NL King Ranks NL Only SS Shortstops Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Troy Tulowitzki - In the prime of his career but the key with him is staying healthy. Put up strong numbers last year and that was just in 143 games. Imagine if he could play 160 games. Only negative I could say is just expect low double digit steal numbers otherwise a monster year provided he is healthy.
Hanley Ramirez - I know last year was a disaster that ended with a bad injury. While for most hitters Hanley's 2010 would have been a monster year for Hanley it was a bit of a disappointment. I also know he pouted when the Marlins signed Jose Reyes. I believe Hanley is over last years injury and that moving to 3B will take a lot of wear and tear off his body and lead to a monster year. In addition, Hanley will have duel position flexibility in most leagues after the first 5 games of the season at 3B while also qualifing for shortstop. If he slips in your draft --- POUNCE !!!!
Jose Reyes - Again it's all about playing 150+ games for Reyes. Reyes was in tip top shape last year but still dealt with hamstring injuries twice last summer which landed him on the DL. If and that's a big if, Reyes can play 150 games + you can expect a lot of steals, a lot of runs, good power from a speed guy and a high batting average. If Reyes is leading the NL in batting average the last day of the season I hope you don't have to rely on his stats that last day like I did last year. Last point, some people feel that being in south Florida in April and first 2 or 3 weeks in May with the much warmer weather in Miami as oppose to New York will help Reyes legs stay healthy. It's a thought but don't take it as gospel.
The Young Guns and The Former Young Gun:
Jimmy Rollins - He is no longer the monster player he once was and he is 33 years old now and let's face it you probably have to figure he will play between 140 - 145 games which will take away from his stats. Still should be a good source of steals but expect those numbers to below to mid 20's now as oppose to 30. In that ballpark good power and a good amount of runs with a mediocre batting average. He is no longer a player but can still be a major contributor to your team.
Starlin Castro - I believe he is a future superstar in the making. Think about what he has done his first two years in the majors at ages 20 and 21. I expect improvment upon last season I am not sure although it wouldn't surprise me that Castro will become an elite player this year. I think it's more likely it's next year 2013. But I do expect an improvement on his power and his speed while maintaining a high batting average. I think a line of 15HR, 70RBI, 100R, 30SB, .300+ Avg this year will happen. Actually I guess that will make it elite but I believe his years in the future will be better than that.
Ian Desmond - Great beginning of the season and great ending to the season but the middle was flat awful. Desmond really thrived when Davey Johnson came on the scene so maybe that is a good sign that 2012 will be the year Desmond breaks through. Quite simply a better hitting approach as well as cutting down those K's and this kid who has power and speed and a strong supporting cast can put up a very strong 2012 campaign.
Dee Gordon - The good news is this kid can hit and boy can he run and be a real speed guy in the NL for years to come. The down side is he has no power and he doesn't walk. Which translates in real life that can he be a good leadoff hitter? Obviously Gordon's numbers will be a lot better if he hits at the top of the lineup. I like this kid but don't overpay on draft day.
Zack Cozart - Never been on top prospect lists despite impressive power and speed numbers in the minors. He might fly under the radar with all the other shortstops in the NL and if he does --- POUNCE. Last thing , see how his spring is going based on the injuries he suffered last summer.
Tyler Pastornicky - It seems the Braves are going with a rookie at shortstop. Has put up nice numbers in the minors including a strong batting average. Good speed but don't expect a ton of steals and power is nothing to write home about. Also this year Braves will have him bat at the bottom of the lineup which will limit his numbers.
Ruben Tejada - Might have a slick glove and can get you 15 steals but unless he hits for a high average no more than a cheap option as your third middle infielder. No pop.
Veterans with Issues:
Stephen Drew - If healthy can be a solid contributor.
Jed Lowrie - Not in love with the supporting cast could be a good option for cheap dollars as your 3rd middle infielder.
Alex Gonzalez - Could you give you nice pop but will hurt your average
Clint Barmes - Very up and down and that's what a sub par average.
Rafael Furcal - He looks shot to me.
Jason Bartlett - He will give you 20 to 25 steals but with no power and a bad batting average.
Willie Bloomquist - Gives you a nice source of steals, roster flex, and should see decent AB's as a UP in Arizona. Great guy to finish out filling out your roster.
Juan Uribe - Was hurt last year but when healthy can give you good pop but his batting average can be a big problem. Also gives you roster flex.
The Rest: These guys should be nothing more than reserve picks.
NL King - C.Lizza