SS one of my favorite positions, but one of the worst positions in fantasy baseball. Apparently according to a lot of prospects list, there are a lot of SS that will soon be up that will take the league by storm. But that will be in the near to distant future. This year we have a couple of studs, a couple of has beens, and then some other guys. Not the sexiest position in terms of offense, but hey, they are still one of my favorite positions!

1. Troy Tulowitzki (Col-SS)– Tulo has had three straight awesome years from the SS position, and that was all before the age of 27. He is still young and in his prime, so is he absolutely worth a top 5 pick, and if you take him at three I wouldn’t flinch for a second. The only thing against Tulo is his inability to play a full season (only played more than 150 games once, 2009). If he reaches that 150 game mark he will rake!

2012 projection: .308 avg, 98 r, 32 hr, 103 rbi, 14 sb

2. Hanley Ramirez (Mia-SS)-Han Ram was derailed by injuries and mental issues last year. Before last year he was in the conversation as the #1 overall pick. After a down year, and a move to 3B he could be in for a huge bounce back year. From some of the projections I’ve seen for his season I would say most are being a little safe with what to expect. Well I expect the Hanley Ramirez that crushes the ball and gets on base a lot. As a result he will be right on the heels of Tulo by season’s end.

2012 projection: .311 avg, 101 r, 23 hr, 94 rbi, 34 sb

3. Jose Reyes (Mia-SS)-Reyes finally returned to his old self after two injury shortened seasons. He had a career high in BA last year. However I don’t think the BA will be that high again this year. He is making a transition to a new team, which is going to be much more potent than his former, but they will also have a lot of guys who will be streaky. Expect a high avg, r, sb.

2012 projection: .297 avg, 112 r, 8 hr, 56 rbi, 43 sb

4. Elvis Andrus (Tex SS)-Elvis is only 23 years old, has already had 3 seasons of 30+ sb, he has improved his runs every season, and his doubles hit. The guy is continuing to get better at the plate and in his 4th season I’m saying he is going to be a little more consistent at the plate this year. Expect the continuing trend of improvement from the young Elvis!

2012 projection: .288 avg, 106 r, 5 hr, 66 rbi, 44 sb

5. Starlin Castro (ChC SS)-Starlin proved a lot of doubters wrong last year with a great sophomore season (including myself). He improved in all 5 categories last season. So I think we can expect another improvement in all of the categories this season too.

2012 projection: .308 avg, 96 r, 13 hr, 68 rbi, 28 sb

6. Alexei Ramirez (ChW SS)-Alexei was once a budding star that had a chance at a 30 hr, 20 sb season, but that seems ages ago (ok so it was probably only 2010 when we thought it could happen). Alexei has his worst season statistically last season, but when you take a closer look he may have been fairly unlucky (288 BABIP). He had a career high in doubles (which means he was hitting the ball hard, just not hard enough to make HRs last year) and tied a career high in OBP. So if he just improves slightly from a year ago in his k% and gets a little more luck from the ball. He should put up a great year. “Why can’t I quit you Alexei Ramirez!?!?”

2012 projection: .279 avg, 84 r, 22 hr, 76 rbi, 10 sb

7. Jimmy Rollins (Phi SS)-Jimmy Rollins had a good season at the age of 32, I don’t think he can improve again though. I see a line more like the one he produced in 2010 then the one he gave in 2011. I say draft at your own risk.

2012 projection: .258 avg, 78 r, 15 hr, 61 rbi, 24 sb

8. Asdrubal Cabrera (Cle SS)– Asdrubal is only 27 so last year may become the norm rather than the anomaly. I think he will come back down to earth a little, but also wouldn’t be surprised if he blows my expectations through the roof. I look at him with caution where others probably see a 27 year old off of a career year and drool.

2012 projection: .278 avg, 74 r, 15 hr, 72 rbi, 11 sb

9. JJ Hardy (Bal SS)– Hardy has the potential to be a 35+ HR guy from a position that doesn’t typically hit HR. However the only way he manages that is by staying in the lineup consistently, for example this is the games played each seson for his career (124, 35, 151, 146, 115, 101, 129). He needs to get back to the 145-150 mark to be real steal in the draft, but he won’t contribute anything in the speed category. So if that is a category you are looking to lose, than Hardy is your man.

2012 projection: .272 avg, 78 r, 31 hr, 82 rbi, 1 sb

10. Dee Gordon (LAD SS)- Gordon is only 23 (will be 24 after the first month of the season) and had 24 sb in just 56 games last season. If you extrapolate those numbers for the full season he would have somewhere around 61 sb. That is AWESOME. Oh did I mention he hit over .300 in those 56 games. He will be a staple atop the Dodgers lineup for a long time if he continues to do that. Think of Castro last year with more speed but less pop.

2012 projection: .300 avg, 84 r, 2 hr, 41 rbi, 63 sb

Sleeper: Alcides Escobar (KC-SS)– Once upon a time Escobar was a top 20 prospect two years in a row, then he played two and half years in the pros and has been nothing but underwhelming. He will only be 25, will play in a pretty good KC lineup. If he can somehow get back to getting on base (around .345 obp is all he needs to do) he will probably be a top of the lineup, which will mean lots of runs. He is still a great SB guy.

2012 projection: .278 avg, 78 r, 3 hr, 49 rbi, 35 sb

Bust: Jimmy Rollins (Phi-SS)- I know, I know, I have him ranked 6 overall but have him as a bust, and that is because Philly’s offense isn’t what it used to be, Rollins legs aren’t what they used to be, and I just get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach when it comes to what his season will look like this year. I will be staying away from him at pretty much all costs.

2012 projection: see line above.

My Rankings ESPN Yahoo! CBS
Troy Tulowitzki 1 1 1
Hanley Ramirez 2 2 2
Jose Reyes 3 3 3
Elvis Andrus 6 4 7
Starlin Castro 5 5 4
Alexei Ramirez 8 11 11
Jimmy Rollins 4 7 6
Asdrubal Cabrera 7 6 5
JJ Hardy 9 10 13
Dee Gordon 13 8 12
Sleeper: Alcides Escobar 21 19 16
Bust: Jimmy Rollins 4 7 6

Have any projections for SS this season? Don’t be afraid to post them in the comment section. As always don’t forget to follow the blog or “like” us on Facebook. Hope you enjoyed the rankings, and long live the SS! 3B will be up and running tomorrow, see you then.

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