2012 Shortstop Keeper Rankings: Tier Four

I know a lot of you have been asking about Hanley Ramirez’s whereabouts in these tiers. I’ve purposely excluded him simply because I honestly don’t know where to include him. I’ll have a whole discussion on his rank come Friday. You can hurl your insults at me then. For now, on to Tier Four.

Alexei Ramirez $9

There may not be a more consistently mediocre hitter than Ramirez. Over the last three seasons his wOBA’s are .319, .322 and .319. He’s hit 15, 18 and 15 home runs. He’s driven in 68, 70 and 70 runs. His stolen base total was cut in half this past season, but from 2008-2010 it was 13, 14 and 13. It’s safe to say he likes duplicates. His plate discipline and batted ball numbers have been steady as well. He’s not a star and really doesn’t have the potential to be one. What is he? He’s an average shortstop who benefits from playing in a hitter friendly park. There will be no surprises one way or another in keeping Ramirez.

Yunel Escobar $5

Speaking of average shortstops, Escobar fits that bill nicely. Where Alexei Ramirez is lacking in average and on-base-percentage, those are areas Escobar does well. I’m overlooking his 2010 season for a number of reasons. Excluding that year he’s never hit below .288 nor had an on-base-percentage under .366. His career 54.9 percent ground ball rate takes away any power potential he may possess. He was greatly helped by the Rogers Centre in 2011, hitting .321/.416/.480 there; a .226 point difference in OPS from his road games. Escobar was a pleasant surprise in 2011, flying under the radar and going later than he probably should have in most drafts due to his rocky 2010. He’s the last of the shortstops you should consider keeping.

Alcides Escobar $4

The only asset Escobar possesses on the offensive side of things is his speed. He stole 26 bases last season and has stolen as many as 42 at the Triple-A level. He had some hot streaks last season, posting a .357 wOBA in June and a .372 in September. In the other four months he failed to muster anything higher than a .278. If you’ve drafted properly Escobar shouldn’t be starting over any other shortstop you have in a standard league. Unless you’re desperate for steals, he’s more of a bench player and profiles to a fringe starter in deeper leagues.

Ian Desmond $4

Being a slightly better version of Alcides Escobar isn’t a compliment. They each cannot hit for average or take a walk, but Desmond hits for more power, granted he’s not exactly Tulowitzki-like in that category. Unlike Escobar he failed to have any exceedingly good months, peaking with a wOBA of .348, otherwise riding along in the sea of obscurity. He has a minor league track record of hitting success, but in his two full MLB seasons that has yet to translate. There’s double digit home run potential and he’ll steal you ~20 bases, but he’s below par in runs, runs batted in, average and on-base-percentage.

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Erik writes for DraysBay and has also written for Bloomberg Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ehahmann.

9 Responses to “2012 Shortstop Keeper Rankings: Tier Four”

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  1. Zach Cozart not about Escobar or Desmond? I’d take Cozart. Good power/speed combo!

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  2. Telo says:

    “I’ve purposely excluded him simply because I honestly don’t know where to include him.”

    Suuuure you did.

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    • Ben says:

      Even if that’s honest, it’s a cop out. You’re ranking the shortstops and didn’t rank one of the most relevant guys at the position because you don’t know where to include them? Isn’t figuring that out the point of the article?

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    • batpig says:

      he probably could have avoided a bunch of insult-hurling had he just mentioned that from the start. “Guys, I’m going to leave Hanley out of the ranking tiers because of the great uncertainly surrounding his performance and injury status, and instead I will cover him at the end in an in-depth piece.”

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  3. MH says:

    So wait, are you not just covering these guys by the dollar values they returned in 2011? Is that not what the dollar values mean then (as in, are they projections), or is it just a coincidence that they’ve been descending with each individual entry?

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    • batpig says:

      dollar values are from 2011, they are just there for reference. It has caused confusion in every single fantasy ranking article they have posted :-)

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  4. whonichol says:

    Yeah, I find it hard to believe that he never had any intention of including Hanley in these rankings. If true, there’s no reason to leave that information out of the first post in the series. Nothing is gained by waiting until Tier 4.

    Hanley belongs in the top tier, but I could see a pessimist believing he belongs (a) at the top of the 2nd tier, (b) in the 2nd tier by himself or (c) in the second tier with Jose Reyes, leaving Tulo alone in the first tier.

    But yeah, not including him at all works too…

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  5. CDI says:

    2 words: Dee Gordon

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  6. CDI says:

    Sorry but I felt the need to rant further:

    The problem I have with these so-called “keeper” ranking threads that everyone’s doing is they all seem more like single-year rankings to me. There’s *NO* good reason to put Alcides Escobar, who appears to already have reached his performance limit, above Dee Gordon, who has a similar profile but brings way more potential upside to the table (182 steals in the last 3 years and a .300+ average at every level except AA, including the majors), unless you’re only concerned about THIS season.

    These threads are interesting articles just to get “more opinion on a guy”, but the tier breakdowns are completely worthless.

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