Ranking the Top 20 shortstops in fantasy baseball for 2010

Shortstop is scarce. That doesn’t mean you should freak out and reach for a Top 5.

If you have to settle for a Bottom-15, it’s not awful. Just be prepared to do some work if the pick doesn’t pan out.

These rankings are ADP-based. Comments determine if the ADP is sane or nuts. Projections do their best to throw a wrench in the whole thing from time to time, but typically reflect the comments.

1. Hanley Ramirez – This is the top tier. If you are considered for the top pick in fantasy baseball and nobody else at your position isn’t even in the top 10, you get your own tier. Find his projections in the Top 10 for 2010.

2. Troy Tulowitzki – Tulo starts a new two-deep tier. Projections in the Top 20 for 2010.

3. Jimmy Rollins – Projections and discussion in the Top 20 for 2010.

4. Jose Reyes – This is a new tier, because of his status, Reyes stands alone in it. Ready to bounce back until his thyroid had something to say about it. Might miss two weeks, might miss eight. Temper expectations, but if Reues falls far enough from this spot he could be a value. These projections are a little optimistic considering he could miss the first month of the season. Projections: 90/10/50/40/.290

5. Derek Jeter – Another new, 1-man tier. You’re drafting question marks the rest of the way at this position. Jeter’s only question is his age. But at age 35, he had one of his best years across the board. He won’t repeat but he has the kinds of skills that will age gracefully. Projections: 100/15/70/20/.310

6. Jason Bartlett – Bartlett begins a massive tier that rolls all the way to Yunel. You shouldn’t feel bad about owning anybody in this tier, but fist pumps are not an option either. Yes, Bartlett is batting leadoff for the Rays, but his success against righthanders last year at age 31 is fluky compared to the rest of his career. Luckily shortstop is shallow. Projections: 75/10/55/25/.290

7. Alexei Ramirez – What a disappointment in 2009. Reigned in for 2010. Projections: 70/20/75/10/.280

8. Stephen Drew – That 2008 season — 91/21/67/.291 with 44 doubles — was so promising, but it feels like it was so long ago. Projections: 75/15/70/5/.275

9. Rafael Furcal – He’s health right now. In other news, that won’t last long. Projections: 85/10/50/15/.275

10. Miguel Tejada – Back with the Orioles, Tejada will be a 36-year old, steroid-free shadow of the star he was in Baltimore before. He can still produce some and he’s moving to third, so the slash (3b-slash-SS) is a bonus. Projections: 80/15/80/5/.295

11. Asdrubal Cabrera – Another instance where this list’s ADP base reveals sleepers. I’d own Cabrera before Ramirez, Drew, Furcal and Tejada, maybe even before Bartlett. Projections: 85/10/70/20/.295

12. Elvis Andrus – He doesn’t produce enough in the other categories, but he could get elite steals and he’s only 22. Projections: 70/5/55/40/.275

13. Yunel Escobar – Reminder: This position is shallow. However, Escobar is underrated. Compare his projections¬† to Tejada and Drew and tell me why he’s getting picked so much later. Projections: 80/10/80/5/.300

14. Orlando Cabrera – This is a new tier, it features a couple Cabreras and a lot of question marks and goes to Theriot. Depends on where he bats with the Reds and health, but Cabrera could get 600 ABs in 2010. Projections: 80/10/70/15/.280

15. Erick Aybar – His projections aren’t even as good as Scutaro, and I wouldn’t pick Scutaro in 2010. He is only 26, so these projections might be pessimistic, but I’m not drafting that way. Projections: 65/5/55/15/.290

16. Marco Scutaro – Now with the Red Sox. Coming off a career year at age 35. Don’t pick him this year. Projections: 75/10/60/10/.265

17. Everth Cabrera — Had 73 steals in the minors in 2008. Steals usually make the jump with players into the majors. Cabrera’s only 24. Projections: 75/5/45/30/.265

18. JJ Hardy – It seems like Hardy’s chance to shine has come and gone, but he’s only 28. Still, don’t expect a major breakout with the Twins. Projections: 65/20/65/1/.260

19. Alcides Escobar – Felt like having the tier jump over E. Cabrera and Escobar. Consider it a sub-tier. I’d own both. Escobar could be better than advertised here, and this advertisement is better than Scutaro or Aybar already. Projections: 70/5/50/30/.290

20. Ryan Theriot – Ryan Theriot translates to “cheap steals and runs late in your draft” in Mandarin. True story. Projections: 80/5/50/20/.285

Bonus round

What? There’s no bonus round here. You have to do a bonus round. Every other position gets a bonus round. Ugh. OK. Mike Aviles could go a thrilling 50/10/50/5/.280. That’s not enough! When our prospects list goes live, maybe there will be somebody in there worth picking up during the season — Ian Desmond and Reid Brignac spring to mind. You’ll be able to access the prospects, along with other sleepers and rankings from our 2010 fantasy baseball page.

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