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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 fantasy baseball rankings: Shortstops

There are two hammers at shortstop — Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins (ranked No. 3 overall in our top 100) and Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies (No. 7).

After that, you are forced to choose between a former stud who has been hampered by injuries the last two seasons (Jose Reyes), a Yankees legend who had a down year by his standards in 2010 (Derek Jeter) and a 2007 National League MVP who has batted .250 and .243 the last two years (Jimmy Rollins).

As Gus Johnson would say, “And he missed it!”

Reyes will be high-risk, high-reward choice late in the second or early in the third round of a 12-team league. The next shortstop to go off the board likely will be Jeter or Rollins late in the fourth or early in the fifth.

That brings us to our fourth positional breakdown of the season. In honor of Jeter and the possible passing of his days as a fantasy stud, let’s all agree to think of Minka Kelly after every shortstop is selected this year.

Rank, player: R-HR-RBI-SB-Avg.
1. Hanley Ramirez, Fla: 92-21-76-32-.300
2. Troy Tulowitzki, Col: 89-27-95-11-.315
3. Jose Reyes, NYM: 83-11-54-30-.282
4. Derek Jeter, NYY: 111-10-67-18-.270
5. Jimmy Rollins, Phi: 48-8-41-17-.243
6. Alexei Ramirez, CWS: 83-18-70-13-.282
7. Starlin Castro, ChC: 53-3-41-10-.300
8. Rafael Furcal, LAD: 66-8-43-22-.300
9. Elvis Andrus, Tex: 88-0-35-32-.265
10. Ian Desmond, Was: 59-10-65-17-.269
11. Stephen Drew, Ari: 83-15-61-10-.278
12. Marco Scutaro, Bos: 92-11-56-5-.275
13. Yunel Escobar, Tor: 60-4-35-6-.256
14. Alex Gonzalez, Atl: 74-23-88-1-.250
15. Asdrubal Cabrera, Cle: 39-3-29-6-.276
16. Reid Brignac, TB: 39-8-45-3-.256
17. Jhonny Peralta, Det: 60-15-81-1-.249
18. Miguel Tejada, SF: 71-15-71-2-.269
19. Jason Bartlett, SD: 71-4-47-11-.254
20. Yuniesky Betancourt, Mil: 60-16-78-2-.259

Preseason top 100 players (7): Ramirez (3), Tulowitzki (7), Reyes (25), Jeter (43), Rollins (50), Ramirez (60), Castro (89).

Short hops
Ramirez, who averaged 29 homers and 106 RBI from 2007 to 2009, had his power numbers drop to 21 homers and 76 RBI in 2010. ... Reyes averaged 66 steals, 16 homers and 69 RBI from 2006 to ’08. ... Jeter’s .270 batting average was 44 points below his career norm, and his 10 homers were his lowest since 2003. ... Rollins was limited to 88 games played in 2010 and had wrist surgery in the offseason. ... The consistent Ramirez has averaged 18 homers, 72 RBI and 13 steals in three years in the majors. ... Don’t overrate Andrus, who won’t help you at all in the power department (zero homers and 35 RBI last season) and batted .265. ... The Tribe’s Cabrera would be a bargain if he produces as he did in 2009 (.308, 68 RBI, 17 steals).

NOTE: Statistics are from the 2010 season. ... Players are listed only at the positions at which they are expected to spend the most time in 2011.

THIS WEEK: Shortstops, today; third basemen, Saturday; designated hitters, Sunday.

Catchers, March 7; first baseman, March 8; second baseman, March 9.

NEXT WEEK: Outfielders, starting pitchers, relievers and overall top 100.

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