The shortstop position dries up quickly this season. Like any position we are sure some stars will emerge out of nowhere but if you can land a top player at this position we feel you are already ahead of the game. The debate we always have is Hanley Ramirez against Troy Tulowitzki for the top spot and for good reason both are incredibly valuable, when healthy. Based on that health factor and the monster numbers Hanley put in half a season last year, he won out. A .345 average with 20 bombs and 10 bags in 300 at bats is simply amazing. Either way both should be taken within the first 12 picks of any draft.
If you miss out on our top players the middle tiers of players actually end up going a little earlier than their numbers would suggest due to position scarcity but I suggest not overpaying and maybe waiting for some sleepers to fall to you especially if you need speed late. The shortstop position has an abundance of cheap speed, you can get extremely late.
Second Best at Position – Troy Tulowitzki
If Troy Tulowitzki ever plays a full season I believe he will be a top 3 player at the end of the season but it seems that will never happen. In his past seven seasons he has only played over 150 games twice, in fact, he only averages 120 games a season during that span. So why our second overall player at this position? Even during his shorten seasons Troy Tulowitzki produces at a top level at the position – so if he does stay healthy for 150 games, you have a huge advantage over the other owners in your league. Just ensure you grab a back-up for when he does inevitable misses some time.
Power Champion – J.J. Hardy
Again if Troy does indeed stay healthy all season he will beat J.J. Hardy by 10 homeruns but we all know the upside of Troy so I gave the nod to J.J. Hardy. The 31 year old has jacked 30, 22, 25 homeruns in the last three seasons and when drafting him you should expect similar numbers, meaning you have to take the good with the bad. J.J. Hardy is a roller coaster to own, when he is hot he hits for a decent average and power but when he is cold, he hurts a fantasy team quite a bit. So if you got Hardy I hope you drafted a shortstop ahead of him as well and will only use the potential homerun champ of the position when he is hot.
Must Have Sleeper – Starlin Castro
Pick 125, how does this guy go from rising star top four at position last year to pick 125? Sure, he had a down year but the talent is still there and if he gets back to his old form he is such a steal. I would say his upside is batting .300 with 15 jacks and 20 bags. He is going so late you could even grab a top tier shortstop then grab him later for instance trade bait if he does pan out.
Overvalued – Jean Segura
Normally I do not love writing about busts because they are tough to predict and if you like someone my saying he will be a bust will not change your opinion. However, I have to write about Jean Segura and his second half. I think this is not covered nearly as much as it should be around the fantasy baseball landscape. For a guy that is 23 and going in the top 30 picks this is his second half numbers: 216 at bats, 1 homerun, 13 RBIs, 17 bags, and a .241 average. Sure the bags are nice but that counting stats and average are worse than a guy that can swipe more bags, that I can get 55 picks later in Everth Cabrera. You have been warned about Segura!
Cheap Speed – Everth Cabrera, Alexei Ramirez, Jimmy Rollins, Jonathan Villar
All four of the players listed above could swipe over 20 bags with Cabrera having a real chance to steal 40 this year. The way they are listed is the way we have them ranked but out of the bunch the best value is Jonathan Villar. He is a youngster on Houston and if he brings his average up and gets more playing time he could compete with Cabrera and even Hanley for leading the position in steals. Problem is saying someone just needs to jump their OBP by 40 points is much much easier said than done. Keep an eye and an ear out for the name Jonathan Villar.
Cheap Power – Andrelton Simmons
Not sure why he is considered cheap as we have him ranked inside our top ten at the position but his average draft position is closer to the 150 mark. Andrelton Simmons had a solid year last season and has a great line-up around him this year. He has the potential for 20 bombs and coming out of a shortstop after pick 150 is a steal in my mind.
Draft Day Advice
You can get speed late in this position so if you do not get a stud you might want to grab your average and power stats at other positions then look for steals here.