1. Ian Desmond (29) - Three straight 20/20 seasons have Desmond atop the shortstop ranks, but there are some reasons to be concerned. Desmond stuck out a career high 28% last year, and hit only .255 with a .326 BABIP which is actually 1 point above his career average. So there are a few red flags that would keep him out of my overall top 20
but his counting stats are too good to ignore.
2. Troy Tulowitski (30) - I'm not going to be the guy who drafts Troy Tulowitski in any of my leagues this year. No numbers analysis needed for this one, its all about health. If you can find someone to replace him for the 30-50 games he misses then he's great, but I think we all know what's going to happen with him. MVP numbers for part of the season followed by the agony of several DL stints.
3. Xander Bogaerts (22) - Ranking Bogaerts this high has absolutely nothing to do with what he did in 2014. He was pretty terrible actually as he hit only .240 with 12 home runs and 2 steals. The rank is all about youth and potential, and the hope that he is able to get back to the .300 average and 20 home run power he showed in the minors. He's young enough, and hopefully a full year at short will help him get there.
4. Javier Baez (22) - Baez is one of the toughest dynasty players to rank in all of baseball. He showed off all of his crazy upside and huge downside in 2014. He came up to the majors and hit 9 homers and had 5 steals in just 229 AB's, but he also hit .149 and struck out in an insane 41% of his AB's. His upside is a top 5 player in all of fantasy, but there is still a real chance he's a total bust because he can't control the strikeouts.
5. Hanley Ramirez (31) - Hanley has been at or near the top of shortstop ranks for the better part of the decade, but it looks like a virtual lock that this is his last year with SS eligibility. If he was going to stay at the position I'd probably have him at #2, but barring an injury to Bogaerts he's a full time outfielder now. When you factor in that, and how incredibly inconsistent he's been the past few years I can't put him any higher.
6. Jose Reyes (31) - Reyes had a mild rebound in 2014 staying mostly healthy and putting up a 30 steal season for the 8th time in his career. He's never going to return to the 78 steals and 119 runs like in the glory days of 2007 but he's in a great lineup and should still put up close to 100 runs and approach 30 steals for the foreseeable future.
7. Jean Segura (25) - There may have been no more disappointing player in 2014 than Segura. He pretty much fell apart at the plate, and his homers and steals dropped more than 50% from his previous breakout season. There is a small glimmer of hope however as his walk rate actually went up from 4% to 5% (which is still pretty terrible), and his K rate fell from 13.5% to 12.6%. When you factor in that he had a 50 point drop in BABIP and a major personal tragedy off the field I think he could be a great buy low candidate.
8. Addison Russell (21) - There are still some questions about where Russell will play when he gets his eventual call up to the show. Now that he's in Chicago there are 2 other potential shortstops on the roster in Baez and Castro, but its possible he's the best of the 3.
9. Carlos Correa (20) - Correa is still a ways off from the bigs, but when he comes up the hype train will surely be out of control giving him major dynasty trade value (and of course he could potentially provide actual value).
10. Jhonny Peralta (33) - If you're looking for a win now option at short there aren't many players who provide more power potential at the position than Peralta. He had a resurgent year in 2014 with 21 homers, and while it probably wont last much longer if you can get him late he should be a great short term value.
11. Elvis Andrus (26) - Few players are more boring than Elvis, but he still is a safe bet for 25+ steals, and he is only one year removed from a 42 steal season. At only 26 there's no reason to think he's done running so he could be a value if you can get him late enough.
12. Starlin Castro (25) - Castro has never really put it all together like we all thought he would when he came up back in 2010. His career high of 25 steals came back in 2012, but even in that season he was caught stealing 13 times. In the next 2 seasons he stole a combined 13 bags while being caught 10 times. So bottom line he's not an efficient base stealer, and I think his days of double digit steals are gone. What's left is a .300 hitter who might get you low double digit home runs, but even though he's still young I don't think there's much upside here.
13. Alexi Ramirez
14. Andrelton Simmons
15. Danny Santana
17. Corey Seager
18. Alcides Escobar
19. Evereth Cabrera
20. JJ Hardy
21. Didi Gregorious (25) - Now that the next Jeter is on the Yanks is there any chance he might actually be good? Probably not, but the Yankees coaches seem to love him for some reason and he might provide a little bit of power from a middle infield slot. In 2014 he hit 6 home runs in 80 games, and while he's not getting a huge ballpark upgrade its possible that he could hit 12-15 in Yankee stadium. I really don't have an actual reason to be confident in Gregorious, but I have a gut feeling he has a solid 2015.