Shortstop is an intriguing position this season. There is a good deal of talent, aging stars that should have value, and even a few speed specialist that you must take note of. In general, I am a fan of the depth of this position and if you are discipline you can certainly get a good value at some point in the draft. Shortstop has grown over the years and power does not come at such a premium and there are still plenty of chances to draft a player that will get you at least 20 steals.
In the past we have debated between Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez and whom would take the top spot but there was no big debate this year. The only question we had was if Tulo could stay healthy the entire year. If he does, we feel he is a lock for an elite season. Ramirez can certainly post 20 home runs and 20 bags, but his average could really hurt owners. Regardless, both of these players have a good amount of risk, but both have an extremely high-reward upside.
The real debate came in the next tier. Jose Reyes vs Ian Desmond. In the long run Desmond won out because he can realistically beat Reyes in four out of five categories in standard five by five leagues. Sure, Reyes will get a ton of bags, but an owner can draft speed specialists like Everth Cabrera and Alcides Escobar over 100 picks later in the draft.
Also, waiting on a shortstop now means you can get old dogs like Jimmy Rollins and Derek Jeter in the middle to late rounds. While Jeter won’t rack up many HRs or RBIs, his major league-leading 216 hits last season were 11 more than Miguel Cabrera. Gambling on these old guys can pay off but ensure you draft a younger upside guy to pair with them. Which is easier this year with players like Cabrera, Escobar (as highlight above), and Erick Aybar in the mix.
Draft Day Advice
Be patient, be disciplined and wait to take a shortstop at the right time. This might mean Tulowitzki in the second, Desmond in the middle rounds, or Cabrera in the late rounds but no matter what when you draft your shortstop you should feel as if you got somewhat of a deal.