Unlike their double play partners, the shortstop position is very light with the stick. You have 2 superstars, and 1 more player who if healthy is elite. As for the rest, uggh. The fact that the #4 selection is Derek Jeter, who is aging and coming off the worst season of his career tells you all you need to know. You can certainly win a league without one of those front line shortstops, but you’re likely going to do it with a significant hole in the middle of your fantasy team.
Potential sleepers: picks that you may be able to get later or cheaper in cost relative to potential value.
Potential busts: picks that will likely be draft earlier or cost more then their actual fantasy value.
1) Hanley Ramirez- The best shortstop in the game looked almost human last season. He seems inline for a bit of a bounce back but even if he doesn’t he is still best of breed at short. He’ll be a top 5 selection in most drafts.
2) Troy Tulowitski- If he stays healthy he can be as good as Hanley, but his track record makes that a big if. So he stays in the #2 slot, and is a likely top 10 selection in drafts.
3) Jose Reyes- An even bigger, bright red “if” then Tulowitski, drafting him is asking for a headache. But he is so much more talented than any of the other shortstops after him you might as well just stock up on aspirin.
4) Derek Jeter- Rather shockingly the clear cut #4 shortstop after last year’s debacle of a season. But the truth is he remains as safe of a play as any shortstop not named Ramirez. Plus, I expect a bit of a bounce back for the Yankee captain.
5) Alexi Ramirez- Remember what I said about Ramirez’s? .280 15/15. Book it. His consistency has been undervalued in early drafts in my opinion.
6) Jimmy Rollins- He’s fading but should easily outpace his 2010 stats.
7) Elvis Andrus- .265ish with 30plus steals.
8) Ian Desmond- His horrible fielding doesn’t mean much in fantasy. He has a ton of potential.
9) Stephen Drew- Forget about the mythical breakout season, he is what he is.
10) Rafael Furcal- Constant & consistent health issues leaves him 4 or 5 slots below his talent level.
11) Juan Uribe- At 2nd base he’s an afterthought, at short he is a sleeper pick.
12) Asdrubal Cabrera- Last season was too freaky to be repeated, so he reclaims his sleeper status this year.
13) Starlin Castro- He far exceeded what could’ve been expected from the youngster last year, I fear a sophomore slump.
14) Marco Scutaro- Aging, dropping in the order and his replacement is already on the team. But he is still a professional hitter who is likely to get steady at bats, and in that line up that should be a big deal.
15) JJ Hardy- Bat has some pop, and his home games will be in Baltimore.
16) Yunel Escobar- He has plenty of potential, the Braves didn’t seem to think he’d put it together, and I tend to agree.
17) Alcides Escobar- The Royals will give him every opportunity to succeed.
18) Eric Aybar- Minor League statistics say improvement is coming.
19) Miguel Tejada- He is done, but still a top 20 shortstop.
20) Reid Brignac- Low teen homeruns are possible.
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Written by Mo Johnson