The Shortstop Dilemma
One thing I’ve immediately noticed as I start to look over early 2010 rankings is that shortstop is lacking of reliable options. Now, you might disagree and argue that there are a bunch of young guys (Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera, Everth Cabrera) who could take major steps forward next year, but would you really trust them to be your starting SS? Call me greedy but I like to get both power and speed from my middle infielders and am always willing to spend a high pick in order to draft sure things. I’m not changing my strategy this year, specifically with respect to the shortstop position.
Can Jason Bartlett hit 14 homers again? Will Stephen Drew and Alexei Ramirez bounce back from disappointing seasons? Will Jose Reyes be fully recovered from his leg injury and once again be a lock for 50-plus steals? Can a 35-year-old Miguel Tejada put together another highly productive year? A lot of Derek Jeter’s 2009 value was tied to his 30 steals, but let’s not forget that he swiped just 26 bags combined over 2007 and 2008. There’s no question that The Captain is as consistent as they come in the average and runs departments and should be highly sought after. But his tremendous ’09 campaign could result in him being taken in the third or even second round when in reality he’s more of a fourth rounder. Jimmy Rollins, despite showing signs of decline, will likely remain a second rounder due to his power/speed combination. I’d be very surprised if any shortstop outside of Hanley, Tulo, and perhaps Rollins goes 20/20 in ’10.
So here’s my plan. Barring the unexpected (someone gets taken way too early or hangs around way too late), either Hanley, Tulo, Rollins, Jeter or if all else fails Alexei Ramirez will be my starting shortstop in all of my leagues next year. I’m willing to take the risks with the latter three. Just not with anyone else.
As for the possibility of Dustin Pedroia moving to short, I’m all for it!