The NL East has always had three of the primer shortstops in all of baseball. This season, one of those shortstops is no longer there. No, not because he demanded a trade, but because he will be switching to third base. I am referring to Hanley Ramirez. The NL East still boasts two of the better shortstops around the league. Both were free agents this off-season, one signed with a new team, but stayed in the division. One resigned with their team.
Here is a glimpse of the starting shortstop for each NL East team in 2012.
- Atlanta Braves: Tyler Pastornicky
- Miami Marlins: Jose Reyes
- New York Mets: Rubin Tejada
- Philadelphia Phillies: Jimmy Rollins
- Washington Nationals: Ian Desmond
Pastornicky is expected to win the Braves shortstop position. For Pastornicky, there is not many projections available on him, so I will just post some minor league numbers for him. He will automatically be the lowest ranked shortstop due to this. This kid is going to be something special and it will be a treat to be able to watch him play.
According to these projections, we can draw this:
- Jose Reyes
- Jimmy Rollins
- Rubin Tejada
- Ian Desmond
- Tyler Pastornicky
Jose Reyes was the top shortstop last season by far, and should be the same this season. His main competition for the top spot at this position was his new teammate Hanley Ramirez. With Ramirez moving over to third, Reyes should be able to hold the top spot. Jimmy Rollins is near his decline, but he still means a lot to the Phillies organization. He is still a major part of the team. Rollins is expected to be one of the best shortstops in baseball once again. Rubin Tejada will have the tough job of filling in Jose Reyes’ shoes, after his departure. Tejada has plenty of experience with that though. Tejada was the backup to Reyes and found plenty of playing time due to Reyes’ injury woes. Ian Desmond is surely not the future shortstop for the Nats. They are not too high on him and see him as a utility player going forward. All indications are that he will be the starter in 2012 though. As I said earlier about Pastornicky, there are no projections for him. He is a good looking prospect and should flourish in the majors.