Because of years and years of terrible fantasy shortstops, people don’t really have high expectations for this position anymore.  Unless you get an upper-tier guy your not going to rely on your shortstop for power.  Which means most people will target shortstop for speed.  Regardless, the expectations are so low now that there are plenty of good values out there.  I truly believe that shortstop is a better fantasy position overall than 2B is this year.  There are some great ones at the top, some nice values in the middle, and some very good sleepers at the bottom of your drafts.

2012 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings
1. Troy Tulowitzki (COL)
2. Hanley Ramirez (MIA)
3. Jose Reyes (MIA)
4. Starlin Castro (CHC)
5. Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE)
6. Emilio Bonifacio (MIA)
7. Elvis Andrus (TEX)
8. Jhonny Peralta (DET)
9. Jimmy Rollins (PHI)
10. Dee Gordon (LAD)
11. JJ Hardy (BAL)
12. Zack Cozart (CIN)
13. Derek Jeter (NYY)
14. Stephen Drew (ARI)
15. Erick Aybar (LAA)
16. Alexei Ramirez (CWS)
17. Eric Sogard (OAK)
18. Mike Aviles (BOS)
19. Alcides Escobar (KC)
20. Yunel Escobar (TOR)
21. Ian Desmond (WAS)
22. Rafael Furcal (STL)
23. Ruben Tejada (NYM)
24. Jamey Carroll (MIN)
25. Marco Scutaro (COL)

I had a very tough time choosing between Tulo and Hanley. Hanley will have a complete bounce back this season. Tulo gets the nod because of his consistency to hit around 30 HR. These two guys are the only ones who have the potential to reach 30 HR. Both have done it before. Tulo has done it more times. Hanley will also steal a high total of bases. Both guys will hit for a good average. Tulo will probably offer more power while Hanley offers more speed. They are very close. The big difference is their average draft positions. Tulo is being drafted #4 overall, while Hanley is going in round 2. That makes Hanley the biggest steal of this year’s draft. Take him late round 1. Or wait to see if he comes back in early round 2. If he does, you win.

Reyes, Castro, and Asdrubal are so expensive. I like the value all three of these guys have, but I don’t like the idea of spending a 3rd-4th round pick on them. Your paying for their position scarcity. At the same time that you can get them, you can get an elite 3B, or a powerful OF. Reyes has plenty of injury risk too. His average will drop down closer to .300. I still like his value hitting leadoff for the power Marlins team. Castro is a bit unproven to invest that highly in. Cabrera is slightly cheaper. He’s a risk to see a power dip. His power may have been a fluke. Regardless, he may be worth the risk considering how low power typically is at SS.

I love Emilio Bonifacio this year. How about those Marlins dominating the list by the way? They have 3 guys in the top 6 on this list. And Bonifacio will bat in between the other two. The current batting order is Reyes, Bonifacio, Hanley, Stanton. That gives Bonifacio a huge opportunity to see good pitching, hit for a decent average, score a ton of runs, and steal many bases. He is much higher on my list than he is on other sites. Which means you can get him pretty late. He has great position flexibility as well which makes him a great utility player. You can plug him in anywhere. A lot of the guys ranked right behind him on my list are being drafted rounds and rounds ahead of him. I like him enough to give him his own paragraph.

Andrus is a little overrated. Your paying too much for his high steal total. His average isn’t good, and he really doesn’t have power either. Just like Bonifacio, Peralta is being drafted pretty late. He’s being drafted later than the guys around him. I’m not sure why he isn’t getting the respect he deserves this year, but the guy hit around .300 last year with great power. He plays in a tremendous offense. I see no reason why he won’t repeat last year’s numbers. If you miss out on one of the big shortstops I would wait to target Bonifacio or Peralta. They are two thirds of why I think SS is deep. Read on for the third third. Jimmy Rollins has fallen off big time, but his power is still decent. Dee Gordon has amazing speed and could steal 50+ bases if he plays everyday. The problem with him is that everyone already knows about his potential. Because of that you have to overpay for an unproven guy. JJ Hardy hit 30 HR’s last year. He had a bounce back that came out of nowhere. He is risky to do it again, but the good thing is that his price isn’t very high. This makes him worth the risk.

Zack Cozart is the third third of what I just spoke of. He is a rookie of the year candidate. I expect .280 15/15 out of him this season. Those numbers are much better than guys like Jeter/Aybar/Alexei. 15 HR from a SS is solid. I have Stephen Drew higher than most people. I’ve always liked Stephen Drew. He is still injured and won’t be ready for the beginning of the season though. I figure that if he comes back in May he will still put up better numbers than everyone behind him. He’s always had 20 HR potential over a full season. Injuries have kept him from that most seasons. You can still expect decent power once he’s back. Eric Sogard isn’t being drafted at all. He has had a nice spring and is currently fighting for the starting 3B job in Oakland. I think he’s going to win it. He has decent upside as a 3B, which means his numbers could be nice for the SS position. I’m not keeping expectations too high since he isn’t guaranteed a job though. He’s someone to watch if you really need a SS.

I wouldn’t really touch anyone under Sogard. None of them do enough.

You can get my thoughts on every player in the league immediately with my fantasy cheat sheet.  It uses a unique color coded system that tells you exactly who to draft.  If you want to dominate your draft, it’s a must have.  If your interested in that you can click here.

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