2011 Projection Review: Shortstops

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What follows is a review of some of my 2011 projections for Rotoworld.com. I’m highlighting my preseason top five for each position and some other notables.

Catchers
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen

Shortstops

Preseason Top 5

Hanley Ramirez – Marlins – $39 – #1
Projection: .317/.398/.533, 27 HR, 104 R, 93 RBI, 30 SB in 559 AB
2011 stats: .243/.333/.379, 10 HR, 55 R, 45 RBI, 20 SB in 338 AB

Count on Ozzie Guillen giving Ramirez a swift kick in the rear. Whether that will get him back to his 2009 level of performance is uncertain, but I’d be surprised if he isn’t an All-Star next year.

Troy Tulowitzki – Rockies – $32 – #2
Projection: .298/.377/.548, 31 HR, 101 R, 104 RBI, 11 SB in 551 AB
2011 stats: .302/.372/.544, 30 HR, 81 R, 105 RBI, 9 SB in 537 AB

Tulo did almost exactly what was expected of him. The guys behind him in the order, on the other hand…

Jose Reyes – Mets – $27 – #3
Projection: .290/.353/.452, 14 HR, 93 R, 60 RBI, 37 SB in 580 AB
2011 stats: .337/.384/.493, 7 HR, 101 R, 44 RBI, 39 SB in 537 AB

This was the best version of Reyes we’ve seen to date: fewer homers, fewer walks and fewer steals, but also fewer strikeouts and a whole bunch more singles. He should be through as a 60-steal guy, as health does need to be a priority.

Elvis Andrus – Rangers – $24 – #4
Projection: .280/.347/.370, 5 HR, 97 R, 49 RBI, 41 SB in 610 AB
2011 stats: .279/.347/.361, 5 HR, 96 R, 60 RBI, 37 SB in 587 AB

Andrus showed a bit of pop this year after finishing with no homers and a .301 slugging percentage as a sophomore. I don’t suspect that he’ll break through and reach double figures in homers next year, but he should get there someday.

Jimmy Rollins – Phillies – $23 – #5
Projection: .266/.328/.423, 16 HR, 92 R, 65 RBI, 32 SB in 617 AB
2011 stats: .268/.338/.399, 16 HR, 87 R, 63 RBI, 30 SB in 567 AB

Rollins gets to take his best season since 2008 with him as he heads into free agency. It might get him a four-year deal this winter, though three years would be safer.

Others

Erick Aybar – Angels – $13 – #13
Projection: .276/.327/.390, 8 HR, 69 R, 56 RBI, 21 SB in 536 AB
2011 stats: .279/.322/.421, 10 HR, 71 R, 59 RBI, 30 SB in 556 AB

Asdrubal Cabrera – Indians – $15 – #10
Projection: .293/.354/.415, 9 HR, 83 R, 63 RBI, 11 SB in 557 AB
2011 stats: .273/.332/.460, 25 HR, 87 R, 92 RBI, 17 SB in 604 AB

I didn’t see Cabrera becoming this kind of power hitter at any point in his career.

Starlin Castro – Cubs – $19 – #8
Projection: .296/.345/.420, 8 HR, 90 R, 60 RBI, 19 SB in 612 AB
2011 stats: .307/.341/.432, 10 HR, 91 R, 66 RBI, 22 SB in 674 AB

Castro hit eight homers after the All-Star break, as compared to just two before. I suspect that some will cite that fact and project him as a 15- or 20-homer guy next year. Still, I think that homer outburst was something of a fluke. He had just 13 non-HR extra-base hits in the second half, compared to 32 in the first half.

Yunel Escobar – Blue Jays – $12 – #14
Projection: .290/.362/.413, 12 HR, 77 R, 63 RBI, 5 SB in 542 AB
2011 stats: .290/.369/.413, 11 HR, 77 R, 48 RBI, 3 SB in 513 AB

One of my best projections, and Escobar hit .256/.337/.318 in 2010, so this was no easy call.

Rafael Furcal – Dodgers/Cardinals – $16 – #9
Projection: .276/.345/.399, 10 HR, 87 R, 48 RBI, 24 SB in 537 AB
2011 stats: .231/.298/.348, 8 HR, 44 R, 28 RBI, 9 SB in 333 AB

J.J. Hardy – Orioles – $8 – #21
Projection: .264/.325/.429, 19 HR, 64 R, 66 RBI, 1 SB in 518 AB
2011 stats: .269/.310/.491, 30 HR, 76 R, 80 RBI, 0 SB in 527 AB

Derek Jeter – Yankees – $21 – #6
Projection: .286/.358/.401, 13 HR, 101 R, 64 RBI, 16 SB in 601 AB
2011 stats: .297/.355/.388, 6 HR, 84 R, 61 RBI, 16 SB in 546 AB

Jeter had reached double figures in homers in 15 straight seasons before coming up well short at age 37. He also finished with a career-low 24 doubles, which should probably be taken as an indication that his homer total isn’t likely to bounce back much or at all.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka – Twins – $10 – #15
Projection: .265/.334/.376, 7 HR, 78 R, 59 RBI, 18 SB in 548 AB
2011 stats: .226/.278/.249, 0 HR, 14 R, 19 RBI, 2 SB in 221 AB

I’ve typically done pretty well with Japanese hitters arriving in the big leagues, but Nishioka proved to be terribly overmatched. There’s still the chance that he’ll hit for a decent average as a sophomore, but he’s not going to generate any power with his current swing.

Alexei Ramirez – White Sox – $20 – #7
Projection: .280/.324/.449, 20 HR, 75 R, 77 RBI, 16 SB in 564 AB
2011 stats: .269/.328/.399, 15 HR, 81 R, 70 RBI, 7 SB in 614 AB

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

Kent Horner/Getty Images
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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.