I bring to you all the 2015 Fantasy Baseball Shortstop Rankings! Everyone who knows me, or has been reading me for a while, know that my rankings rarely come without tiers. Tiering positions is one of my essential and most recommended draft prep strategies. It helps not only group the positions, but it can also help you determine value.
For example, if you have one elite shortstop like Troy Tulowitzki with the 11th pick in the draft, or a choice of three elite second baseman or five outfielders, then you should know who you should take.
Hint: It’s Tulowitzki, and snag one of the others on the turn in Round 2.
As it has been the past several years, shortstop is rather thin after the top three, but there is plenty of potential and serviceable options, as well.
2015 Fantasy Baseball Shortstop Rankings
The trick is knowing if you can wait — and how long you should wait. Trust me, you don’t want to get stuck with a Tier 5 or 6 player this year.
Tier 1: The Elite
1. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
Yep, myself and everyone knows that Tulo comes with the injury-bug each and every season. You can count on him missing time. However, last season for example, he only played in 91 games. Terrible, right? Sure, but Tulowitzki finished sixth overall in the position with 21 homers, 52 RBI, .340 average and .603 Slugging %. He is elite, and if he plays more than 120 games, he is worth the late-first, early second-round pick.
Tier 2: The Near Elite
2. Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals
3. Hanley Ramirez, Boston Red Sox
4. Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays
Desmond is as near elite as they come, and nearly cracked in to the elite considering the options at the position. a .250, 20/20 player is valuable no matter what position, but especially at shortstop or second base. Desmond is also consistent, and durable. If you don’t trust Tulowitzki than Desmond may be the only high-end option owners can feel confident selecting this season.
A few of these guys I almost moved to the third tier. I simply couldn’t though when you consider that Reyes and Hanley hit .280 or above last season, modest power with 9 homers for Reyes, and 13 for Ramirez in 2014. They also add to the steals category with 14 for Hanley and 38 in Reyes. These numbers are enough, especially with the positional scarcity factor to pop them in Tier 2.
Tier 3: Upside with Question Marks
5. Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
6. Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
7. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
8. Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
9. Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers
10. Danny Santana, Minnesota Twins
This will be my favorite tier in the 2015 draft when it comes to shortstop. Since the top two tiers are so small, this will be the group I hope to snag from if I miss out on the top-five talents.
Players who have shown skills, have had spectacular seasons or flashes, are in this group. Castro rebounded in 2014, Ramirez had a career season. Bogaerts struggled mightily, but he is still far too young, and too talented to be forgotten. Andrus again struggled on the basepaths, one of his assumed strengths, and due to teammate injuries, didn’t produce in the runs category.
Segura is one of my sleepers at the position along with Santana (read about my sleepers here), who can both be had at value. Each player in this group has their own inherent risk. Santana and his lack of track record, and Segura with lost 2014, but brilliant first half in 2013 still have plenty of potential.
Tier 4: Bats with Blemishes
11. Jimmy Rollins, Los Angeles Dodgers
12. Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals
13. Ben Zobrist, Oakland Athletics
14. Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels
15. J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles
16. Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals
This is the tier you will be targeting, hopefully, for a MI slot, or utility position. If not, it will be your last hope to draft a serviceable starter at the shortstop position. None of these players are spectacular, nor will they carry you to a championship, but they all can certainly help fill categories, and are more or less consistent.
Jimmy Rollins, Ben Zobrist and J.J. Hardy are getting past their prime, but will still play daily and can produce. Rollins has the most potential to remain a top-10 player at the position. He will be in a new ballpark, and will likely not surpass 16 HR this year.
Peralta has been reliable, and still has plenty of pop in his bat. Where Jhonny has been going in early drafts is well worth the wait for a .250 average and 20-plus HR potential. Hardy also fits this mold. Power is scarce, so if you can find some late — and at the shortstop position — that is a win/win in my book.
Tier 5: Upward Mobility
Huntington: Pirates have ‘zero intent’ to start Jung Ho Kang in minors http://t.co/hhoKb8vdjq
— The Angry Fan (@theangryfan) February 16, 2015
17. Jung-Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates
18. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
19. Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks
20. Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta Braves
21. Everth Cabrera, Baltimore Orioles
22. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
23. Didi Gregorious, New York Yankees
24. Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants
25. Wilmer Flores, New York Mets
26. Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners
These are all players who are young, and relatively unproven, or who are essentially one category players. Javier Baez is the bright spot in this group, and if he qualifies at shortstop he could be a great value. Power potential is enormous, but he needs to work on his K% and patience to be productive.
Cabrera is a speed guy, but as we found out last season, if you can’t get on base, well, you are useless. Miller had another disappointing season, hitting .220 with 10 HR and 36 RBI. hardly anything to get excited about.
Crawford, and Mercer had career years, and could fill a hole if need be, but I wouldn’t trust them. Mercer may actually lose his job to the Korean import Kang, who besides Baez, has the most appeal to me in this group.
Gregorious will have plenty of spotlight and pressure on him in his new role, but again, he hasn’t shown much of anything to date in the majors.
Plenty of upside, but plenty of risk also lies in this tier. Owners beware!
Tier 6: Shot in the Dark
27. Jed Lowrie, Houston Astros
28. Jordy Mercer, Pittsburgh Pirates
29. Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers
30. Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds
If you have to start any of these guys — you are in trouble. Let’s hope it is only in very, very deep dynasty leagues, or with an injury and sparse waiver wire that you are looking at these guys. None of them will help you greatly. If you can, try and ignore this group altogether. If you are stuck drafting from this group of the 2015 Fantasy Baseball shortstop rankings, you may want to look in to a trade.
Ian Desmond Photo Credit: Keith Allison
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