Shortstop didn’t quite have the splash of many other positions this offseason but the move of Hanley Ramirez from LA to Boston had the MLB world wondering just how it is all going to work. With Boston already having Xander Bogaerts as well as signing a premier third baseman in Pable Sandoval someone has to change position. That someone is likely to be Hanley, who could shift to the outfield, meaning that a consensus top 5 shortstop could soon lose his position eligibility which will deplete an already worryingly short group of options.
In other shortstop news this offseason Jimmy Rollins was traded to Los Angeles where he will likely serve as Hanley’s replacement and the big international movement was the arrival of Jung-ho Kang to Pittsburgh. Kang was a powerful shortstop in Korea and if that can translate even just a little from a hitter friendly league into the tougher surroundings of the major leagues then he could be a revelation well worth a gamble late in drafts. However, with Jordy Mercer entrenched for Pit it may be that Kang has to wait a year making him a tough draft in re-draft leagues.
|Roto Leagues||Points Leagues|
|Ian Desmond||21||Jose Reyes||448|
|Alexei Ramirez||19||Dee Gordon||446|
|Josh Harrison||19||Alexei Ramirez||437|
|Jose Reyes||18||Ian Desmond||422|
|Dee Gordon||16||Jimmy Rollins||410|
|Danny Santana||16||Ben Zobrist||409|
|Hanley Ramirez||15||Erick Aybar||401|
|Troy Tulowitzki||15||Josh Harrison||398|
|Jimmy Rollins||14||Jhonny Peralta||396|
|Erick Aybar||14||Alcides Escobar||385|
The initial thing you take from those lists above is that Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitski are in the bottom half of the top 10 in roto and not even in the top 10 in points. A big reason for this is the amount of time they missed last season limited their scoring. However, countering that is the fact they are the only players in the top 15 in points leagues and two of the three player in the top ten in roto that had under 500 AB’s which just goes to show how good they are.
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The other player in the roto ranks under 500 AB’s? Danny Santana (405)! He really came to fantasy league relevance as the season grew and his performances last year mean he should have the starting SS job locked up for Minnesota. Whether he can repeat, or improve, on what he did last year is a question mark and the Twins do have some solid prospects waiting in the wings for him or Dozier to trip up.
Of the top ten’s above Gordon and Harrison will not start the season with SS eligibility but there is a chance they could gain it as the season goes on. For me Gordon is more likely to gain it first with Harrison being able to switch between 3B, 2B and SS making it harder for him to gain eligibility quickly.
So when I looked at the lists one name really surprised me with his placing. Well actually there are two because Santana does if I was comparing it to the start of the season but the name I meant is Alexei Ramirez. He just accumulated stats while having a position leading 622 AB’s last season and if he stays healthy this season there is no reason to think he cannot do that all over again in 2015.
So let’s take a look at which shortstops finished in the top 10 for each of the roto categories.
My initial takeaways:
- Alexei Ramirez was top 10 in the four counting categories in 2014 which just demonstrates how lethal Tulowitski would be if he could have 622 AB’s instead of 315!
- As with many SS, Reyes really doesn’t offer much in the home runs or RBI category due to being the leadoff hitter for Toronto but he more than makes up for that by contributing heavily in runs, steals and average.
- Talk of Jimmy Rollins downfall last year were maybe a little early with him featuring in the top 10 in runs, home runs, RBI and steals. How that progresses with his move to Los Angeles Dodgers and away from hitter friendly Philly.
- After a massive drop off between 2012 and 2013, Stalin Castro bounced back a little last year but he still has potential to keep improving and hopefully get back to his top 5 overall form from 2012.However, Javier Baez is sniffing around his heels and could be an issue to him and his fantasy owners if he doesn’t start hot.
- Ian Desmond is a powerful man which is a valuable commodity for a shortstop. With Hanley and Tulo’s injury histories there is a real discussion for him to be ranked the number one SS going into this season.
Speaking of rankings:
- Troy Tulowitzki, COL
- Jose Reyes, TOR
- Ian Desmond, WSH
- Hanley Ramirez, BOS
- Alexi Ramirez, CWS
- Starlin Castro, CHC
- Elvis Andrus, TEX
- Danny Santana, MIN
- Jimmy Rollins, LAD
- Ben Zobrist, OAK
- Xander Bogaerts, BOS
- Jean Segura, MIL
- Jhonny Peralta, STL
- Asdrubal Cabrera, WSH
- Chris Owings, ARI
- Javier Baez, CHC
- J. Hardy, BAL
- Josh Rutledge, LAA
- Jed Lowrie, HOU
- Brad Miller, SEA
- Wilmer Flores, NYM
- Erick Aybar, LAA
- Andrelton Simmons, ATL
- Jordy Mercer, PIT
- Adeiny Hechavarria, MIA