I posted my initial shortstop rankings awhile back here. Shortstop is very thin after Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes, but there are some guys who can provide some pop and decent BA. I have removed Yuniesky Betancourt and Jed Lowrie and added Ian Desmond and Starlin Castro to my shortstop rankings for 2011.
Here are my 2011 shortstop rankings:
1. Hanley Ramirez, FLA-Hanley is one of the top overall picks in fantasy baseball, so he lands at #1 at the SS position for 2011. Hanley went 21/76/92/32/.300-.378-.475 in 2010, but his HR output dropped for the second consecutive year. He went 33-35 in 2008 and I am wondering if he can reach that again in the next few years. Fantasy owners can expect him to go 20-80-25-.300 in 2011, but I think he can increase his HR output to 25+ and maintain a solid SB total as well. Hanley has been quoted this offseason saying he wants to run more this season, so could we see him approach 40 SBs in 2011?
2. Troy Tulowitzki, COL-one can argue that Tulo could be the #1 SS in fantasy baseball, as he was able to almost duplicate his breakout 2009 season, and he did so in miraculous fashion. Tulo went 27/95/89/11/.315-.381-.568 with a 78-48 K/BB rate in 2010. But to accomplish these excellent stats, he went on a tear for the ages in September, hitting .303-.366-.754 with 15 HRs, 40 RBIs and 30 runs scored. Jeremy recently wrote an article putting Tulo on bust watch for 2011, and I can't disagree. Tulo is a streaky player, and has been injury prone, fluke injuries or not.
3. Jose Reyes, NYM-Reyes re-etablished some of his fantasy value in 2010 by playing in 133 games, hitting 11/54/83/30/.282/.321/.428 with a 63-31 K/BB rate. Reyes may never be the 50+ SB hitter he once was, but he still provides solid stats across the board. He is in his walk year this year and will be playing for his a big contract, so he has all the incentive to put up solid stats across the board this season.
4. Alexei Ramirez, CHW-Ramirez has put up solid numbers across the board for 3 consecutive seasons now, and he could move up to #3 in my rankings come spring training. Alexei hit 18/70/83/13/.282/.313/.431 in 2010, and should put up similar numbers in 2011, especially playing in the hitters park that is U.S. Cellular Field. Could Alexei go 20-90-15 this season? He's on the cusp.
5. Stephen Drew, ARI-after a disappointing 2009 season, Drew stepped up in 2010 with a 15/61/83/10/.278/.352/.458 season. He plays in a hitters ballpark and could be primed for a solid season in 2011. I can see him approaching a 20-85-15 season in 2011, as manager Kirk Gibson will have a positive affect on the DBacks and their running game.
More rankings after the jump:
6. Derek Jeter, NYY-Jeter had one of his worst seasons in his free agent year in 2010 as he hit 10/67/111/18/.270/.340/.370. Jeter is on the downside of his career, but I have a feeling he will be out to prove he deserves the 3 year $51 million contract he received this offseason in 2011, and show that 2010 was a fluke. He will need to improve upon his 66% ground ball rate and hit a few more line drives in 2011 to do so.
7. Jimmy Rollins, PHI-Rollins is an injury risk as he had recurring leg problems last season. He could either put up a top 3 performance or drop out of the top 10 depending upon his health. Rollins hit just .243-.320-.371 with 8 HRs, 41 RBIs, 48 runs scored and 17 SBs-by far his worst season. Should he be healthy in 2011 I can see him going 15/70/90/25/.260, but worry that we have seen the best of Rollins and have to settle for a 12/55/80/15/.250 season.
8. Ian Desmond, WAS- I decided to add Desmond to the shortstop rankings as he will get plenty of at bats in Washington's infield, teaming up with Danny Espinosa to form a solid up the middle infield duo. Desmond hit 10/59/65/17/.269/.309/.392 in 2010, and is capable of going 15/65/75/20/.270 in 2011.
9. Rafael Furcal. LAD-Furcal is another injury risk, but when healthy is a solid 3 category contributor for fantasy owners. With the addition of Davey Lopes as the Dodgers first base coach, I can see Furcal stealing more bases in 2011. Furcal stole 22 bases in 26 attempts in 2010 and I can see that number increasing in 2011. I project a 10/50/90/30/.285 season for Furcal in 2011.
10. MIguel Tejada, SFG-Tejada signed with the Giants to be their starting SS in 2011. He had a solid season in 2010 going 15/71/71/.269-.312/.381 while playing in Baltimore and San Diego. His stats in San Diego-8/32/31/.268/.317/.413 shows the guy can still hit even at the age of 37. I can see him repeating his 2010 season stats in 2011 should he stay healthy.
11. Starlin Castro, CHC-Castro had a solid rookie season in 2010 hitting 3/53/41/10/.300/.347/.408. Castro may not hit for as much power as the rest of the top shortstops here, but he will hit for a solid BA and could steal 15 bases in 2011. I see a 7/70/55/15/.290 season from Castro in 2011.
12. Jhonny Peralta, DET-Peralta has averaged 18 HRs and 76 RBIs over the past 6 seasons, although with a low BA. Then again, what SS hits for a high BA? Peralta has hit 20+ HRs and driven in 80+ runs in 3 of the last 6 seasons, so it is possible he could reach those levels in 2011, as he is hitting in a better lineup in Detroit than he did in Cleveland.