"What's wrong with Tulo?" we asked when Troy Tulowitzki was hitting .266/.286/.403 with two home runs and a 36:5 K:BB ratio near the end of May.
"What's wrong with Hanley?" we asked after Hanley Ramirez hit .235/.286/.337 in May with only two home runs.
Today, the answer to both questions is ... nothing, more or less, as Ramirez and Tulowitzki enter the All-Star break as the top two shortstops in the Yahoo! player rankings. Jhonny Peralta and Jose Reyes, two similar preseason darlings, are also still near the top, but the upper echelon also carries names like Brandon Crawford, Alcides Escobar and Justin Turner, so it's not like we knew everything.
Let's look at two guys in particular that show how little we actually know. First, Ian Desmond. Desmond, off three straight 20-20 seasons, was the consensus No. 3 shortstop just about everywhere you looked coming into the season. Instead, he's entered the All-Star break at .211/.255/.334, and Anthony Rendon's return to health, combined with the productive seasons of Yunel Escobar and Danny Espinosa and the rapid ascent of Trea Turner, could mean we're nearing the end of the Ian Desmond era in Washington.
On the other side, Carlos Correa. No one thought Correa would get the call-up so early this season, until the Astros became surprise contenders and Jed Lowrie got hurt. Even when he did come up, the refrain was "baseball is hard," and we worried such a young guy would experience some growing pains. Instead, he's at .276/.312/.507 through 32 games, 32nd in the Yahoo! rater despite playing about a third the number of games of the big guys. There's already been talk about how high Correa will be ranked entering 2016, despite the fact he didn't get ranked anywhere entering this season.
It's fun (if you're Correa), crazy (if you're Desmond) things like that that keep these rankings interesting. We'll never get them 100 percent right, and if I ever could, I'd quit and move on to something else.
So let's get to the rankings. Eligibility is based on Yahoo! eligibility; here we go:
Shortstop Rankings, rest of season
|1||Troy Tulowitzki||COL||Since his season-low point, he's hit .364/.419/.564. Yeah, he's fine.|
|2||Hanley Ramirez||BOS||His absolute defensive liability means he'll see the bench more often than you like, keeping him below Tulowitzki.|
|3||Carlos Correa||HOU||Maybe I'm diving in too quickly, but he's so fun, y'all.|
|4||Jhonny Peralta||SLC||Could I interest you in a .300-hitting shortstop who will give you 20 home runs?|
|5||Xander Bogaerts||BOS||Something clicked in late April, which reminds me: can we just agree to through out all April stats, forever?|
|6||Miguel Sano||MIN||He's shortstop-eligible in Yahoo! I know!|
|8||Jose Reyes||TOR||Health is always his bugaboo; can he stay on the field enough to help?|
|10||Alcides Escobar||KAN||As the Kansas City offense struggled, Escobar's fantasy contributions fell, with fewer run-scored opportunities out there.|
|11||Brandon Crawford||SFG||There will be a book written some day about the magic tricks Hensley Meulens has pulled with the San Francisco shoulda-been-worse hitters.|
|12||Ian Desmond||WAS||You have to assume he'll rebound somewhere, right? He didn't just forget how to play baseball?|
|13||Erick Aybar||LAA||His full-season numbers are pretty underwhelming, but without April everything looks way better.|
|15||Jean Segura||MIL||Either he stays in Milwaukee or he gets dealt; either way he's a full-time player who will give you moderate batting average and speed, but no power.|
|16||Starlin Castro||CHC||I will never understand how a guy could hit .300/.347/.408 as a 20-year-old rookie and now hits .247/.283/.321 as a 25-year-old veteran. Gibberish.|
|21||Elvis Andrus||TEX||The trials of Castro (above) and Andrus will make us re-examine the entire aging curve. He just can't hit at all, and he doesn't run anymore.|
|22||J.J. Hardy||BAL||He got a late start to the season, and his power isn't there like years past. He's not a fantasy starter, despite name recognition.|
|23||Alexei Ramirez||CHW||His batting average, OBP and slugging are all sub-.300. That's incredibly bad. He's got to recover, yeah?|
|24||Andrelton Simmons||ATL||He never really came through on the hitting promise he showed his rookie (.289 average) and sophomore (17 home runs) seasons. He's glove-only.|
|26||Wilmer Flores||NYM||If his defense doesn't cost him a job, he'll at least give you power.|
|27||Jimmy Rollins||LAD||The ship has sailed, guys. Bail.|
|29||Adeiny Hechavarria||MIA||Two years ago, he was untenably bad offensively. He's still not good but at least he'll offer a completely empty .270-something.|
|30||Jung Ho Kang||PIT||Was hitting .291/.363/.436 after May; he's sitting at .246/.333/.333 since.|