Continuing the series of top 10s, I give you the top 10 shortstops in the NL that includes the top 3 in all of baseball, and a few up-and-comers. Here you go:
1. Hanley Ramirez-the perennial #1 pick in most NL and mixed league drafts. He gives you 30-30 every year, and could go 30-40.
Bill James Projection: 30-75-130-39-.309-.388-.539
2. Jose Reyes-he teased us a few years ago hitting 19 HRs, leading many to think he could hit for more power as he got older. No such luck. But he does everything else very well....especially the SBs.
Bill James Projection: 14-67-117-59-.290-.349-.448
3. Jimmy Rollins-there is some debate whether he should be a first round pick in mixed leagues...I say yes. He had a down year in 2008, I think he gets back to 20 HRs to go with his 40 SBs.
Bill James Projection: 17-70-107-41-.282-.344-.449
4 Stephen Drew-I think he could be considered in the same breath as the trio above in 2009 with his power. He increased his XBHs from 44 in 2007 to 76 in 2008.
Bill James Projection:19-66-78--4-.279-.336-.470
5. Rafael Furcal-some would say Troy Tulowitzki should be # 4 or 5 in 2009. They may be right. But if Furcal is healthy, and I hope he is, he can give you 5 categories of performance. James doesn't seem to agree.
Bill James Projection:9-44-82-23-.286-.354-.409
6. Troy Tulowitzki-Tulo ahead of Kemp and Upton? I don't see it. He can hit for power and hits in a hitters park.
Bill James Projection: 17-71-80-4-.288-.359-.466
7. JJ Hardy-Tulo-Light?? I think so. So does James. Or maybe Tulo is Hardy-Light??
Bill James Projection: 23-77-79-2-.273-.336-.462
8. Miguel Tejada-saw drop in his numbers across the board last year. Age?? James sees a rebound.
Bill James Projection: 19-92-85--5-.292-.340-.445
9. Yunel Escobar-young, talented SS in Atlanta. Could jump in the rankings in 2009.
Bill James Projection: 9-63-78-5-.300-.375-.415
10. Edgar Renteria-signed with the Giants. Seems he's a better NL hitter than an AL hitter. Strange.
Bill James Projection: 11-69-84--9-.286-.345-.406
A couple guys who could sneak into the top 10 this year are Khalil Greene, looking for a bounce back in St. Louis, and Brewers rookie Alcides Escobar, who has tremendous speed.