Consensus Position Rankings/Projections: Top 30 Shortstops for 2014, Part 2

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It's Shortstop Week at Fake Teams, where we publish our consensus Top 30 fantasy shortstop rankings for 2014. Check out where the Fake Teams writers rank Chris Owings, Brad Miller and others.

We published part 1 of our Top 30 shortstop rankings on Monday, and today we bring you part 2 of our consensus fantasy shortstop rankings for 2014. We used a points system for each of the 30 second ranked by each of the Fake Teams writers who participated in the consensus rankings series.

We feel that providing you our consensus position rankings, you get an average ranking from the Fake Teams writers, rather than hearing me spew my rankings nonsense throughout the offseason. You will see some players ranked higher by one Fake Teams writer than the others, so this helps the reader see both sides of the argument for/against a certain player who might be getting too much love this offseason.

Each of the position rankings will be split into two parts, rankings, player profiles and projections for shortstops ranked 1 - 15 in part 1, and rankings, player profiles and projections for shortstops ranked 16 - 30 in part 2 to be published on Wednesday morning. Consensus rankings should bring about discussion amongst you, our readers, and the Fake Teams writers who participated in this series.

In addition to the rankings, we are now offering your 2014 projections for each player ranked, courtesy of Dan Schwartz from Fake Teams and Rotobanter. He has spent all offseason on his projections, and to learn more about how he calculates his projections, you can read his explanations here: Part 1| Part 2| Part 3. Part 1 details his projection approach, Part 2 details how he calculates his hitter projections and part 3 details how he calculates his pitcher projections.

We didn't stop at just providing you rankings and projections, as we are also providing you with auction values, courtesy of Dan, along with the Equivalent Fantasy Average for each player ranked, courtesy of Daniel Kelley. The equivalent fantasy average can be used to compare players at the same position.

Here is a brief explanation of Equivalent Fantasy Average, from Daniel's Fantasy Average Positional Breakdown piece a few weeks ago:

Those who have been around the last week or two probably saw my Fantasy Average piece, in which I attempted to use standard deviations to present every offensive players' fantasy contributions in terms of a batting average-like number. That presentation is a useful ranking tool and, since it's on a scale we're all familiar with, is a heck of a shorthand for overall strength. If your guy hit ".300" by Fantasy Average, he's a heck of a player.

And all of this is consolidated, with player photos, into statistical tables thanks to the work of Jason Hunt.

2014 Shortstop Rankings

Now let's take a look at part 2 of our Top 30 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings for 2014:

Rank Player Team Ranking Points Ray Matt Brian Alex Daniel Joe Jason Zack
16 Jhonny Peralta STL 136 20 17 18 15 6 20 19 13
17 Jimmy Rollins PHI 125 18 12 16 19 24 21 14 15
18 Erick Aybar LAA 111 21 19 22 16 19 18 21 17
19 Brad Miller SEA 111 14 20 28 17 18 15 17 24
20 Stephen Drew FA 104 22 22 17 25 17 22 16 19
21 Zack Cozart CIN 99 25 21 19 18 21 16 23 22
22 Alcides Escobar KCR 96 23 25 20 21 22 23 20 14
23 Jonathan Villar HOU 92 17 26 27 22 20 19 25 16
24 Yunel Escobar TBR 80 24 27 21 23 23 24 22 20
25 Derek Jeter NYY 58 18 24 26 30 27 27 21
26 Chris Owings ARI 55 16 23 25 24 29 26
27 Jose Iglesias DET 47 26 27 29 29 28 26 24 28
28 Brandon Crawford SFG 35 29 28 26 28 26 30 29
29 Pedro Florimon MIN 24 23 27 25
30 Didi Gregorius ARI 24 27 29 30 28 27

Also receiving votes: Jordy Mercer (24), Mike Aviles (16), Ruben Tejada (10), Eduardo Nunez (10), Adeiny Hechavarria (9), Dee Gordon (3)

Player Profiles

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# 16 Jhonny Peralta (STL)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.303 50 11 55 3
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
448 0.358 0.457 7.81% 21.88%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.26 60 12 62 3
Auction Value: $ 0.85 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.261

Peralta moves from the Tigers to the Cardinals for the next four seasons. The Cardinals appear to have overpaid for Peralta due to the fact the Stephen Drew has yet to sign yet, but the team was desperate to fill the hole at shortstop this offseason.

Peralta had a solid season at the plate in 2013, hitting .303-.358-.457 with 11 HRs, 50 runs and 55 RBI, but his slash line was bouyed by an extremely high .374 batting average of balls in play and 25.2% line drive rate, so regression should be expected in 2014. His .374 BABIP is 60 points higher than his .315 career BABIP.

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# 17 Jimmy Rollins (PHI)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.252 65 6 39 22
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
666 0.318 0.348 8.86% 13.96%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.246 59 10 41 18
Auction Value: $ -1.6 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.258

Age is beginning to catch up to Rollins, as he struggled in 2013, hitting .252-.318-.348 with 6 HRs, 65 runs, 39 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 28 attempts. He is a season removed from a 23 HR-30 stolen base performance, but I think the days of 20 home runs, and quite possibly 30 stolen bases, are gone for good. Could he return to being a 15-20 home run hitter? Sure, but I think the chances are slim.

What Rollins does offer is the chance to hit double digit home runs and steal 20 bases, but that comes with a .250 batting average. He is nothing more than a late round pick in mixed leagues and mid-round pick in NL-only leagues this season.

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# 18 Erick Aybar (LAA)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.271 68 6 54 12
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
589 0.301 0.382 3.90% 10.02%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.273 66 7 55 11
Auction Value: $ 3.11 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.264

Aybar put up an Aybar-esque season in 2013, hitting .271-.301-.382 with 6 HRs, 68 runs, 54 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 19 attempts. He has seen his stolen base totals drop over the last few seasons:

2011: 30 SB in 36 attempts

2012: 20 SB in 24 attempts

2013: 12 SB in 19 attempts

So his one good skill for fantasy owners is in decline for the 30 year old shortstop. Fortunately, he doesn't hurt you in the batting average category, as he is a .277 career hitter. He offers little power, hitting 6-8 home runs and scoring 60-70 runs with 50-60 RBI. It remains to be seen if he will return to the 20 stolen base hitter from a few seasons ago.

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# 19 Brad Miller (SEA)

Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.265 41 8 36 5
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
335 0.318 0.418 7.16% 15.52%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.271 76 13 61 11
Auction Value: $ 7.97 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.27

Miller is the one guy in part 2 of our Top 30 shortstops who could easily be a top 10-12 fantasy shortstop by mid-season. Miller had a solid debut last season, hitting .265-.318-.418 with 8 HRs, 41 runs, 36 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 8 attempts in 76 games. He spent time in AA and AAA last season, hitting a combined .319-.399-.521 with 12 home runs, 53 runs and 53 RBI, so you can see he has the potential to hit 15-20 home runs with 70 runs, 70 RBI and double digit stolen bases in 2014.

He doesn't strike out much and walked at a 7% clip in the big leagues last season, with the potential to walk at a double digit rate. In the recent 18 team Fangraphs mock draft, he was drafted in the ninth round, ahead of fellow shortstops Jhonny Peralta, Alexei Ramirez and Asdrubal Cabrera.

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# 20 Stephen Drew (FA)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.253 57 13 67 6
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
501 0.333 0.443 10.78% 24.75%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.242 51 9 50 5
Auction Value: $ -5.09 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.252

Drew has yet to sign with a team this offseason, and based on recent comments from Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, the Red Sox are going into spring training with the team they have now. They could still sign him once spring training begins, and it is likely he ends up back in Boston, but the Mets are also pursuing him.

Drew turns 31 a day before St. Patrick's Day, but still owns one of the better gloves at shortstop in the game. At the plate, he offers owners a .250-.260 average with double digit home runs, 50-60 runs, 60-70 RBI and 5-8 stolen bases, but comes with injury risk. Over the last three seasons, he has played 86, 79 and 124 games, so he has some brittleness to him.

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# 21 Zack Cozart (CIN)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.254 74 12 63 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
618 0.284 0.381 4.21% 16.50%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.255 75 14 64 2
Auction Value: $ 3.81 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.265

It is hard to believe that Cozart stole 30 bases in the minors back in 2010, but Dusty Baker as his manager limited him to just 4 stolen bases over the last two seasons. I am curious to see if new manager Bryan Price gives him the green light in 2014.

Cozart quietly had a very good season at the plate last season, hitting .254-.284-.381 with 12 HRs, 74 runs and 63 RBI in 151 games. He doesn't walk much, but has decent pop and still owns the skills to steal double digit bases in 2014. He batted second and seventh in the Reds lineup quite a bit last season, and I could see him settling in at the 7 spot in the Reds lineup this season, so his run total could suffer as a result. He hit .282 in the second half of 2013, so we could see the batting average bump up a bit if he can carry that into 2014.

20130221_mje_ar5_1189.

# 22 Alcides Escobar (KCR)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.234 57 4 52 22
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
642 0.259 0.3 2.96% 13.08%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.259 61 5 51 20
Auction Value: $ 1 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.262

Escobar struggled at the plate in 2013, hitting .234-.259-.300 with 4 HRs, 57 runs, 52 RBI and 22 stolen bases. The stolen base total was nice, but the batting average and on base percentage leaves a lot to be desired for fantasy owners. He isn't drafted for his power, so a higher batting average, to go with the 20-30 stolen bases, is expected when you flash very little power.

Escobar was unlucky with his balls in play last season, as his .264 batting average of balls in play indicates. Yet, looking at his four full seasons in the majors, his BABIP has been below league average in three of those seasons:

2010: .264 BABIP

2011: .285 BABIP

2012: .344 BABIP

2013: .264 BABIP

Do you see a trend here? I do. His 2012 season appears to be an aberration, and Escobar is a below average hitter who will provide fantasy owners with 20-30 stolen bases each season, and that's about it. Draft accordingly.

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# 23 Jonathan Villar (HOU)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.243 26 1 8 18
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
241 0.321 0.319 9.96% 29.46%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.239 74 6 37 46
Auction Value: $ 5.52 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.268

Villar is the Astros shortstop for now. That is until Carlo Correa proves he is ready, with an ETA of late 2015-early 2016, so Villar has a chance to be a decent late round option at the shortstop position. In 210 at bats last season, Villar hit .243-.321-.319 with one home run, 26 runs, 8 RBI and 18 stolen bases, so like Escobar above him, he is nothing more than a late round stolen base option in mixed leagues.

Villar keeps the ball on the ground at an extremely high 66% clip, so he will have to beat out plenty of infield hits to keep his batting average up. He walked at an 8-9% clip in the high minors, and upped that to 10% last season, so he should get on base at a league average rate. That should result in a high stolen base total if he can stay healthy. The Astros will again struggle to score runs this season, so Villar should get the green light quite a bit when he actually makes it to first base this season. He has hit for low double digit power in the minors, so there is a chance he can provide 6-10 home runs in 2014.

20130221_mje_sv7_977.0

# 24 Yunel Escobar (TBR)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.256 61 9 56 4
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
578 0.332 0.366 9.86% 12.63%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.256 54 8 49 3
Auction Value: $ -4.11 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.254

It amazes me that a shortstop that stands 6'2" and weighs 210 pounds can hit for so little power, but that is what you get with Yunel Escobar. Escobar had a decent year at the plate in 2013, hitting .256-.332-.366 with 9 HRs, 61 runs, 56 RBI and 4 stolen bases. He has a great glove in the field, so he will play everyday in Tampa Bay.

Like Alcides Escobar, Yunel has a below average batting average of balls in play:

2008: .311

2009: .317

2010: .282

2011: .316

2012: .273

2013: .291

So, the trend indicates he will continue to have a below league average BABIP, and a low batting average as a result. A .250-.260 batting average is not bad, but when there is little power and no speed, he is nothing more than a late round pick, or even waiver wire fodder in 2014.

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# 25 Derek Jeter (NYY)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.19 8 1 7 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
73 0.288 0.254 10.96% 13.70%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.266 41 3 25 3
Auction Value: $ -10.69 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.245

Jeter is coming off a severe ankle injury that limited him to 73 plate appearances last season, but he is already fielding grounders in Florida, but it remains to be seen if he can return to the player he was prior to the injury. The odds are against him as he turns 40 years of age in June, and there aren't many 40 year old shortstops playing at a high level in the big leagues. The Yankees signed glove only shortstop Brendan Ryan this offseason in case Jeter proves he can't play shortstop anymore. We will learn more about Jeter's health in spring training, and there is also the possibility he moves to third base, left vacant by the suspended Alex Rodriguez.

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# 26 Chris Owings (ARI)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.291 5 0 5 2
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
61 0.361 0.382 9.84% 16.39%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.271 36 4 26 7
Auction Value: $ -9.89 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.248

Like Mariners shortstop Brad Miller, Owings has the potential to shoot up our rankings this season, as he has the tools to be a five category producer for his owners in 2014. He just needs to win the shortstop job in Arizona over the guy we ranked a few spots below him in our consensus rankings, Didi Gregorius.

Owings hit .291-.361-.382 with 5 runs, 5 RBI and 2 stolen bases in 61 plate appearances in his September cup of coffee last season. In AAA, Owings hit .330-.359-.482 with 12 HRs, 104 runs, 80 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 125 games, good enough to win the Pacific Coast League MVP award. He needs to learn to take a walk a bit more, but with regular playing time, he has an opportunity to hit 15 home runs and steal 15 bases with a .260-.270 batting average at hitter-friendly Chase Field.

20130217_jla_su8_260.0

# 27 Jose Iglesias (DET)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.303 39 3 29 5
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
382 0.349 0.386 3.93% 15.71%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.269 49 4 37 10
Auction Value: $ -5.23 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.254

Iglesias is a glove only shortstop who had a decent 2013 season, hitting .303-.349-.386 with 3 HRs, 39 runs, 29 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 7 attempts in 109 games. His slash line benefitted from a .356 batting average of balls in play, which I expect to regress toward league average this season. Unless you play in a really deep or an AL only league, he is nothing more than waiver wire fodder should your starting shortstop get injured.

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# 28 Brandon Crawford (SFG)

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.248 52 9 43 1
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
550 0.311 0.363 7.64% 17.45%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.249 47 8 44 0
Auction Value: $ -7.65 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.249

Crawford is another glove only shortstop who hit .248-.311-.363 with 9 HRs, 52 runs, and 43 RBI in 550 plate appearances in 2013. He has hit .248 in both of the last two seasons, so that is what you get from him, a .248 average with 5-10 home runs, and 40-50 runs and RBI. Like Iglesias, he is a deep or NL only league option on draft day.

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# 29 Pedro Florimon (MIN)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.221 44 9 44 15
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
446 0.281 0.33 7.40% 25.78%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.218 44 7 44 14
Auction Value: $ -3.27 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.247

Florimon is a solid defensive shortstop who can actually help you in the stolen base category, but that comes with a .220 batting average. Last season, he hit .221-.281-.330 with 9 home runs, 44 runs, 44 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 21 attempts in 446 plate appearances. He strikes out too much (26% in 2013), so his average will always be pretty low, but he could provide 5-10 home runs and double digit stolen bases again in 2014.

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# 30 Didi Gregorius (ARI)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.252 47 7 28 0
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
404 0.332 0.373 9.16% 16.09%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.255 41 6 25 2
Auction Value: $ -11.13 Equivalent Fantasy Average: 0.244

Gregorius will battle Chris Owings for the starting shortstop role in Arizona this season. The loser will play everyday in AAA Reno. The winner, I think it will be Owings, will play every day with the big league club. Owings has the better bat of the two, and is passable defensively, so he is the one to own in fantasy leagues this season.

Should Gregorius win the shortstop battle in spring training, he could provide low double digit home runs, with a .240-.250 batting average, but little else. He is a late round shortstop selection in deeper and NL only leagues this season, assuming he wins the shortstop battle.

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more position rankings, or plain old fantasy baseball goodness, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one place to get all things fantasy.

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