Other than catcher, shortstop is the thinnest position in fantasy baseball. Only a hand-full of shortstops ranked in the top 100 in 2010 and once the first few are off the board in 2011, there will be question marks abound.
3. Jose Reyes - There were injury question marks before the 2010 season, but Reyes started the season healthy. He did suffer from a few different injuries throughout the season, which held his overall numbers down. Since stolen bases are such a huge part of Reye’s value, we’ll have to keep a close eye on his health reports this offseason. The potential for a 15/40 season ensures that his draft stock will remain relatively high in 2011.
4. Alexei Ramirez – Ramirez continues to practice little patience at the plate, but in 2010 he started to strike the ball better as the season went along. His line drive rates and power numbers dramatically improved from June on. He was also 11 for 13 in stolen bases from July on after being only 2 for 8 from April through June. His 20/15 potential at a weak position gives his value a huge boost over much of the shortstop field.
5. Jimmy Rollins – For two straight seasons, Rollins has failed to really get going at the plate. His 2009 numbers could be somewhat explained by a low BABIP and this past season injuries may have played a big role. The good news was that, despite the injuries, Rollins continued to steal bases efficiently (17 steals in 18 attempts). There are numerous question marks for Rollins going into the 2011 season, but the lack of depth at the shortstop position allows him to maintain a high ranking.
6. Elvis Andrus – Andrus started the season on fire hitting for a high AVG while stealing 18 bases by June. However, from June to the end of the season, Andrus only stole 14 more bases and saw his AVG drop down to .265. It wasn’t that Andrus stopped attempting stolen bases, he just got caught more often. His success rate fell from 85 percent in 2009 to a poor 68 percent in 2010. Keep in mind that Andrus is only 22 years old and there is a good chance he learns from his mistakes for better 2011 production.
7. Derek Jeter - The Yankee captain couldn’t provide his typical offensive help in 2010 and there are clear signs that his age is starting to catch up with him. The regression in BB/K rate is telling and his stolen base total fell from 30 to 18. Jeter will be 36/37 in 2011, so approach him in caution on draft day.
8. Stephen Drew – While Drew has not been able to live up to his 2008 numbers, his second half in 2010 gives us hope for an improved 2011. Drew hit .281/.356/.506 with 11 of his 15 home runs post all-star break.
9. Mike Aviles- I think Aviles has proven that he can flat-out hit. His BABIP may look a bit high (.327), but his line drive/ground ball approach with some speed makes that BABIP somewhat reasonable. His ability to hit for gap power (27 XHB in 424 AB’s) also bodes well for his 2011 projection…assuming the Royals find a way to play him everyday of course.
10. Ian Desmond – A slow start to the season dampened his overall numbers, but Desmond improved as the year went on. Post all-star break, Desmond hit .283/.320/.390 with four home runs and nine stolen bases. The potential for a 15/20 season is well withing reach, but a poor plate approach should hold his AVG/OBP down.
Rafael Furcal – Injury issues too much to overcome solid numbers when healthy.