Continuing in our Top 20 rankings, I discuss the Top 20 shortstops for 2010 fantasy drafts. Hanley Ramirez is the top shortstop in baseball, but the gap between him and guys like Troy Tulowitzki and Jimmy Rollins is narrowing, in my opinion. I have written here previously that Hanley's HR and SB trends are going in the wrong direction, and he could be a fantasy bust in 2010. Now the possibility of that happening is very small, but every year one of the first round picks has a down year-see David Wright and Jose Reyes.
Here are the Top 20 shortstops for 2010:
There are six guys on this list who can steal 30 bases or more, and maybe 7 guys who could hit 20+ HRs in 2010. I see Jimmy Rollins improving in the BA category in 2010, while maintaining his 20 HR/30 SB pace. I don't see Jason Bartlett hitting for the same power in 2010, nor will he steal 30 bases, but he could steal 20.
Derek Jeter stole 30 bases in 2009. Where did that come from at his age? I can see his BA and SB totals dropping a bit in 2010, but he could hit the 20 HR level. One of these years, Yunel Escobar is going to break out, and I can see him going 20-100 in the next few seasons.
Stephen Drew should have a bounce back season as I think he could return to the 15-20 HR level with a .280 BA in 2010. Another guy I see bouncing back is the Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy suffered through a horrendous year in 2009, but I can see him returning to his 20 HR output. His BA, BABIP and HR/FB rates were close to career lows in 2009. I see him regressing to his mean and putting up a season similar to his 2008 season where he went 24-74-.283.
A sleeper not listed is Nationals shortstop prospect Ian Desmond. Desmond is battling veteran Christian Guzman this spring. Even if he doesn't win the job out of spring training, Desmond should be the Nats shortstop by the end of the season, so he is one to watch.