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2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Shortstops

Not much depth and even questions at the top at shorstop

By

Updated March 30, 2013

For the fifth season, About.com Baseball is back with its comprehensive fantasy baseball rankings. We've added some tweaks to the formula for 2013 and are confident the rankings are as accurate as ever. They'll be updated weekly in March, looking at trends, injuries and other developments.

The trend in fantasy baseball is more toward the head-to-head formats that became popular in fantasy football over the years. However, the original rotisserie-style, cumulative 5x5 format is still out there, especially among established leagues. These rankings are weighted toward head-to-head, but can easily be tweaked toward rotisserie, and there are notes under certain players who are more valuable in rotisserie-style play, where the lost art of stolen bases has a big reward. Some players who are highly ranked in a rotisserie-style format are worth a lot less in a points format.

Make sure you know the exact format your league is using, because it will affect the way you should prepare. You can learn more about the different formats here.

Baseball guide Scott Kendrick has been with About.com since 2007, has been playing fantasy baseball for 20 years and has ranked players for the last decade. He's perused just about every preseason magazine, scoured the other baseball websites and taken some of the best expert opinions into account.

The days of the big power shortstops appear to be gone, aside from a couple. Even the top choice, Troy Tulowitzki, has had injury problems in his career. If you are in a rotisserie-style league, Jose Reyes is the better choice. And Hanley Ramirez at No. 3 has his own issues as well.

In short, perhaps no position is as tricky as this one to rank. On to the rankings of shortstops, looking at the top 20 prospects:

TIER 1: No-brainers

1. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: .287, 8 HR, 27 RBI, .846 OPS
  • Three-year average: .305, 21 HR, 75 RBI, .918 OPS

2. Jose Reyes, Blue Jays

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: .287, 11 HR, 57 RBI, 40 SB, .780 OPS
  • Three-year average: .301, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 36 SB, .800 OPS
  • Note: Rank No. 1 if in a rotisserie-style league with steals as a category.

TIER 2: Elite

3. Starlin Castro, Cubs

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .283, 14 HR, 78 RBI, 25 SB, .753 OPS
  • Three-year average: .297, 9 HR, 61 RBI, 19 SB, .761 OPS

4. Ian Desmond, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: .292, 25 HR, 73 RBI, .845 OPS
  • Three-year average: .271, 14 HR, 62 RBI, .730 OPS

Note: If eligible at shortstop in your league, Ben Zobrist (Rays) is a Tier 2. He is in the outfield rankings, as that is his projected 2013 position.

TIER 3: Serviceable starters

5. Astrubal Cabrera, Indians

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: .270, 16 HR, 68 RBI, .762 OPS
  • Three-year average: .273, 14 HR, 63 RBI, .797 OPS

6. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies

  • Age on opening day: 34
  • 2012 stats: .250, 23 HR, 68 RBI, 30 SB, .743 OPS
  • Three-year average: .255, 15 HR, 57 RBI, 25 SB, .729 OPS

7. Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: .257, 24 HR, 92 RBI, 21 SB, .759 OPS
  • Three-year average: .269, 18 HR, 71 RBI, 24 SB, .783 OPS
  • Note: Might also be eligible at third base. Out for at least first month of season.

8. Elvis Andrus, Rangers

  • Age on opening day: 24
  • 2012 stats: .250, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 30 SB
  • Three-year average: .277, 2 HR, 52 RBI, 30 SB, .694 OPS
  • Note: Rank No. 6 if in a rotisserie-style league with steals as a category.

9. Derek Jeter, Yankees

  • Age on opening day: 38
  • 2012 stats: .316, 15 HR, 58 RBI, .791 OPS
  • Three-year average: .294, 10 HR, 62 RBI, .749 OPS

10. Erick Aybar, Angels

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: .290, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 20 SB, .740 OPS
  • Three-year average: .274, 7 HR, 44 RBI, 24 SB, .706 OPS

TIER 4: Worth a look

11. Josh Rutledge, Rockies

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .274, 8 HR, 37 RBI, .775 OPS
  • Three-year average: .274, 8 HR, 37 RBI, .775 OPS
  • Note: Likely will be eligible at second base after long, as he'll be the likely starter there with Tulowitzki's return.

12. Andrelton Simmons, Braves

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .289, 3 HR, 19 RBI, .751 OPS
  • Three-year average: .289, 3 HR, 19 RBI, .751 OPS

13. Alcides Escobar, Royals

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: .293, 5 HR, 52 RBI, .721 OPS
  • Three-year average: .262, 4 HR, 46 RBI, 23 SB, .659 OPS

14. J.J. Hardy, Orioles

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: .238, 22 HR, 68 RBI, .671 OPS
  • Three-year average: .256, 19 HR, 62 RBI, .726 OPS

TIER 5: Backups only

15. Jed Lowrie, A's

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: .244, 16 HR, 42 RBI, .769 OPS
  • Three-year average: .256, 10 HR, 34 RBI, .767 OPS

16. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: .265, 9 HR, 73 RBI, .651 OPS
  • Three-year average: .272, 14 HR, 71 RBI, .708 OPS

17. Everth Cabrera, Padres

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: .246, 2 HR, 24 RBI, 44 SB, .648 OPS
  • Three-year average: .231, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 18 SB, .613 OPS
  • Note: Worth more in 5x5 rotisserie-style leagues.

18. Zack Cozart, Reds

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: .246, 15 HR, 35 RBI, .687 OPS
  • Three-year average: .251, 8 HR, 19 RBI, .694 OPS

19. Jhonny Peralta, Tigers

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: .239, 13 HR, 63 RBI, .689 OPS
  • Three-year average: .262, 16 HR, 76 RBI, .738 OPS

20. Jean Segura, Brewers

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .264, 0 HR, 14 RBI, .652 OPS
  • Three-year average: .264, 0 HR, 14 RBI, .652 OPS

Next five: Stephen Drew, Red Sox; Hiroyuki Nakajima, A's; Yunel Escobar, Rays; Eduardo Nunez, Yankees; Pete Kozma, Cardinals

2013 position rankings

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