AL East 2017 Positional Rankings: Injuries Catch Up to Several Shortstops

TORONTO, ON - JULY 8: Troy Tulowitzki
TORONTO, ON - JULY 8: Troy Tulowitzki /
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The shortstop position in the AL East featured one player emerging out of a shadow in 2017, while several aging veterans struggled with injuries.

The shortstop position in the AL East was in two different places in 2017. You had two younger players who are coming into their own, and then also two players who have been beset by injuries toward the twilight of their career.

Put that together, and it makes for rankings that won’t change all that much.

Before the season started, the rankings were:

5. Tampa Bay Rays

4. Baltimore Orioles

3. New York Yankees

2. Toronto Blue Jays

1. Boston Red Sox

I figured that Xander Bogaerts was a pretty good bet to finish first for the Boston Red Sox. As for the Jays in second, I express hesitation in that ranking over concerns over the knees of Troy Tulowitzki.

While Tulo didn’t deal with any knee issues, the injury bug did revisit him in 2017.

So, let’s get to it and see where the teams ranking now.

Troy Tulowitzki
TORONTO, ON – JULY 8: Troy Tulowitzki /

5. Toronto Blue JaysRyan Goins, Troy Tulowitzki, Richard Urena

A utility infielder known for his glove was the lead short stop for the Blue Jays, and that is what puts them in last place.

Ryan Goins hit .237/.286/.356 with nine home runs (nearly totaling his career total), 21 doubles, 37 runs scored and 62 runs batted in in 143 games, starting 75 of those at short stop. Goins was a good defender at the position, with a .988 fielding percentage and only four errors. His range numbers were pretty good as well.

Tulowitzki struggled with injury, and it affected his offense and defense. Tulo hit .249/.300/.378 with seven home runs, 10 doubles, 16 runs scored and 26 runs batted in in 64 starts at short stop. His defensive numbers were some of the worst of his career, with a .970 fielding percentage and eight errors in 264 chances.

The 21-year-old Urena had a cup of coffee in the majors late in the season, appearing in 21 games for Toronto and hitting .206 with his first major league home run.

Tulowitzki has several more years on his contract, so it will be interesting to see if the Blue Jays bank on him being healthy, or attempt to move on.