Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 are in the books. What a strange, glorious trip it’s been! Though not really. Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball get to shine. Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine. They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs. To be a bit more specific, Dee Gordon was 5th for 2nd baseman, here he’s second overall. Then it stabilizes with Zobrist being 13th at 2nd basemen and only 12th here. But then the shortstops flat line with guys like Jordy Mercer and Brock Holt appearing on this list and not even making in the top 20 2nd basemen. Either way, it’s ugly. Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery. 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 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:
1. Ian Desmond – I’ve been guilty as anyone for not giving Desmond his just desserts. Give the man his well-deserved tiramisu! Well, I’m here to tell you I won’t be making the same mistake three years in a row. As George Bush would tell you, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, we won’t get fooled again by The Who. Preseason Rank #3, 2014 Projections: 71/20/87/.271/17, Final Numbers: 73/24/91/.255/24
2. Dee Gordon – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
3. Alexei Ramirez – One thing is evident even with a cursory look at my shortstop rankings. I bumblefudged them massively. From Segura being terrible to Alexei bouncing back from a miserable year, and every shortstop in-between. There’s very few here that were more right than they were wrong. What that tells me is every site messed up shortstops this year because I have the best rankings. Continued in next blurb. Preseason Rank #16, 2014 Projections: 64/8/69/.268/20, Final Numbers: 82/15/74/.273/21
4. Jose Reyes – The great thing about me being wrong on the shortstops is guys even as high as Alcides were widely available in most leagues as late as mid-April. Shoot, I owned at least ten of the top 20 shortstops, including Alcides, on my RCL team and dropped and picked up all of them as late in the year as September. Even Jhonny Peralta, coming in tenth overall, was available the last two weeks of the season in my league. Justin Turner is still available. What does all this mean? You were probably using a hot schmotato at middle infidel or shortstop for most of the year, and that’s okay. Look at me making you feel better about your crizzappy team. Preseason Rank #6, 2014 Projections: 87/13/56/.288/25, Final Numbers: 94/9/51/.287/30
5. Jimmy Rollins – Next year, I suggest Ryne Sandberg bad mouth the whole team that shizz is motivating. Assuming MLB agrees to let all Philly players use a stool at their position when they get too tired of being on their feet. They’re old, y’all! Preseason Rank #12, 2014 Projections: 71/12/57/.249/20, Final Numbers: 78/17/55/.243/28
6. Troy Tulowitzki – Yes, you only have to play three-quarters of the year to be a top 6 shortstop. Shoot, you don’t even have to be a starter to be a top 20 shortstop (Justin Turner). On June 4th, I traded Rafael Soriano, Keuchel, Elvis Andrus and Gerrit Cole for Tulo. Haha, oops! Well, not really. In a 12 team league, which this was, all the guys I traded away were replaceable, which is appropriate since I had to replace Tulo too. I ended up finishing 2nd to Rudy, but that trade had no bearing on my finish. If anything, it helped free me up to pick up Arrieta, Storen, Arismendy and so on. Preseason Rank #2, 2014 Projections: 81/27/92/.305/2, Final Numbers: 71/21/52/.312/1
7. Hanley Ramirez – The funny thing (not funny) Hanley only played in two more games than Tulo. You were better with Tulo for a great 3 months than Hanley for a will-he-or-won’t-he play six months. Well, obvi, since he’s ranked above him here. Preseason Rank #1, 2014 Projections: 87/25/94/.272/18, Final Numbers: 64/13/71/.283/14
8. Alcides Escobar – Someone will skim everything about this post and think it’s my 2015 rankings. That’s okay, let stunods be stunods, as my grandfather says. For some positions, it might look like 2015’s ranking. These shortstops? I don’t know if any of them are gonna line up the same. How do you rank a position where you’re better off just grabbing a guy off waivers? Damn, Grey’s getting all philosophical! And 3rd persony. Preseason Rank #13, 2014 Projections: 64/6/60/.263/32, Final Numbers: 74/3/50/.285/31
9. Erick Aybar – I already mentioned how I dropped Alcides, but I also dropped Aybar. Only I didn’t own him and drop him in the conventional sense. I batty called Aybar. That’s right, the ninth best shortstop was so inconsequential to me that I literally picked him up for one game and dropped him right after. You’re either thinking I’m a moron or Aybar wasn’t that good. You’re right on both counts! I pretty much nailed his preseason projections and ranked him 17th overall. That means there were eight shortstops that I thought would provide value that didn’t. Yes, shizz just got real. Preseason Rank #17, 2014 Projections: 79/6/51/.278/15, Final Numbers: 77/7/68/.278/16
10. Jhonny Peralta – In April, he hit .204 and 6 homers. At that point, you probably figured he was going to have a terrible average all year and you didn’t want it dragging you down, so you dropped him. What you missed out on if you did that was 3 homers per month and a .275 average! Oh, wait, that’s not that great. Preseason Rank #20, 2014 Projections: 61/14/70/.256/4, Final Numbers: 61/21/75/.263/3
11. Danny Santana – Dannys Antana wasn’t called up until May 3rd and at that point, he was a platoon player with Eduardo Escobar and Aaron Hicks. Finally, around June 1st he started to play every day, until June 25th when he went down to injury. At that point, he had 2 homers and 6 steals. So, what does all that mean? He wasn’t even a full-time player until July 18th and he ended up in the top 11. And, let’s face it, even when he was a full-time player, he wasn’t exactly Tulo. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 70/7/40/.319/20
12. Ben Zobrist – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
13. Starlin Castro – I didn’t like Castro in the preseason, gave him what I thought were terrible projections and a not-that-great ranking. Yet, he did worse than my projections and ranking. Patting myself on the back for that isn’t fair, plus it’s not easy because I have short arms. Since he played decent for five months, then got hurt at the beginning of September, you didn’t have him in your lineup being bad, you just dropped him. That means he’s more like the 7th best shortstop with a hot schmotato filling in the final month. Preseason Rank #10, 2014 Projections: 76/12/54/.274/18, Final Numbers: 58/12/65/.292/4
14. Asdrubal Cabrera – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen post.
15. Elvis Andrus – Why the Comatose Rangers Fan hits so close to home is, if I would’ve hit my head in April and conked out until September, I would’ve been the Comatose Rangers Fan. I really expected great things from the Rangers lineup, top to bottom. Choo, Andrus, Rios, Fielder, Beltre…. That’s a recipe for wonderful, right? Well, like a drafty window, I now get the shudders. Preseason Rank #5, 2014 Projections: 93/7/70/.279/34, Final Numbers: 72/2/41/.263/27
16. Brandon Crawford – How bad are the top 20 shortstops? If you gave me the choice of going back to April, with what I know now, and drafting from the 16th through the 20th shortstop, I would not draft Crawford. Preseason Rank #34, 2014 Projections: 48/8/51/.242/2, Final Numbers: 54/10/69/.246/5
17. Jordy Mercer – Is it me or does every shortstop have twenty less runs than I projected them for? (It’s not me.) Preseason Rank #27, 2014 Projections: 71/12/54/.249/5, Final Numbers: 56/12/55/.255/4
18. Justin Turner – Hahahahahahaha… Justin Turner is in the top 20? He never even had a starting job. He was an injury replacement. Sadly, he still did better than Segura. Oh, Segura, how you hurt me soul. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 46/7/43/.340/6
19. Brock Holt – It didn’t hurt Brock Holt that he had thunderbolts going down his spandexed legs. It also didn’t hurt that he hit leadoff for about three months. It didn’t help that he didn’t have a a great manager like Jimmy Hart or Captain Lou. It also didn’t help that he didn’t have any real power or speed. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 68/4/29/.281/12
20. J.J. Hardy – The 20th ranked shortstop last year at the end of the season was Yunel with 61/9/56/.256/4. The year before it was again Yunel with 58/9/51/.253/5. Hardy was actually a tad worse than both of those years because he didn’t have any steals. What does this mean? I long for the days of recapping catchers. Preseason Rank #15, 2014 Projections: 61/23/70/.245/2, Final Numbers: 56/9/52/.268