Kansas City Royals: Alcides Escobar was derailed near the beginning of 2015 due to injury, and ultimately posted a .614 OPS with 3 home runs, 47 RBI, 76 runs, and 17 stolen bases.
Detroit Tigers: The power may have been lacking, but Jose Iglesias wrapped up 2015 with a .717 OPS, 23 RBI, 44 runs, and 11 stolen bases.
Cleveland Indians: Though only playing in 99 games in 2015, Francisco Lindor put up numbers to suggest a great future at shortstop. He hit .313/.353/.482 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI.
Chicago White Sox: Jimmy Rollins ended 2015 with career lows in steals and OPS. He ultimately posted a .643 OPS with 13 home runs, 41 RBI, 71 runs, and 12 stolen bases.
Our ranking of the AL Central at Shortstop:
- Cleveland Indians: If Francisco Lindor is able to continue where 2015 ended, he could be the best shortstop in the league come October.
- Detroit Tigers: Jose Iglesias is an all around average shortstop. Though he hits to a good average, those hits don’t contribute much else to the team. With a little luck, those at bats could lead to more production in 2016.
- Minnesota Twins: Eduardo Escobar ended his 2015 on a high note. 2016 could be his first full season at the position, and so it will be interesting how he adapts to that adjustment.
- Kansas City Royals: Alcides Escobar has great speed and is a defensive asset, but his bat keeps him from ranking higher on this list.
- Chicago White Sox: Jimmy Rollins is likely a large improvement over Alexei Ramirez, but he still doesn’t shape up well against the rest of the AL Central.
The AL Central has a lot of questions regarding shortstop. Though Lindor could be the best at the position, but his hype is based on a small sample size. Eduardo and Alcides Escobar and Jose Iglesias are equally matched. The most convincing prediction is that Jimmy Rollins continues to decline. As such it will be interesting to revisit these rankings at the end of the season. Regardless, the Twins has a player at shortstop that will help them compete and will not be a weak link in comparison to the other shortstops in the game.