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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball: Preseason Shortstop Projections and Rankings

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Preseason Top 30 Shortstops

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Speed trumps all when it comes to the shortstop position. Over the last three seasons, shortstops have recorded 17.53 percent of the total stolen bases in MLB, compared to 12.45 percent of runs scored, 10.66 percent of RBI and just 8.09 percent of home runs. Because of this, almost 34 percent of a shortstop's fantasy value (in a standard scoring league) is derived from his ability to steal a base. So if you draft a shortstop who doesn't swipe a ton of bags, he better be really good in other categories.

Among the top 10 shortstops, six of them are projected to steal at least 20 bases, five of them are projected to steal at least 30, and all but two are projected to steal at least 10. If you miss out on a top-10 shortstop, there are only six other shortstops inside the top 30 who are projected to provide positive value in the stolen base department. If you use them, you shouldn't expect much else.

The most interesting storyline among shortstops entering the 2014 fantasy baseball season is Billy Hamilton. Hamilton stole 13 bases in just 13 games last season after he was called up in September, and he stole 165 bases across three levels in 2012. I have the Cincinnati Reds speedster projected to steal a staggering 88 bases this year (in case you're wondering, he ranks quite high) and in many leagues, 2014 will be the only year he qualifies at shortstop. In head-to-head formats, Hamilton has the ability to lead your team to victory in the steals category every single week and in rotisserie formats, he puts you way ahead of the competition. The Reds plan on making Hamilton their full-time center fielder and if he has even a decent showing at Spring Training, watch as he rockets up draft boards.

If you want to know more about the rankings process, I explained it in detail in my second base ranks. Also, make sure you check out my first base and catcher ranks as well!

If you have any questions or comments about my rankings or projections, or simply want to talk about baseball, you can follow me on twitter @william_moy6. You can also "like" me on Facebook or add me to your network on Google

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30. Jose Iglesias

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers

2013 Statistics: 382 Plate Appearances, 39 Runs, 3 Home Runs, 29 RBI, 5 Steals, .303 AVG

2014 Projection: 600 Plate Appearances, 61 Runs, 6 Home Runs, 46 RBI, 8 Steals, .269 AVG

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29. Rafael Furcal

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Furcal, Miami Marlins

2013 Statistics: 531 Plate Appearances, 69 Runs, 5 Home Runs, 49 RBI, 12 Steals, .264 AVG

2014 Projection: 450 Plate Appearances, 61 Runs, 5 Home Runs, 41 RBI, 15 Steals, .260 AVG

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28. Jurickson Profar

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers

2013 Statistics: 324 Plate Appearances, 30 Runs, 6 Home Runs, 26 RBI, 2 Steals, .234 AVG

2014 Projection: 600 Plate Appearances, 56 Runs, 13 Home Runs, 48 RBI, 9 Steals, .244 AVG

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27. Derek Jeter

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

2013 Statistics: 73 Plate Appearances, 8 Runs, 1 Home Run, 7 RBI, 0 Steals, .190 AVG

2014 Statistics: 475 Plate Appearances, 64 Runs, 9 Home Runs, 42 RBI, 7 Steals, .285 AVG

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26. Stephen Drew

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Drew, Free Agent

2013 Statistics: 501 Plate Appearances, 57 Runs, 13 Home Runs, 67 RBI, 6 Steals, .253 AVG

2014 Projection: 500 Plate Appearances, 59 Runs, 12 Home Runs, 59 RBI, 5 Steals, .249 AVG

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25. Yunel Escobar

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yunel Escobar, Tampa Bay Rays

2013 Statistics: 578 Plate Appearances, 61 Runs, 9 Home Runs, 56 RBI, 4 Steals, .256 AVG

2014 Projection: 592 Plate Appearances, 65 Runs, 10 Home Runs, 52 RBI, 4 Steals, .266 AVG

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24. Jhonny Peralta

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals

2013 Statistics: 448 Plate Appearances, 50 Runs, 11 Home Runs, 55 RBI, 3 Steals, .303 AVG

2014 Projection: 592 Plate Appearances, 59 Runs, 16 Home Runs, 71 RBI, 2 Steals, .268 AVG

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23. Alcides Escobar

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals

2013 Statistics: 642 Plate Appearances, 57 Runs, 4 Home Runs, 52 RBI, 22 Steals, .234 AVG

2014 Projection: 629 Plate Appearances, 65 Runs, 5 Home Runs, 50 RBI, 28 Steals, .258 AVG

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22. Zack Cozart

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds

2013 Statistics: 618 Plate Appearances, 74 Runs, 12 Home Runs, 63 RBI, 0 Steals, .254 AVG

2014 Projection: 609 Plate Appearances, 73 Runs, 15 Home Runs, 63 RBI, 2 Steals, .256 AVG

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21. Erick Aybar

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels

2013 Statistics: 589 Plate Appearances, 68 Runs, 6 Home Runs, 54 RBI, 12 Steals, .271 AVG

2014 Projection: 583 Plate Appearances, 69 Runs, 6 Home Runs, 53 RBI, 18 Steals, .281 AVG

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20. Jonathan Villar

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Villar, Houston Astros

2013 Statistics: 241 Plate Appearances, 26 Runs, 1 Home Run, 8 RBI, 18 Steals, .243 AVG

2014 Projection: 606 Plate Appearances, 65 Runs, 5 Home Runs, 35 RBI, 42 Steals, .243 AVG

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19. Jed Lowrie

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics

2013 Statistics: 662 Plate Appearances, 80 Runs, 15 Home Runs, 75 RBI, 1 Steal, .290 AVG

2014 Projection: 600 Plate Appearances, 70 Runs, 15 Home Runs, 66 RBI, 2 Steals, .265 AVG

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18. Andrelton Simmons

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta Braves

2013 Statistics: 658 Plate Appearances, 76 Runs, 17 Home Runs, 59 RBI, 6 Steals, .248 AVG

2014 Projection: 650 Plate Appearances, 72 Runs, 17 Home Runs, 60 RBI, 6 Steals, .267 AVG

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17. Alexei Ramirez

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox

2013 Statistics: 674 Plate Appearances, 68 Runs, 6 Home Runs, 48 RBI, 30 Steals, .284 AVG

2014 Projection: 660 Plate Appearances, 69 Runs, 9 Home Runs, 64 RBI, 19 Steals, .270 AVG

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16. Brad Miller

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners

2013 Statistics: 335 Plate Appearances, 41 Runs, 8 Home Runs, 36 RBI, 5 Steals, .265 AVG

2014 Projection: 600 Plate Appearances, 73 Runs, 15 Home Runs, 64 RBI, 9 Steals, .266 AVG

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15. Josh Rutledge

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies

2013 Statistics: 314 Plate Appearances, 45 Runs, 7 Home Runs, 19 RBI, 12 Steals, .235 AVG

2014 Projection: 575 Plate Appearances, 78 Runs, 15 Home Runs, 53 RBI, 15 Steals, .256 AVG

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14. Xander Bogaerts

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

2013 Statistics: 50 Plate Appearances, 7 Runs, 1 Home Run, 5 RBI, 1 Steal, .250 AVG

2014 Projection: 600 Plate Appearances, 72 Runs, 17 Home Runs, 72 RBI, 8 Steals, .255 AVG

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13. Jimmy Rollins

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies

2013 Statistics: 666 Plate Appearances, 65 Runs, 2 Home Runs, 39 RBI, 22 Steals, .252 AVG

2014 Projection: 665 Plate Appearances, 85 Runs, 11 Home Runs, 57 RBI, 21 Steals, .247 AVG

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12. Starlin Castro

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Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs

2013 Statistics: 705 Plate Appearances, 59 Runs, 10 Home Runs, 44 RBI, 9 Steals, .245 AVG

2014 Projection: 704 Plate Appearances, 76 Runs, 12 Home Runs, 63 RBI, 19 Steals, .282 AVG

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11. Asdrubal Cabrera

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians

2013 Statistics: 562 Plate Appearances, 66 Runs, 14 Home Runs, 64 RBI, 9 Steals, .242 AVG

2014 Projection: 615 Plate Appearances, 74 Runs, 16 Home Runs, 75 RBI, 12 Steals, .263 AVG

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10. J.J. Hardy

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles

2013 Statistics: 644 Plate Appearances, 66 Runs, 25 Home Runs, 76 RBI, 2 Steals, .263 AVG

2014 Projection: 641 Plate Appearances, 76 Runs, 26 Home Runs, 75 RBI, 1 Steal, .257 AVG

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9. Jean Segura

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers

2013 Statistics: 623 Plate Appearances, 74 Runs, 12 Home Runs, 49 RBI, 44 Steals, .294 AVG

2014 Projection: 620 Plate Appearances, 74 Runs, 7 Home Runs, 49 RBI, 40 Steals, .287 AVG

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8. Ben Zobrist

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays

2013 Statistics: 698 Plate Appearances, 77 Runs, 12 Home Runs, 71 RBI, 11 Steals, .275 AVG

2014 Projection: 680 Plate Appearances, 80 Runs, 15 Home Runs, 71 RBI, 13 Steals, .271 AVG

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7. Jose Reyes

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays

2013 Statistics: 419 Plate Appearances, 58 Runs, 10 Home Runs, 37 RBI, 15 Steals, .296 AVG

2014 Projection: 581 Plate Appearances, 83 Runs, 10 Home Runs, 51 RBI, 32 Steals, .296 AVG

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6. Everth Cabrera

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres

2013 Statistics: 435 Plate Appearances, 54 Runs, 4 Home Runs, 31 RBI, 37 Steals, .283 AVG

2014 Projection: 650 Plate Appearances, 76 Runs, 4 Home Runs, 40 RBI, 60 Steals, .272 AVG

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5. Hanley Ramirez

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers

2013 Statistics: 336 Plate Appearances, 62 Runs, 20 Home Runs, 57 RBI, 10 Steals, .345 AVG

2014 Projection: 502 Plate Appearances, 76 Runs, 22 Home Runs, 70 RBI, 15 Steals, .294 AVG

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4. Elvis Andrus

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers

2013 Statistics: 698 Plate Appearances, 91 Runs, 4 Home Runs, 67 RBI, 42 Steals, .271 AVG

2014 Projection: 691 Plate Appearances, 91 Runs, 4 Home Runs, 63 RBI, 33 Steals, .275 AVG

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3. Ian Desmond

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals

2013 Statistics: 655 Plate Appearances, 77 Runs, 20 Home Runs, 80 RBI, 21 Steals, .280 AVG

2014 Projection: 614 Plate Appearances, 71 Runs, 23 Home Runs, 77 RBI, 22 Steals, .281 AVG

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2. Billy Hamilton

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Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds

2013 Statistics: 22 Plate Appearances, 9 Runs, 0 Home Runs, 1 RBI, 13 Steals, .368 AVG

2014 Projection: 650 Plate Appearances, 81 Runs, 2 Home Runs, 37 RBI, 88 Steals, .238 AVG

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1. Troy Tulowitzki

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

2013 Statistics: 512 Plate Appearances, 72 Runs, 25 Home Runs, 82 RBI, 1 Steal, .312 AVG

2014 Projection: 595 Plate Appearances, 84 Runs, 28 Home Runs, 96 RBI, 5 Steals, .307 AVG

Other Projections and Rankings

Second Base

First Base

Catcher