2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Dumpster Diving — Shortstops, Part I

owings land

As we continue the dumpster diving series we come to a position that is considerably weaker than the others. Of course, we probably knew that going into the season. Beyond the heavy hitters like Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki, there aren’t a lot of guys to feel really good about. So, when you are looking in the dumpster you need to temper your expectations. Sometimes a decent backup is all you are going to find.

Like in past weeks we are going to break the shortstops into two different categories. Our first group of shortstops are guys we would consider to be young players. In this case, it will be shortstops that are 24 and under. In articles past, we looked at rookies and veterans, and most of these guys would fit that category. One of them has been around for a long time and is still only 24. As you might imagine, that has to affect the way the team looks at him and the way that you should look at him. The numbers we are looking at came at the quarter pole for most of these players.

Owned

PA

AVG

HR

Runs

RBI

SB

BB

Ruben Tejada

0

120

.200

0

6

8

0

18

Adeiny Hechavarria

8

168

.265

0

18

9

1

9

Chris Owings

10

131

.270

1

10

4

4

8

Ruben Tejada has spent parts of the last five seasons in the big leagues and still he is only 24 years old. Occasionally I get surprised and I suppose this is one of those times. I always assumed he must be older somehow. We have to temper the expectations based on that information. The Mets want to give him every opportunity to prove himself and he will likely have at least a few more weeks to do it.

The other two are producing reasonably well with the bat and the glove. Chris Owings stands third among shortstops with +6 defensive runs saved. Hechavarria is officially neutral in that department, but comes with a stellar defensive reputation. That will buy them some time with the bat. Tejada may be holding the seat warm until after the draft. Stephen Drew is waiting to sign somewhere and teams are likely waiting until after the draft because they won’t owe the draft pick then.

Tejada is on pace to walk more than 70 times, so you have to look at his numbers in that vein. Of course, the plate discipline numbers will tell us if we should be bullish about any of these guys. We see that all three will likely continue to be the regular shortstops on their team, but is that enough to pick them up?

BABIP

SO%

BB%

Oswing

Contact

Ruben Tejada

.263

20.0

15.0

23.7

84.5

Adeiny Hechavarria

.320

17.3

5.4

37.1

83.8

Chris Owings

.340

20.6

6.1

35.9

79.2

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling better about Tejada by the minute. Of course, the Mets may choose to upgrade themselves in about a month. The question is whether sweet lady regression will come to rescue Tejada. Unfortunately, he is not a plus defensive shortstop, so his bat is really the only thing that can save him. If we look at his BABIP, we would estimate that he should be hitting between .240 and .250. If you added the walks then he would be a pretty decent offensive player.

I can’t say the same for Hechavarria and Owings. They are pretty much at their zenith as offensive producers this season. When you look at the basic numbers, that doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence. Regression will negatively affect these guys, so I would probably avoid them at this point.

ISO

SecA

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB

Ruben Tejada

.040

.220

32.9

39.5

27.6

0.0

Adeiny Hechavarria

.090

.135

21.6

56.0

22.4

0.0

Chris Owings

.107

.205

21.3

50.0

28.7

3.7

None of these guys are power hitters and that is probably a large part of the problem. Their isolated power numbers tell most of the story. Still, I don’t see how someone that hits a line drive nearly a third of the time can have a BABIP under .300. I would expect that to change and change quickly. Still, all three seem to go to the Willie Mays Hayes school of hitting. One can almost imagine them doing twenty push-ups every time they hit the ball in the air. When you look at their home runs per fly ball rates you would say their managers are justified if they make them do it.

In terms of any fantasy advice, I would say that if someone picks up Owings or Hechavarria it is understandable on some level. They are stable regulars and at the moment they look like decent hitters. Over the long run, Tejada has the best chance of success, but he is also the most likely to be replaced.

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