The top 20 shortstops for 2010 fantasy baseball are a bit deeper this year, but they’re still shallower than the top 20 2nd basemen and ranked only ahead of the catchers for depth. All the 2010 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that said 2010 fantasy baseball rankings. (Don’t worry, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to link to things a little more seamlessly). Shortstops usually get the short end of the stick when I’m drafting. If I don’t get Hanley, I’ll probably just take a flier on some late round player. In leagues that play a middle infielder, then you might need two of these schmohawks. Hopefully, you can grab two decent 2nd basemen and only need one of these guys. As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where I think tiers start and stop and my projections. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2010 fantasy baseball:
1. Hanley Ramirez – Already covered him in our top 10 for 2010 fantasy baseball post.
2. Troy Tulowitzki – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here to Rollins. I call this tier, “Even the elite shortstops are no guarantees.” Already covered him in our top 20 for 2010 fantasy baseball post.
3. Jimmy Rollins – Already covered him in our top 20 for 2010 fantasy baseball post.
4. Jose Reyes – Already covered him in our top 20 for 2010 fantasy baseball post.
5. Derek Jeter – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here to Zobrist. I call this tier, “Overrated.” I’m not going to draft Jeter in any leagues. Some crazed Noo Yawker will get him before I can even think about it. I do like him a bit more going into 2010 than I did in last season’s preseason after seeing how hitter-friendly The Stadium Adjacent To The House That Ruth Built is. 2010 Projections: 110/16/70/.315/20
6. Jason Bartlett – I don’t buy into Bartlett’s 2009. In October, I said, “I didn’t believe the high average in May and I still don’t (he hit around .230 in September). I’m pretty sure when February Grey gets around to going through guys that will disappoint in 2010, Bartlett’s name will be there.” That was a *pinkie to mouth* Bartlett Quotation. Okay, so January Grey’s here to say, February Grey’s got nothing on me. Bartlett more than doubled his homer per fly ball rate so I don’t believe the 14 homers, either. Average outlier + power outlier + repeatable, but not blazing speed = Pass. 2010 Projections: 95/7/50/.285/27
7. Ben Zobrist – Went over Zobrist in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 fantasy baseball post.
8. Elvis Andrus – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here to Asdrubal. I call this tier, “Since there’s so few top shortstops, we’re left with upside.” Andrus is ranked ahead of Alexei and Drew simply because his value comes from speed and that doesn’t just disappear, unlike guys whose value is predicated on power. Can Andrus jump into the upper tiers like Drew and Alexei can? It’s possible, and they have more downside. They’re all real close and I could see taking any of them depending on how you’re assembling your team. Your eyes want more? Elvis Andrus sleeper. 2010 Projections: 75/8/50/.270/37
9. Alexei Ramirez – I’m usually a peaceful person, but this guy made me want to choke someone out last year. Preferably Alexei. His homers should bounce back a bit from last year, but his .277 average looks pretty right on. He’s established that he starts slow, so if you do draft him keep that in mind. 2010 Projections: 70/18/80/.280/15
10. Stephen Drew – Rising ground ball rate, falling fly ball rate… Who’s this guy trying to be, Luis Castillo? Hit the ball in the air! After his 2008 season, Drew had more promise than the first twenty minutes of Inglourious Basterds. Then Drew’s 2009 was spent running a French movie theater and falling in love with a black guy. Hopefully, Drew’s 2010 can be set in a tavern basement and get the ball rolling again. 2010 Projections: 85/22/75/.265/4
11. Asdrubal Cabrera – Went over Asdrubal in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2010 fantasy baseball post.
12. Yunel Escobar – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here to Peralta. I call this tier, “I’m punting this tier.” Yunel could get to 17 homers (a long shot), but he has the speed of a man 300 pounds heavier, assuming that man isn’t Pablo Sandoval. 2010 Projections: 90/15/75/.305/3
14. Miguel Tejada – On C-SPAN, Jim Bunning is arguing in front of Congress that Tejada’s high average last year should be withdrawn from all official records because of a high BABIP. 2010 Projections: 70/15/85/.295/4
14. J.J. Hardy – I’ll give this to Hardy, I almost dropped him to the Furcal tier, indicating I would almost draft him. Maybe in my horseshoes or hand grenade draft. 2010 Projections: 65/23/80/.260
15. Marco Scutaro – Marco…. Scutaro… Whatevero. 2010 Projections: 70/11/80/.275/7
16. Erick Aybar – I get a utility man vibe from Aybar. If you draft him, there’s a 95% chance of you dropping him before May. 2010 Projections: 85/3/50/.290/17
17. Jhonny Peralta – If you don’t have nothing nice to say, then don’t say nothing. 2010 Projections: 75/18/85/.265
18. Rafael Furcal – This is the last tier. This tier I call, “These are fliers I’m taking a chance on late.” Furcal’s a bit of a wild card to even be around still by this tier. Someone will draft him earlier, totally forgetting what happened last year Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer-style. Others will see his last month as a sign of good things to come. If he’s around at the end of your draft, I’d take a flier that there’s still a bit left in the tank. He is admittedly not a very exciting flier. Hey, they can’t all be Alcides Escobar. 2010 Projections: 90/10/55/.275/20
19. Alcides Escobar – I compared him to a 2009 Elvis Andrus in the Alcides Escobar fantasy sleeper post. Go look at it. Go ahead. The Royal We will be here. 2010 Projections: 80/5/55/.265/40
20. Ryan Theriot – Feels like a poor man’s Alcides… Or maybe it’s a conservative man’s Alcides. 2010 Projections: 85/3/50/.285/22
There’s lots of guys after the top 20 shortstops for 2010 fantasy baseball, but these two stand out:
Ian Desmond – Went over him in my Ian Desmond Fantasy sleeper, keeper, something or other post. 2010 Projections: 85/10/60/.275/20
Everth Cabrera - Here it is. The last guy you could conceivably take and still get an affirmative head nod from yours truly. You want that affirmative head nod or not? It’s up to you. If you need 30-plus steals late in your draft, then EverCab can do the trick. (EverCab is also available for bar mitzvahs.) 2010 Projections: 85/3/50/.260/35