This is my fourth player-ranking edition of Bernie On The Scene.
I realize many of you have ideas and suggestions for additional players that I don't rank at a particular position. For example, I did not rank Hanley Ramirez at third base, because I consider him a shortstop – even though he is likely eligible at third base in your league.
In this edition, I'll rank Luis Cruz at shortstop because that's where his eligibility rests in most leagues. However, he'll be playing third base and he'll also have eligibility at third in most leagues. It's a tricky proposition.
I would always tend to select (or use) a player at the weakest possible position. For example: Cruz as a shortstop as opposed to third base.
The situation repeats itself a great deal. Watch for position eligibility in your draft and pick the weakest overall depth for your selection of that player. It could reap great benefits.
My bold numbers are based solely on comparisons for this position. That means I like the person to excel in that category for this position, and not overall.
Of course, as I have done in the past three articles, I will forget to list or omit altogether someone you love. Just let me know and I'll spank myself.
I look at several items when I rank players:
Again, to paraphrase what I have said in my first three ranking articles, several factors are crucial to me:
- Where does the player hit in the lineup and who's around him to offer opportunity and protection?
- Where will the player be playing his home games?
- What is the quality of the division pitching he will face most often?
- Where is he in his career? Is he in his most productive years or at the beginning or end?
1. Troy Tulowitzki - home runs, RBI, runs, stolen bases, batting average
2. Jose Reyes - home runs, runs, stolen bases, batting average
3. Starlin Castro - home runs, runs, RBI, stolen bases, batting average
4. Hanley Ramirez - home runs, runs, RBI, stolen bases
5. Ben Zobrist - home runs, runs, RBI, stolen bases
6. Ian Desmond - home runs, runs, RBI, stolen bases, batting average
7. Elvis Andrus - runs, RBI, stolen bases, batting average
8. Asdrubal Cabrera - home runs, runs, RBI, batting average
9. Erick Aybar - runs, stolen bases, batting average
10. Derek Jeter - runs, batting average
11. Alcides Escobar - runs, stolen bases, batting average
12. Jimmy Rollins - home runs, runs, RBI, stolen bases
13. J.J. Hardy - home runs, runs, RBI
14. Alexei Ramirez - home runs, runs, RBI, stolen bases
15. Jed Lowrie - home runs, runs, RBI
16. Zack Cozart - runs
17. Marco Scutaro - runs, average
18. Luis Cruz - runs, RBI,
19. Everth Cabrera - stolen bases
20. Eduardo Nunez - runs, RBI
21. Josh Rutledge
22. Jean Segura - stolen bases, batting average, runs
23. Mike Aviles - runs, RBI
24. Stephen Drew
25. Jhonny Peralta
26. Willie Bloomquist - stolen bases
27. Yunel Escobar
28. Ruben Tejada
29. Alex Gonzalez
30. Brandon Crawford
31. Andrelton Simmons
32. Jurickson Profar
33. Elliot Johnson
34. Pete Kozma
35. Hiroyuki Nakajima
36. Cliff Pennington
37. Brendan Ryan
38. Dee Gordon - stolen bases
39. Robert Andino
40. Adeiny Hechavarria
41. Didi Gregorius
42. Pedro Florimon
- Troy Tulowitzki has everything going for himself, if he's healthy. For once, like Evan Longoria, I'd like to see what he could do with 550 at-bats. Especially in that home park.
- I think if anyone gets a real break from the Marlins/Blue Jays trade, it's Jose Reyes. Imagine the runs he'll score in that lineup. They have to turn him loose and let him run.
- This will be the last year I take a flyer on Hanley Ramirez. If he can't produce in this lineup, he can't produce.
- Alexei Ramirez has to wake up and play to his potential. I think he was sleep walking last season. I've seen more of it in Spring Training so far. I'm concerned he's wasting his potential.
- I'm very hopeful Jed Lowrie comes to life and has a good season. If he can stay healthy, he could prove to be a nice addition in Oakland.
- Mike Aviles will get more playing time than one might think. I believe he'll take advantage of his opportunity.
- If he does make it back, I'm not very hopeful Rafael Furcal will last an entire season. I don't think it's worth taking him in a draft and having his health hang over your head all season.
- My surprise shortstop to watch is Jean Segura. I think he can hit the ball and show some pop. I like everything about his game and he's still very young.
- I've seen Stephen Drew hit many a ball to left field at Chase Field. With the Green Monster, I'm looking for a nice season from him. He's my second biggest surprise performer.
- Didi Gregorius will play in Arizona at some point during the season. We just don't know when. They gave up too much and like him too much not to play him at the Major League level at some point.
The injury to Martin Perez is a real shame. He could have been the fifth starter. We have to now see how quickly he can rebound.
I have always said, (over and over again to anyone that would listen) that the Phillies rushed Domonic Brown far too quickly. He was absolutely not ready when they began to play him against major league players. Now it seems he's starting to cut down on his swing, take more pitches and hopefully realize his potential. Be careful. spring training is not the regular season. Exhibit #1- Ryan Raburn. Exhibit #2 - Jake Fox. Both are great bashers in March.
The Cubs' Jorge Soler is adjusting to life at a major league camp. He's only hitting .231 at this writing, but Cubs brass thinks he shows promise.
The injury to Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is something to watch before you draft him. It's a knee injury and those tend to stiffen and get worse.
Be cautious about what you do with Dee Gordon. He's another guy that was rushed to the big leagues with limited development time. He has to be able to get on base to steal. I worry about him getting sent out and not making the club.
Catcher Steve Clevenger has always been a guy I like. If the Cubs can't use him, plenty of other clubs can. The guy can hit and he's a good defender.
I was surprised at the contact ability and short swing of Tyler Flowers. He has made strides as a hitter and I may have to re-think where I am on him. Over a long season, he could wear down and hit for a very empty batting average.
If you take in a game this spring at Peoria Sports Complex, be sure to try the teriyaki chicken with fried rice at the stand on the concourse. It is outstanding. Among Bernie's Best spring training food items.
Not to miss in Phoenix: Al's Beef.
I'll be in Florida next week. Follow me from spring training every day on Twitter @BerniePleskoff.
You can also read my work at MLB.com in the Voices section.
Thanks for all your great support of my work. I am a grateful and thankful man.