With the summer unofficially kicked off and June rapidly approaching, we are getting into the thick of fantasy baseball season. The sample sizes remain small, but we now have almost a full two months of action review. In the weeks, we are going to go through position-by-position and highlight some of the biggest movers as well as update our tiered rankings at each spot. The rankings are can be considered a cheat sheet of shorts for if you were drafting today for the rest of the season. Early returns are certainly considered, but we are focused on what these guys will do and not necessarily what he have done. The prime utility of this tiered list will most likely be for making waiver wire and trade decisions, and while the players in each tier are arranged in the order that we’d prefer them, they are essentially equal values when considering the trade market.
Today, we turn our attention to the shortstops and Troy stand alone at the top. Tiers two and three however, have a number of enticing options. Typically, we tend to favor power over speed and that has played a significant role in setting our top-10. Interestingly, the shortstop position feel somewhat deep compared to some of the other spots in the infield. Though the top is pretty thin with only one truly elite–and healthy–producer, there’s a solid 15 players on this list that we would be fine with as our top shortstop. Don’t agree? Then let me hear it in the comments!
1. Troy Tulowitzki
10 home runs, 40 RBI and 47 games played out of the team’s first 52… all is well in Colorado.
2. Hanley Ramirez
Could be back as early as Monday, we are still buying the best power/speed combo at this position.
3. Ian Desmond
Remains on pace for 20 HR and 17 steals despite recent slump while proving 2012 was no fluke.
4. Ben Zobrist
Continue to show great plate discipline with 25:33 BB-to-K ratio while ranking 5th in runs (26) and 3rd in RBI (30) amongst shortstops. The power will come as his HR/FB% rises.
5. Asdrubal Cabrera
Batting .310/.355/.451 in his last 17 games and on pace for 82 runs 72 RBI with double-digit power and speed.
6. Jean Segura
Fabulous start to the season but the power pace will not hold–specifically the 18.6 HR/BF%. Segura should be good for a .300 average and a bunch of steals the rest of the way.
7. Jimmy Rollins
Last year on May 29, J-Roll was batting .224 with one home run and nine steals on his way to 23 home run, 30 steal season. He’s streaky for sure, but offers power and speed upside like few others at the position.
8. Starlin Castro
Last 162 games: .269-82-13-67-13 5×5 line. Solid, but hardly elite.
9. J.J. Hardy
With 10 HR already this year, Hardy’s 62 long balls are tops among shortstops since 2011.
10. Jose Reyes
Upside sneaks him into the top ten but majors questions remain about his ability to steal bases coming off of a major ankle sprain.
11. Elvis Andrus
The high efficiency model: 13-for-15 on the base paths in 2013 after getting cause 10 times in 31 attempts last year.
12. Everth Cabrera
Don’t bank on the power to continue (4 HR) but the speed is real (19 SB).
13. Alcides Escobar
Solid speed and not a ton more.
14. Erick Aybar
Like 2012, Aybar is off to a painfully slow start. Perhaps he’s finally warming with a .286 batting average over his last nine games.
15. Jhonny Peralta
The .412 BABIP and .339 average will be coming down, but Jhonny has average 25 HR and 85 RBI per 162 games since 2005 and can certainly do it again.
16. Jed Lowrie
Solid production not nearly as surprising as the steady health.
17. Marco Scutaro
Though the average and run production is solid, there’s not much category juice left in this tank.
18. Stephen Drew
Don’t look now, but Drew has a very respectable .271/.368/.470 slash line over his last 19 games with 10 runs and 11 RBI to go along with a pair of homers. Solid pace.
19. Alexei Ramirez
Doesn’t do anything special, but does provide little taste of everything.
20. Andrelton Simmons
Upside remains despite a disappointing start.
21. Jurickson Profar
Not much more the top-prospect can do with seven hits, three runs and five RBI in six games replacing Ian Kinsler. Sadly, he’s likely back in the minors next week.
22. Zack Cozart
If you ignore the abysmal .266 OBP, his pace for 18 homers and 82 RBI doesn’t look so bad.
23. Josh Rutledge
Was actually making stride at the plate with an improved 13:27 BB-to-K ratio and still bringing the juice with 5 homers and 5 steals. He’ll shoot up in these rankings as soon as he gets back to Coors.
24. Danny Espinosa
Playing with a fractured wrist on top of a torn labrum in his shoulder has not worked out for Danny. With the Nats letting Anthony Rendon get comfy at 2B in the minors, Espinosa’s leash is getting short.
25. Nick Franklin
Looking beyond the sizzling .324/.440/.472 slash line at Triple-A, there’s not a ton of upside with 46 home runs and 63 steals in almost 400 minor league games.
26. Didi Gregorius
Certainly looking like a bit more than the “all glove” prospect the DBacks traded for.
27. Dee Gordon
Even with an improved eye at the plate–8 walks vs. 16 Ks–a .175/.278/.254 slash line will not keep him on the roster when Hanley returns.
28. Mike Aviles
Though he’s once again without a clear path to playing time, Aviles remains productive when on the field.
29. Brandon Crawford
Even with nice start to the season for Crawford, it’s hard to imagine him keeping the production up.
30. Derek Jeter
If The Captain gets back in August, he could outproduce half of the options on this list.