Updated Shortstop Rankings

It’s only been 30+ games into the season, but there have been a few substantial changes so far. Let’s take a look at who has moved, and how the stalwarts have fared.

Tier 1:
Hanley Ramirez
Troy Tulowitzki
Jose Reyes

Despite his awful start, I refuse to move Ramirez from Tier 1. He’s too young and his track record is too good to give up on yet. If he’s still hitting below .200 with one home run come July, then we’ll talk. After a torrid start Tulowitzki has cooled off, but he still leads all shortstops in home runs with 8 and will likely end the season as one of the best players in all of fantasy baseball. Reyes is the newcomer to the Tier. Originally in Tier 2, his outstanding play, coupled with the overall blah-ness of the position propelled him up. A .329 average with 12 steals will do that for a person.

Tier 2:
Starlin Castro
Alexei Ramirez
Stephen Drew
Jimmy Rollins

We have a newcomer to Tier 2. Castro narrowly missed being included here to start the season, but he’s shown enough thus far to earn the promotion. Drew has picked up more RBI that expected at this point (23), and while Rollins isn’t hitting for any power, he has contributed with 8 steals and 20 runs scored.

Tier 3:
Elvis Andrus
Derek Jeter
Ian Desmond
Yunel Escobar
Rafael Furcal
Asdrubal Cabrera
Jed Lowrie

Obviously, the biggest inclusion in this group is Captain Groundball, Derek Jeter. So far, he ‘s proven that his sub par 2010 season wasn’t a fluke, hitting just .256/.315/.282 with 3 extra base hits and an astounding GB% of 70. Cabrera has had a good start, but I’m not a believer in his power. He already has 5 home runs, or four less than he had over the past two seasons combined. Furcal is hopeful he’ll return soon, and unless he goes into the tank upon arrival I’m leaving him in this tier. Lowrie makes the cut due to his .337 average. Everyone here at RG was high on him coming into the season. Now if only Terry Francona would stop benching him so often.

Tier 4:
Alcides Escobar
Jhonny Peralta
J.J. Hardy
Erick Aybar
Ryan Theriot
Juan Uribe
Mike Aviles
Jason Bartlett
Cliff Pennington
Macier Izturis

Mike Aviles is currently the second ranked shortstop in Yahoo! standard leagues due to his 5 home runs, 25 RBI, and 8 steals. Aviles’ pre-season ranking – he wasn’t in the top four tiers – generated more questions than any other player. I don’t believe his current pace is sustainable, he’s getting on base at under a .310 clip, but I can see him keeping himself in the top four tiers for the remainder of the season. Izturis, mostly a utility bat in his years with the Angels, has been making the most out of his extended playing time, hitting .333 thus far. The rest of this group can collectively be described with one word: meh.

The rest:
Alex Gonzalez
Yuniesky Betancourt
Clint Barmes
Alexi Casilla
Orlando Cabrera

Edgar Renteria
Ronny Cedeno
Omar Infante

Reid Brignac
Angel Sanchez
Miguel Tejada
Marco Scutaro
Darwin Barney

The most exciting players in this group have been Alex Gonzalez, due to his 4 home runs, and Darwin Barney due to his .316 average and 14 RBI. Former Tier 4 members, Miguel Tejada, Marco Scutaro, and Reid Brignac have provided nothing this season.

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

26 Responses to “Updated Shortstop Rankings”

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  1. gu03alum says:

    I dropped Jeter a few weeks ago and picked up Lowrie in my 14 team league. I grew tired of all the 1 for 4 and 0 for 4 games with no rbi’s or runs.

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  2. TheGrandslamwich says:

    Oh such timing. Jeter’s day: 4 for 5 with 2 HRs in the 8th.

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  3. Derek says:

    I’m going to be critical because I have Asdrubal Cabrera and Alexi Ramirez. Those two should switch tiers. There hasn’t been one week when Alexi has gotten more points then asdrubal for me.

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    • Mike P says:

      Needing K’s, I traded Alexi and J. Damon for Asdrubal and Scherzer (AL only league) just before the season started. I’m pretty pleased with that deal.

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    • Darla says:

      If you knew anything about Alexei he always has a bad start to the season…he is not a cold or cool weather player…when it warms up he will start popping the ball and you will regret giving up on him..

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      • jon says:

        on the bright side he will probably still be on the waiver wire when he does heat up again, so all you have to do is go get him. he is on the wire on most of my 19 leagues as of may 8th.

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      • Derek says:

        I haven’t given up on him. He is riding my bench while asdrubal starts. I just don’t understand the ranking.

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  4. Tom Thumb says:

    Hanley still number 1? For what? Diminishing power? Decreasing OBP? Lack of hustle? Sub-par defense? Sorry man, no way Tulo isn’t #1.

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    • Erik Hahmann says:

      The players in the tiers aren’t in any particular order. Tulo is number 1 to me, yes.

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      • Sam says:

        Why wouldn’t you go the extra mile and put them in order? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense not to. But I’m also confused because I could have sworn that I’ve read things like, “if Adam Lind is eligible for OF in your league, he’d be somewhere between X player and X player” in your OF tier article. So that implied there is an order.

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      • jon says:

        Tulo is number one until he gets hurt and loses a month and someone else blown on by him. I dont remember a year that tulo didn’t get hurt. Hopefully this will be the first full year that he plays and if it is then indeed you will be correct on him being the best. He just has to stay healthy.

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    • Garrett White says:

      I suppose I missed the part where you mention the league you are in that counts defense and hustle as categories.

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  5. theeiffeltower says:

    With SS eligibility does Wilson Betemit sneak into Tier 4?

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  6. Ben says:

    Is there going to be a “what’s wrong with Hanley” piece? Hell, even Alex Rios appears to have learned how to hit again. I’m about ready to cut bait with Hanley and move on.

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  7. Daven says:

    I know he’s currently replacement level, but you forgot to mention Brendan Ryan. He is in fact a starting major league short stop (for now) so should be on that last list there. :-)

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  8. Ender says:

    Not sure if this is real baseball or fantasy but Castro doesn’t deserve to be in tier 2 regardless of which it is. In real baseball his horrible fielding mixed with his allergy to walking makes him a below average player. In fantasy baseball his lack of doing anything but hitting for average pretty much makes him nothing special, you can get everything but his AVG off of the waiver wire.

    His pace for a fantasy line is .300, 90 R, 70 RBI, 5 HR, 20 SB and that was with a really hot start.

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  9. Danny says:

    Seems like there is a lack of respect for Andrus. His current and projected numbers just as good, if not better than, Castro’s. And this is without any real hot streak.

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    • batpig says:

      “His current and projected numbers just as good, if not better than, Castro’s.”

      well, in two categories. Elvis will crush Starlin in steals of course and probably beat him in Runs, but Starlin will win HR, RBI, and AVG pretty handily. So it depends what you need.

      Elvis is solid but he is SO bad in HR/RBI that it’s a real compromise, although it’s easier to get all those steals from middle infield.

      I do also agree that Starlin is overrated here, BTW. Not enough HR or SB to sniff Tier 2 IMHO.

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      • Danny says:

        Through May, Elvis – 2HRs and Castro – 1… Castro only has 5 more RBIs than Elvis… Just saying.

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  10. Yalpé Nismou says:

    Barney, with one game played at SS, makes your list.

    Sean Rodriguez has 11 games played and is not on the list.

    Not that it matters, he’s probably one of the “others”. Do you see him moving up or not?

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  11. Doug B says:

    For the Milwaukee Brewers only Alex Gonzalez managed to make “the rest” list in 2012 and he gone in 2013.

    Pop quiz… who played the most games at shortstop in 2012 for the Milwaukee Brewers. A cookie to anyone who can guess correctly on the first try.

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