This is the fourth article in the series of our 2013 fantasy baseball rankings looking at the position of shortstop. Much like at second base, there is a lack of quality depth at this position, especially when you account for two players that also qualify at second base are in the top 11 in Ben Zobrist and Danny Espinosa.
If you are looking for stolen bases later in the draft, you could target Dee Gordon or Jean Segura though both are more NL-only type players at this point than mixed league starters. Everth Cabrera is another name to consider as well though he is likely to go much higher in drafts despite some risk to his at bat totals.
Here is a look at the top 20 fantasy baseball shortstops for 2013.
1. Troy Tulowitzki - missed the last four months of the season with a groin injury and the injuries have been a common trend for Tulo with just three seasons of 500+ at bats in six years.
2. Jose Reyes - slightly ahead of Hanley based on average and stolen bases. Move to American League and better lineup should help his runs scored total.
3. Hanley Ramirez - walk rate fell and strikeout rate rose for the second straight season. Still a solid 20-20 player, but some key indicators are starting to head in the wrong direction..
4. Starlin Castro - has a chance to end up number two on the list by the end of the season if he can improve his stolen base success rate and he bumps his fly ball rate up another two to three percentage points..
5. Asdrubal Cabrera - looked like he was going to match his 2011 output before injuries struck the second half of the season. If you pro-rate his first half over the whole season, would have had 22 home runs and 84 RBI, but with fewer stolen bases.
6. Ben Zobrist - stolen base success rate has fallen off the past two seasons making 20+ steals tough to reach. Middle infield flexibility gives him a small bump in value.
7. Jimmy Rollins - hit 15 home runs the second half of the season with 36 RBI in 284 at bats. Was he swinging for the fences more? A five percentage point jump in his strikeout rate on the season would seem to say so.
8. Elvis Andrus - only attempted nine stolen bases after the All-Star break which cut into his value. It could have been as a result of a twisted knee he suffered at the end of July or possibly some other injury that was never made public. I would expect his stolen base total to bounce back this season.
9. Ian Desmond - breakout season, but I am not ready to proclaim him a yearly 25+ home run guy just yet. While he did hit a few more fly balls, his home run per fly ball rate more than doubled from the previous season.
10. Derek Jeter - suffered a broken ankle on October but is expected to be ready for the start of the season. That being said, walk rate declined for the third straight season as did his stolen base total. Likely to be over-drafted based on his name / team.
11. Danny Espinosa - with a rising strikeout rate, expect his batting average to down this season if he can’t fix the whiffs. The combination of power and speed at the middle infield can be enticing later in drafts, but make sure you have a good batting average foundation to carry him.
12. J.J. Hardy - regression coming was obvious, but it could have been more drastic had he not set a career high in at bats. Batting average should be a little higher, but the rest of the numbers should remain flat.
13. Alexei Ramirez - despite the fact he lost a bunch of runs scored (that happens when you go from second to the bottom of the order) and some home runs, his increase in stolen bases helped him return the same value in 2012 as he had in 2011. Give him a few more home runs and a few less steals for 2013.
14. Erick Aybar - pretty consistent numbers three years in a row as underlying stats are not showing any type of growth. Expect similar numbers in 2013.
15. Josh Rutledge - was on fire the first two months after his call up and then cooled off considerably. Made the jump from AA so there could be some growing pains as he adjusts to major league pitching the second time around the league.
16. Alcides Escobar - still just a one category player as batting average normalizes this season.
17. Marco Scutaro - had a nice run with San Francisco to end the season, but at age 37, no guarantee he holds up to get 600 at bats again this year.
18. Jhonny Peralta - his 2011 was a little over his head, 2012 was not as good as past seasons. I would expect his numbers to be in between those two years this season.
19. Jed Lowrie - extreme fly ball hitter that could swat a lot of home runs if only he could stay healthy. Last season’s 340 at bats was a career high.
20. Zack Cozart - the one surprise was how little he ran in his rookie season, going 4-for-4 on stolen bases, Expect that number to go up a little bit as well as his RBI total if he gets dropped down in the order.