There’s no Reyes, Tulo or Hanley on this list of shortstops. This list is guys that can be had later in your drafts if you’ve punted shortstop or are still looking for a middle infielder. Look at this as a supplement to the top 20 shortstops of 2012 fantasy baseball. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, click on the player’s name to read more about them or to see their 2012 projections. I’m going to start this list of targets at the 141 ADP cut off. You say, “Arbitrary!” I say, “Why are you saying arbitrary to a computer screen? No one can hear you.” Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2012 fantasy baseball:
Dee Gordon – Something I didn’t mention in the lede, but did mention in the lede in the 2nd basemen to target post is I am actually targeting these guys for my shortstop spot and not just for my MI. I tend to punt shortstop, not to the point where I’m looking to draft Ruben Tejada or Robert Andino, but to around 120 overall. I could have two 2nd basemen (one for 2nd and one for MI) before I start thinking about shortstop. There’s just very little value to found earlier. As for Dee Gordon, he could steal 70 bases and it wouldn’t totally shock me. I don’t think he does, but the fact he could makes him a must target in all leagues. He’s going at 141 on average at Mock Draft Central (see, it wasn’t that arbitrary). He could give you Michael Bourn’s stats at shortstop, that’s Bourn who is being drafted almost 100 picks earlier. (Bee tee dubya, who the eff uses the word lede? What, I’m a newsie?)
Emilio Bonifacio – Small ball theme going on here. Maybe we can get Whitey to send Willie McGee to our draft for us. Would be reminiscent of that deleted scene from Mask when Rocky Dennis goes for sushi and the chef commits seppuku.
Ian Desmond – Why do people hate Ian Desmond? Better still, why do I like Ian Desmond? His projections aren’t really much different than Erick Aybar who is being drafted about 150 spots earlier than him. That’s why I like him. He’s a cheap 10/20 guy. Last year he had 25 steals. That seems about the ceiling, but he could swipe 30 if everything breaks right. I like that too. I have his projections down for 70/10/65/.250/22. If he gets off to a hot start, he could cement his place at the top of the Nats order and my projected counting stats will actually seem low by the end of the year. I like that a lot.
Zack Cozart – In drafts so far, Cozart is all but an afterthought. Right now, he’s being drafted around the same spot as players that you shouldn’t ever draft (Derrek Lee, Kurt Suzuki, etc.) or last round catchers (Doumit, Saltymochachino, etc.). In 2010, Cozart went 17/30 in Triple-A, then was headed that way again last year in Triple-A when he went 7/9 in only 77 games. When he was promoted to the Reds last year, he hit 2 quick homers in 11 games before going down to Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm, which is no longer a concern. I’ve already begged Rudy to draft Cozart in one league. I want Cozart in every league. He is the epitome of a great late round flyer. If he performs well, he’s better than shortstops being drafted at least 200 spots ahead of him. If he does poorly, whatever, it’s shortstop, just pick up someone else off waivers.
Alcides Escobar – He stole 26 bases last year and he stole 42 in Triple-A. If he steps in shizz, he hits .280 and also gives you the same value as Erick Aybar 200 picks later.
Tyler Pastornicky – To answer your question, Random Razzball Commenter, “I like Cozart a lot more than Pastornicky.” As for your second question, “Yes, Pastornicky sounds like the clergyman that Carmella made out with on The Sopranos.”
Eduardo Nunez – This is a very deep league sleeper. If you are drafting Nunez, you better be in a league where almost everyone with everyday ABs is already taken. Now what does Eduardo need to get everyday ABs for himself? A Jeter or A-Rod injury. Yeah, those things would never happen! If Nunez can get 400 ABs, he could get 30 steals. Definitely worth a shot in AL-Only leagues and very deep mixed ones.
Sean Rodriguez – I’m admittedly down on Sean-Rod this year in the non-sexual way. He could surprise with 15+ homers and 15+ steals and if it’s gonna happen any year it’ll be this year. Hey, I just talked myself into not being that down on him… That was easy. Now let’s see if I can work up some enthusiasm again for Chris Davis. *scrunches up face, forcing out enthusiasm* Nope, no enthusiasm, but I did just poop myself.