Thursday, March 10, 2011
Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 4: Shortstops
An unfortunate position in baseball this year is the shortstop. There are a very small number of exceptions, but not very many. Unfortunately this position is going to involve some players that are on their team for defensive purposes only and will bat at the end of the order. And unfortunately in fantasy baseball offensive numbers are all that matters. These players are not going the be the best players in your draft and because of that, I would wait until at least the fourth round, but maybe even the fifth before looking at these players. But sometimes those late picks can wind up being huge sleeper picks for you, so it is important to pick these properly. So with that being the case...to the list!
1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA
The only player on this list worth using a first round pick on is Hanley Ramirez. And even that isn't that great. Ramirez should be a very late first round pick, if not a second round pick. That being said, he is a great player. The greatest part about Ramirez is his speed. He will be able to beat out a lot of singles and steal plenty of bases. But when it comes to power, Ramirez will be a bit of a let down. He should still lead all shortstops in home runs and RBIs, but we're only talking about 25 home runs and fewer than 100 RBIs. It's hit hit numbers, batting average and stolen bases that put him so high. He will still be the best fantasy shortstop but the numbers wont be as great as a first baseman or third baseman. Honestly, I wouldn't even think about Hanley Ramirez until the fourth round. But if you are a huge fan of him, go ahead and waste your third round pick on him. There's a chance someone else may try to do it first. But even then, he doesn't have that huge of an advantage over other shortstops. But if you get into the fifth or even sixth round and he's still there, grab him!!! He will do amazing for you at that point.
2. Troy Tulowitski, COL
Now to a player when someone looks at him they think, "Who?" Tulowitski is not a huge name in this league which is why he could be a steal. I see him going in the late fifth, sixth, or maybe even seventh round. That's what makes him such a great pick up. If in the seventh round you can pick up a player who will hit 32 home runs, 110 RBIs and bat over .300, that's an amazing hook up. Now, ESPN.com says that Troy will go twelfth overall. I think that's way too early. At the earliest he will go late third round early fourth, but again I don't see him going early that fifth round (depending on the number of people in your league). Troy will be a great late round pick who if you can get him as a fifth round pick, grab him, his number of homers, RBIs and batting average will definitely help you this season.
3. Jose Reyes, NYM
Now to a man who is very close to my heart. Not because I'm a Mets fan. That is an old roommate of mine. Jose Reyes is a man who I used my second over all pick on four years ago. And you know what? He wound up leading my team to a season win in my fantasy league. He can still do that. Reyes' greatest quality is his number of triples and stolen bases in a week. Usually when I had him, he would beat my opponents whole team in triples and stolen bases by himself. He is still capable of that. In fact, coming off a year in which he was plagued with injuries, along with the entire Mets, I would see him having a huge year!! And the best part his, he's ranked pretty low. So those fantasy players who go by ranks wont pick him up til real late. He will be a huge sleeper and great point gainer. Pick him up in the sixth or early seventh round and watch him rack up the points!!
4. Derek Jeter, NYY
And much like his Yankees counterpart yesterday, this may be a huge disagreement on all the readers' part. But here's what I see when I see Captain Yankee. I see a much older player who is not as fast or has a fast swing. I still see him being successful, but not in ways that people expect. I'm expecting 16 home runs but close to 90 RBIs because of the great players around him. However, his batting average will be lower because of his age and decreased swing speed. I am seeing Jeter having around a .260 batting average. He could surprise us all, but I don't see it happening. However, when it comes to your draft...If you're a Yankee fan, pick him up early if it's really important for you to have him. There are a lot of people out there who will pick him up based on name alone. I wouldn't pick him until around the sixth or seventh round because I think there are that many players better than him in fantasy point scoring. But when it comes to picking a shortstop, he's definitely fourth. And because of the diminished talent of shortstops this year I think he should be around in the late rounds. But again, if you really want him, grab him in the fourth round. He will be there then, but after that it's a risk based on name alone.
5. Alexi Ramirez, CWS
The position of shortstop is full of sleeper picks. This man is one of those sleepers. You can pick him in the late seventh round or later because of the great players this year, but he will still be great. Ramirez is also not a well known name in baseball. He's a silent killer of sorts, because I see him hitting close to 20 home runs, around 80 RBIs and almost a .290 batting average. I know those aren't great numbers, but look at the list of shortstops there are. When it comes to offensive numbers, Ramirez is a huge sleeper. He will perform very well for a shortstop, but most people will pass on him the whole draft. Don't draft him expecting great numbers though. He wont do amazing. But he will do great compared to other shortstops. If you get to the eighth round and Ramirez is still there and you don't have a shortstop, pick him!!! He will do great in the shortstop category.
6. Jimmy Rollins, PHI
7. Elvin Andrus, TEX
8. Stephen Drew, ARI
9. Rafael Furcal, LAD
10. Ian Desmond, WAS
11. Starlin Castro, CHC
12. Aleides Escobar, KC
13. Omar Infante, FLA (Can also be play Second Base, Third Base and Outfield)
14. Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE
15. Yunel Excobar, TOR
16. Jhonny Peralata, DET (Can also play Third Base)
17. Juan Uribe, LAD (Can also play Second Base and Third Base)
18. Marco Scutaro, BOS
19. J.J. Hardy, BAL (HUGE SLEEPER PICK!!)
20. Miguel Tejada, SF (Can also play Third Base)
As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree. I always love to hear if people think differently than me. And I am serious. I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong. I look forward to reading them.