Here’s a look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ shortstop rankings for AL-only fantasy baseball leagues.
1. Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Reyes was limited to 96 games, but he hit .296 with 58 runs, 10 home runs, 37 RBI and 15 stolen bases. If he can stay healthy, he will give you a big boost in runs, average and stolen bases.
2. Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
Elvis Andrus hit .271 with 91 runs, 67 RBI and 42 stolen bases. In five seasons, he’s averaging 86.4 runs and 33 stolen bases. The additions of Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder should keep the Rangers offense humming. Look for Andrus to set the table.
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians
Asdrubal Cabrera hit just .242 last year, but the .273 lifetime hitter is a solid bet to get on track. Over the past three years, he’s averaged .263 with 74.3 runs, 18.3 home runs, 74.7 RBI and 11.7 stolen bases.
4. Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays
Ben Zobrist is another guy with added versatility, as he is also eligible at second base and outfield. He posted a .275-77-12-71-11 line. He doesn’t excel in any one category, but he’s solid across the board.
5. J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles
J.J. Hardy is a solid option if you can sacrifice batting average for power. He has hit .256 over the past three seasons while averaging 75.7 runs, 25.7 home runs and 74.7 RBI.
6. Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
After averaging 17.3 home runs in his first four seasons, Alexei Ramirez has hit just 15 over the past two. While his power has waned, he has made up for it by averaging 25 stolen bases over the past two seasons. He should provide decent numbers across the board. His career average is a .277-71-14-68-16 line.
7. Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals
Alcides Escobar is pretty much a one-category performer. Over the past three years, he has hit .260 with an average of 64.7 runs, 4.3 HRs and 50 RBI. He gives you speed, though, as he averaged 27.7 stolen bases during that stretch.
8. Jed Lowrie, Oakland A’s
Jed Lowrie has eligibility at shortstop and second base, which helps his value. He had a .290-80-15-75-1 line last year. He’s a .264 career hitter, though, so regression in his batting average is likely.
9. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
Xander Bogaerts should have eligibility at both shortstop and third base, which gives him added value. He hit just .250 with seven runs, one home run, five RBI and one stolen base in 18 regular-season games but stepped up his game in the playoffs. Bogaerts hit .296 with nine runs in 12 games en route to a World Series title. In Boston’s potent lineup for a full year, Bogaerts should have a solid year.
10. Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar hit .271 with 68 runs, six home runs, 54 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He doesn’t offer much power, but over the past five seasons, he’s averaged a .280-69-7-49-20 line. He should give you a solid batting average and stolen base total.
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