Shortly after the frenzied plucking that will inevitably consume us all in the first and second round, we will need a moment to catch our breath and begin methodically—and actually—building a team.
One of the themes I have been noticing over and over again is the treatment of the SS position in mock drafts; there has been little focus on these players early.
Guys like Troy Tulowitzki, Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez, and Jose Reyes are averaging out as late first round / early to mid second round picks.
Then there’s basically nothing until the 12th to 14th for shortstops, with the exception of one or two players in between.
What I am noticing, is the playing field—no pun intended—becomes a bit more even at this point with the remaining names out there, which brings us to an interesting comparison: Elvis Andrus, and Asdrubal Cabrera.
In the last 15 mock drafts I have done, Andrus has been available as late as the 18th round which is astonishing to me, while Cabrera has been going around the 12th or 13th.
Let's take a look at both players a bit more closer.
Asdrubal Cabrera had a break out year last year as he enjoyed extended playing time and had a line that was pretty impressive:
523 AB, 161 H, 6 HR, 68 RBI, 81 R, 89/44 strikeout to ball ratio and 17 SB. he also posted a .308 average with a .361 OBP.
The worry about Cabrera is this: Last October Cabrera had surgery to remove “loose bodies” in his elbow, and the likelihood of Cabrera building upon—or simply repeating— what he did last year isn’t very favorable.
Sure he’s young, but it took all this time just to gain some notoriety in the bigs, and any surgery with an elbow always comes with baggage in the end.
In addition, add in the mix it will be his fourth year, and all-of-a-sudden keeper leaguers and Dynasty managers have a lot of reason to shy away from him; especially when you enter Elvis Andrus into the mix.
Elvis Andrus started the year with high expectations, but wasn’t really setting the world on fire in April and May. In fact, it really wasn’t until June 30th that everyone started to take notice to him due to his four stolen bases performance against a stout Angel’s defense.
Elvis Andrus’ Month to Month Totals:
Andrus never really cooled off, with his best months—August and September—coming at the end of his wild ride. As if this isn’t enough, don’t forget that Andrus was in line for winning the AL ROY last year sharing a close race with Detroit’s Ricky Porcello, and Oakland’s Andrew Bailey; last year’s winner.
The moral of the story is this: Andrus has far more upside than Cabrera, a brighter future, and deserves an earlier look than the 18th round that’s for sure. But if you stay in line and keep the trend in ADP for most shortstops, make sure it’s Andrus you choose over Cabrera if you’re on the fence; you won’t be disappointed.
Reading the Signs: A quick look at SS.
|Troy Tulowitzki –Rockies: Tulowitzki remains one of the best young prospects out there for a high draft pick at SS. But keep in mind that Colorado has been actively searching for another big name player at a discounted price. He is in his fifth year, with his breakout season coming just last year. He has as much upside as he does long term risk.|
|Jimmy Rollins – Phillies: Rollins has hit the ripe old age of 31, and it’s clear that his best years are behind him. Still, he was good for 21 dingers and 31 stolen bases a year ago. While he deserves as much attention as anyone else out there, there are better, younger, more long-term options at shortstop in 2010.|
|Hanley Ramirez – Marlins: Ramirez will push Pujols and Utley for the number one overall pick in most drafts this year. An interesting strategy would be to pick Ramirez up early and perhaps Andrus or Jeter as a value pick at DH.|
|Jose Reyes – Mets: At this point, Reyes is more of a risk than a solid pickup due mainly to his off-season hamstring surgery; the injury that shut him down last year. Wasting a high draft pick on him is too risky in my opinion, and he should be looked at as a very late steal you can bench until he proves he’s completely healthy.|
|Derek Jeter – Yankees: Jeter hasn’t been getting a lot of ADP love thus far, and that’s unreal to say the least. His average position has been a 6th or 7th rounder. Jeter is 35 and in his final year, but the guy STILL produces every year—go ahead pick a year and go look; it’s sick what he does. If you see Jeter after the fourth round, I would grab him simply for the trade value alone.|