Fantasy baseball season is right around the corner and it is never too soon to gather as much valuable data as possible. Each person, stat or edge that you can find will go a long way in determining who you should draft and how to structure your team in hopes of winning the 2015 championship.
Below is my breakdown of who I believe will be the top-20 short stops in fantasy for the 2015 season. You will find a list and a further breakdown of a few select choices in my rankings. Over the next couple of weeks you will find my breakdowns of each major position heading into the new season and before your ever important drafts come due.
The breakdown below is based on a standard 5×5 mixed league with one catcher, first baseman, second baseman, short stop, and third baseman. The roster includes four outfielders, two utility players, four starting pitchers, two relief pitchers, two other pitchers and a five player bench. Obviously much of this data is transferable to numerous different league configurations but I wanted to ensure clarity up front. Let’s get to it and see how the breakdown begins.
|1||Troy Tulowitzki||Colorado Rockies|
|2||Ian Desmond||Washington Nationals|
|3||Jose Reyes||Toronto Blue Jays|
|4||Hanley Ramirez||Boston Red Sox|
|5||Alexi Ramirez||Chicago White Sox|
|6||Erick Aybar||Los Angeles Angels|
|7||Ben Zobrist||Oakland Athletics|
|8||Starin Castro||Chicago Cubs|
|9||Elvis Andrus||Texas Rangers|
|10||Johnny Peralta||St Louis Cardinals|
|11||Jean Segura||Milwaukee Brewers|
|12||Jimmy Rollins||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|13||Alcides Escobar||Kansas City Royals|
|14||Javier Baez||Chicago Cubs|
|15||Danny Santana||Minnesota Twins|
|16||Xander Bogaerts||Boston Red Sox|
|17||JJ Hardy||Baltimore Orioles|
|18||Asdrubal Cabrera||Tampa Bay Rays|
|19||Andrelton Simmons||Atlanta Braves|
|20||Jose Iglesias||Detroit Tigers|
The annual statement will stay true in 2015. If Troy Tulowitzki can stay healthy, he is the best fantasy option at short stop and arguably a top-15 or top-10 player overall. But his health will always be a question mark. When healthy, he can produce a 30 home run, 100 run, and 100 RBI season. But you have to go back to 2011 to see it. His draft position is always high which makes him the ultimate risk/reward player.
The Toronto Blue Jays have brought in more impact bats to their lineup for the 2015 season. What does this mean? Jose Reyes will see more hitter friendly pitches and a lineup more prone to drive him in than before. I would not predict a complete return to 2004-2006 numbers but Reyes can easily surpass 100 runs, 35 stolen bases, and hit around .300. He just might be the top producing short stop in 2015.
The only reason Hanley Ramirez is ranked so high is his eligibility at short stop. The reality is he is destined to outfield status in Boston. With his numbers, he is an average outfielder that carries minimal speed at his age, average power and occasionally pops off for a solid average. But when in a crop of short stops his 15-15 and .280 possibility is solid.
Will the real Jean Segura please stand up? With full playing time in 2013, he stole 40+ bases, had double digit home runs and triples, and hit almost .300. Yet in 2014, with all the expectations in place, his average plummeted 50 points and his stolen bases, triples, and home runs were cut in half. So who is he really? That is why he is 11th on this list. His 2014 numbers are good for that spot. If he returns to rookie year form, he can easily be a top-5 short stop.
Jose Iglesias snuck into the back end of my top-20 based on potential for 2015. While playing for Boston and Detroit in 2014, he combined for a .303 average. He only stole five bases and had 16 doubles but that does not properly reflect the speed he carries. While he is no 50 stolen base player, he does have the speed and eye to combine for 20 bags and 30+ doubles in a full year in Detroit. A .300 average could be an exaggeration but .280 is more than reasonable and you have a 23 year old with a ton of upside. He could be a great fit to fill a void later in the draft if you miss out on the top-3 options at the position.
Top-20 Fantasy Predictions By Position
|First Base Rankings||Catcher Rankings|
|Second Base Rankings||Outfield Rankings|
|Short Stop Rankings||Starting Pitcher Rankings|
|Third Base Rankings||Relief Pitcher Rankings|