The 2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Shortstops are important to your Fantasy team, but not the most important. The best way to bolster your roster is by adding corner infielders with power and slugging corner outfielders paired-up with speedy center fielders. The middle infielders generally give you little in the power categories, and are so-so in the speed categories.
Obviously, you have exceptions to the rule. Players such as Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez ideally provide owners with 20-30 home runs and the chance at 80-100 runs batted in when healthy. Not many guys on the list below can offer that.
Most people assume shortstops are the pivotal position in your fantasy lineup because they are so valuable on the actual diamond. This thing is, this is fantasy. So, take a look at some of the following statistics that may make you shake your head and think twice come draft day.
Over the past three (3) seasons: One (1) player has averaged 20+ homers; zero (0) have averaged over 80+ RBI; only four (4) averaged more than 80+ runs scored; of the fifteen (15) shortstops that averaged over 500 ABs, only about about half of them had an average north of .270; and finally, eight (8) shortstops averaged 20+ stolen bases per year.
So, if you do not land a Reyes, Ramirez or Tulowitzki....I would advise you to select a player than can steal bases, hit for a decent average and score runs. I really like Starlin Castro coming into 2013 and feel he is on the cusp of becoming a 20-20 player. If manager Dale Sveum keeps Castro in the 5th hole he should see increased RBI opportunities as a result.
Two other names that you will get great value out of, but not have to break the bank on our: Ian Desmond and Elvis Andrus. Desmond will provide you with a nice combination of power and speed, while Andrus can help you in four (4) of the five (5) major categories (AVG, R, RBI, and SB). You should be able to snag either player between the 10th and 12th rounds of your draft.
Changes you need keep your eye on:
- Hanley Ramirez pulled a Biggie Smalls on us and headed back to Cali last season. With him presumably hitting 5th once again, that lineup is looking good (Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp will provide plenty of opportunities to drive in runs) and the 29-year-old is only a year removed from being a 20-20 guy.
- Jose Reyes, Ramirez's old teammate, will be suiting up north of the border this season, at the top of a much improved Toronto Blue Jay lineup. Again, this lineup is stacked and should easily help Reyes score over 100 runs for the second time in three seasons.
- Stephen Drew followed his older brother’s footsteps and signed with the Red Sox for 2013. This could be a nice middle infielder pick for some Fantasy owners, as this team can still score some runs and Drew is back from an ankle injury.
- Jed Lowrie, who projects as the starter for the Astros this season, was off to a hot start in 2012 before thumb and ankle injuries took a bite out of his playing time. If he can stay healthy, you have a J.J. Hardy-esque shortstop, with power potential and a shot at decent average. Lowrie could be in play late in deeper mixed league drafts and provide some real nice value at the position.
Here are the Top 60 shortstops for 2013:
Please see the original Fantasy Baseball article which helps explain the rankings system.