Our 2012 keeper rankings focus on leagues that must gage the value of players for at least the next 3-5 years.
If you have one of the top short stop keepers, congratulations to you, you’re already ahead of the curve. While there are some intriguing young names, the shortstop keeper list is filled with players who could move up and down the rankings each year to a lack of projectable consistency.Note: All players on keeper rankings lists have appeared in the major leagues. For prospect rankings, check out our 2012 5x5 rankings list. Some players are not listed here due to their value at other positions or likelihood that they will not retain SS eligibility past 2012.
1. Troy Tulowitzki, 27
2. Starlin Castro, 22 – It’s my personal opinion that Castro will likely grow into more power and less speed as he continues to mature. However, that might also coincide with a move off of SS. He hit 10 home runs and stole 22 bases at age 21 in the big leagues while posting a line of .307/.341/.432. That’s pretty damn impressive. For now, the Cubs seem to want to develop Castro as their long-term SS, so his keeper value remains quite high.
3. Jose Reyes, 28
4. Elvis Andrus, 23 – Andrus has little power and may not be much more than a .275-.285 hitter, but at age 23 he should be a very good source of 40-plus stolen bases for years to come.
5. Asdrubal Cabrera, 26 – We’re likely to see a regression in As-Cab’s numbers in 2012, but he should still remain a solid HR/SB threat for the next few seasons.
6. Dee Gordon, 24 – Godron has some serious speed, that’s for sure, but his plate discipline needs a lot of work before we start to expect him to contribute in the AVG category. In other words, I’m not buying his .304 AVG from last season, which came in a somewhat small sample size of 233 plate appearances.
7. J.J. Hardy, 29 – There’s some risk in his injury history, but if he’s past that now, his power should prove consistently valuable.
8. Alexei Ramirez, 30
9. Erick Aybar, 28
10. Jimmy Rollins, 33
11. Zach Cozart, 26 – While Cozart might never be a star, he should hit for enough AVG with 15/15 upside in the HR/SB categories to be a mixed league SS/MI for the foreseeable future.
12. Jhonny Peralta, 29
13. Yunel Escobar, 29
14. Stephen Drew, 29
15. Derek Jeter, 37
16. Cliff Pennington, 27 – Pennington’s SB total fell off in last season after posting 29 steals in 2010. That seemed to be a result of him getting caught stealing too often too early in the year. However, Pennington fixed those issues late in the season, going 9-for-9 in stolen bases between August and September, giving fantasy GMs reason to believe he can reach the 30 SB mark going forward.
17. Jed Lowrie, 28 – Lowrie’s injury issues are one thing, but another is the fact that he has proven to be an extreme fly-ball hitter from the left-side, which doesn’t fit his profile very well (lot’s of FB outs). He still has enough plate discipline and contact skills to improve, but he’ll need to iron out his swing first.
18. Ian Desmond, 26
19. Alcides Escobar, 25 – A good source of stolen bases, but his plate discipline has a long way to go before he helps in any other category.
20. Sean Rodriguez, 27 – Despite his intriguing power/speed potential, Rodriguez is extremely risky due to a big swing that results in a lot of swings and misses.
21. Jason Bartlett, 32
22. Rafael Furcal, 34
23. Clint Barmes, 33
24. Ruben Tejada, 22
25. Brendan Ryan, 30
26. Alex Gonzalez, 35 – I had no idea his nickname was “Sea Bass”. Now I just have no idea why his nickname is “Sea Bass”.More valuable at other positions or unlikely to retain SS eligibility: Hanley Ramirez, Emilio Bonafacio, Marco Scutaro