Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shortstop - 2010 Preview

Shortstop is not as glorious as it was a few years ago with A-Rod, a roided Miguel Tejada,and a younger Jimmy Rollins roaming the middle infield, but there are still some very good players in the top tiers, with some solid if not exceptional players in the later rounds.

First Tier

Hanley Ramirez – Marlins. HanRam did not flinch in moving to the 3rd spot in the line-up last season, responding with a .342/24/106 with 101 Rs and 27 SBs. In my mock drafts, I have alternated my #1 pick between him and St. Albert. For some reason, my teams seem better in the end with Pujols, but Hanley is a great #1 pick.

Second Tier

Troy Tulowitzki – Rockies – Tulo recovered from his injury-riddled sophomore slump with a resounding line of .297/32/92. I am still scarred from 2009, but numbers, like hips, don’t lie, including a .344/16/55 post-All Star line.

Jose Reyes – Mets – There is no way around it – 2009 was awful for Reyes. While it might be risky to invest in a SBs guy recovering from hamstring surgery, I think that Reyes will bounce back. Despite how weak the Mets’ line-up is, Reyes can generate his own numbers, averaging 65 SBs, 113 Rs and 158 Games from to 2005 to 2008.

Third Tier

Derek Jeter – Yankees – I don’t want to like Jeter for multiple reasons, including his advanced baseball age (35 years), numerous World Series rings (5) and unnecessarily hot girlfriend (Minka Kelly). However, he brings good numbers every year and will have A-Rod behind him for a whole season, in addition to having A-Rod batting behind him for the whole season.

Jimmy Rollins – Phillies – I don’t think Rollins will return to the numbers he reached in his prime (.296/30/94 with 139 Rs and 41 SBs in 2007), but he is still a good player at a weak position. Like Jeter, he has a great line-up behind him, but I would not risk a 3rd pick on him.

The rest of my Top Ten

Jason Barlett, Yunel Escobar, Ben Zorbist, Elvis Andrus, Alexei Ramirez

Bartlett and Zorbist are both on the Tampa Bay Rays, and both have SS eligibility. I would take Bartlett over Zorbist. In the minors, Zobrist highest HR total was 7 in 61 games in 2007. Don’t expect him to continue last year’s pace.

The only difference to me between Escobar (.299/14/76) and Ramierz is (.277/15/68) is Ramirez’s advantage in SBs (14 to 5). I would not overreach for Alexei, unless you receive points for the unnecessary extra “E” in his name.

I like Elvis Andrus. Last season, he had 33 SBs in 148 games. You can pick up him up late (104.7 ADP at , and he plays with good lineup in a hitter’s park. If you miss out on a great player early, remember that Elvis is everywhere.

But what about …

Rafael Furcal, Miguel Tejeda

Sorry, but their time is past. I thought that Furcal would recover from his back injury last year, but it did not happen (.269/9/47 with 12 SBs.) Tejeda had a good season with the Astros (.313/14/86), but he will not repeat it in the AL with the Orioles.

Don’t forget about

Orlando Cabrera - Reds

Orlando Cabrera is always available in the late rounds, and he always provides decent production, including .282/9/77 with 83 Rs in 2009. If you don’t want to waste an early pick on SS, you can start the season with Cabrera and try to trade up as the season begins.

1 comment:

Donny said...

I also like Elvis Andrus. But you know I'll be drafting O-Cab with my 2nd to last pick. Also, nice work on working Minka Kelly and Shakira into one post.

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