MLB's Short and Sweet: Troy Tulowitzki and the Top 10 Shortstops in the Game
In 2010, Troy Tulowitzki put up monster numbers for a shortstop. He showed tremendous power and led shortstops around the league in the majority of statistical categories. Last season, Tulowitzki was not the only shortstop who had a very successful year. Let's now take a look at the top ten shortstops in Major League Baseball.
15. Asdrubal Cabrera
14. Johnny Peralta
13. Miguel Tejada
12. Rafael Furcal
11. Cliff Pennington
10. Ian Desmond
Ian Desmond starts off our top ten. Last season for Washington, Desmond hit .269 and drove in 65 runs. In his first full season as the Nationals shortstop, he cracked 10 home runs and stole 17 bases. Although he produced at the plate, he led the entire league by committing 34 errors. Even though he led the league in errors, he led all National League shortstops with 221 putouts. After his first full season in the bigs, look for Desmond to have an even stronger sophomore campaign.
9. Stephen Drew
Stephen Drew holds the number nine spot. The Diamondbacks' shortstop hit .278 last season and drove in 61 runs. Drew has very good power for a shortstop. Last season he hit 15 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .458. Last year Drew only committed 10 errors and held a fielding percentage of .984. After five seasons in the majors, look for Drew to continue being a consistent shortstop for Arizona.
8. Elvis Andrus
After two full seasons as a professional ball player, Texas Rangers shortstop Evils Andrus has proven that he is top ten caliber at the position. Andrus holds the number 8 spot. After being the runner up in American League Rookie of the Year voting, Andrus came back in 2010 and was voted an All-Star. However, his sophomore numbers did not exceed his rookie stats. In 2010, Andrus hit .265 and gathered 165 hits. Andrus went homer-less in 2010, but he did drive in 35 runs. Andrus holds the eight spot because he is absolutely deadly on the base paths. Andrus stole 32 bases in 2010, tying him for first for stolen bases by a shortstop.
7. Starlin Castro
The 20 year-old Cubs' shortstop holds the number seven spot. In his rookie season with Chicago, Castro played in 125 games. He hit an even .300 and hit a home run in his first at bat with the Northsiders. Castro finished the year with only three home runs, but he ended up driving in 41 runs. Castro stole eight bases and finished with a slugging percentage of .408. At 20 years of age, Castro was the youngest player in the national league last season. Castro struggled a bit in the field, he committed 27 errors, which was the second highest in the national league. Now that he will be starting his second year in the major leagues, expect the youngster to get rid of the rookie jitters and become a star for the Chicago Cubs.
6. Jimmy Rollins
The number six spot goes to Phillies superstar Jimmy Rollins. Rollins started his career in 2000 with the Philadelphia Phillies. The 2011 season will be his twelfth season in the City of Brotherly Love. The three-time All-Star has emerged as one of the top shortstops in the game and has become a league-wide star. Due to a strained calf in 2010, Rollins only played in 87 games. He hit a career low .243 and drove in only 41 runs. The 2007 National League MVP hit eight home runs last season and stole 17 bases. Look for a healthy Jimmy Rollins to become the threat that he once was on the base paths and have a much stronger season in 2011.
5. Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes is the fifth best shortstop in the league. Reyes missed spring training and the beginning of last season due to a hyperactive thyroid gland. When he returned, he came back ready to go. Reyes hit 11 home runs and drove in 54 runs in 2010. Reyes collected 159 hits and was still the threat on the base path and stole 30 bases for the New York Mets. Last season, Jose was elected to his third All-Star game but had to miss it due to injury. Reyes looks to be healthy in 2011, so look for the speedster to continue being one of the leagues top shortstops.
4. Alexei Ramirez
Alexei Ramirez holds the four spot on the countdown. The 2010 season was his third season in the league, and he missed only six games. Ramirez has everything. He hits for contact, he has tons of power, and he has speed. Ramirez batted .282 last season and hit 18 home runs. He has the second most hits with 165 for all the shortstops in the major leagues. Alexei also stole 18 bases. Last season, the 29 year-old won the Silver Slugger award for the best hitting shortstop in the American League. Coming into his fourth season with the White Sox, expect Ramirez to have another strong year for the Southsiders.
3. Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter is going to go down in history as one of the greatest players to have play the shortstop position. The 1996 American League Rookie of the Year has been with New York for 16 seasons, and at 36 years old, he is still doing it big. The eleven-time All-Star led all shortstops last season with 179. Jeter hit 10 home runs and drove in 67 runs for New York. Derek Jeter also led the league in plate appearances. Last season, Jeter registered a career low .270 batting average. Jeter made up for the low offensive numbers in the field. The five-time Gold Glove winner committed a league lowest six errors at shortstop. Jeter also had the best fielding percentage, .989, of all shortstops in the MLB. Derek Jeter is one of the best postseason performers in the history of the game. He has led the Yankees to the playoffs 14 times. Look for Jeter to once again lead the Yankees to the playoffs.
2. Hanley Ramirez
Hanley Ramirez made a strong case for being the league's best shortstop, but it wasn't enough. Hanley Ramirez is 27 years-old and already one of the best hitters in the game. The three-time All-Star is the best player on the Florida Marlins. After ending the season early last season due to injury, Ramirez finished batting .300, hit 21 home runs, and drove in 76 RBI's. Ramirez finished 2010 with a .408 slugging percentage. Ramirez is one of the fastest players in the game, he showed this by stealing 32 bases. The Super Star for the Marlins will once again be one of the league's best hitters in 2011.
1. Troy Tulowitzki
Not only is Troy Tulowitzki the best shortstop in the league, he is arguably one of the best players in the league. The Rockies just signed Troy to a six-year contract extension, so Tulowitzki will be a star in Colorado for many more years. In 2010, Tulo hit .315 and drove in 95 runs. He also showed great power by hitting 27 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .568. Tulowitzki led shortstops around the league in home runs, runs batted in, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. The 26 year-old was elected to his first All-Star game last summer and will be playing in many more mid-summer classics in years to come.