ShortStop: Re-Ranking the Top 10
2) Ian Desmond (Was) – Desmond is having a fantastic season so far with a .285 average, .316 OBP
(not very good), and an excellent .515 slugging which gives him an .830 OPS. He also has 17 homeruns
and 51 RBI as well as 11 SB. I was skeptical at first that he could keep up this pace for another half of
a season, but I started to breakdown his numbers monthly, and his numbers have gradually gotten
better each month. I don’t think he’s getting lucky either, since his BAbip is .313 for the season. The
power is also legit and I would expect him to finish the year with another 12-15 homeruns. Even
if his numbers were to roughly be anywhere between his May and June numbers, which would be
around .290/.315/.525, you’ll be very happy. The only reason I have him ranked #2 is because Cabrera
SLGI just Cabrera a little bit more, oh and Cabrera won’t hurt you in OBP.
3) Starlin Castro (CHC) – Castro is on pace to set a career high in homeruns, triples, RBI, and SB, and
because of that, he is becoming an elite fantasy player at his position. I was extremely high on Castro
heading into the season, and he hasn’t let me down. If you are in a heavy OBP league, then you can
knock him down a peg or two because that’s the only area of concern. As of right now his OBP is .314,
this after coming off two seasons of having OBP’s of .347 and .341. Castro is on his way to becoming one
of the best fantasy players in all of baseball in another year or two.
4) Jose Reyes (Mia) – Reyes’ numbers are down this year, but I will attribute that to his slow start in
April in which he hit .220/.293/.341. Was this Reyes just getting adjusted to the new stadium in Miami?
Was he just unlucky? Well, his .243 BAbip would indicate the latter. In May and June he posted a .313
and .318 BAbip respectfully which also saw a spike in his numbers, more Reyes-like numbers. Reyes
didn’t start hitting well until the middle of May. I expect Reyes to have numbers in the second half
of the season that mirror more his June numbers (.283/.350/.472) than his April numbers, although
the slugging won’t be nearly as high as his June’s .472. And understand he won’t be hitting a lot of
homeruns. Still, Reyes will be a top end fantasy SS the rest of the way.
5) Elvis Andrus (Tex) – Andrus has taken major strides each year since his rookie campaign in 2009
(although 2010 he fell into that sophomore slump). Once again his numbers have improved and he is
showcasing his talents of why he is considered one of the best young players in the game. Andrus will fill
up the stat sheet in doubles, triples, and SB in the 2nd half, and he may even get another 30 RBI and his
overall numbers of .293/.368/.393 will remain steady. The only stat Andrus will not provide your team
is homeruns, which obviously affects his SLG and OPS. But he will continue to filling up all the other
categories in the 2nd half.
6) Hanley Ramirez (Mia) – I am listing Hanley on this list because I’m certain he qualifies as a SS in
your fantasy league. I’m beginning to believe the days of Hanley hitting .300 are gone, and will now be
roughly a .250 hitter, which affects his ranking. Over the course of his career, Hanley’s power numbers
have been better in the 2nd half of the season, which should net him approx 25-28 total HRs on the
season (currently sitting at 12). Still, Ramirez is a solid play at SS.
7) Derek Jeter (NYY) – Jeter once again is putting together a very solid season. And unlike most of the
other players on this list, he got off to scorching start in April hitting .389/.433/.579 in 22 games with 4
homeruns and 13 RBI. He has cooled off since (only to get hot again in July before the break). Historically
Jeter puts up roughly the same the numbers (slightly better) in the first and second half of the season,
so I’d expect the same. I believe he will hit around .300 with a .350 OBP and slug right around .390 the
rest of the way. Add in a few stolen bases and a couple homeruns and now Jeter looks more attractive
as a fantasy SS.
8) Trevor Plouffe (Min) – Plouffe has been one of the biggest surprises of the first half of the season,
coming on like gang busters about 6 weeks ago. Many owners left him on the waiver wire because they
didn’t believe in him, then quickly he became the hottest pick up once he went on a homerun tear. I
also wrote about him in my Buy & Sell column to scoop him up right away and ride the hot hand. Plouffe
went off in June hitting 11 homeruns and driving in 21 while slugging an insane .735. Please, I hope you
do not expect him to do that again. I have him this low because I am very skeptical he will continue to
produce the way he has been because in all the years in the minors, the most homeruns he ever hit in
a season was 15. I just expect a drop in production, but still worthy as your starting SS the rest of the
9) Jimmy Rollins (Phi) – Let’s face it, Rollins isn’t the player he use to be, but he is still productive and
useful and worthy to be starting on your fantasy team. The batting average will remain in the .250-.260
range, but he still has enough pop to slug around .410 with approximately 8-10 more homeruns in the
second half. Ryan Howard is also returning to the lineup, so hopefully that can help his stats out some.
Not elite anymore, but still quietly productive.
10) Troy Tulowitzki (Col) – Look, we all know that Tulo is one of the premier fantasy baseball players,
and if he were healthy, he’d probably be #1. But there is uncertainty of exactly how long he’ll be out,
and if you are in a head-to-head league with playoffs, it could mean he can be out for the majority of the
rest of your regular season. I can’t just leave him off this list though because his reward is too good to