The updated shortstop rankings will be available on Tuesday. Until then lets take a look at some shortstops that have risen and fallen over the past fortnight.
The-Riot is a second basemen for the Giants, qualifies as a shortstop for our purposes. Owned in just five percent of leagues he’s hit .403 over his last 46 at bats. His three steals is tied for tops at his position over the past two weeks. He’ll never hit for power – 17 career HR in 827 games – but is capable enough to go on a hot streak. His four hit game last night was the fifth time in the past eight games he’s had multiple hits. There isn’t much depth at the position so if he can keep a starting job, and Bruce Bochy loves veterans, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to maintain a .275-.290 average with double digit steals. That has real value in deeper mixed and N.L. only leagues.
As many predicted before he signed his latest contract with the Phillies this off season, the 33-year-old hasn’t hit well. He’s currently hitting .251/.301/.346 which, if the season ended today for some odd reason, would be the lowest OPS of his career. He’s swinging at more pitches outside the strikezone than ever before and is making the least amount of contact he has in a decade. Unlike Theriot, Rollins is owned in a large portion of leagues (90%), mostly based on name value alone. Less heralded players like Kyle Seager and Jed Lowrie are outperforming him by miles but are owned in less than 70 percent of leagues. Rollins looks to have found a nice hot streak, though. Over the past 10 games he’s raised his average from .224 to .251 and added six extra base hits. He’s stolen just one base in that time but is still on pace to swipe ~25 for the season. With his OBP now sitting above .300 maybe Rollins can be a steady, if not good, producer for the rest of the season.
Higher profile players have also performed poorly over the past two weeks, namely Derek Jeter and Asdrubal Cabrera, but they’re more likely to rebound than Aviles. Currently Yahoo! has Aviles as the fourth highest ranked shortstop. He hasn’t been doing much to help himself stay there. Over the past two weeks he’s hitting .231/.222.250 with zero(!) walks. In fact he hasn’t drawn a walk in over a month. His season totals still look respectable but he’s heading in the wrong direction in a quick way. On May 1st I wrote about how Aviles was exceeding expectations when he was hitting .286/.323/.516. Since then he’s swung at 43.1 percent of pitches outside the strikezone, tops among shortstops. You’re making me look bad, Mike. He hit poorly last season and after a good start this year is right in line with his 2011 numbers. Jump off the Aviles ship before it sinks any deeper.