Thursday, February 10, 2011

Norman Homers - Tackling The Fantasy Man's 2011 Pre-season Shortstop Rankings

2011 is the Chinese year of the Rabbit. To be clear it is not the year of the shortstop. I would be comfortable with the first 5 names on this list. After that I could talk myself into maybe the next 3. If I can’t land a top 8 shortstop in my drafts, then I’ll be pressing my panic button faster than you can draw a Prophet Muhammad cartoon. In summary, I’ll reach for a top guy so I don’t get stuck with dead weight on my roster.

2011 Fantasy Baseball Shortstops SS Rankings:

1. Hanley Ramirez
Norman Notes: Just the clear cut king of his position. A 5 tool player with the benefit of position scarcity, age, speed, and upside. I love Hanley to crush it this year. I'll take him #1 overall. Just don’t criticize his hustle, he may get you fired.
2. Jose Reyes
Norman Notes: The upside is jersey-licious. The downside is 36 games. Last year was the tipping point of my personal Jose Reyes barometer. Although his historic ability of stealing 60+ bases is there, I don’t think his body holds up. He gets the Norman Avoid Stamp.
3. Jimmy Rollins
Norman Notes: I feel like I’m watching a Lifetime Movie called “A Life in Decline.” The batting average is down, and the age is up. Not a correlation I like to see.
4. Troy Tulowitzski
Norman Notes: In the words of one of America's greatest thinkers, Britney Spears, Tulo at 4 is… CRAZY, CRAZY! I think Tulo is the clear #2 shortstop in the league and could dominate the position for years to come. It’s a huge gamble to draft Reyes or Rollins before him (one that I don’t endorse making).
5. Derek Jeter
Norman Notes: Don't sleep on Jeter, but don’t bank on him either. Jeter is the face of NY baseball but that doesn’t make his body immortal. The guy’s getting old, as much as fans want to deny, its true. There’s a reason that the Yankees didn’t want to pay him this offseason. Its because they know and agree with what I just said.
6. Stephen Drew
Norman Notes: A gamble but has age and health in his pocket. Could be a breakout player in at the baseball prime age of 27.
7. Rafael Furcal
Norman Notes: What do Furcal and Mike Tyson have in common?  Both their backs were broken. I love Furcal if he’s healthy… unfortunately that is never.
8. Elvis Andrus
Norman Notes: President of the overrated club
9. Starlin Castro
10. Alexei Ramirez
11. Yuneal Escobar
12. Jed Lowrie
Norman Notes: Lowrie may have potential, but its hard to draft him as a starting shortstop until he is actually a starting shortstop. Maybe the Red Sox trade Scutaro?
13. Reid Brignac
14. Ian Desmond
Norman Notes: Overlooked in the talented rookie class of 2010. Could jump multiple rankings if he continues the flashes he displayed last year. Don’t led ID fall to 14.
15. Juan Uribe
16. Jason Bartlett
Norman Notes: I know he didn’t produce extremely well last year but if you do miss on SS, then I like his ability at this point in the draft. Just don’t expect power in PETCO Park.
17. Marco Scutaro
Norman Notes: See Jed Lowrie
18. J.J. Hardy
Norman Notes: Not going to find 20+ homerun potential from any of these other guys.
19. Jhonny Peralta
20. Erick Aybar
21. Alcides Escobar
22. Asdrubal Cabrera
23. Alex Gonzalez
24. Clint Barmes:
Norman Notes: On a 1 year deal with Houston, he could improve this year. His bat has pop (at least in 2009 it did) but he has Mark Reynolds syndrome. A 240 batting average is simply unacceptable.
25. Danny Espinoza
26. Miguel Tejada
27. Mike Aviles
28. Evereth Cabrera
29. Cliff Pennington
30. Alexi Casilla
31. Yuniesky Betancourt
32. Josh Wilson

Next up reviewing The Fantasy Man’s Third Base Rankings…

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