While watching MLB Network's Top 10 Right Now programme for the top shortstops in the game, I came to the revelation that there are very few good shortstops in the Majors. I'll give you the list, as I remember it:
10. Starlin Castro
9. Marco Scutaro
8. Stephen Drew
7. Alexei Ramirez
6. Jimmy Rollins
5. Elvis Andrus
4. Jose Reyes
3. Derek Jeter
2. Troy Tulowitski
1. Hanley Ramirez
These are the Top 10 baseball players at arguably the most important defensive position on the field. This is a shit sandwich (with exception to the top 2 players). Let's go through this starting with the guy they said "just missed the list".
Yunie Betancourt and Miguel Tejada. yes, that is right, the players with the best chance to make this list were a has been and a never was. Yunie Betancourt wouldn't start on most AAA teams, how is he one of the best shortstops in the game???? In 2009, he actually compiled a -1.7 WAR. Simply by being on the field, he cost his team 1.7 Wins over a bum they could have called up from AAA. This is incredible.
When I saw Miggy's name on the list, I was shocked. I didn't even think he played shortstop anymore, so I had to look it up. Turns out, he barely does. Tejada had 58 games played at shortstop last year. How is this one of the top shortstops in the game????
10. Starlin Castro. Sure he has a lot of upside (some would say Tremendous Upside Potential). He has had one pretty good year. If I had a draft of all major league players, I would probably take Starlin pretty high solely based on his youth and projecting his growth. But, putting him in the Top 10 of all shortstops as of this moment is jumping the gun a little.
9. Marco Scutaro. Really? Didn't he almost lose his job to a guy named Jed last year? (I imagine this is what everyone named Jed looks like)
8. Stephen Drew. I like Stephen Drew, and i fell in love with him as a fantasy player early on. However, he still hasn't quite blossomed into the player I hoped he would become. Hopefully, it is because he hates playing baseball like his brother does. With all that being said, he is still ranked way too low on this list, wait for the crap sandwich that is coming up.
7. Alexei Ramirex. Had the highest UZR of any shortstop last year and hit 18 homers. I still can't understand why he is so underrated. And then Al Leiter confirmed my worst fears, "The thing that is holding Alexei back from making the jump into the great shortstops list is all the errors he makes" (paraphrased). Really, the errors? Jeter made approximately 6 defensive plays last year, but since he did not make an error, he is a God. Ramirez lead the league in Total Zone, meaning he got to far more balls than Jeter, but still gets no respect.
6. Jimmy Rollins. I thought he was injured. Oh, it's a contract year, then I'll change my mind and pencil Rollins in for a career year.
5. Elvis Andrus. He is a great fielder. Probably the best fielding shortstop in the game. Can't hit for shit. I guess this is about where he should end up on the list, but where would Elvis Andrus been on this list had he played in 2002?
4. Jose Reyes. See Jimmy Rollins.
3. Derek Jeter. True Yankee. -14 errors all year. Bitches want to fuck him. Not even remotely good at playing shortstop.
Again, #1 and #2 are very good players, so I won't get into them. Check out the rest of that list. Put any of these guys in any other decade of baseball and they might not make the Top 10. Sure most decades the SS position consisted of scrappy fielders, but even on that level only 1 or 2 of these guys could compete. Forget about comparing them to the SS in the Steroid Era a juiced up Nomar spits on Stephen Drew. I just wish the most publicized position in baseball would get a little better at, you know, playing baseball.