The 2014 Fantasy shortstop rankings are quite different than they were about 10 or so years ago, when players like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Miguel Tejada were fighting for the top spot.
Shortstop is a position which has long been considered scarce. Don’t get me wrong — it is still scarce, but some nice young players are developing, making the player pool deeper.
No longer will you have the top five to choose from and then throw darts, as you hope for the best the rest of the way. I am not saying it isn’t a concern, but there are younger, riskier options, with plenty of upside this year who could help some teams willing to wait and take the risk.
2014 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings
(*denotes players who may be eligible for multiple positions in 2014)
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2014 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings: Alphabetical Analysis
Elvis Andrus, Texas: Andrus’ average and OBP dipped a tad in 2013, but his counting stats remained stable, except for one. Andrus was cut loose on the base-paths last season after a disappointing 2012 and doubled his stolen base totals. No reason to see a dramatic change this year with a potent lineup surrounding him.
Erick Aybar, L.A. Angels: Stumbled last season, and disappointed some owners. He needs to improve his OBP and make some noise on the base paths this season to remain a top 20 shortstop going forward. He doesn’t supply enough power, or average to make up for his speed.
Xander Bogaerts, Boston: Xander got the call late in the season and did not disappoint. He didn’t look overwhelmed in the World Series, and there is no reason to doubt continued and improved performance in 2014. If you are in a deep league, or dynasty league, Bogaerts needs to be on your radar. Solid average, modest power and amazing ceiling.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland: Still a sneaky power bat, but his plate discipline, batting average, and RBI all took a hit again last season. I don’t trust him to turn things around just yet, making him a power reach alone this season.
Everth Cabrera, San Diego: Elite speed, and even with his suspension almost stole 40 bases in 2013. No one knows for sure, but his numbers may decline post-suspension, but if you need speed and you missed the top targets, you could do much worse. He actually showed more plate discipline in 2013, which is a positive sign.
Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs: Let’s just forget about 2013 shall we? Or at least, let’s hope Starlin does. He struck out more, stole fewer bases, and regressed by almost 40 points in his batting average. He is only 23, however, and his skill set is too good not to rebound. I am buying.
Zack Cozart, Cincinnati: He has plenty of speed, but doesn’t seem inclined to use it. A plummeting batting average to go along with an OPS that is slipping. He can hit 10-plus homers, but that is really about it. I would be uneasy if he were my starting shortstop.
Ian Desmond, Washington: He struggled slightly late last season, but still produced 20 home runs and 20 steals. The Nationals offense should bounce back, so regression or not, I want Desmond on my team.
Stephen Drew, Free Agent: He is on the downside of his career, still has 10-plus home run power, and potential for solid numbers depending what team he signs with. I wouldn’t be overjoyed to have him as my starter, but as a MI/bench player, sure.
Alcides Escobar, Kansas City: Decent speed and a .250 average paired with 60-plus runs/RBI make him serviceable, but better suited for a bench role in Fantasy.
Didi Gregorious, Arizona: Healthy batting average with growing power makes this youngster a nice late-round target. He isn’t known for speed, but could develop into a top 10 shortstop this season with full-time opportunity.
J.J. Hardy, Baltimore: What’s not to love about a shortstop with 20-plus HR power, .260 average and greatly reduced K rate? Not very much. Streaky, but power usually makes up for that.
Adeiny Hechavarria, Miami: He really should only be considered in very deep leagues, dynasty or NL-only formats. Some speed, and a little bit of pop, but that’s about it.
Jose Iglesias, Detroit: Another deep league, dynasty, or AL-only consideration. He won’t produce much in the counting categories, but he will not hurt you either.
Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees: Could be a .300 average, and double-digit home run player in what is likely his final season. Serviceable, but don’t overspend for the name this season.
Jed Lowrie, Oakland: A nice OPS and decent pop. Concerns are his health, and make sure he is eligible for second base in your league. I like him in Oakland’s lineup.
Jordy Mercer, Pittsburgh: Solid hitter who forced himself into playtime in the majors last season. Has no speed, but could provide double-digit power with a full season as a starter.
Brad Miller, Seattle: (Sneaky Value pick) Miller arrived to the majors last season and brought his .270 batting average and .333 OBP with him. He has speed to kill and with a full season, I can easily see a top-10 performance from Miller. Great value pick, without too much risk.
Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis: Another Biogenesis culprit, who ended up landing a big contract in St. Louis this season. He provides a .240 average (although, he hit .300 before a suspension in ’13), and he should provide 12-plus HR, and 65-plus Runs/RBI. Should still have top-20 value,, but with suspension and age there is no knowing for certain.
Jurickson Profar, Texas: He will be Texas’ second basemen with the Ian Kinsler trade to Detroit. Exciting right? Sky is the limit. Don’t expect the world yet, but you could do worse. In dynasty and keeper leagues, he should be ranked much higher.
Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox: Ramirez saw another season like normal, but with a few sweeteners. He kept his 270 average, but lost some power numbers. He also took advantage of his freedom on the base paths and swiped 30 bases. Could still get to double-digit HRs and steal 20-plus bases again. Combined with his .270 average, not too shabby.
Hanley Ramirez, L.A. Dodgers: WOW! That is what most fans were saying as they witnessed Hanley’s second half. He ended the season with a .345 average, 20 home runs, and 10 stolen bases in only 304 at bats. Is he likely to repeat? Who knows? Is he the No. 1 shortstop? Not without a little risk, but he will be taken in Rounds 1 or 2 this spring. If he can stay healthy — look out.
Jose Reyes, Toronto: Lost time with an ankle injury in 2013. He did, however, gain in power categories, and maintained a near .300 average with .330 OBP. If healthy most of this season, he could swipe 25-plus bases and hit double-digit home runs in Toronto.
Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia: Jimmy still could be a top 15 shortstop, if not a top 10 option. He actually defied odds remaining healthy all season in 2013, considering his age. His power numbers dipped, which hurt his value significantly. His .250 average isn’t ideal, and with stolen bases being his only true asset, Rollins is a riskier shortstop this season.
Jean Segura, Milwaukee: What was not to love about Segura last season? Well, maybe just his first half, but still, phenomenal output for the youngster. I like him in dynasty and keeper leagues, but in re-draft leagues, I would proceed with caution. He may have worn down in the second half, or maybe he just fell back to the norm. No way of knowing until this season. Feel free to pay, but don’t overspend.
Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta: He seems to be developing before our eyes. His second half was very good, and if he can somehow trust his elite speed, he could become a reliable four-category shortstop with 20/20 potential for years to come. Another sneaky value pick.
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado: Injury concern aside — and it is a legitimate concern — he can still mash. He hits for around .300 average, .380 OBP and .900 OPS. Elite numbers, without a doubt, even without steals. If you buy into Tulo, that’s great. Just make sure you snag a solid backup.
Jonathan Villar, Houston: Strictly a speedster who gets on base because of his ability to take pitches. If his power eventually follows from the minors, he could become even more valuable. Draft him for his 40-plus steal potential only.
Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay: In Rotisserie leagues, he could be ranked higher for his ability to fill five categories. Great utility player, with multi-position eligibility. Consistent as they come. May be slowing down and losing some power, but still valuable.
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Thanks again for reading. Make sure to keep checking in to DavidGonos.com and follow the rest of our positional rankings. The Fantasy Baseball 30-for-30 series is underway too, with a Fantasy preview for all 30 MLB teams. Plenty to read, study and stay toasty this offseason.