At this point in the rankings, the talent really gets jumbled. However, you still have some options depending on what you’re looking for. Alcides Escobar and Everth Cabrera will provide steals, Jhonny Peralta and J. J. Hardy offer some power, and Orlando Cabrera and Marco Scutaro provide a little bit of everything.
11) Orlando Cabrera (.277, 85 R, 10 HR, 76 RBI, 12 SB)
Cabrera’s value got a huge boost when he signed with the Reds. He is guaranteed a starting job, and will play half his games in the launching pad that is The Great American Ball Park. I expect him to bat in the two hole, which will give him the chance to score a bunch of runs.
12) Stephen Drew (.273, 81 R, 16 HR, 68 RBI, 6 SB)
Will Drew ever reach his potential? Drew has spent too much time on the shelf, and has gone through too many prolonged slumps to develop into the stud everyone thought he’d be. His 2009 was as disappointing as his 2008 was promising. If he can stay healthy, expect him to rebound some.
13) Miguel Tejada (.291, 73 R, 14 HR, 72 RBI, 2 SB)
Tejada enjoyed a great year with the Astros in 2009, and strangely rejoined the Orioles in the offseason. Tejada will not match his 2009 totals in Baltimore, but remains a low end starting shortstop in mixed leagues.
14) Jhonny Peralta (.266, 70 R, 17 HR, 81 RBI, 1 SB)
2009 was a huge disappointment for Peralta after a monster 2008. Peralta is a legit talent with the potential to return to his 2008 form. Expect the 27-year old to get back on track and have an encouraging 2010 season. He also qualifies at 3B.
15) J.J. Hardy (.271, 71 R, 18 HR, 71 RBI, 2 SB)
Hardy got a very much needed change of scenery after a terrible 2009 season. Hardy is the type of player the Twins look for, and I believe he will be a great fit in Minnesota. 2010 will be a much more positive year for Hardy.
16) Alcides Escobar (.282, 85 R, 1 HR, 43 RBI, 28 SB)
Escobar is an elite shortstop prospect with top level speed. He may never reach double digit homeruns, but will provide a solid average, score a ton of runs, assuming he is batting in front of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, and steal a bunch of bases. Another fantastic keeper and dynasty league pick.
17) Erick Aybar (.290, 73 R, 6 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB)
The 26 year old Aybar is another young shortstop with a nice upside. Playing in a strong Angels’ lineup provides enough opportunities to drive in and score runs as well. Aybar has a breakout season in him, and that alone makes him worth taking a chance on in 2010.
18) Marco Scutaro (.267, 80 R, 10 HR, 60 RBI, 9 SB)
It will be interesting to see how Scutaro’s move to Boston effects his numbers. Scutaro produced his solid 2009 numbers hitting leadoff for the Blue Jays, but will hit at the bottom of the order in 2010 with the Red Sox. Comparing Scutaro’s 2009 season to his 2010 season will be an interesting analysis on the importance of where a player bats in the batting order vs. the overall quality of the lineup he bats in.
19) Everth Cabrera (.258, 75 R, 1 HR, 32 RBI, 38 SB)
Cabrera is a lot like Alcides Escobar, but with less upside. While he can match him in the speed department, he will not be able to post the type of average Alcides will. A lot of people seem to be high on Cabrera, but I don’t get it. He seems like a one category player to me. Grab him if you’re really in need of some stolen bases.
20) Rafael Furcal (.275, 85 R, 7 HR, 43 RBI, 11 SB)
Furcal has fallen from elite status to washed-up status as fast as anyone in the game today. He no longer is a strong source of steals, and is unlikely to hit double digit homeruns. In fact, he may not reach double digits in steals or homeruns. You’re better off drafting someone with more upside.
2010 Shortstop Sleepers
Pennington is best known for his glove, but is starting to figure things out at the plate. He never had a big minor league season, but has shown improvement year after year. What really makes Pennington worth keeping an eye on are his wheels. He totaled 69 stolen bases in 2008 and 2009.
Desmond was a top level prospect when he was drafted out of high school, but fell off of everyone’s radar after several poor minor league seasons. He finally got things going in 2009, and looks like he will develop into a solid everyday big leaguer. The talent is there for Desmond to enjoy a season of ten homers and ten stolen bases in 2010.
There are whispers around the Giants organization that manager Bruce Bochy may give Uribe the starting job at short over Edgar Renteria. If that happens, Uribe could be an excellent late round pick. Even if he doesn’t win the starting job, Uribe will get plenty of at bats as a super-sub and is an excellent source of cheap power.
In my next addition of 2010 Fantasy Baseball Ranking we will examine the options at the hot corner.
Take a look at my previous rankings.