Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fantasy Focus: Shortstop Rankings

The big problem with the shortstop position in fantasy baseball is that for several years now, the top performers at the position have had a heckuva time staying healthy which has made for a lot of poor results from high draft picks.  There is a pretty big gap between the top performers when healthy and the rest of the field.  Fantasy owners have a tough decision to make on draft day regarding how much to spend on a premier position.  Let's break it down:

1.  Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers:  62 R, 20 HR, 57 RBI, 10 SB, .345 BA, 336 PA.  Hanley logged a half season's worth of elite performance last year, but when was the last time he was fully healthy for a full season?

2.  Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies:  72 R, 25 HR, 82 RBI, 1 SB, .312 BA, 512 PA.  Tulo is another guy who can't seem to put in a full season's worth of work.  2013 was the best in several years.

3.  Ian Desmond, Nationals:  77 R, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 21 SB, .280 BA, 655 PA.  Desmond is a guy who has been as productive as Hanley and Tulo for the last two seasons simply by staying on the field.  He adds a nice 20+ SB's to the mix to boot.  Has come at a fraction of the cost of the top 2 guys. Will this be the year his cost catches up with his value?

4.  JJ Hardy, Orioles:  66 R, 25 HR, 76 RBI, 2 SB, .263 BA, 644 PA.  Hardy killed my fantasy team a few years ago and I still haven't gotten over it, but he has been a solid performer for the last few seasons.

5.  Jean Segura, Brewers:  74 R, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 44 SB, .294 BA, 623 PA.  Those 44 SB's will make Segura highly sought after in many fantasy drafts.

6.  Jed Lowrie, A's:  80 R, 15 HR, 75 RBI, 1 SB, .290 BA, 662 PA.  Lowrie's production finally caught up with his reputation last year.  Can he maintain it or even build on it?

7.  Jose Reyes, Blue Jays:  58 R, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 15 SB, .296 BA, 419 PA.  Make no mistake! Reyes is entering the downside of his career.  Playing on turf will only accelerate the process.  Someone in your league will undoubtedly pay a high price for past glory.  Let them!

8.  Elvis Andrus, Rangers:  91 R, 4 SB, 67 RBI, 42 SB, .271 BA, 698 PA.  The only thing lacking in this line is dingers.  You will have to pay for the SB's, though.

9.  Everth Cabrera, Padres:  54 R, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 37 SB, .283, 435 PA.  Cabrera has caught on as a nice source of SB's and his price has risen along with the attention.  Maybe the suspension will drive his price down a bit?

10.  Alexei Ramirez, White Sox:  68 R, 6 HR, 48 RBI, 30 SB, .284 BA, 674 PA.  The SB's are nice.  Otherwise nothing special here.

11. Zack Cozart, Reds:  74 R, 12 HR, 63 RBI, 0 SB, .254 BA, 618 PA.  Cozart is not a terrible bottom of the barrel option.  Gives you a little power.  2013 numbers were almost identical to 2012.  Can he kick it up a notch in his 3'rd full MLB season?

12.  Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians:  66 R, 14 HR, 64 RBI, 9 SB, .242 BA, 562 PA.  Another bottom of the barrel option.

13.  Brad Miller, Mariners:  41 R, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 5 SB, .265 BA, 335 PA.  Miller was impressive after a callup.  Will these numbers translate to a full season?

14. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies:  65 R, 6 HR, 39 RBI, 22 SB, .252 BA, 666 PA.  Someone in your league will probably draft him just for old times' sake.  Remember when a lot of fans wanted the Giants to sign him instead of going with Crawford?

15. Stephen Drew, Unsigned:  57 R, 13 HR, 67 RBI, 6 SB, .253 BA, 501 PA.  Not sure why anyone would draft Drew at this point in his career.  Not sure why any MLB team would sign him and lose a draft pick or sign him for multiple seasons.

16. Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals:  50 R, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 3 SB, .303 BA, 448 PA.  These numbers would look a lot better without the suspension time missed.  I have a couple of Cardinals fans in my league.  I'm pretty sure one of them will draft him.

17. Andrelton Simmons, Braves:  76 R, 17 HR, 59 R, 6 SB, .248 BA, 658 PA.  The HR's and SB's are about reversed from what most people expected.  I don't think anyone expects him to hit more than 15 dingers again.

Xander Bogaerts has SS eligibility in a lot of leagues.  It will be interesting to see where he is drafted.  Personally I would take a chance on his upside over a lot of these guys.

I will be targeting Desmond and will reach for  Miller or Bogaerts if I miss on him.  Love Bagaerts upside!


  1. Better real world and fantasy performance in 2014: Giants shortstops vs. Diamondbacks shortstops.

  2. Don't know. Sabes seems to think Crawford is ready to take a step forward offensively, and we all know Sabes is not the usually a big cheerleader when it comes to predicting future success like that.

  3. I think it's a coin toss, but Owings seems to get attention from the scouts. He could tip the scale.

    1. Note in MLBR today that the D'Backs seem to be leaning more toward Gregorius with Pennington as the backup. The loser of the competition between Owings and Gregorius for starter will go to AAA.