As a part of our 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit, we examine the elite options at each position. Let’s take a look at our top fantasy shortstops for 2015, and compare our rankings to their current Average Draft Position (ADP) in mock drafts. As always, if your thoughts differ from these, please comment below or make use of our Fantasy Baseball Forum to share.
1. Troy Tulowitzki
Over the course of his seven MLB seasons, the man they call Tulo has missed over 350 games. If you do the math, that’s 50+ games missed per year. Here’s how good he is: Despite all those games missed, he’s still averaging 25 HR per year. In 2014, he hit 21 out in only 91 games and 375 AB, an MVP-type pace. He’s far and away the best SS, and probably one of the best players in the game. The SS position is not an unmixed blessing. If Troy stays healthy in 2015, like every year, he has the potential to be the top player overall.
2. Hanley Ramirez
The only thing that has kept Hanley from being the top overall SS for years is, well, Hanley. He can’t stay on the field. His signing with the Red Sox might just have that knocked, however, as he’s slated to play the outfield for the most part. Hitting in the top half of a very dangerous Boston lineup would be great for anyone, but for a batter like Hanley it could be a career-revitalizing shot in the arm. He has a realistic shot at 20 / 20, and could go much, much higher if he can stay healthy.
3. Ian Desmond
There were 5 players go to 20 HR / 20 SB in 2014, and only one of them was a SS. Desmond has actually gone 20 / 20 in each of the past three years, earning him a reputation for consistency to go with explosiveness. He turned down a $107 million extension this offseason, so he’s playing for a contract. Do we need to even mention to extremely strong Nationals lineup? Desmond is just a stud, and I’ll hate to see him leave Washington.
4. Jose Reyes
Here’s the rule on Jose Reyes: When he’s healthy all year, you can book .280+, 30+ steals, 90+ runs, and 10+ bolts. He was able to rebound from a down 2013 to post excellent number for Toronto in 2014. The Blue Jays were without many of their big bats for long stretches, and Reyes actually played through a number of leg ailments. He’s focused on leg strength during the offseason while his team focused on lineup strength, acquiring Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin. You have to like his odds to post strong fantasy tally marks in 2015.
5. Starlin Castro
There aren’t many players that can claim 50 HR, 50 SB, and 3000+ AB by the time they’re 24. Castro is one of very few to make that claim, and he’s done so on some pretty terrible Cubs teams. He’s finally got some help this year, and the lineup protection should do him wonders. He’s got the long-term contract, and we’re expecting the skills to begin to match the hype in 2015. Being taken outside the top 100, Castro is an upside monster waiting to happen.
Danny Santana, Alexei Ramirez, Elvis Andrus, Alcides Escobar, and Ben Zobrist round out our top 10 at the position. A lot can change during spring training, so be sure to check out our most up-to-date shortstop rankings.