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

Nationals acquire Kelvin Herrera from Royals

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Update (8:06 PM ET): The Royals will receive minor leaguers Blake Perkins, Kelvin Gutiérrez, and Yohanse Morel from the Nationals, per Heyman. The trade is official as the Nationals and Royals have announced the deal.

Perkins, 21, is the Nationals’ No. 11 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The outfielder was selected by the Nationals in the second round of the 2015 draft. This season, with High-A Potomac, Perkins hit .234/.344/.290 in 305 plate appearances.

Gutiérrez, 23, is rated by MLB Pipeline as the Nats’ No. 10 prospect. The club signed him as an international free agent in April 2013. With Double-A Harrisburg this season, the third baseman hit .274/.321/.391 in 249 trips to the plate.

Morel, 17, is not in the Nats’ Top-30 as the club signed him last July as an international free agent. In one start in the Dominican Summer League, Morel allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts across 3 1/3 innings.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring reliever Kelvin Herrera from the Royals. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post says three minor leaguers are going from the Nats to the Royals.

Herrera, 28, has been outstanding for the last-place Royals. He owns a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves and a 22/2 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. Herrera is a free agent after the season, so this is effectively a rental for the Nationals, who are three games behind the Braves for first place in the NL East.

Herrera will help bolster the Nats’ bullpen behind closer Sean Doolittle, who has 17 saves and a 1.52 ERA. It’s not known yet how the Nationals will handle the closer’s role with Herrera in the mix. One would imagine Herrera slides into the set-up role behind Doolittle.