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Fantasy Preview: Shortstop


If you remember the trinity in the American League of a decade ago, you'll love the updated version, now racking up fantasy points in the National League East. Getting one of them is critical, as the value at the position drops off dramatically once No. 3 goes off the board.

Nobody runs like Reyes. His 62 projected steals are 21 more than the next guy.who happens to also be the guy below him on this list. He's still growing his skills at the plate, too.

Ramirez does everything better than Reyes except steal bases (and play defense, not a fantasy issue). His power upside makes him a 40/40 threat.

The MVP would be even more V if he got on base a bit more. His runs-scored totals are actually understated given how often he puts himself in scoring position with steals and extra-base hits and the lineup behind him. Still, the power and speed make him a fantasy stud.

There's a big dropoff here, as Tulowitzki provides much less speed and somewhat fewer runs and RBIs than Rollins. He does, however, play at Coors Field, which remains a great spot for hitters.

The reliable source of speed and pop became an unreliable slap hitter last year. Just 30, it's likely that he'll get some of the power back, and hitting in front the Dodgers' good young bats will help his runs.

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Formerly fragile, Guillen has played in 150 games two years in a row. He'll play first base in '08 but remain a shortstop, and a good one, for fantasy purposes.

Lost in all the new trinity hype is that one of original trio is still going strong. Jeter's batting average and runs scored are his strong points, and he's a threat to steal 20 bags.

That projection assumes playing time that may not be there. Cristian Guzman has the better glove and is having the better spring at the plate, so Lopez may be stuck in a waiting-for-injury role.

Dead-pull hitter Greene swings a lot and misses a lot, and when he makes contact he hits the ball hard. His offensive mix is atypical at shortstop, and his good glove doesn't help you much.

Tejada has lost two steps in the field and one at the plate. Moving to Minute Maid Park should mask the latter problem, however, as the Crawford Boxes fit his swing nicely.

An injury to Alex Gonzalez creates an opportunity for this contact-hitting singles machine. Atop the Reds lineup, Keppinger could score a ton of runs.

Eckstein was Keppinger seven years ago. Now, he's aging, fragile and has lost most of his speed.