SL 2001 Shortstop Preview

The bad news at shortstop is that in MLB 2000 the Holy Trinity became the Holy Duet and the Guy from New York. The good news is that Troy Glaus, Chipper Jones, Eric Chavez and Andrian Beltre should all qualify at SS in SL 2001, so you can get some bang for your buck if you don't mind a few errors. Or maybe more than a few.

Let's start with what used to be the Big Three. In SL 2001, A Rod and Nomar should both still be fantastic players. A Rod had 9.02 runs created per 27 outs in 2000, and Garciaparra came in just ahead of him at 9.36. Derek Jeter, however, appeared to be suffering from a post Spit Cup hangover. He came in at 7.34 RC/27, which is still better than Glaus or Ken Griffey,Jr. (who didn't play shortstop.) In other words, Jeter would not be a bad early round draft pick.

Using numbers that are easier to compare to those used in previous previews, Garciaparra comes in first with an OPS of 1.033 (in 140 games), followed by A Rod at 1.026 (in 148 games). Jeter is more than 100 points behind at .896 (in 148 games), but is still in third place among regular shortstops. A Rod has a runs above position rating of 73, followed by Nomar at 58 and Jeter at 38.

What about other every day shortstops? Jose Valentin had an OPS of .835, and Miguel Tejada came in at .828. Mike Bordick and Rich Aurilia tied at .783, super rookie Rafael Furcal comes in next at .776, and "sure-handed" Ricky Guitierrez is next at .775 (in 125 games). Ricky is followed by Edgar Renteria (.770), Deivi Cruz (.767) and AL gold glove winner Omar Vizquel (.753). Bringing up the rear is NL gold glove winner and Woollum Mammoth killer Neifi Perez at .741.

If you are looking for some super subs to supplement your every day SS, you may want to consider versatile Chris Clapinski, who had an OPS of .860 (in 34 games at SS, 2b, 3b and OF) or Ramon E. Martinez, who had an OPS of .841 in 88 games (but can only average 3.57 SL PAs per game).