“Foster Your Roster” – 2013 MLFB SS Ranks
Updated on 3/22/13, after Hanley’s injury news:
Shortstop is an interesting position this season. Once you get past Rollins at number six, you really need to look at team need during your draft. Some players will offer stolen bases without much else, compared to others who may contribute moderately, but in more categories.
- Troy Tulowitzki: Everyone is aware of his potential if he plays a full season. I would take him in the second round, but I would probably also make a SS my first reserve pick; similar to handcuffing an RB in football.
- Jose Reyes: If the turf doesn’t cause leg injuries, it should help turn more ground balls into base hits. Plus, according to ESPN, Marlin’s park ranked 26th for HRs, and Toronto was 15th last season. Therefore, if he can avoid a long league adjustment period, he should put up 15 HRs.
- Starlin Castro: We haven’t seen his best season yet, and with moderate stat increases he’ll be one of the elite.
- Ben Zobrist: He gives you solid production in all categories, with the added bonus of position flexibility.
- Ian Desmond: His strikeout and walk percentages are a concern since they haven’t shown improvement. In spite of that, he still has the potential to improve, since he tallied multiple career highs in only 130 games. Even if he declines slightly, he will still provide value.
- Jimmy Rollins: He had a good season in 2012, and he’ll likely contribute this season too. At age 34, however, his decline can’t be far off. I’d rather bail on a player a season early, than have him on my roster during his decline.
- Elvis Andrus: He’ll steal bases, score runs, and hit for an adequate average.
- Asdrubal Cabrera: Expectations for Cabrera should be closer to 2012 than 2011. That’s not a negative, though. He’s a well rounded contributor.
- Hanley Ramirez: He was my top SS prior to his injury, but now you have to wait for him to come back and deal with a replacement. Plus, you don’t know if there will be any lingering effects from the injury. If the recover time is quick though, he can still help a lot once he starts playing.
- Josh Rutledge: He’ll play second base with Tulowitzki coming back, but still qualifies at SS. Based on his minor league numbers and last season, 15/15 is a reasonable expectation.
- Danny Espinosa: If you can make up for the low average, guessing .250-ish, take him. He’s been close to 20/20 for two years in a row and is only 25, so he should keep improving. As an added bonus, he’s eligible at SS.
- Alcides Escobar: Based on his BABIP, the second half of 2012, in which he had a .279 AVG, seems like a safe bet. Despite his lower second half AVG, he still had 22 SBs in that same half season.
- JJ Hardy: He’ll likely improve over his disappointing 2012, but your roster has to be constructed the right way to have him as a part of it. You’ll need to get SBs from other places, and be able to handle the AVG risk.
- Erik Aybar: Since 2009 his stats have been fairly consistent without much improvement, but the Angels should score plenty of runs.
- Derek Jeter: He was better than most thought in 2012. In 2013 I expect a high AVG, on the line of double digit HRs/RBIs and a good amount of Runs scored.
- Marco Scutaro: He doesn’t excel in any single area, but he’s stable enough not to hurt you. Consider him a solid reserve with eligibility at both middle infield spots, or a starter if you’re strong at other positions and want to avoid risk.
- Alexei Ramirez: At this point you know what he is: an AVG between .260-.280 with double digit HRs and SBs. At age 31, the breakout some expected when he defected is never going to happen.
- Andrelton Simmons: He’s an unknown at the major league level, but his potential makes him a worthwhile late option.
- Johnny Peralta: His BABIP dropped .50 from the previous season. Assuming he isn’t suspended, he should be able to split the difference and hit around .260, with about 15 HRs.
- Zack Cozart: An improvement to his AVG and a lower spot in the order would improve his all around numbers, but neither of those are guaranteed.
- Jed Lowrie: With 16 HRs in 97 games, he started to show some potential. Moving from HOU to OAK will suppress some of that power, however, and he’s never played over 100 games in a season.
- Yunel Escobar: He doesn’t provide anything to get excited about, but he does appear to have a starting job.
- Evereth Cabrera: Late option if you’re desperate for SBs.
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