Punting SS: Setting the Scene

The year is 2011 and you’ve been tricked into a snake draft league. If that weren’t bad enough, the dastardly randomization tool just stuck you with a late first round pick. Hanley Ramirez went No.1, Troy Tulowitzki fell to No.5 and before you know it, you’re on the clock. Telling the positional scarcity crew to hop on a grenade, you select the high-production pair of Carlos Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez. After 10 minutes, the evil thoughts you’ve been wishing upon the Hanley owner subside and you plan a cunning strategy to select Alexei Ramirez after the hobgoblins of the league draft Jimmy Rollins, Derek Jeter and Elvis Andrus. Suddenly a dog-faced gremlin singles out Alexei while Jeter and Elvis are still wading in the player pool. A panic strikes the league igniting a run of Shorties, Jeter and Elvis: gone. Reaching into your bag of tricks, you come up with Plan C: Stephen Drew. Plan C is not pretty. Drew is OK, he’ll give you useful numbers (.272-16-81-64-8), but nothing that is worthy of pulling the Stretch Armstrong. Your cool head does not react to the run of Shortstops and continues drafting high production players. Then, the shit hits the fan and someone snaps a tendon while reaching for Stephen Drew’s 16 Home Runs. What is Plan D? Do we even have a Plan D? Looking over the remaining Ug Lees, you decide it doesn’t matter if you draft a Shortstop now or in Round 21; you’re going to get the same numbers from whichever jobber is left from the remaining tier. You forge ahead and continue filling your UT, SP, RP slots with more-than-useful players, ignoring your starting SS position. Round 21 finally arrives and you decide to grab someone before your sworn enemies start filling their bench slots with Middle Infielders. You’ve just punted Shortstop, who is your late round gem? The right-hand sidebar awaits your decision.