2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Short Stops

These 2014 Fantasy Baseball Short Stop Rankings will be updated occasionally, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out WalterFootball.com’s 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2014 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

By Bill Williams

  1. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
    Tulowitzki is the elite at this position as long as he stays healthy. He has not had over 500 at bats since 2011 and has never had two seasons in a row with those at bats. Regardless, Tulo is the best home-run hitter by a mile, and could be the only clean-up hitter in the bunch. His home ballpark is amazing for hitters. Troy contributes in every category as he will likely throw a handful of steals in with his power numbers.

    Projections: 85 R 30 HR 99 RBI 6 SB .308 AVG .383 OBP

  2. Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays K+, BA+
    Reyes has a unique blend of speed and power. He has 20 home-run, 30 stolen-base potential. Reyes sits in front of two amazing hitters and will score runs in bunches. He gets on base a lot and rarely strikes out. Many will point to an injury risk with Reyes, but in all reality, most of his issues have been overblown. Last year was the first time in four years he missed significant games. His stolen-base numbers have decreased as he has gotten older though. The days of 40-50 stolen bases are likely behind him at this point, but his value is still sky high.

    Projections: 85 R 14 HR 57 RBI 28 SB .304 AVG .362 OBP

  3. Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Ramirez fills out the top three at shortstop. His health is always an issue for me, but when in the lineup, one can argue for him to be atop this list. In just half a season, Ramirez put up 20 homers and 10 stolen bases. However, that pace is unsustainable for him this year. However, he is still gonna put up excellent numbers in a good lineup. Playing in Chavez Ravine hurts his power numbers, but the lineup surrounding him should balance out the equation. The only thing that keeps him lower than the top two is merely an average contact rate.

    Projections: 80 R 24 HR 84 RBI 16 SB .279 AVG .348 OBP

  4. Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers Dynasty+ SB+
    Andrus is a bit of a rarity at shortstop as he is in his sixth year as a pro, yet is only 25 years old. Last year’s numbers look pretty good to begin with, but then if you just factor in his second half of 2013, they look even better. It all seemed to click for Andrus at the end of last season, and if he can keep it up, look for him to challenge for a top-three spot at this position next year. 50-steal potential.

    Projections: 85 R 6 HR 61 RBI 41 SB .278 AVG .342 OBP

  5. Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals K-
    Desmond has 20-20 ability and is a part of a solid lineup. He makes solid contact when he connects and has an excellent lineup spot in an above-average offense. What’s the problem then? His plate discipline is very poor. He often swings at pitches he has no business trying to hit, and it leads to a lot of strikeouts. If Desmond can’t fix that problem, then his home-run numbers are likely to decline again this season. However, he is more healthy this year, so expect a slight uptick in stolen bases.

    Projections: 72 R 17 HR 70 RBI 16 SB .269 AVG .320 OBP

  6. Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers SB+
    Segura exceeded expectations exponentially last year (who doesn’t love alliteration?). Due to this, he is going to be overdrafted in many leagues. Segura clearly belongs a top-10 short stop pick, but after the first five go off the board, I would rather you wait for Segara and Hardy to go off the board before making another selection. Nothing in Segura�s development history points towards him coming close to repeating last year’s numbers. Trust his history and avoid.

    Projections: 70 R 9 HR 54 RBI 35 SB .274 AVG .321 OBP

  7. J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles HR+ OBP-
    Hardy is a bit of a rarity at the short stop position these days. He hits home runs and doesn’t steal bases. However, his consistency is what you are paying for. Hardy is the only short stop to hit 20 or more home runs each of the past three seasons. If you can find some speed elsewhere and need some more pop, Hardy isnt a terrible selection. Just know he�s a one-trick pony when it comes to fantasy baseball. Also for someone with so much power, Hardy rarely walks.

    Projections: 64 R 24 HR 77 RBI 0 SB .260 AVG .306 OBP

  8. Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta Braves Dynasty+
    Simmons broke out at the end of last year, and if he keeps progressing, the sky’s the limit. He was a highly touted prospect who many projected a .300/20/20 triple-slash line for. The power surge Simmons showed last year was impressive, and if he continues to develop, he can be a surprise top-10 fantasy short stop this season. However, there is some risk involved as the first half of last season was definitely rough, but I think he adjusted to what major league pitching is and the light came on.

    Projections: 71 R 18 HR 65 RBI 12 SB .275 AVG .330 OBP

  9. Jonathan Villar, Houston Astros SB+ BA- K-
    You are drafting Villar for one reason: speed. He easily is the fastest shortstop in the major leagues and has 50 stolen-base potential. His walk rate is great. However, Villar doesn’t have a great contact rate as he strikes out a ton, too. If your league uses on-base percentage instead of batting average, this is where he should rank. If not, move him down a handful of spots. He has ok power skills and potentially could hit 10 homers in Houston, but that’s tops.

    Projections: 67 R 8 HR 50 RBI 45 SB .244 AVG .305 OBP

  10. Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners Dynasty+
    Miller will be drafted around the No. 15-19 range of short stop in your draft. He is a guy I am targeting for a middle infield position as he will have a chance at a 20-15 season. Miller shows good plate discipline and plus power last season. If he can get his average up a little bit, he will be a staple in the top-10 short stop rankings for years to come. This may the only season to nail him as a lower-round pick if you are in a dynasty league.

    Projections: 81 R 18 HR 66 RBI 15 SB .275 AVG .340 OBP

  11. Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres SB+, BA-
    Cabrera is basically Jon Villar without the power. He is also super fast but is coming off a steroid suspension that could mean nothing, or could have been the reason for his success. I generally tend to stay away from guys busted for juicing as the risk generally outweighs the rewards. If his results weren’t because of the drugs, his new-found batting eye could make Cabrera a sneaky player to own. However, if not, the old adage goes … no matter how fast you are, you can’t steal first.

    Projections: 70 R 1 HR 44 RBI 45 SB .247 AVG .317 OBP

  12. Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians
    Cabrera�s batting average has gone down each of the past four seasons. Luckily, I think last year probably hit the baseline of where his numbers should be anticipated. He started hitting the ball in the air a little more near the end of the season, which should lead to more home runs and extra base hits this upcoming season. Cabrera is the same guy who hit 25 homers a few season ago. Just don’t expect a great average to go with it.

    Projections: 74 R 17 HR 77 RBI 9 SB .261 AVG .327 OBP

  13. Jhonny Peralta, St, Louis Cardinals
    If you had to pay the amount that St. Louis is to Peralta, I would tell you that I wouldn’t touch Jhonny. Luckily, you don’t, so for fantasy purposes he’s an ok option. Peralta is playing in one of baseball’s best lineups and should put up decent numbers in it. He�s not gonna win you a championship, but you can almost put his numbers in ink because it’s what he’s always done. The Cardinals have a way of showing players a fountain of youth as well.

    Projections: 67 R 14 HR 72 RBI 2 SB .270 AVG .331 OBP

  14. Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs OBP-
    Castro was the hardest player for me to rank in this entire process. Last season, he listened to his new manager and took more pitches. This resulted in a rise in strikeouts and a plummeting batting average. If Chicago lets Castro swing freely, he will probably get closer to his excellent-batting-average ways. If not, expect a season very similar to last year. The double-digit home-runs and stolen-base potential is still there.

    Projections: 66 R 11 HR 61 RBI 15 SB .275 AVG .311 OBP

  15. Jed Lowrie, Oakland A�s
    Lowrie will most likely get overdrafted in your league this year due to his huge 2013 campaign. However, I’m not completely buying into it. I think he is a slightly above-average middle infielder with solid pop who doesn’t provide you with much else besides a good spot in a solid lineup. Expect his batting average to regres towards his career norms while his other numbers remain steady. Lowrie provides almost no speed as well, which is a huge negative for a middle infielder.

    Projections: 70 R 15 HR 71 RBI 2 SB .270 AVG .328 OBP

  16. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees BA+ Dynasty-
    Jeter announced his retirement a few weeks ago, and you better believe he is gonna do everything in his power to go out on top. Jeter has always been a clutch player, so expect him to put up a solid season. He will provide you with a solid batting average and a lot of runs. The main setback with him is that the Yankees are likely to rest him a lot this year. If you are not the type to check your league daily, avoid Jeter. If you do pay attention daily, and can get another shortstop to team with him, Jeter is an excellent short-term choice.

    Projections: 60 R 8 HR 54 RBI 8 SB .296 AVG .354 OBP

  17. Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays Position+ OBP+
    I had no idea until researching that Zobrist is now in his 30s. He is now the epitome of a slightly above-average middle infielder. Tops for him is 20-20 while the floor is 10-10. Zobrist won�t win you a fantasy championship, but he could be a nice complement if you get him at a fair price. Zobrist takes a lot of walks, so he can help if you are in an on-base-percentage league.

    Projections: 80 R 13 HR 72 RBI 11 SB .265 AVG .354 OBP

  18. Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies Dynasty-
    Now 35, Rollins is a shell of his former self. His contact rate is declining; his speed is declining; and his power went to almost non-existent last season. What does Rollins have going for him? An everyday lineup spot and no durability issues. His power and RBI numbers should rebound a bit from last year, but don’t expect anything near the numbers from his heyday, or even two years ago.

    Projections: 66 R 11 HR 51 RBI 28.SB 248 AVG .317 OBP

  19. Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels
    Aybar is a high-contact hitter who provides average speed and a little pop. He played through a lot of injuries last season, and a rebound to 2012 numbers seems likely. At this point of his career, you know what you�re getting and he’s definitely a lower-tier option, but at least one you can put in without worries of hurting your squad.

    Projections: 72 R 8 HR 55 RBI 16 SB .281 AVG .318 OBP

  20. Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks Dynasty+ K-
    This is a ranking of a player who you need to keep an eye on before your draft. He very well may stay in the minors for another season. If you can stomach that, or are in a dynasty format, Owings is a former first-round pick with an excellent bat. His defense leaves a little to be desired and has kept him out of the starting job for Arizona so far this spring training. However, Owings was the AAA MVP and fared well in his short call-up last season. Put a watch tag on him and jump at it if he gets called up for playing time.

    NOTE: the projections are if he wins the job.

    Projections: 70 R 10 HR 70 RBI 16 SB .270 AVG .311 OBP

  21. Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds OBP-
    Cozart is more in the lineup for his glove then his bat. However, he provides solid pop for a later-round pick and some RBI opportunities. Cozart won’t help you much with his batting average and hurts a bit with on-base percentage. However, he is an everyday shortstop in a good park and lineup, so it’s hard to downgrade him much further than this.

    Projections: 59 R 15 HR 67 RBI 5 SB .255 AVG .297 OBP

  22. Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox OBP-
    Ramirez has plus speed but may not take 20 walks the entire season, and that really kills his value in the sub-par White Sox offense. Last year’s steals number is a bit inflated, because at some point, he realized he could get 30 so, he took off all the time for second. Expect that number to get closer to 20 with really not much help elsewhere.

    Projections: 61 R 7 HR 60 RBI 21 SB .268 AVG .298 OBP

  23. Stephen Drew, Free Agent
    Drew is really hard to project for at this time since he still does not have a team to play for. Drew could easily end up a starter in New York for the Mets or could be a backup in other cities. Due to this, I have him ranked a few spots lower than I would if he had a gig and won’t be giving projections. Regardless, Drew still kills righties, can’t hit lefties and is always hurt.

  24. Jordy Mercer, Pittsburgh Pirates Position+
    Mercer is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type of infielder. He should qualify at second base as well for you, so that is definitely a plus in his direction. Mercer has a spot in the Pirates’ lineup and should put up decent, if not outstanding, numbers. He definitely rose to the occasion for Pittsburgh during its playoff push last season.

    Projections: 45 R 8 HR 50 RBI 5 SB .260 AVG .310 OBP

  25. Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers SB+
    Gordon is a speedster who isn’t assured everyday playing time. You can take him as a late-round flier as he�s only 25 and his walk rate did increase last year. If Gordon can increase his contact rate, he can be a top-15 fantasy short stop this year. That’s really his ceiling for this upcoming season though.

    Projections: 60 R 0 HR 40 RBI 31 SB .241 AVG .301 OBP

  26. Yunel Escobar, Tampa Bay Rays
    Yunel gets the last spot on this list for having a job. Is that it? Yep. He won’t provide you much of anything, but hey, you have a starting short stop every day who at least walks a lot.

    Projections: 60 R 5 HR 50 RBI 5 SB .250 AVG .320 OBP

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2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 8/27 (Walt)
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2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Custom - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Spreadsheets - 8/28 (Walt)

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2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 8/31 (Walt)
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2014 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Quarterback Targets - 8/30 (Walt)
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2014 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 3/28 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: Overdrafted Players - 2/16 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 2/14 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 2/14 (Walt)

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2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

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NFL Picks - Feb. 12

Injured/injury risk
Potential bust
Potential sleeper