Saturday, February 2, 2013
Fantasy Focus: Shortstop Rankings
There is a lot potential value at the shortstop position this year, but the risk is high from the top of the list to the bottom. Let's check out what's available:
1. Ian Desmond, Nationals. 72 R, 25 HR, 73 RBI, .292 BA, 21 SB in 513 AB. I have Desmond at #1 while a lot of lists have him in the 6,7 range. Some analysts don't like his K and BB ratios and question the repeatability of this performance. It's healthy to be skeptical, but I don't believe the risk is greater than Troy Tulowitzki's health.
2. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies. 33 R, 8 HR, 27 RBI, .287 BA, 2 SB in 181 AB. TMT(Two Month Tulo) would be a clear #1 if you could count on him to stay healthy. Many fantasy owners will still bet that he will.
3. Jose Reyes, Blue Jays. 86 R, 11 HR, 57 RBI, .287 BA, 40 SB in 642 AB. Reyes is coming off a healthy season in which he may have modestly underperformed. He will have a high price because some owners overvalue SB's. The move to Toronto could boost his power into the higher double digits to boost. Past injuries continue to lurk in the background.
4. Starlin Castro, Cubs. 78 R, 14 HR, 78 RBI, .283 BA, 25 SB's in 646 AB. Owners who believe Castro is still on the steep upward part of his career trajectory will be willing to pay a high price. They may be right.
5. Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers. 79 R, 24 HR, 92 RBI, .257 BA, 21 SB in 604 AB. This is really not a bad line, BA excepted. Ramirez is a guy whose fantasy rep may have taken enough of a hit to make him a bargain on draft day.
6. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies. 102 R, 23 HR, 68 RBI, .250 BA, 30 SB in 632 AB. The BA is a bit ugly, but solid, even elite production in other categories. How long can he keep doing it?
7. Ben Zobrist, Rays. 88 R, 20 HR, 74 RBI, .270 BA, 14 SB in 560 AB. Zobrist has the added allure of multiple position eligibility and he's a guy you can count on to deliver solid, if unspectacular value in 5 categories.
8. Derek Jeter, Yankees. 99 R, 15 HR, 58 RBI, .316 BA, 9 SB in 683 AB. Jeter is the Energizer Bunny. When is the battery going to die?
9. Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians. 70 R, 16 HR, 68 RBI, .270 BA, 9 SB in 555 AB. Solid numbers but don't pay too much!
10. Alcides Escobar, Royals. 68 R, 5 HR, 52 RBI, .293 BA, 35 SB in 605 AB. Escobar went undrafted and unclaimed in my 10 team league last year. Very nice option to boost your SB's late in a draft. I'll let him go if he gets bid up much higher than $2-3 though.
11. Elvis Andrus, Rangers. 85 R, 3 HR, 62 RBI, .286 BA, 21 SB in 629 AB. Someone in your league will pay a lot for Elvis Andrus and it will be a mistake. Virtually equal or better value is available at bargain basement prices.
12. Zack Cozart, Reds. 72 R, 15 HR, 35 RBI, .244 BA, 4 SB in 561 AB. I expect these numbers to improve in 2013 with 20+ dingers a real possibility.
13. Erick Aybar, Angels. 67 R, 8 HR, 45 RBI, .290 BA, 20 SB in 517 AB. Very cheap source of steals while protecting your BA. Angels fans may overpay for him.
14. Marco Scutaro, Giants. 87 R, 7 HR, 74 RBI, .306 BA, 9 SB in 620 AB. A little light on HR's and SB's, but won't hurt your BA R or RBI. Eligibility at 2B and 3B but most owners will want to use him at either SS or 2B.
15. Jean Segura, Brewers. 19 R, 0 HR, 14 RBI, .258 BA, 7 SB in 131 AB. Segura looks to be a lock to start at SS for the Brewers from the get-go. Some potential to fall flat on his face, but if he sticks should end up with at least 25-30 SB's.
16. Andrelton Simmons, Braves. 17 R, 3 HR, 19 RBI, .289 BA, 1 SB in 166 AB. Manager Fredi Gonzalez proclaimed that he has penciled Simmons into the leadoff spot in a goosed up Braves lineup. Given his minor league record, if Simmons can get on base at a .335 clip from this position, he will score a ton of runs and get close to 20 SB's.
17. Josh Rutledge, Rockies. 37 R, 8 HR, 37 RBI, .274, 7 SB's in 277 AB's. Rutledge will likely move to 2B if TMT(Two Month Tulo) stays healthy, but will have SS eligibility in most leagues. The whole Rockies IF situation is a bit crowded and a bit fluid so I'm not convinced he can be counted on for 600 AB's.
18. Jed Lowrie, Astros. 43 R, 16 HR, 42 RBI, .244 BA, 2 SB's in 340 AB. Lowrie has never been able to stay healthy a full season, but if you want to take a chance at the end of the draft, the payoff could be nice if he finally pulls it off.
19. Everth Cabrera, Padres. 49 R, 2 HR, 24 RBI, .246 BA, 44 SB's! in 398 AB. A lot of owners will look at the SB's and pay a high price. You can't steal 1B, and Cabrera is not a lock to hang onto the starting job.
Sleeper Watch: Brandon Crawford. Call me crazy but Crawford grew a lot last year and was a very tough out by the postseason. Just ask Lance Lynn!
Rookie Watch: Didi Gregorius, D'Backs. D'Backs are stockpiling young SS's so it's anybody's guess what they have in mind, but Gregorius appears to be first in line.
Again, if you are willing to pay a price to get a top SS, there is the possibility of great reward. Personally, I'm going to go stars and scrubs and go bottom fishing for my SS.