240 Average. 8 HRs. 35 RBIs. 12 SBs. 55 Runs)
Furcal is all but over the hill now in St. Louis. His days of staying healthy for an entire season seems like a long shot, as he has only been healthy for two seasons since 2006. He could potentially give you some quality double digit pop, but he is more likely to land on the DL at some point.
#28. Jason Bartlett – Prediction (.270 Average. 4 HRs. 55 RBIs. 20 SBs. 70 Runs) – Prediction
Fantasy owners are caught up on the fact that Bartlett took a step in the wrong direction with 2 HRs, but he did steal 25 bags. He goes late enough where you got a nice SS who has the capabilities of stealing a bag pretty frequently, and in the past flashed 14 HR pop. Lifetime .273 hitter.
#29. Aleixi Casilla – Prediction (.270 Average. 3 HRs. 38 RBIs. 25 SBs. 65 Runs) – Prediction
Casilla will get the start at 2B to open up the season. His speed is what you’re drafting him for as he can easily swipe 20+ bags if he keeps the job all season. No reason to think that will not be the case.
#30. Tyler Pastornicky – Prediction (.240 Batting Average. 3 HRs. 36 RBIs. 24 SBs. 50 Runs) – Prediction
The Patstornicky reign begins now that Alex Gonzales is not in his way. No power, bad batting average, decent speed potential as he stole 57 bases in the minors in 2009.
#31. Eduardo Nunez – Prediction (.260 Average. 7 HRs. 40 RBIs. 14 SBs. 30 Runs)
Nunez was more than great filling in for Derek Jeter and A-Rod with his knee injuries. However both come into camp healthy, and that leaves Nunez as someone who you will want later on in the season than now. When he plays full-time he is a great option with some decent pop and speed. Hitting in a Yankee lineup helps as well.
#32. Eric Sogard – Prediction (.270 Average. 8 HRs. 45 RBIs. 10 SBs. 50 Runs)
Sogard is showing some decent power/speed combo that can make him a 10-10 threat at the SS position. A strong Spring is quickly raising his stock.
#33. Jamey Carroll – Prediction (.280 Average. 3 HRs. 30 RBIs. 10 SBs. 40 Runs)
Carroll has no power and little speed. I will pass on him on draft day.
#34. Cliff Pennington – Prediction (.240 Average. 6 HRs. 37 RBIs. 2 SBs. 40 Runs)
Pennington will open up the season as the starting SS for Oakland. With the way Sogard has been swinging the back in Spring Training, it will probably not be long before they turn the keys over to him. I would avoid Cliff this season as his low double-digit power is not enough to begin with.