Shortstop ADP tells a pretty complete story. There are two no-doubt top five overall picks. After that there are three others worthy of top 50 consideration.
Next there are clear round-long gaps from player to player, showing little fluctuation early in 2011.
What is the moral of this story? If you don’t get a top-six shortstop, focus on other positions until after the 12th round. And don’t expect much when you do pull the trigger.
Jzak’s top 5 shortstops follow ADP, but there are some differences later in his 2011 SS rankings.
2011 ADP Top 20 shortstop rankings
(Recent ADP in parentheses)
1. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins (2.11): A 30-30 player at the weakest position in fantasy baseball.
2. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (4.91): If he can stay healthy he will be in Han-Ram’s class
3. Jose Reyes, Mets (28.49): His season last year was a little under the radar. Barring an injury, he’ll be a top-20 player in 2012.
4. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies (40.61): His skill set is not going to age well and he is already on the decline. If this position was a little deeper, he’d be available later.
5. Derek Jeter, Yankees (47.57): The opposite of Rollins, Jeter’s skills will not decline as abruptly with age. His average should bounce back, making him an above average option at SS.
6. Elvis Andrus, Rangers (71.37): The ADP gap between Andrus and Jeter is about 24 picks. That represents a huge drop in expected talent. Andrus has more upside, but could be disastrous for your average.
7. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox (101.21): Another huge gap, this time about 30-picks wide. Think about your expectations for the last three players, compare them to Ramirez and you’ll see why.
8. Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks (123.30): At a position this shallow, it’s worth taking a 12th-round chance on a 28-year-old former top prospect who has shown he’s capable of 91-21-67-10-.291 in different seasons.
9. Rafael Furcal, Dodgers (142.81): Age is a concern considering his speed skillset, but in the 14th-15th round, there’s not a lot of risk. Don’t overpay and hope he can stay healthy enough to give you 2009 at-bats with the stolen base opportunities he got in 2010.
10. Alex Gonzalez, Braves (154.51): At 34 a decline is more likely than continued improvement in HR/FB. There are better options below that won’t cut up your BA.
11. Starlin Castro, Cubs (159.85): Let’s not count on power, but .300 with 20 steals is possible.
12. Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians (167.32): He missed two months last year with a broken arm, so don’t expect what little power he had to return this season. Unless you get him at a serious discount, look elsewhere in standard mixed-league formats.
13. Ian Desmond, Nationals (179.28): I wouldn’t feel bad about starting him in a 10-team league either as an MI or as a 2B. Good value.
14. Marco Scutaro, Red Sox (218.49): A 35-year-old who will get you 10 homers and a spicy .275 average. These people are horrible at mocking.
15. Miguel Tejada, Giants (232.56): These mockers are apparently living in 2006.
16. Ryan Theriot, Cardinals (251.05): If his speed and batting average continue to decline, he gives you no value.
17. Jhonny Peralta, Tigers (312.52): Always a chance for 20 homers and 80 RBI. At age 28 he’s in the middle of his prime and this is a low-risk spot in your draft.
18. Jason Bartlett, Padres (338.67): I wouldn’t own Jason Bartlett, but at this point in the draft, look back to his lucky 2009 season when he went 90-14-66-30-.290. Knock a few digits off there and that’s not bad for a MI/UTIL this late.
19. Orlando Cabrera, Indians (338.94): Don’t own Cabrera. If you are still trying to fill SS at this point, look at Escobar (No. 20) or some of the other players with upside below.
20. Alcides Escobar, Royals (352.08): No way a dude goes from 28 steals to 37 steals to 10 steals in consecutive seasons with more than 500 at-bats. Last season, Escobar’s OBP was down significantly. His BABIP shows a bit of unluck, so expect him SB OPPs to increase.
Other shortstops of note: Erick Aybar, Angels; Reid Brignac, Rays; J.J. Hardy, Orioles; Cliff Pennington, Athletics; Yunel Escobar, Blue Jays; Yuniesky Betancourt, Brewers; Jed Lowrie, Red Sox.