The B/R MLB 500 series has taken care of the guys on the right side of the diamond. Now it's time to move over to the left side, starting with the most demanding position on the infield: shortstop.
The shortstop position tends to be a place where you find some of the best all-around players in the game, and it's also the most important defensive position on the diamond outside of catcher. As such, coming up with a fitting scoring system presented some challenges.
But here's what we eventually came up with: 20 points for hitting; 20 points for power; 20 points for baserunning; a whopping 30 points for defense; and, like with all other players, 10 points for health. Add it all up, and you get 100 points.
As always, hitting entails more than just what happens after the ball leaves the bat. Results do count for something, but so does the process. Each player's approach will be taken into account.
Power is less complicated, but results will be taken into account just as much as scouting reports. A player may have tremendous natural power, but his score will be lowered if he has a hard time making it show up in games.
For baserunning, it's all about whether a guy can steal bases and how well and whether or not he can get around the bases better (or worse) than the average player.
Defense is also simple. How well can a guy do the things shortstops are supposed to do, and can he do anything extra?
For hitting, power, baserunning and defense, keep the following in mind: A score that's, say, 10 out of 20 is not a failing score. That's an "average" score. Anything better is above average. Anything below is below average.
As for health, that's basically 10 free points unless there's a reason(s) to dock points. The scoring is subjective, but the general rule of thumb is that a player is only getting fewer than five points if he has a potentially career-altering injury.
Lastly, here's a reminder that the whole idea is to round up guys we'd want on a team in 2014. That means top prospects who could potentially make an impact are in play, and they may be ranked higher than you think. And if there are any ties, the edge goes to the player we'd rather have.
That's all there is to it, so let's cut this intro short and get to talking about shortstops.
Note: All prospect write-ups/scores were created by B/R's MLB Prospects Lead Writer, Mike Rosenbaum.