2015 Shortstop Preview

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Zach back with you,

Like second base, the shortstop position isn’t exactly full of ultra-appealing options this year, so I wouldn’t wait too long to fill the position. Go ahead and spend that extra dollar on Ian Desmond or Hanley Ramirez. I think it will be worth it. Troy Tulowitzki? He’s a top-5 fantasy player when healthy, but those last two words are key. Honestly, I’d let him be someone else’s problem.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates

2 UP

Jean Segura

Yeah, the 11 homers he launched in the first half of the 2013 season proved to be an anomaly, so don’t mistake Segura for a definite double-digit home run contributor. But his speed is legit, and I’m expecting better from him than what we saw last year. Segura dealt with injuries in addition to a family tragedy in 2014, so maybe that had something to do with his disappointing stat line. As he embarks upon his age-25 season, count on 30-plus steals, and it would not be surprising to see him improve in the other categories as well. If you miss out on the top-tier shortstops and are reluctant to invest in guys like Elvis Andrus and Alexei Ramirez, who carry some risk relative to their expected draft day price, there’s nothing wrong with settling for Segura and using the savings to address another position.

Jimmy Rollins

For quite some time now, Rollins has been a popular “fantasy bust” pick, but he just keeps putting together quality seasons, and he’s one of only a few shortstops who offers that all-important power/speed combination. Joining the Dodgers should be a good thing for his overall fantasy value. Maybe he loses a few home runs, but he will likely score more runs hitting atop a superior lineup, and age certainly hasn’t slowed him down on the basepaths. The batting average is unlikely to rebound much, but there’s still plenty of value in a shortstop who can post 15 homers, 25 steals and 80-plus runs, especially when you can draft him outside of the top-150 (current NFBC ADP is 164).

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs

2 DOWN

Starlin Castro

Is Castro a valuable fantasy commodity? Sure. But is he a top-5 option at the shortstop position? I’m not so sure. The 24-year-old is coming off a strong 2014 campaign in which he batted .292 with 14 home runs, but four steals? Really? That’s now two straight seasons of single-digit stolen bases, and prior to last year’s .292 average, Castro batted a measly .245 in 2013, so consistency hasn’t exactly been his thing. I wouldn’t particularly mind drafting Castro if he fell to me. I just wouldn’t reach for him assuming that he’s going to break out. Give me one of the lower-ranked shortstops (like the two discussed above) for a fraction of the cost.

Ben Zobrist

The position versatility is nice, but the bottom line is that Zobrist has averaged just 11 homers, 62 RBI and 80 runs scored per year over the past two seasons and his stolen base production has steadily declined since he swiped 24 bags back in 2010. Too many owners seem to be drafting him based on what he has done as opposed to what he will do. Zobrist is currently ranked 154th overall in the NFBC ADP rankings, ahead of fellow shortstop-eligible players Xander Bogaerts, Jimmy Rollins, Alcides Escobar and Jhonny Peralta. In a non-OBP league, a case could be made for taking any one of those guys before Zobrist.

15 Comments

where in 12 team head to head do you like Fielder/Votto/ or Hosmer to go….Ive missed out on top tier 1 baggers…..Victor is available also but still 20 picks ahead of me…..thinking of Heyward at end of 5th round if available since missed on Harper by 1 pick

Just to be the Devil’s Advocate, you say Castro isn’t a consistent hitter because he hit .245 in 2013 and .292 in 2014? The inconsistent part is the .245 since he hit .300 in 2010, .307 in 2011 and .283 in 2012. Oh and he has 846 career hits ALREADY, he’s 24. Just saying

My issue with Castro isn’t really that I’m expecting a bad year. It’s just that from an overall perspective (taking into account all five categories at the same time), I think he’s being overvalued in drafts, with people simply expecting him to post top-notch SS numbers. Some NFBC ADP data: Castro (107), Andrus (129), Segura (144), Rollins (164). I don’t consider Castro to be 22 picks better than Andrus, 37 picks better than Segura and 57 picks better than Rollins.

Zach

I’m in a 15 team mixed keeper league. I can keep Santana at $15 for next year. Should I do it? I’m thinking yes, given that its a week position.

Alternatively, I can keep Harrison at $15.

I’m not a huge fan of either player, so personally I’d pass and hang onto the $15 for the auction. But the price certainly isn’t unreasonable, so a lot depends on your other keeper options.

Zach

Good work big Z. How high on Bogartes are you this year and future?

Got a tough call in my keeper league, only keep 8 year to year and im handing out lengthy contracts to Rendon and Cole. Xander ($0) could provide great value down the road, but theres risk he doesnt pan out so I dont want him to become a burden. Im leaning towards a 2 year deal or option year, which of these contracts do you like for him:

1 year ($3), 2 years ($6), 3 years ($8) or option year ($6)

Thanks man

Yeah, two years seems like a good compromise. Not a huge burden but you will get good value if he does pan out. I’m cautiously optimistic about him for this year.

Zach

I’m in an NL only keeper auction 5×5 league, I’m keeping Baez but could put him at 2B, how much would you spend on Segura or Rollins. I have a decent amount of speed with Cutch, Gomez and Baez but Segura can put me ahead. Thanks, Robby

I think both Segura and Rollins are being undervalued this year. In an NL-only, I wouldn’t have a problem spending around $15 for Rollins and a few bucks more for the younger Segura since it’s a keeper.

Zach

Whats your take on Wong this year is he worth drafting as starting 2B in 12 team league…around a 8th round to 10th round pick……if Darvish\ Cole or Teheran is around for 7\8th round pick as a 2 SP is it worth grabbing there or closer since Chapman] Holland\ Kimbrel are gone thx also where do you think G Polanco should go in drafts

I’m a Wong supporter. I think his AVG will improve with additional big league experience and he certainly has the ability to post 15 homers and 20 steals…definitely a starting caliber 2B in a 12-team mixed. I’d prefer Chapman/Holland/Kimbrel over Darvish/Cole/Teheran. As for Polanco, I like him as a OF3 in 12-team mixed leagues.

Zach

Hi – 10 NL-Only. Keep 3:
1) Rendon – $6
2) Pence – $23
3) Yelich – $12
4) K. Bryant – $8
5) deGrom – $8
6) Arenado – $13

Rendon is a definite and I wouldn’t keep the pitcher or Pence (a little too expensive considering your other options). So it comes down to two of Yelich, Bryant or Arenado. I’m a big Arenado fan and I can totally see him up the HR total to around 25 with Coors Field being his home ballpark, so I’d hang onto him. I like Yelich a lot but would ultimately lean towards Bryant being that impact power bats are so hard to find these days. But as of now, he is riskier than Yelich since we have yet to see him perform at the big league level, so it’s a very tough call.

Zach

Hey Zack,

I’m in a 12-team keeper league (H2H categories). Should I take Hanley or Tulo with the seventh overall pick, or go with Adam Jones, even though I’ve already got Bautista and Cespedes as keepers? My gut says Jones, but I’m not sure if I’m overdoing the OF.

Go with Jones. Hanley and Tulo are both too risky to take in that spot. I wouldn’t worry too much about keeping three outfielders.

Zach

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