Here is the fourth in the series where I review my 2011 preseason position rankings. Today we cover my preseason Shortstop rankings and I guess I am not the only fantasy writer that ranked Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez as the #1 fantasy shortstop, as he was a bust in 2011, injury or no injury.
Looking back at my rankings, I just have to say "wow!". What was I thinking? The bottom 6 in my rankings were terrible with the exception of Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Guys like Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy and Emilio Bonafacio came out of nowhere to have excellent seasons. Well, Hardy has had solid power years in the past, but we haven't seen this power from him since 2008. Cabrera has never hit this many home runs in the majors or minors, and hit more home runs this year than he has in his whole major league career prior to 2011.
Onto my review of my preseason Shortstop Rankings:
1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA-I wrote about Ramirez's bust season here and am undecided as to where I would rank him for 2012. He will certainly fall below Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes and probably Asdrubal Cabrera.
2. Troy Tulowitzki, COL-Tulo is now the #1 fantasy shortstop and he will be a first round pick in fantasy drafts in 2012. Tulo hit .302-.372-.544 with 30 HRs, 105 RBI, 81 runs and 9 SBs in 2011. He has proven to be a steady 30 HR hitter over the last 3 seasons, and here are his ISO/SLG/HR splits over that time:
More or my shortstop review after the jump:
3. Jose Reyes, NYM-Reyes was on his way to an MVP year and a Carl Crawford type contract before landing on the DL with a hamstring issue. Reyes won the NL batting title, after getting a bunt single in his first at bat in the last game of the season, then took himself out to ensure he won the title. What a guy. He hit .337-.384-.493 with 7 HRs, 44 RBI, 101 runs and 39 SBs. I said before the season started that he wouldn't steal 40 bases, and by luck I was right. He certainly had a much better year than I thought he would have. Could Ruben Amaro let Jimmy Rollins leave and sign Reyes to spark an aging lineup in Philly?
4. Alexei Ramirez, CHW-Ramirez is one of the more consistent hitting shortstops in the game. Here are his stats the last 4 years:
Year- BA/OBP/SLG, HR-RBI-RUNs-SBs
2008- .290-.317-.475, 21-77-65-13
2009- .277-.333-.389, 15-68-71-14
2010- .282-.313-.431, 18-70-83-13
2011- .269-.328-.399, 15-70-81-7
5. Stephen Drew, ARI-Drew's season ended early due to a fractured ankle suffered while sliding into home plate in mid-July. It is beginning to appear that Drew's 2008 season was a career year and he has regressed at the plate since then. He hit .252-.317-.396 with 5 HRs, 45 RBI, 44 runs and 4 SBs. His ISO and BA are trending down over the last 4 years and his K rate has jumped from 16% to 21% in the last 4 years.
6. Derek Jeter, NYY-As I am writing this, i just watched Jeter fly out to the right field wall with 2 out in the bottom of the 8th inning on Thursday night. Jeter struggled early in the year, but finished with a solid BA and OBP, but that's about it. Jeter hit .299-.355-.388 with 6 HRs, 61 RBI, 84 runs and 16 SBs. Jeter's SLG has been under ,400 two years in a row and his ISO has been .100 or lower over the same time period. He had just 34 extra base hits this season.
7. Jimmy Rollins, PHI-J-Roll is a free agent now and is looking for a 5 year deal this offseason. Rollins hit .268-.338- .399 with 16 HRs, 63 RBI, 87 runs and 30 SBs this season. He will turn 33 years of age in late November and could have a few more good years left in him. Rollins has stolen 30 or more bases in 7 of the last 8 years and 9 of 11 years in the big leagues.
8. Ian Desmond, WAS-Desmond was the hot sleeper on draft day as he flashed the potential to hit 15 HRs and steal 15-20 bases in 2011. For the season, he hit .253-.298-.356 with 8 HRs, 49 RBI, 65 runs and 25 SBs. Desmond his .287 in August and .302 in September and manager Davey Johnson moved him to the leadoff spot toward the end of the year, so Desmond took advantage. But make no mistake, Desmond is not a leadoff hitter and i think the Nationals will trade for a centerfield/leadoff type hitter this offseason as they continue to build a young, strong team that could compete in the next few years.
9. Rafael Furcal, STL-Furcal did what Furcal does and got injured again this season. Even when he was playing, he was not very good. I look back and wonder if my Dodger blue glasses were on when I ranked Furcal this high. Furcal hit just .231-.298-.348 with 8 HRs, 28 RBI, 44 runs and 9 SBs in 369 plate appearances. He is a high risk in 2012 drafts, if he is draftable at all.
10. Miguel Tejada, SFG-Tejada managed just 322 at bats in 2011, and hit just .239-.270-.326 with 4 HRs, 26 RBI, 28 runs and 4 SBs. Will he have a job in 2012?
11. Starlin Castro, CHC-Castro will shoot up the shortstop rankings for 2012, as he hit .307-.341-.432 with 10 HRs, 66 RBI, 91 runs and 22 SBs in 31 attempts. He is a line drive hitter (20.1% line drive rate) who could hit for more power down the road. His 207 hits lead the National League this season.
12. Jhonny Peralta, DET- I remember getting plenty of flak for ranking Peralta ahead of Elvis Andrus back in March, so Peralta made me look good this season, but I still can't explain Andrus being left out of my Top 12 shortstops. My bad. Peralta had an exceelnt season at the plate, hitting .299-.345-.478 with 21 HRs, 86 RNI and 68 runs scored for the Tigers. He has driven in 80 or more runs in each of the last 4 years, and has hit 20+ HRs in 3 of his last 5 years, so he is a solid choice on draft day in 2012.