Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen, 2nd basemen and 3rd basemen are in the books.  What a strange, glorious trip it’s been!  Though not really.  Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2011 fantasy baseball get to shine.  Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine.  They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs.  As I said in the 2nd baseball recap post, the shortstops are almost exactly as shallow as the shortstops and 3rd basemen.  Now it’s time to be a bit more specific.  The top ten shortstops were better than the 2nd basemen and 3rd basemen.  Yes, that is scary.  Though if you were in a deeper league or if you used an MI, the fall off from the 13th to 20th ranked shortstops is not pretty, whereas the 2nd basemen held their value as you dropped down the rankings.  3rd base was as big a mess in the lower half of the rankings as shortstops.  Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery.  To recap, this final ranking is from ESPN 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 2011 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Jose Reyes – I’m a huge Reyes fan and he didn’t disappoint this year.  He missed almost forty games and still was the top ranked shortstop.  If you filled him in halfway decently while he was injured, you had huge production from his spot.  He cut his K-rate by a solid margin, had a bit of luck on average but should’ve had more homers.  Six of one yadda3.  I kinda want to see him end up in Boston this offseason, but I’m also afraid his value will be inflated a’la Crawford and his injuries could resurface.  As for that whole sitting out to win the batting title thing, it doesn’t matter for fantasy.  It’s about as relevant as Miggy filling his jock strap with airplane bottles of liquor.  Turn down the treble and eliminate the noise.  On a side note, why is Jose Reyes freakin’ naked on the cover of ESPN, The Magazine?  I have girls back to my house and they don’t understand.  My moms sees this magazine and she’s questioning things.  Not that there’s anything wrong with the questions.  Preseason Rank #3, 2011 Projections:  110/12/60/.290/40, Final Numbers:  101/7/44/.337/39

2. Troy Tulowitzki – Imagine if I jumped out of DeLorean in March and told you Tulo would miss September, would you still have drafted him?  I’m guessing no.  I’m Guessing, II:  The Return of I’m Guessing; you would’ve regretted not drafting him.  I’m Guessing, III:  I Didn’t See The 2nd I’m Guessing But They’re Making Another One?; if you were in a H2H league, you probably would’ve regretted not drafting him less.  Preseason Rank #2, 2011 Projections:  95/30/105/.280/15, Final Numbers:  81/30/105/.302/9

3. Starlin Castro – Was one of those players that I wasn’t excited about in January when I did the rankings, then ended up with him on multiple teams because Rudy liked him a lot.  Sometimes Rudy’s smart.  (Sometimes last March Rudy told me he didn’t want Kemp on every team.  Sometimes I shouldn’t have listened.)   Preseason Rank #12, 2011 Projections:  75/5/55/.305/12, Final Numbers:  91/10/66/.307/22

4. Asdrubal Cabrera – He was ranked low by me in the preseason, but I did put him in a group of players you should take a flyer on at the end of the draft.  I’ve had much love for Asdrubal from the moment he burst on the scene with his easy-to-giggle-at first name.  Still, his power output this year is ridonkiculous.  25 homers?  Really?  Did Hanley and him urinate into a fountain as they made a wish at the same time?  (I ranked Asdrubal 22nd overall, but I said in the preseason blurb I’m only doing that to highlight him and he’s actually above Castro, so, ya know, don’t hate the ranker, hate the game.)  Preseason Rank #11, 2011 Projections:  80/7/60/.295/20, Final Numbers:  87/25/92/.273/17

5. Elvis Andrus – Came pretty close to performing exactly as I thought he would, but, for full disclosure purposes (or porpoises if dolphins are reading), I wanted more from Andrus.  He reminds me of Brian McCann.   I expect them to break out in a huge way, then they perform well and I’m still slightly disappointed.  I’m telling you, one of these years Andrus is gonna give us a Reyes in his prime year.  Preseason Rank #4, 2011 Projections:  95/5/50/.270/45, Final Numbers:  96/5/60/.279/37

6. Emilio Bonifacio – Went over him in the top 20 third basemen post.

7. Jimmy Rollins – Gave a much better season than I expected from him.  And it might’ve been better if it wasn’t for Utley’s injury.  While filling in the three hole (not like that!), Rollins’s line was 17/1/5/.271/5.  And you thought Utley only hurt you directly.  He’s giving you indirect reasons to dislike him.  Preseason Rank #5, 2011 Projections:  85/14/65/.260/20, Final Numbers:  87/16/63/.268/30

8. Erick Aybar – Back on January 18th (which is my birthday, mark it down!), I left Aybar off my top 20 preseason ranking and commenter, Fanthead, said, “Doesn’t Erick Aybar (who is not ranked) have the wherewithal to match (Alcides’s) numbers (70/3/40/.275/30)?”  Well, la di da!  Maybe Fanthead should do his own rankings!  And use words like wherewithal throughout!  I keed.  It was a good call by Fanthead.  Aybar did have the wherewithal.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  71/10/59/.279/30

9. Derek Jeter – Here’s what I said back in the preseason, “So I’ve been watching the first season of Friday Night Lights.  Great show.  I’d say SPOILER ALERT! but that season’s like seven years old.  Anyway, when Riggins was stealing Minka from Street, I kept imagining Street yelling, ‘So, Jeter, it’s okay to steal a cripple’s girlfriend, but you won’t fight a cripple?!'”  That has nothing to do with anything, but it made me laugh when I was reviewing what I had said.  Now Jeter’s on to the next one and Minka’s remaking a terrible show with an even worse show.  As for Jeter, what can be said about him that hasn’t been said before?  His power’s all but evaporated and he gets runs and average.  Yay or who cares?  Yay or who cares?  YAY OR WHO CARES?!  That’s what I’m asking you!  Sorry, lost my shizz there for a second.  Preseason Rank #6, 2011 Projections:  105/12/65/.280/15, Final Numbers:  84/6/61/.297/16

10. Jhonny Peralta – Went over him in the top 20 third basemen post.

11. J.J. Hardy – The real mystery with Hardy is why is he ranked so low.  Maybe because he came so cheaply in drafts or off of waivers, but he seemed way more valuable than 11th overall.  If I were ranking these guys, I’d put Hardy above Bonifacio.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  76/30/80/.269

12. Alexei Ramirez – In May and September, he hit around .300 and didn’t steal one base.  Removing doubles, triples and homers, that’s fifty-eight times he was on first and just stood there like a cat stole his tongue… Well, that cliche doesn’t work, but you get my drift.  Preseason Rank #7, 2011 Projections:  80/17/70/.280/14, Final Numbers:  81/15/70/.269/7

13. Yunel Escobar – I could be guaranteed Yunel’s final line in March and I wouldn’t draft him.  I’d still prefer to draft someone who could actually be better with upside.  Preseason Rank #18, 2011 Projections:  75/10/60/.290/7, Final Numbers:  77/11/48/.290/3

14. Ian Desmond – Was he all that and a bag of Funyuns?  Nah, not exactly.  But I think you could’ve done worse with your MI.  And you put what I think in one of those 50’s supercomputers and it spits back at you, “So what?”  Have I learned my lesson with Desmond for next year?  He hit 8 homers and stole 25 bases, not sure what there is to learn.  I’ll take it every day for my MI and twice on Muesday.  Preseason Rank #10, 2011 Projections:  80/15/70/.280/20, Final Numbers:  65/8/49/.253/25

15. Alcides Escobar – If I may toot my own horn — though if I could actually toot my own horn, I’d never leave the house — I did really well with projections this year.  January Grey was locked in.  January Grey, “Funny you use that turn of a phrase cause I’m actually locked up in Guatemala.  Look for me on Locked Up Abroad!”  Preseason Rank #11, 2011 Projections:  70/3/40/.275/30, Final Numbers:  69/4/46/.254/26

16. Cliff Pennington – Now we’re at the point in this exercise where you really shouldn’t have owned any of these guys all year long.  And, if you did, you’re not reading this anyway.  You’re over in our fantasy football or fantasy hockey or fantasy basketball section talking about how Grey’s a dumbass.  Preseason Rank #14, 2011 Projections:  60/5/40/.245/30, Final Numbers:  57/8/58/.264/14

17. Marco Scutaro – One good month and you too can get in the top 20 shortstops.  3 ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 shortstops!  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  59/7/54/.299/4

18. Hanley Ramirez – On top of him taping heroin to your back and pushing you through a Turkish checkpoint, his name value made everything much worse.  I’ll explain.  If you have someone like Scutaro and he’s not performing, you drop him for someone else.  You have Hanley and you hold out hope until the bitter end.  Or worse, you trade for him thinking he’s gonna bounce back.  Yeah, Hanley killed some teams this year.  We may forgive, we will never forget.  Preseason Rank #1, 2011 Projections:  100/26/100/.310/25, Final Numbers:  55/10/45/.243/20

19. Darwin Barney – Went over him the top 20 2nd basemen post.

20. Yuniesky Betancourt – His name anagrams to Batter Nine You Sucky.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  51/13/68/.252/4

  1. centralohguy says:

    How the heck do you figure out that anagram for YB? That shite is so unlikely and yet so appropriate. I caught crap for trading Jeter/Lilly for Hanley. Turns out I had traded for it and ended up streaming several turds I should not have owned. Still managed a #2 finish though. I’m sensing a theme here.

  2. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    Hanley was the guy I paid the most for at auction, The Drubal was a free agency pickup in the first month. The former hit me in the poop chute, the latter was my ladder to first place. Oh fantasy baseball… how I love to hate loving you.

  3. schlitzy says:

    When I kept longoria and got the second pick and took hanley I thought i was the meow’s cat.grabbing dunn in the 6th round of a 14 team ops league was the icing on the cake. I feel like dave hester dropped a crappy locker on me. Yuuuup.

  4. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    Excellent projections. I think short stop is your best position so far. Amazingly close on Andrus, Alcides, Yunel, and Alexei.

    As for Rollins, he pretty much did exactly what you predicted before Utley’s injury (with extra steals), so maybe it didn’t hurt Rollins too much.

    Well done!

  5. OaktownSteve says:

    @Grey: Can’t agree that Reyes, even with those very fine numbers, was more valuable than Tulo.

  6. OaktownSteve says:

    @grey: oh and I realize you’re using ESPN. How would you rank Reyes Tulo? Especially considering your dislike for all things average.

  7. theguarantee says:

    A very premature thing to say at this point but I wrote down next to Reyes in my handy little notepad that I’d be willing to push all-in on him next year. He’s just too talented.

    The real question to me though – where do you think Hanley will get drafted next year?


  8. Jay says:

    Hardy’s valued so low because you’re using ESPN player rater, remember? BA and SB.

  9. royce! says:

    The first to solve the Mystery of Yuniesky Betancourt! Brilliant!

    You missed out on very LA evening last Friday. Got pupusas, went to an art show in a dive bar bathroom, went to Cheetah’s to watch some friends’ band, sat in traffic on the 101 late at night…what a weird place.

    Still jealous of your adventures through bbqville.

  10. Feeding the Abscess

    Feeding the Abscess says:

    I’ll raise a glass for all my fellow Bartlett owners.

    A glass of tears.

  11. Steve says:

    And again, so I can tick the ‘get comments by email’ box…

  12. genghis chone says:

    Where would you feel comfortable grabbing Hanley next year? End of the second round seems like it might be a little too high for my taste, but if he seems healthy I could see pulling the trigger there.

  13. royce! says:

    Can you tell I’m rooting for the Rangers? More out of distaste for the Cardinals (was a Mets fan in 2006, and always a Padres fan, whom they have whupped in the playoffs).

  14. royce! says:

    Ten starts against OAK and SEA combined probably did Wilson a lot of good, though.

  15. royce! says:

    Plus another 6 v. LAA. With that schedule, it’d seem that all of the Rangers starters would seem like aces.

  16. royce! says:

    Just looked up that F*** Joe Buck. No idea if the content is any good, because the design is freaking terrible. Brown text on a blue background?!

  17. royce! says:

    Jinxed CJ by talking about how ace he is. My bad.

  18. black_toshiba says:

    Is Julio Teheran going to be classified as a rookie next year?

  19. Steve says:

    Cricket has been using the infra-red cameras for a couple of years now.

  20. royce! says:

    Here’s something that makes the WS relevant to the casual Padres fan– we traded Freese for Jim Edmonds. Towers made some great moves, so I suppose not all of them could work out.

  21. black_toshiba says:

    Thanks Royce

  22. royce! says:

    On to Just Desserts!

  23. royce! says:

    Beef wellington is French?!

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @royce!: I’m not watching Just Desserts until tomorrow so don’t ruin anything but I’m not enjoying this year as much as last year’s. The only drama is coming from someone I don’t think much of… I mean, sure, he can make the Wynn Hotel with chocolate but make something that looks tasty!

    @chata: I have a phone call with a radio producer tomorrow in the AM.

  25. royce! says:

    Berkman’s swing looks like my 69 year old father-in-law’s golf swing. Has it always looked like that?

  26. royce! says:

    I am confident that this will unleash a shizz-load of runs, but I am just loving how low scoring this WS has been so far. Not because I’m a purist “pitcher’s duel” sort of guy, but because I read so much about how this WS could break the record for most runs scored. Baseball: EMBRACE THE CHAOS!

  27. chata says:

    as far as world series sponsors go … Jennie-O turkey burgers ?
    no thanks .

    at a buck and change/lb , if i want turkey , i buy a turkey .

    actually just bought a turkey two days ago .
    my wife always laughs at me and tells other people that it’s
    my “practice” turkey .
    seems that , as long as anyone can remember , come october ,
    like clock-work , i get the urge for a turkey dinner .

    maybe i should have her re-name it my “mock” thanksgiving turkey ,
    but i wouldn’t want someone to mistake it for tofu .

  28. chata says:

    chicken shizz !!

    you gotta send kinsler home , there .

  29. black_toshiba says:

    What type of numbers are you expecting from Kendry Morales this upcoming year? (If Kendry Morales comes back this year)
    You think a 25HR 80RBI & .265AVG is in reach?

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