We’ve (Me’ve) have already gone over the top 20 catchers, top 20 1st basemen, top 20 2nd basemen and now it’s time for the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball. It’s fun to see how many people read this in a way that makes them think this is for next year. Let’s read it like them real quickly, “Top 20 shortstops…Tulo too low, Andrus too high, Lindor too low, how do I make a comment that illustrates my snideness about what an idiot I think Grey is without incurring the wrath of others so I can still ask a trade question in two months without any hard feelings? Maybe I’ll just say a name with a question mark and that’ll be enough to inform Grey that I think he’s a moron, but vague enough to not set off others.” Those people, who I’m sure aren’t reading this opening, are the true highlight of the offseason. Here’s a comment for them to post, “Yunel???” To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:
1. Manny Machado – Here’s what I said in the preseason, “He could easily put up a top 20 overall season. Not just top ten 3rd basemen. Not top 50 overall. Top 20. The only thing that stopped me from ranking him higher is he hasn’t come close to putting up numbers anywhere near those yet.” And that’s me quoting me! Looks like he figured out a way to get there… Like a baller! Now I’ll never be able to draft The Manny again. Lowercase great. Preseason Rank #15 for 3rd basemen, 2015 Projections: 79/16/64/.285/7, Final Numbers: 102/35/86/.286/20
2. Xander Bogaerts – Because I squeezed Yahoo’s elgbility into this season-ending recap, Bogaerts got gypped out of the number one slot. By the by, I’m told by the PC police that gypped is an offensive term. Luckily, gypsies aren’t a well-organized bunch. Any hoo! It’s okay that Bogaerts got cheated out of the number one slot. Know why? Cause him being number one at a position in a year where he didn’t hit more than seven homers or steal more than ten bases is disgraceful and should never happen, I don’t care that he hit .320. Hit .350, then I’ll care. And this is coming from someone who likes Bogaerts! Preseason Rank #7, 2015 Projections: 69/15/74/.253/7, Final Numbers: 84/7/81/.320/10
3. Matt Duffy – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
4. Carlos Correa – In only 99 games, Correa hit 22 homers and stole 14 bases. How much is that in 139 games? 32-ish homers and 20-ish steals? Why do I care about 139 games? Cause that was how many Trout played in when he hit 30 homers and stole 49 bases in his insane rookie year. Correa may never have that many steals, but anyone that has watched him, he looks like a young A-Rod, so more steals could come. What is clear is he would’ve hit for more power than a rookie Trout. I mean, that I’m even comparing someone to Trout. That I am even! Fly, Icarlos, fly! Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 52/22/68/.279/14
5. Brandon Crawford – I mentioned this the other day with Matt Carpenter. Homers are usually one of the easier things to project, so, I guess what I’m saying is, how many cortisone shots did Crawford have? Preseason Rank #22, 2015 Projections: 55/10/59/.247/5, Final Numbers: 65/21/84/.256/6
6. Troy Tulowitzki – The great park of Coors and then the great lineup of the Blue Jays looks like it’s hiding a lot of decline in Tulo’s stats. Sure, he never plays a whole season, but since he never does, he actually has a large sample size — that’s what she said! — for only playing in a partial season. This year, he played in 128 games and hit 17 homers. In 2010, he played in 122 games and hit 27 homers. In 2013, he played in 126 games and had 25 homers. In 2014, 91 games and 21 homers. I only got a B in the SATs that were graded on a number scale, but this doesn’t bode well for Tulo. Preseason Rank #3, 2015 Projections: 79/24/88/.312/1, Final Numbers: 77/17/70/.280/1
7. Elvis Andrus – I didn’t want to keep saying the same thing in every blurb, “Shortstops suck,” but we’ve reached about the level where shortstops do indeed suck. Andrus didn’t come close to my modest projections yet he ended up top seven overall. That’s egregious, Jackie Chiles. Preseason Rank #11, 2015 Projections: 81/5/49/.274/29, Final Numbers: 69/7/62/.258/25
8. Yunel Escobar – Speaking of scary terrible. Yunel had nine homers and two steals and finished eighth overall for shortstops. Eighth?! And that’s with Machado listed, who didn’t even have shortstop eligibility for most of the year. Preseason Rank #37, 2015 Projections: 50/6/54/.249/2, Final Numbers: 75/9/56/.314/2
9. Jhonny Peralta – Give you a pretty strong idea about shortstops, Peralta was on waivers in my 12-team league all the way through September. Preseason Rank #17, 2015 Projections: 58/17/67/.250/3, Final Numbers: 64/17/71/.275/1
10. Ian Desmond – Compared to Heinously Ramirez, Desmond looks like an All-Star, but his 2nd half boosted him, so I’d argue Desmond was just as bad as Heinously because of this: Desmond is doing awful, you need to drop him, but you drafted him so high, you don’t want to drop him. Now it’s June and you need to start thinking about fantasy football because Desmond killed your season. Then, when that person moved on to football, Desmond turned it around. It was irrelevant at that point. With Heinously, he did well in the first half, so you could’ve dropped him in August and still did okay if there was a shortstop available. In the end, they both sucked. Preseason Rank #1, 2015 Projections: 75/21/87/.251/22, Final Numbers: 69/19/62/.233/13
11. Jose Reyes – A guy that always relied on his legs for his value that always had leg injuries isn’t aging well? Weird! Preseason Rank #4, 2015 Projections: 91/8/46/.281/27, Final Numbers: 57/7/53/.274/24
12. Justin Turner – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
13. Francisco Lindor – Since he only played 99 games, and only about 65 of them when he was good, it sorta illuminates how much more valuable he was on your team, if, ya know, you picked him up when I told you to for about a month straight. Preseason Rank #28, 2015 Projections: 51/6/39/.271/22, Final Numbers: 50/12/51/.313/12
14. Jung-ho Kang – If he didn’t get lucky on balls hit into play (.344 BABIP), I would’ve nailed his projections, which I would’ve thought in the preseason was relatively unlikely since I didn’t know a gee-dee thing about him coming into this year. Preseason Rank #21, 2015 Projections: 48/16/54/.242/3, Final Numbers: 60/15/58/.287/5
15. Ben Zobrist – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
16. Asdrubal Cabrera – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
17. Jean Segura – To give you an idea of what a blind spot I have for Segura, when I saw he ranked this low, I thought, “I wonder why.” Earth to Grey, he’s ranked this low because he sucked. Preseason Rank #9, 2015 Projections: 69/10/50/.272/35, Final Numbers: 57/6/50/.257/25
18. Yangervis Solarte – Here’s a guy that if you jumped out of DeLorean in March and told me Solarte’s final stats, I’d still draft a guy with upside like Wilmer Flores. Preseason Unranked for shortstops, ranked 33rd for 2nd basemen, 2015 Projections: 64/8/44/.267/3, Final Numbers: 63/14/63/.270/1
19. Marcus Semien – Doesn’t seem so stupid now that you drafted this guy and then named your team, “Young, Dumb and Full Of Semien.” Preseason Unranked for shortstops, ranked 24th for 2nd basemen, 2015 Projections: 66/13/61/.228/10, Final Numbers: 65/15/45/.257/11
20. Hanley Ramirez – Hey, if it’s not the schmohawk who ruined my NFBC team. Is it illegal to dump an industrial-sized container of mayonnaise on someone and then lock them in a room with a hungry Sandoval? Asking for a friend. Preseason Rank #2, 2015 Projections: 72/20/84/.268/12, Final Numbers: 59/19/53/.249/6