As has become an All-Star break tradition, here’s a peek ahead at some very, very preliminary 2015 player rankings. I’m only concerned with next year here, so these aren’t true keeper rankings; if I were factoring in 2016 and beyond, some younger players would be listed quite a bit higher. As always, I’m going position by position (trying to account for next year’s position eligibility) and including a top 300 overall.
This winter’s free agents are listed without teams. Players facing option years are listed as “opt” in the team column.
2015 Shortstop Rankings
|3||Jose Reyes||Blue Jays||4|
|4||Xander Bogaerts||Red Sox||14 3B|
|11||Alexei Ramirez||White Sox||10|
|27||Wilmer Flores||Mets||37 3B|
|28||Nick Franklin||Mariners||30 2B|
|32||Josh Rutledge||Rockies||38 2B|
|47||Deven Marrero||Red Sox||NR|
- While Hanley is the biggest name, Hardy might have the most suitors of any free agent shortstop this winter. After all, Ramirez should be a third baseman going forward and Asdrubal Cabrera probably belongs at second base. I think Lowrie has a couple of seasons left at shortstop in him, and now that the A’s are without Addison Russell in reserve, they’ll probably do what they can to bring him back. Drew figures to get another one-year deal to serve as a starting shortstop. Fortunately, he won’t have a qualifying offer hanging over his head this time.
- Lindor is ranked highest of the prospects, because while he doesn’t have nearly the offensive upside of Baez and Correa, he is the best bet to open the season in the majors.
- At No. 46, Russell is much lower than he would have been had he remained with the A’s. In Chicago, he has both Castro and Baez ahead of him at shortstop, and while the Cubs could do something about the logjam this winter, either by trading Castro or, more likely, shifting Baez to another position, there still won’t be any clear path for Russell to make an impact in 2015.