Where to draft the top twenty catchers, first basemen, second basemen and third basemen are all in the books, so now we move onto the shortstops. Top twenty shortstops isn’t as shallow as you might think. For an interesting article on why shortstops are almost as deep outfield, check this out. It’s a great read provided by Lou from Baseball Lab. Unfortunately, Lou is no longer with us. Not dead, just ain’t blogging anymore. His archives are there, and you should check them out some time. Also, our Player Rater for 2007 is here. Onto to the shortstops.
4. Troy Tulowitzki – Tulo’ll hit second in ’08, which means he scores at least a 110 times if he doesn’t try and carry any deer meat down any stairs. His OBP worries me, but his park excites me. His tendency to strikeout worries me, but the Poles are hard-workers. Projections: 115/25/80/.280/10
5. Derek Jeter – Jeter proves my point that you can’t have an ugly mulatto child. Roseanne Barr and George Foster can give birth to a swimsuit model. Jeter always gets drafted higher than he should, probably because he’s notched Jessicas — Alba, Biel and Rabbit. Projections: 110/15/70/.315/15 and you’re the envy of any girl that is in your league.
6. Miguel Tejada – His consecutive game streak that he fought so hard for makes me think he’s gonna want to shut up anybody who has linked him to steroids. I say he comes back like a potato sack of dragons. Then again, his age and no steroids may not cooperate with his intention. Projections:
7. Carlos Guillen – He’ll be over at 1st this year, but as long as he has shortstop eligibility, you’re good to go. See what was said about him at top twenty 1st basemen. For those too lazy to look, I’m not a huge fan.
8. Rafael Furcal – ’07 was a bad year for Furcal, but his ankle injury in the beginning of the year seemed to be to blame. He was overrated last year, but will be underrated this year (then overrated next year, do you see how this goes?). You have my permission to draft him. Projections: 110/15/65/.285/35
9. Michael Young – Young reminds me a lot of Carlos Guillen. You get a little bit of everything and nothing that wonderful. Young is a better bet to hit you .300; Guillen has an outside shot at 17/17 (I refuse to write 20/20 next to his name, when it’s soooo not going to happen.) Projections: 95/12/95/.310/10
10. Jhonny Peralta – He looked a lot better in the first half last year, but he’s still only going to be 26 this year. He’s a definite buy. Projections: 85/32/105/.270/3
11. Edgar Renteria – I likey Renteria. He’ll get you some decent numbers when he’s out there and then when he’s banged up, you fill in with a hot hitter off waivers. Unless you’re in an AL-Only league, then you can’t fill in as easily. Projections: 95/10/75/.295/15
12. Khalil Greene – Don’t think Khalil will ever hit above .275, so act accordingly. Projections: 85/27/100/.260
13. J.J. Hardy – I almost put J.J. above Guillen, but his OBP was a bit atrocious and his pre- and post- All-Star game splits were worse. He sees very few balls he doesn’t like and even fewer strikes. Projections: 85/20/80/.260
14. Ryan Theriot – Great strike-zone discipline and speed. He’s a great buy towards the end of drafts for some cheap speed. Forgo Juan Pierre-types and grab Theriot. Projections: 105/3/50/.290/45
15. Orlando Cabrera – He was not as good last year as you might think considering some experts draft lists. His stats were: 101/8/86/.301/20. Rex “The Hud” Hudler loved him, but he also loves Garrett Anderson. You don’t have to draft Cabrera just because everyone seems to be high on him. Projections: 100/9/65/.280/20
16. Julio Lugo – Here’s what I said at the top twenty 2nd basemen, “The steals were a bit of a surprise on Boston last year. Don’t think the average will be as bad as last year…” Projections: 80/7/65/.270/25
17. Stephen Drew – He’ll be better than he was last year soon, just not sure if you should count on it being in 2008. His OBP was a mess, but he’s only 25 this year. Projections: 65/20/75/.270/15
18. Yunel Escobar – I’m pretty high on Yunel. Well, as high as someone could be and still place him 18th overall at his position. His OBP hovered around .380 for his career in pro ball and he has decent speed and power. He could easily be a poor man’s Renteria. I know, that doesn’t sound that enticing, but there’s a place for that. Projections: 80/10/55/.285/15
19. Jason Bartlett– He’s a poor man’s Theriot. It just keeps getting better and better, huh? You’ll get cheap steals here, and maybe nothing else. Projections: 70/5/45/.270/25
20. Erick Aybar – A poor man’s Jason Bartlett. Projections: 65/2/35/.265/20
Just after the top twenty, obviously many, but I couldn’t fail to mention:
Brandon Wood – He will be a monster slugger one day soon, but his K/BB ratio is just plain ugly. Hopefully he becomes something other than a young Troy Glaus. Projections: sticks with the club out of spring training, then rides the bench on and off for three months totally screwing up his progress. Draft him in ’09.
Tomorrow, we move to the top twenty outfielders for 2008.