MLB Reviews/Previews: Shortstop Rankings

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
Player Points Player Points
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.

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.

Runs Home Runs RBI Steals Average
Reyes 94 Desmond 24 Desmond 91 Gordon 64 Turner 0.340
Gordon 92 Tulowitzki 21 Peralta 75 Escobar 31 Tulowitzki 0.340
Zobrist 83 Peralta 21 A.Ramirez 74 Reyes 30 Santana 0.319
A.Ramirez 82 Rollins 17 H.Ramirez 71 Rollins 28 Harrison 0.315
Rollins 78 A.Ramirez 15 Crawford 69 Andrus 27 Panik 0.305
Aybar 77 Cabrera 14 Aybar 68 Desmond 24 Castro 0.292
Harrison 77 Castro 14 Castro 65 A.Ramirez 21 Gordon 0.289
Escobar 74 Harrison 13 Cabrera 61 Santana 20 Reyes 0.287
A.Cabrera 74 H.Ramirez 13 Rollins 55 Segura 20 Escobar 0.285
Desmond 73 Bogaerts 12 Mercer 55 Harrison 18 H.Ramirez 0.283


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:

  1. Troy Tulowitzki, COL
  2. Jose Reyes, TOR
  3. Ian Desmond, WSH
  4. Hanley Ramirez, BOS
  5. Alexi Ramirez, CWS
  6. Starlin Castro, CHC
  7. Elvis Andrus, TEX
  8. Danny Santana, MIN
  9. Jimmy Rollins, LAD
  10. Ben Zobrist, OAK
  11. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
  12. Jean Segura, MIL
  13. Jhonny Peralta, STL
  14. Asdrubal Cabrera, WSH
  15. Chris Owings, ARI
  16. Javier Baez, CHC
  17. J. Hardy, BAL
  18. Josh Rutledge, LAA
  19. Jed Lowrie, HOU
  20. Brad Miller, SEA
  21. Wilmer Flores, NYM
  22. Erick Aybar, LAA
  23. Andrelton Simmons, ATL
  24. Jordy Mercer, PIT
  25. Adeiny Hechavarria, MIA

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