The Best NL Central Shortstops
The National League Central focuses on some young talent with skills to prove, and some stable veterans in the twilight of their career. The division was baseball's most hotly contested towards the end of the 2013 season, and the 2014 season figures to be no different. This list will cover the best National League Central shortstops.
Jean Segura - Milwaukee Brewers
Jean Segura was one of the best surprises at the shortstop position in his first full year in the Major Leagues. In 146 games played, Segura hit to the tune of .294 with 44 stolen bases and 74 runs scored. He showed some power in his bat too, with a decent .423 slugging percentage. His glove is steady with a .978 fielding percentage in the 2013 season as well. Look for Segura to make the most impact with his speed and on base percentage. He could flourish in the top of the order or spark the bottom of the order.
Jhonny Peralta - St. Louis Cardinals
Jhonny Peralta went from hero of the early 2013 season to disgraced villain after the Biogenesis story broke. The Tigers did not offer Peralta a qualifying offer, and the Cardinals snatched him up. Peralta brings a steady bat and a veteran presence in the Cardinals lineup. After a terrible 2012 where he hit only .239, Peralta hit to the tune of .303 with 11 home runs in 107 games played. In his limited time at shortstop he sported a respectable .991 fielding percentage. If he's not a liability, defensively or otherwise, he can bring power to the shortstop position for the Cardinals.
Starlin Castro - Chicago Cubs
The Cubs promise their fans that the organization will roll out a strong, young lineup ready to contend in the future. But when will the future finally become the present? The Cubs were very hopeful in Starlin Castro, but he was largely a disappointment in 2013. He hit only .245 with 9 stolen bases, and his attitude has come under question multiple times in recent years. He also committed 22 errors in 676 tries, another concern for the National League format. The hope for Castro remains high- but the Cubs won't be afraid to find a replacement early if the fit just isn't right.
The National League Central was baseball's most intriguing division in 2013. Expect the competition to be just as stiff in the 2014 campaign. The best shortstop to look out for is Jean Segura. He brings a strong bat and flexible glove to his position. Segura will probably be one of the first drafted shortstops in the National League only leagues.