MLB Shortstops: The Best, The Bust, The Surprise, and the Second Half Sleeper
Nothing Short of Sensational!
The Best: Jose Reyes, Mets
It’s not a bad time to be Jose Reyes’ agent. The Mets shortstop was supposed to be a middle-tier free agent well behind Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols this off-season, but instead the speedster may be the most in demand. Reyes is on pace for some pretty historic statistics: 130 runs, 30 triples, 60 steals, and a .352 average.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon said early in the season that Jose Reyes was nuts for expecting Carl Crawford type money. It turns out Reyes would be crazy to accept Crawford-type money. He is younger, plays a more difficult positions, and this year proved that he has a higher ceiling than the Red Sox outfielder.
The Surprise: Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
Entering this season Asdrubal Cabrera had never before hit as many as seven home runs in a season. At the half-way point in the season, he is currently sitting on 13 dingers with 47 RBI, 12 steals, and a .296 average.
Just 25-years old, Cabrera is thriving for the surprise Cleveland Indians. While the career-season is impressive, it is not necessarily shocking. After all, Cabrera did belt 42 doubles in 2009 despite missing 31 games due to injuries.
The Bust: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
Coming into the season a hot debate was who to draft with the first oversall pick Hanley Ramirez or Albert Pujols. As it turns out neither big talent has been worthy of the top pick. While Pujols struggled then endured a fractured wrist, Hanley Ramirez has been downright awful.
Ramirez took a minor step backwards last season, as his average slipped from .342 to .300. However, no one could have predicted that his average would decline to .221 mid-way through the season. Ramirez has at least shown some signs of life over the last 10 games raising his average 21 points. However, it will take a major bounce back over the next few months for Ramirez’s production to return to its normal standards.
The 2nd Half Sleeper: Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks
Stephen Drew has always been a strong second half batter. In fact, his .282 average following the All-Star break is 20 points better than his career first-half statistics. At the moment, Drew is having an up-and-down season. Drew’s 43 runs and 43 RBI are solid, considering he spent the first week of the season injured. However, his five home runs and four steals are a bit pedestrian considering this a player that blasted 15 home runs with 10 steals last season. Expect Drew to heat up as the season progresses, perhaps reaching 100 runs and 100 RBI by season’s end.