Hello and good morning! This week we’re on to the shortstop position. Before we dive in this week, I thought about defining this article a little more. I got some feedback from a reader last week mentioning how the article might give off a straight “don’t draft this guy” view. I’m glad for the comment as it will help me out along the way, and without you readers, there’s really no point to write. This article doesn’t necessarily mean to forgo drafting a player mentioned completely. I may have a player on this list based on where he is likely being drafted, and if his ADP is too high for me, I may caution to avoid. There are many different components as to why a player may land on my “do not draft” list. Once again, thank you for the feedback. I look forward to engaging conversation with all the readers!
Alright, now onto the SS position. The position seems to be rather top-heavy this year, with five guys that could each easily be taken as the #1 SS off the board. I’m not here to break down the position, though — Mike already did that on Monday with his SS tiers article. Anyway, avoid these guys:
Jean Segura, Mariners
I really like the lineup the Mariners have put together heading into the 2018 campaign. Things should shape up nicely for Segura to equal his output from last season (11/45/.300), but that’s not a top-of-the-line season from a fantasy perspective. In 2016 Segura put up better numbers with the D-backs, mostly because of the hitter’s park that he spent half of his games in. Those kind of numbers (20/64/.319) probably won’t be achieved in Seattle. Sure, you can make a healthy argument the average can reach the same level, but his power numbers won’t reach that peak again while playing as a Mariner. I’ll also let you argue that his RBI numbers could creep up over the 50 mark with the offensive potential the Mariner’s will be putting on the field this year.
When it comes to Segura, he lands on my “do not draft” list based on where his current ADP has him being taken. He is currently going as the seventh SS off the board, ahead of guys like Bogaerts and Gregorius. Bogaerts is a guy who has shown himself in each of the past three seasons and is poised for a bounce back, and Gregorius has flourished since becoming a Yankee and should do so again with the added firepower.Playing in a hitter’s park definitely helps the numbers too.
I have Segura ranked 12th on my list of SS, and I don’t see any way that he’s the 7th best. When it comes to the value he’d provide, you can achieve similar numbers with picks way down the list. Don’t reach for a SS option inside the first ten rounds.
Trevor Story, Rockies
Trevor Story won our hearts in 2016 when he came on the scene in Colorado and mashed baseballs left and right. Move along to the 2017 season, and Story saw 140 more at-bats but sadly three fewer home runs (24 compared to 27). Yes, 2017 was only his second season in the big leagues, but I think that season may be more of an indicator than the fresh-faced Trevor Story that debuted in 2016.
Story saw his average drop 33 points from ’16 to ’17, in large part to the uptick in strikeouts, from 130 to 191. The numbers look staggering, but percentage wise, Story only saw his K-rate rise from 31% to 34%, which is astonishing no matter how you slice it.
As a member of the Rockies, playing half his games in thin air, Trevor Story is going to put up decent numbers, right? It’s almost like an unwritten rule as a member of the Rockies. Unfortunately, some disrespect comes with the territory because many outsiders have trouble seeing success for Rockies players elsewhere. I fall into that category with Story in 2018. Yes, he’ll likely hit you around 25 home runs and maybe knock in roughly 80, but that’s all he’s going to do for you. If you’re fine with that out of your SS position, then go ahead and move forward with Story, but you can get that same kind of value from plenty of other guys at different positions.
You’re probably going to want to fill your SS position with more of an average-type hitter with mediocre pop but a solid average to help even out your team. With Story projecting as the 12th SS off the board, and reached for higher than that in some leagues, the price is way too high to consider taking into account the potential floor.
Brandon Crawford, Giants
Brandon Crawford has always been a favorite of mine, but more so for his glove. Crawford can sling some leather on the diamond, but that has no weight in the fantasy world. If defensive stats were a thing, Crawford could arguably be a top-10 player!
Back to the world of fantasy baseball. Crawford is barely a top-20 option at the position (24th on my list). His 2015 season showed us the potential harnessed within his offensive game (21/84/.256), but the power game just hasn’t been the same since. Over the past two seasons, Crawford has barely topped his 2015 home run total, hitting 26. That, in large part, could be blamed on ball park metrics — playing 81 games in San Francisco isn’t doing his bat any favors.
A couple things we’ve come to expect from Crawford over the last four seasons are a healthy RBI total and an average batting average (70+ and north of .250). The Giants have added some veteran bats to the lineup heading into the 2018 season, but I don’t see how that will affect the offensive output from Crawford. He’d be a fine addition as a depth piece on your roster, but there’s little to no ceiling with Crawford, and the level of the floor has me worried going forward. I’d be more willing to roll with a high-ceiling player of the same caliber. Check out my “roll the dice” players below as options to go with instead of Crawford.
Let’s roll the dice — guys to take a late round flyer on
- Tim Anderson, White Sox
- Jose Peraza, Reds
- Jorge Polanco, Twins
All three of these players have quite a bit of upside heading into this season. As you may know, I’m a White Sox fan, but I try to keep that bias out of my work, so don’t factor that into Tim Anderson making this list. Anderson had some off-field issues last year, but those are behind him. Look for some added pop and a return of a batting average north of .280. Peraza and Polanco both begin their sophomore campaigns essentially and the increased familiarity should help both blossom into stars this year.
Now that I’ve given you my side of the shortstop position, let’s hear yours! Leave your fantasy questions in the comment section below or on Twitter, @KennyGarvey. Catch you next week as I give you my “Do Not Draft” list of outfield options!
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