By Derek of The Sportmeisters
Here we are. After just about two months in the season, I thought I would bust out my pre-season rankings and adjust them a bit to show how right or wrong I am.
1. Hanley Ramirez – Florida Marlins
2. Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
3. Jose Reyes – New York Mets
4. Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
5. Stephen Drew – Arizona Diamondbacks
6. Rafael Furcal – Los Angeles Dodgers
7. J.J. Hardy – Milwaukee Brewers
8. Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
9. Miguel Tejada – Houston Astros
10. Ryan Theriot – Chicago Cubs
11. Orlando Cabrera – Oakland Athletics
12. Jhonny Peralta – Cleveland Indians
13. Yunel Escobar – Atlanta Braves
14. Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals
15. Mike Aviles – Kansas City Royals
1. Jason Bartlett – Tampa Bay Rays
2. Hanley Ramirez – Florida Marlins
3. Derek Jeter – New York Yankees
4. Miguel Tejada – Houston Astros
5. Marco Scutaro – Toronto Blue Jays
6. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
7. Ryan Theriot – Chicago Cubs
8. Yunel Escobar – Atlanta Braves
9. Jerry Hairston Jr – Cincinnati Reds
10. Jose Reyes – New York Mets
11. Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies
12. Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals
13. Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
14. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
15. Edgar Renteria – San Francisco Giants
Wow, what a difference! Let’s go over each player and why I have them ranked so high.
1. Jason Bartlett – Tampa Bay Rays – .373 BA, 32 R, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 14 SB
Too bad he got injured. Bartlett started out red hot and was on pace for 25 home runs, 100 RBI’s, and 50 stolen bases before he went on the DL on May 26th. He should return within the next two weeks and is still on pace for 18 home runs, 80 RBI’s and 35 stolen bases, plus, he plays in a stacked Tampa Bay lineup. Activate him as soon as he comes off the DL.
2. Hanley Ramirez – Florida Marlins – .344 BA, 34 R, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 8 SB
Not what we expected from the first overall pick, but not bad either. Ramirez has been steady in all categories, but we were expecting a bit more. He will eventually start to hit more home runs and steal more bases and is an elite fantasy player, so don’t even think about taking him out of your lineup.
3. Derek Jeter – New York Yankees – .313 BA, 33 R, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 10 SB
Jeter has been better than a lot of people expected. He has hit for his usual average, but has also hit seven home runs and stolen 10 bases, he is currently on pace for 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases, which is better than the 12 and 15 that I predicted. He looks like he is back to being an elite Shortstop, so keep him active, especially hitting in front of A-Rod and Teixeira.
4. Miguel Tejada – Houston Astros – .358 BA, 30 R, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB
This is the Tejada that people remember. He is currently hitting .358, which leads the NL, and has 32 RBI’s. He is currently on pace for 18 home runs and 100 RBI’s, which is better than the 16 and 77 that I predicted. He looks like a must start option from here on out.
5. Marco Scutaro – Toronto Blue Jays – .298 BA, 43 R, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 5 SB
Who? Marco Scutaro? Never heard of him. Well, maybe I have, but he has always been a career backup. He has only had 500 At-Bats once in his career, and that was last year. Toronto as given him his chance and he has responded. He is currently hitting leadoff and has 43 runs scored. He has never hit more than nine home runs in a season, but he should reach at least 12 this year. I don’t think he will continue to be as effective as he is, and I expect he will be lower on my next rankings sheet, but, for now, use him while he’s hot.
6. Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays – .303 BA, 25 R, 10 HR, 32 RBI, 5 SB
Again, Who? Another career backup that has taken advantage of his increase in playing time. He had a career high 12 home runs last year in just 198 At-Bats and he will eclipse that this year as he already has 132 At-Bats and with regular Shortstop Jason Bartlett and Second Baseman Akinori Iwamura out with injuries. He will probably take over the second base job when Bartlett comes back from injury and is on pace for 30 home runs and 95 RBI’s, plus 15 stolen bases. Snag him off the waiver wire if you can and start him with confidence.
7. Ryan Theriot – Chicago Cubs – .283 BA, 29 R, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 7 SB
Ryan “The Riot” Theriot has been pretty solid so far. He has a .283 average with seven stolen bases. He isn’t expected to raise his power numbers, but is on pace for 66 RBI’s and 25 stolen bases. Keep him active due to the lack of depth at the Shortstop position.
8. Yunel Escobar – Atlanta Braves – .295 BA, 27 R, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 2 SB
This ranking depends on his hip. Right now, Escobar is a steady shortstop. However, there is talk of season ending hip surgery, as his hip has been an ongoing problemcausing him to miss six games last week. If he gets healthy, he is a steady fantasy player, capable of 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases to go along with a .300 batting average. Watch his situation closely, if you own him.
9. Jerry Hairston Jr – Cincinnati Reds – .267 BA, 32 R, 7 HR, 17 RBI, 4 SB
Hairston has been a utility man for Cincinnati this year. He has played Shortstop, Third Base, Second Base, and all three Outfield positions. The multiple position eligibility makes him very valuable. He is having a decent year with 32 runs scored and 17 RBI’s. He has three home runs in his last eight games and is on pace for 20 home runs, 55 RBI’s, and 12 stolen bases. Activate him if you have him.
10. Jose Reyes – New York Mets – .279 BA, 18 R, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 11 SB
So far, Reyes has been a bust of a first round pick. With only two home runs and 11 stolen bases, Reyes has been on the DL since May 22nd and has recently suffered a setback in his rehab, possibly holding him out at least another week, if not more. If he comes back healthy, he is still a must start due to his lightning speed and power potential.
11. Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies – .229 BA, 33 R, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 10 SB
Another early season, early round bust. Rollins has been terrible, only hitting .229 with three home runs and 18 RBI’s. However, he has scored 33 runs and stolen 10 bases. He will eventually turn it around and remains a must start as an elite fantasy Shortstop.
12. Christian Guzman – Washington Nationals – .327 BA, 29 R, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB
Guzman has been as steady as they come for what you expected from him. You knew he wasn’t going to get you home runs or RBI’s or even stolen bases. However, you also knew he would hit in the .320 range. If you own him, don’t expect more than 10 home runs or 10 stolen bases, but keep him active for his batting average.
13. Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox – .249 BA, 17 R, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 9 SB
My preseason rankings had him at Second Base, but he was then moved to everyday Shortstop. He hasn’t responded well. He was an early round pick due to the lack of depth and has responded with a .249 batting average and only three home runs. However, he has been better lately, hitting .281 in May. He will eventually turn it around and you should keep him active, but watch out for the permanent sophomore slump.
14. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers – .285 BA, 24 R, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 9 SB
Andrus has been pretty good in his Rookie season so far. He is in a very potent lineup and should continue to hit for average and could steal 30 bases. If you own him keep him active, but watch out for the possibility of a rookie slide.
15. Edgar Renteria – San Francisco Giants – .245 BA, 21 R, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 3 SB
Looks like the age is starting to show. Renteria used to be an elite fantasy Shortstop, but now should only be a backup, if being owned at all. He is only on pace for about 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases, so if you have him only use him if you don’t have a better option.
There are my rankings for the Shortstop position after the first two months. Any arguments or questions, feel free to email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.