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Mocking the Shortstops

As you all are aware by now, us Rotographers held a very early mock draft this past Sunday. The team has done a great job breaking down and analyzing the selections at the respective positions they cover. Now, it’s my turn to take a look at the shortstop selections. I’m not going to talk about every player picked, only the ones I found interesting.

R1 P1: Troy Tulowitzki
R1 P11: Hanley Ramirez
R2 P7: Jose Reyes

These three are the consensus best at the position. Tulowitzki is a top flight player at a Kate Moss-thin position, so going number one overall isn’t a surprise. Some may prefer Reyes over Ramirez due to the latter’s poor 2011 season and surgery to repair his left shoulder, but either way it’s hard to quibble with any of these selections.

R3 P4: Starlin Castro
R4 P11: Jimmy Rollins

The selection of Rollins was a curious one since it’s a dynasty draft. Apparently the selector, Mike Podhorzer, has admitted he didn’t realize it was a dynasty draft at the time of the selection, so that makes more sense. I’m the one who selected Castro, partly because good, young, shortstops are hard to find and partly because my strategy was to only pick players under 30 years of age.

R5 P9: Asdrubal Cabrera
R6 P1: Elvis Andrus
R7 P8: J.J. Hardy

Nothing too out of the ordinary here. If you’re selecting Cabrera this high then you’re a believer that his newly found power is sustainable for a second season. Andrus is bereft of power but makes up for it by scoring plenty of runs and stealing plenty of bases. I had Hardy in the third tier of my shortstop keeper rankings, behind everyone already listed, so this is a good place for him.

R11 P3: Jhonny Peralta
R11 P6: Stephen Drew
R12 P1: Alexei Ramirez
R12 P3: Zack Cozart

One of my favorite selections in the entire draft was that of Peralta. He was in the third tier of my keeper rankings and the only thing keeping him from the second tier was his total lack of stolen bases. Getting a shortstop that can hit 25 home runs and is a lock to drive in 80-90 in the eleventh round is a steal. Cozart was a surprise, but not a bad pick at all considering the dearth of shortstops remaining at that time. The 26-year-old rebounded nicely from a sub-par 2010 in Triple-A Louisville to hit .310/.357/.467 in 77 games there this season before the Reds called him up to the majors. Unfortunately his season was cut short as he needed Tommy John surgery on his non throwing elbow. Since it is his non-throwing elbow he should be ready to compete for a job in spring training, with little standing in his way. He has 10-15 home run power and playing in the Reds’ bandbox of a stadium won’t hurt.

R13 P5: Yunel Escobar
R13 P6: Derek Jeter
R13 P8: Dee Gordon
R14 P6: Erick Aybar
R15 P7: Rafael Furcal

R23 P8: Jed Lowrie
R24 P4: Emilio Bonifacio

I put Bonifacio in my third tier of keepers before the Marlins’ signing of Jose Reyes. Obviously things have changed and Bonifacio doesn’t have a defined position at the moment which is he why dropped so far. He’ll be fighting for the centerfield job with two others. If he wins it then his value will increase, but until then he’s nothing more than a bench player. Blocked by Marco Scutaro in Boston, Lowrie now finds himself with little to no competition for the starting shortstop job in Houston. Had this trade been made before Sunday I imagine he would have gone in the 13-15 round range.