2015 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2015 Fantasy Baseball: Where are they now? — Shortstops

The game’s halfway point is really a misnomer. Some teams will approach 90 games played by the end of the first half. Plus, the fantasy season really isn’t a 162 game affair. In some leagues, the fantasy playoffs take the full month of September. So we’re looking at a little less than two months left in the fantasy regular season. While many of the players we’ve been profiling have been hurt or disappointing, all of them have the past track record that indicates that they could be capable of turning it around for six weeks.

In this edition, we are looking at shortstops. Keep in mind that some players are eligible at multiple positions in Yahoo. We are taking the top fifteen preseason shortstops and profiling the ones that have been the biggest disappointments. If they have been profiled before, they will be skipped this time around.

Ian Desmond— Washington Nationals (Yahoo #3)

PA AVG HR Runs RBI SB BB
April 101 .217 1 12 5 0 7
May 115 .278 3 12 10 1 5
June 99 .161 3 9 8 1 3
July 22 .095 0 2 1 1 0

What happened?

Most leagues still do not include walks as an official statistic, but following the walks here shows a very clear picture of what is going on with Desmond. He is swinging at a lofty 38.9 percent of pitches outside the zone. Not only is that about nine percent higher than the league average, but it is also a career high for Desmond. He obviously has been caught fishing a lot as his 28.8 percent strikeout rate is also the highest of his career.

What to expect?

Desmond does have a .283 BABIP as of this writing. His career average is .321, so there is room for some improvement in that category. Unfortunately, that won’t get you all of the way there. Desmond needs to do the heavy lifting by laying off bad pitches. He still has decent power numbers for a shortstop, and if he can be more selective, he could see a slight bump in power numbers as well.

Jimmy Rollins— Los Angeles Dodgers (Yahoo #6)

PA AVG HR Runs RBI SB BB
April 93 .185 2 10 8 3 11
May 108 .216 3 14 6 2 6
June 101 .219 2 9 9 1 4
July 27 .280 1 4 6 0 2

What happened?

This is his 16th year in the big leagues. The Phillies have been largely criticized for holding on to their veterans for too long. Who knows, maybe they could have gotten more for Rollins two or three years ago. However, it can’t be denied that they got every bit of value out of him before dealing him to the Dodgers. He might be on his last legs, but his recent performance might be cause for some optimism.

What to expect?

Mathematical modeling can do a lot of things, but you can never know the career arc of any individual player until after they are done. Rollins could be approaching the end or he could have another year or two left in him. If the latter is the case, then he could see an uptick in performance over the last two months. I’d be tempted to add him to my bench just in case he starts turning things around.

Elvis Andrus— Texas Rangers (Yahoo #7)

PA AVG HR Runs RBI SB BB
April 93 .230 1 7 6 3 3
May 128 .239 1 12 12 3 14
June 105 .274 1 11 9 3 8
July 25 .091 0 1 1 0 2

What happened?

They say speed is the first thing to go. I can’t remember the second. Andrus is not having a horrible season, but his game is built on speed. With only nine stolen bases, Andrus does not have nearly the value that people thought he would have going into the season. Still, we are talking about a guy that plays every day. That makes him a pretty decent candidate for runs and RBI.

What to expect?

It’s hard to believe that Andrus is only 26 years old. He plays like a player that is much older than that. He has been in fairly steady decline since 2012 when he had his highest batting average and highest OPS of his career. It’s possible he could have a hot streak between now and the end of the season, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Starlin Castro— Chicago Cubs (Yahoo #8)

PA AVG HR Runs RBI SB BB
April 86 .325 2 9 12 2 3
May 121 .221 1 8 12 2 6
June 109 .245 2 8 11 0 4
July 35 .182 0 2 3 0 1

What happened?

Everything seemed okay in April, but it’s gone to hell since then. I’ve never been a big Castro guy. He doesn’t have any speed to speak of, and he doesn’t draw any walks. He has to rely on a solid BABIP to get himself the numbers he needs. His .284 BABIP is well below his .321 career rate, and I suppose that provides some level of hope. Yet, he’s produced a sub .700 OPS in two out of the last three seasons.

What to expect?

You have to wonder if Joe Maddon is going to grow tired of his struggles and shift Addison Russell to short and put Javier Baez at second base. Who knows, maybe he might become trade bait at the deadline if they have to deal a big league player to get what they want. I’d expect a slight uptick based on the BABIP numbers, but not much more than that.

Danny Santana— Minnesota Twins (Yahoo #14)

PA AVG HR Runs RBI SB BB
April 82 .256 0 8 4 1 0
May 90 .198 0 13 6 3 2
June 33 .138 0 1 3 1 2
July 23 .217 0 3 1 0 0

What happened?

We should have seen this coming and to the credit of many of my colleagues, they did. He had a .405 BABIP in 2014, so most of his performance was due to out of context BABIP performance. That being said, Yahoo did have him rated as a backup coming into the season. Some leagues have middle infield slots in addition to each individual position. So, some people picked him as a starter. Unfortunately, his BABIP has crashed and burned to a .289. There is no way he could recover from that.

What to expect?

Santana was sent down and missed most of June in the minor leagues. He was only called up because of an injury to Byron Buxton. He likely will spend most of the season on the bench if he does not return to the minors when Buxton comes back. On the positive side, he could catch fire and earn his shortstop position back.

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