You remember back to March when I gave away all my position player rankings for free, right? For those of you who want to revisit my greatest hits, here’s where you would go to get all my rankings for hitters – 2011: BBGuys Hitter Capsules.
I’m nothing if not accountable, so I’ll review my top-10 predictions at each position as well as point out my biggest “hit” outside of the top-10 and my biggest “bust.”
2011 SHORTSTOP Top-10
1 Hanley Ramirez
2 Troy Tulowitzki
3 Jimmy Rollins
4 Jose Reyes
5 Derek Jeter
6 Alexei Ramirez
7 Stephen Drew
8 Elvis Andrus
9 Yunel Escobar
10 Rafael Furcal
Ramirez had a four year run going of hitting at least .300 with 21 homers, 67 RBI, 92 runs and 27 steals. He didn’t reach a single one of those numbers in 2011 (.243-10-45-55-20). He eventually had surgery on his injured shoulder, and the hope is that he will be ready for the start of the 2012 season.
Tulowitzki hit 30 homers and powered a career best 105 runners across the plate as he hit .302 and posted a third straight OPS of over .900 at .916. However, he also scored a three year low with 81 runs, and he failed to record double-digit steals for the first time in three years with nine.
Rollins rebounded from an injury induced slump in 2010, but the numbers were still far from the elite totals that he had posted in the past (.268-16-63-87-30). At 32 years old he can still be a mighty productive player, but keep your expectations in check when drafting him in 2012.
Reyes wants someone to show him the money. He went out and hit .337, the best mark in the NL, and he scored 101 runs for the Metropolitans. That run scored mark was impressive given that he appeared in only 126 games, but he stole “only” 39 bags, a disappointing total for a guy who stole at least 56 bases each year from 2005-2008.
Jeter hit six homers, the first time he ever failed to go deep 10 times, and he also scored a career worst 84 runs. On the positive tip he produced 61 RBI, an 8th straight year of at least that number, an a late run at the dish resulted in him hitting .297 on the year.
Ramirez always seems to be slumping, but in the end there are few more productive, and consistent, performers at the position. For the fourth time in four years he hit 15 homers with 68 RBI, and he scored 81 runs, swiped seven bags, and hit a passable .269.
Drew fractured his right ankle and as a result suited up for just 86 games. He was productive when on the field with five homers, 45 RBI and 44 runs scored, but he simply didn’t play enough to be worthy of much of anything this season.
Andrus slightly improved his average up to .279, the same trick he pulled off with his OBP of .347 (both three year bests). Andrus also posted 3-years bests in runs (96), hits (164), doubles (27), RBI (60) and steals (37).
Escobar had a lost 2010 season causing many to forget, or at least overlook, him on draft day. I wasn’t one of those who walked by without looking. Escobar ended up producing a season that fell right in line with his 2008-09 efforts as he hit .290 with 11 homers, 48 RBI, 77 runs scored an a .782 OPS for the Blue Jays.
Furcal had yet another injury filled an unproductive season split between the Dodgers and the Cardinals hitting just .231 with eight homers, 28 RBI, 44 runs and nine steals in just 87 games. Per game he was productive in the counting categories, but for a second straight year the 34 year old Furcal failed to appear in 100 games.
Hit: Yunel Escobar #9
Bust: Rafael; Furcal #10
It’s too easy to list Hanley Ramirez, and since we all know how pathetic he was, it doesn’t serve much purpose to blast him here again. We all know he was the biggest bust in baseball.
By Ray Flowers