Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings – Shortstop


Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings

Updated 2/14/11





Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32

Player Rankings by Position:


First Base

Second Base


Third Base

Outfield… coming soon

Starting Pitchers… coming soon

Relief Pitchers… coming soon

Closers… coming soon


The rankings are based upon the following:


Random Variance Score- shows the results random variance had on a player’s 2011 season and the probability that a player will exceed or regress in 2012. Scoring is a -5 to +5 scale that measures several sabermetric categories that reflect if a player is prone to regression.


The Mayberry Method- a 0-5 scale of a fantasy players Power, Speed, Batting Average, and Playing Time.


Health & Age- Player is given a score A to F based on the combination of health history and age/regression.


Runs Above Replacement (RAR)- Estimated number of runs a player will generate above his replacement


On Base Plus Slugging Average (OPS)- Combines On Base percentage plus slugging percentage to show a players overall performance. Elite players will bat .900 or higher. Stars will bat .800 or higher. The average player will bat above .650. A bad score is anything under .650



1. Troy Tulowitzki, Col

Age: 27   2011 Stats: .302-30-105


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







Tulo is everything you want in an elite fantasy player. Tulo has yet to reach his ceiling. 40 HR and 20 SB potential all while playing Shortstop and hitting .300+ .The metrics and trends clearly show we have yet to see the best of this elite player.



2. Jose Reyes, Mia

Age: 28   2011 Stats: .337-7-44


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







Through the first half of 2011, Reyes looked healthy and was on his way to a career year. He was on pace for 60+ SB, 90+RBI, 20 HR all while hitting .337. All those hopes for Reyes owners were crushed when his hamstring blew up before the allstar break. Even when he came back he was not the same player. Over his career, Reyes is the classic High Reward/High Risk player. Switching leagues and getting paid might have some negative effects on him getting a fast start. The new ballpark in Miami is suppose to be a pitchers park which could lead to a lot of XBH. He is only 28, and being in the middle of his prime you can expect big stats if healthy.


3. Starlin Castro, ChC

Age: 21   2011 Stats: .307-10-66


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







At 21 years old, Elite Speed with a .300 average is a great foundation to have. The trends show that power will develop over the years but I could expect 15 HRs in 2012. If he gets the right manager that will give him the green light, 50+ steals are in his realm. Great CT% shows the average is legit. Castro is a great keeper to hold onto and build your team around for years.


4. Asdrubal Cabrera, Cle

Age: 26   2011 Stats: .273-25-92


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







A healthy 2011 showed great progress from a 2009 season. He saw more Fastballs in 2011 than ever before, which could show where some of his power came from. The trends do show 10-15 HR power. Besides the power every other basic stat fell inline with the metrics. Projected 2012 ceiling would be .270-15-90.


5. Eric Aybar, LAA

Age: 28   2011 Stats: .279-10-59


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS






There is a lot of hype surrounding Aybar in the Fantasy world. I have seen projections as insane as .335-20-100 with 55 SB. I am not on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I think Aybar will have a nice season. With Pujols and Morales entering the lineup, Aybar should have beter pitch selection at the plate and more chances to rack up steals on the basepaths. Aybar has only hit over .279 once in his career. With his SB metrics dropping in 2011, 50 plus stolen bases are a stretch. I see Aybar gaining a lot in Runs and a spike up to 40 SBs. He produces across the board which makes him valuable at SS, but he is not “great” at anything.


6. Elvis Andrus, Tex 

Age: 23   2011 Stats: .279-5-60


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







I am starting to wonder if this is as good as it gets for Andrus from a fantasy prospective.  If defensive stats where big in fantasy, he would be elite. He has zero power, hardly hits .279, and his baserunning metrics dropped in 2011. With his talent I would expect 50 steals, and that would be enough for me to draft him higher. BUT he has not shown that talent and I am starting to wonder if he is not over-hyped.


7. Jhonny Peralta, Det

Age: 29   2011 Stats: .299-21-86


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







Shows 20+ HR power. Can hit in the .270-.299 range. OPS was a nice .827. If Peralta could steal 15+ bases and be more consistant, he would easily be a top 5 Shortstop. The problem is one year he hits .249, then the next he is .299. One year he will hit 24 HRs, then he drops to 11. With Prince in the lineup, you can hope Peralta is in a better position for success.


8. Alexei Ramirez, CWS

Age: 30   2011 Stats: .269-15-70


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







In my book, Ramirez is a huge letdown. After his 2008 season, there was hope he would produce 30+ HR power, steal 25+ bases, and hit over .300. Those projections are long gone. At 30 years old, he has acted like a player on the wrong side of 30 the past 3 seasons. As he continues his decline he is just average across the board.


9. Jimmy Rollins, Phi

Age: 33   2011 Stats: .268-16-63


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS








The 30 steals in 2011 suprised me, but I don’t expect 30+ in the future. With a 33 year old Rollins, you can expect 15-20 HRs, 20 steals and a .260 average. Regression metrics are showing 20% decline every year past 33 for Rollins.


10. J.J. Hardy, Bal

Age: 29  2011 Stats: .269-30-80


Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS







The only other player besides Tulo to show 30 HR power in 2011. I wouldn’t expect 30 HR this year, but if healthy he can easily get you 20-25. I like Hardy do to the power potential and he normally holds a BA around .270.  His CT% has held steady, but health issues might spark regression. He is a nice MI option, and a cheap source for power.



If you would like to explore more in-depth about Advanced Metrics, here are some amazing resources/people that have made a priceless impact on the way I evaluate players and it has shown in the success I have each year. I do not get any kick backs from this list, just like to promote great materials/information when I see it.  – Ron Shandler is amazing, buy Baseball Forecaster… it’s my “Fantasy Bible” – Ray Flowers gives simple, but great wisdom on the world of Fantasy Sports. Follow him on twitter @Baseballguys – Bill James is the Godfather of SABR, If you are new to the game here is where you start to learn advanced metrics



Questions? Comments? Follow me on Twitter @KStafford32




Where does David Freese’s walk-off HR rank historically?

This morning on Twitter the MLB posed the question of whether or not David Freese’s walk-off homerun last night was the greatest of all time?  My initial response was “not even close”.  I feel that in the “ESPN era” we often act like nothing happened in sports prior to 1980 (a thought similar to one that Mike Wilbon has expressed numerous times) and one of my biggest pet peeve’s with our 24 hour sports news cycle is the tendency that we have to confuse the “latest” with the “greatest”.   However as I watch the clip over and over and over again I do understand how special this series has been and how amazing that shot was.  So while in my mind there were a few that jumped to mind immediately I wanted to really think about where Freese’s walk-off does rank among all-time walk-off home runs.  I wanted to be weary as to not give it so much credit because it is happening now but in all reality, this has been a great postseason full of great moments.  So without further ado, my top 11 postseason walk-off homeruns.

11. Ozzie Smith, St. Louis Cardinals – Game 5, 1985 NLCS

In the 1985 National League Championship Series, Ozzie Smith (who at the time had 12 career homeruns) hits a walk-off homerun down the right field line to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead in the series over the Dodgers.  This was the first time that Ozzie Smith ever hit a homerun while batting lefthanded.  The Cardinals would go on to win the NL pennant but would fall in the 1985 World Series 4 games to 3 to the Kansas City Royals.

10. Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers – Game 2, 2011 ALCS

In Game 2 of the 2011 ALCS after Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Napoli all single to reach base safely, Nelson Cruz comes to the plate and hits the first ever  postseason walk-off grandslam to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the series (once again, my apologies on the poor video quality).

9. Kirk Gibson, Los Angeles Dodgers- Game 1, 1988 World Series

In the ninth inning of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Kirk Gibson (later named NL MVP) makes his only appearance of the Series due to injury.  He hobbles up and hits a tw0-run shot to give the Dodgers the first game of the Series.  Marks the first time a game-winning home run was hit in a World Series by a team that was trailing at the time.

8. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox – Game 4, 2004 ALCS

This was the homerun that started the rally.  This was the homerun that made the impossible possible.  This was the homerun that gave a glimmer of hope to a cursed fanbase.   In the bottom of the 12th inning in a game that was tied 4-4, Big Papi stepped up to the plate and crushed a 2 run shot to end the game and allow Boston to avoid the sweep.  Since the game ended after midnight you can hear Joe Buck’s call of “we’ll see you later tonight”.  Ortiz hit a game winning single in the 14th inning the following night as the Red Sox went on to become the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in postseason history.

7. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees – Game 4, 2001 World Series

In the first ever World Series at-bat by any player in the month of November, Derek Jeter stepped up to the plate in a 3-3 ballgame in the bottom of the 10th.  This homerun gave Jeter the nickname “Mr. November”.

6. Bobby Thompson, New York Giants – Game 3, 1951 National League Tiebreaker

At the end of the 1951, the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers were tied in the National League pennant race so it was determined that a three game series would be played.   The New York Giants had won the first game and the Dodgers the 2nd so it all came down to Game 3.  The Giants were down 4-1 entering the ninth inning.  The inning started off with 2 singles and then a double that scored one of the runners to make it 4-2.   Bobby Thompson stepped up to the plate and hit a 3 run homerun down the left field line in what later became known as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”.

5. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals – Game 6, 2011 World Series

You saw it last night.  The St. Louis hometown kid came through for the Cardinals to force Game 7 between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals with a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th. (The video below is for #5 and #4)

4. Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins – Game 6, 1991 World Series

Now of course this is my FAVORITE homerun of all-time but I really could not list it higher than 3 on the best postseason homeruns all-time list.   Puckett who had made a game-saving defensive play earlier in the game led off the 11th inning with a solo homerun to tie the series at 3-3 prompting Jack Buck (Joe Buck’s father and longtime St. Louis Cardinals announcer) to make the call, “And we’ll see you…. tomorrow night!”  Puckett finished the game with a homerun, triple, and two singles.   (On a sidenote, I will still say the 2011 World Series has a lot in common with the 1991 series).

3. Carlton Fisk, Boston Red Sox – Game 6, 1975 World Series

Fisk’s home run to lead off the 12th in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series tied the Series with the Reds at 3 games apiece.   Today there is a plate at the left field foul pole on top of the Green Monster designating it as the “Fisk Pole”.  This moment is more significant than anything because, due to a cameraman error, the camera was left focused on Fisk as opposed to the ball and his “jumping up and down” arguably led to television camera crews putting more focus on athlete reaction in sports broadcasting.

2. Joe Carter, Toronto Blue Jays – Game 6, 1993 World Series

In the ninth inning, Joe Carter stepped up to the plate with 2 runners on and the Blue Jays were down 6-5.  Carter hit a three run homerun that gave the Blue Jays their second consecutive World Series trophy (6:20 mark in video).

1. Bill Mazeroski, Pittsburgh Pirates – Game 7, 1960 World Series

In a game that was tied 9-9, Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the 9th with a walk-off solo home run that gave the Pittsburgh Pirates their first World Series in 35 years.  This is still the only walk-off home run in Game 7 of  World Series in MLB history and is considered by many the greatest home run of all time.

Questions? Comments? Snide Remarks? Let me hear ’em!