Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fantasy Baseball: So You Need a Shortstop?

The shortstop position around Major League Baseball is much like the second base position and the catcher position, offensively speaking it seems to either be feast or famine. All three positions are very top heavy with a few average replacements and a whole lot that don’t offer much in the terms of fantasy value. The shortstop position may be the most anemic of the three though which is why so many find it hard to find a suitable shortstop once the likes of Carlos Correa and the other top-tier shortstops come off the board, that’s where I come in to help. 

Carlos Correa is probably the best shortstop in the game right now while Troy Tulowitzki, in his Coors Field days anyway, and Brandon Crawford fill out the top three in no particular order. Behind them is in my opinion a steep fall off in production as far as fantasy goes so if you don’t get these three recognizable faces you may be left wondering what to do. If it was I and I missed out on one of those three I would definitely take a look at Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox or Ian Desmond if he ever finds a home between now and draft day. The longer Desmond has to wait for a job, and especially if it eats up some of his spring training time, the farther away I step away from him. See Stephen Drew the year he was offered a qualifying offer, it could happen to Desmond as well. 

Behind this group of men are some rookies and young guys looking to take the next step forward towards superstardom. These players come with risks of taking a step back or having the sophomore slump but if they continue their production like they did last year they can be notable additions to your team. This list includes Francisco Lindor of the Indians, Addison Russell of the Chicago Cubs and Didi Gregorius of the New York Yankees. Some may think I think too highly of Didi or that I am letting my Yankees fandom get in the way but his stats after the first two months of the season were fantastic. Once he settled in and got comfortable he was one of the most consistent hitters in the Yankees lineup and he’s only going to get better as he matures. Again, he comes with a risk but he is a high risk and high reward type player at least. 

Speaking of Didi his teammate Starlin Castro will be eligible at second base and shortstop next season and is just 26-years old. Castro hit much better after moving to second base last season with Chicago and could be in line for a nice season in the Bronx in 2016. Behind Castro is another fall off that starts with Elvis Andrus and ends with Jhonny Peralta. These players along with Alcides Escobar, JJ Hardy, Marcus Semien and Brad Miller are what they are, you basically know what you are going to get from these players. They are not your last resort but they aren’t your first resort either, they are more marginal players as far as fantasy goes. If you miss out on one of these players, well your draft may be over unless you can find a nice sleeper pick, maybe Ketel Marte of Seattle or Jean Segura of Arizona. 

Shortstops can be a tricky position to draft unfortunately so I tend to personally go high and grab one of the top tiered players. The shortstop can make or break your draft because if you go too high on a guy and he busts or gets injured you are left reeling for the rest of your season but if you wait too long you may be stuck with a Andrelton Simmons or Adeiny Hechavarria and nobody wants that… do they?

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)