2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2013 Fantasy Baseball, Plate Discipline: Shortstops

Last time we talked about the difference between results and process. Obviously, most teams and most fantasy players focus on results. Process doesn’t earn you any points by itself. However, paying attention to process can tip you off to some sleepers and some players ready to fall. Unfortunately, teams don’t always pay attention to the same cues.

Some of the players on the top list aren’t necessarily performing like top notch offensive shortstops. One can’t help but wonder how long those teams are going to continue going with players that are seemingly struggling. We will see examples of teams that gave up on guys too early. According to the process results, here are the top 15 shortstops.

SwStr

SO/BB

SWB

Contact

Muneori Kawasaki

3.2

0.91

21.7

91.6

Nick Punto

4.4

1.90

24.3

89.4

J.J. Hardy

4.8

2.00

29.6

88.8

Ruben Tejada

5.0

1.64

27.5

88.6

Andrelton Simmons

5.1

1.94

28.8

88.0

Erick Aybar

5.5

3.16

38.7

88.8

Jed Lowrie

5.5

1.19

22.0

87.7

Jimmy Rollins

5.7

1.80

26.9

86.3

Elvis Andrus

5.7

2.13

26.5

85.9

Adeiny Hechavarria

5.8

2.33

29.9

86.8

Everth Cabrera

6.0

1.62

26.0

84.7

Troy Tulowitzki

6.1

1.57

25.8

84.8

Yunel Escobar

6.7

1.66

25.2

84.8

Eduardo Nunez

6.8

2.00

28.7

84.2

Jean Segura

6.8

2.57

33.3

85.7

Munenori Kawasaki— Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Reyes is on his rehab assignment, so he should be back within a week or so. When he comes back then Kawasaki will be displaced as the shortstop. This is where the Blue Jays will have some decisions to make. Emilio Bonifacio is manning second base, but he is hitting barely above .200 and is definitely not among the top half of the position in terms of plate discipline.

If the Blue Jays are smart they will consider moving Kawasaki to second base. Even though he is currently hitting well below .250, all signs point to a significant improvement in his numbers. Very few players walk more often than they strike out, so keeping such a good contact bat in the lineup seems like a good idea.

Yunel Escobar– Tampa Bay Rays

There has always been that feeling that Yunel Escobar should do more than what he is doing and the numbers above confirm that. Given that assumption, he is still quite productive defensively and his ranking here shows him closer to average offensively. Unfortunately, he has not been above average offensively according to the numbers that matter for most people.

Still, the season is young and there is time for him to grow into the numbers you see above. He spent most of April below the Mendoza line and now finds himself somewhere around .250 (.244 as of this wring). If that process continues he should wind up around .280 and maybe as many as 15 home runs. That’s not all bad.

Jean Segura– Milwaukee Brewers

As we noted in the other articles, sometimes rookies have a tendency to look better than what they really are. It isn’t that Segura is a bad offensive player, but that he should be closer to average when looking at these numbers. When considering his enormous speed he probably would continue to outproduce these numbers some, but there is little way he can possibly continue at this pace.

SwStr

SO/BB

SWB

Contact

Ian Desmond

11.8

3.96

33.9

76.2

Jhonny Peralta

11.0

2.49

29.8

76.1

Brandon Crawford

10.9

2.15

30.8

76.7

Clint Barmes

10.2

7.76

38.4

80.3

Didi Gregorius

10.2

2.19

31.0

79.7

Asdrubal Cabrera

10.0

3.83

34.1

78.2

Stephen Drew

9.1

2.34

23.7

77.1

Marwin Gonzalez

9.0

6.37

38.0

81.5

Brenden Ryan

9.0

3.15

32.3

80.7

Starlin Castro

8.8

4.76

35.6

81.8

Pedro Florimon

8.2

2.24

24.7

79.2

Zack Cozart

7.6

4.17

29.9

83.4

Alcides Escobar

7.5

3.31

38.8

85.4

Alexei Ramirez

7.2

3.68

40.7

86.6

Pete Kozma

6.9

2.61

26.2

84.9

Ian Desmond– Washington Nationals

No, this doesn’t mean that Ian Desmond should be the worst offensive shortstop in baseball. Saying such would ignore the fact that simply looking at contact rates doesn’t tell us what happens when a player makes contact. Desmond is one of the better power hitters at the position and it is normal for power hitters to have lower contact rates.

Simply put, his position here should signal a word of caution to Ian Desmond owners. He will likely continue to be one of the better shortstops in the game, but it would be closer to one of the top fifteen or top ten rather than the top five like he seems to be now.

Didi Gregorius– Arizona Diamondbacks

Minor league numbers are not always the end all be all of human existence, but when we notice a player outperforming those minor league numbers we have to respond with some level of skepticism. When we notice a player with poor plate discipline numbers that makes it even more obvious that his positive numbers are probably a bit of a mirage.

Starlin Castro– Chicago Cubs

I’ve never been a big Starlin Castro fan and this is the biggest reason why. Castro is closer to average in terms of plate discipline then he is bad, but he also was given a long-term extension in the offseason. Last season, he got nearly 200 hits and was hailed as one of the best young shortstops in the game. That hasn’t been the case this year.

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