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Below is our Cliffs Notes (or Readers Digest, if you insist) version of shortstop draft prep. The specific players ep and jzak are targeting in 2010 fantasy baseball drafts.
Hanley Ramirez: Consensus pick by both ep and myself here. Can’t ask for a better combination of statistics. I personally would take him first overall, as I mention in my NL-East preview. Ep has a good discussion going about the first overall pick.
Ep: Jose Reyes: Ready for a bounce-back season until thyroid issues seemed to put a jinx on things. However, Reyes continues to fall in drafts because of the thyroid scare, and he’s nearing a point in drafts where he could have some definite value. He will miss some time to start the season, but at least he’s back participating in baseball activities seemingly quicker than most thought.
Jzak: Jimmy Rollins: Another bounce-back candidate, Rollins has plenty of protection in that vaunted offensive lineup and has the ability to produce solid stats across the board. Considering the shallowness of the position and if you can snag him in the late-second, early-third round in 10 to 12-team leagues, than you should do it and don’t look back.
Asdrubal Cabrera: There are a bunch of shortstops that will be picked in the middle rounds that will probably under-produce Cabrera this season. People seem to forget how good he was in limited action last season and he has valuable multiple-position eligibility to boot.
Ep: Elvis Andrus: Won’t do much for your power numbers, but Andrus could produce elite stats on the basepaths and still goes much later than he should at a shallow position, especially considering how young he is and what he could do with some more seasoning/maturity.
Jzak: Yunel Escobar: He proved in 2009 that his 2008 “breakout” wasn’t a fluke. He has hovered right around .300 over the past three seasons and while he doesn’t offer a ton of speed, he is a decent power option with upside potential. I don’t know if I’d be pumped about owning him, but he is a better value than his average draft position suggests.
Alcides Escobar: First of two consensus late-round targets at shortstop, Escobar is one of many reasons I’m excited for the Brewers in 2010 and beyond. As with Cabrera, Escobar is going to be more of a speed option than a power threat, but he has gone deep this spring and plays in an incredibly talented offensive lineup.
Everth Cabrera: His 73 minor league steals in 2008 are an indication of what is to come with this young player that many are overlooking in drafts. I already own him in most every league I’ve drafted as a post-panic safety valve.
Who are you targeting at shortstop in 2010 fantasy drafts? We’d love to hear your comments in the section below!