2017 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball: Shortstops L-V

As we saw in the last piece, the shortstop position is one of the deepest positions in the fantasy universe. Although, we saw a number of good players in the first half, but there are still some really good hitters in this piece. As we have done before, we will show their ranking in five and six category formats over the last three and five seasons. Then, each player will be assigned a ranking based mostly on the data seen, but with some consideration for other factors involved.

Francisco Lindor—Cleveland Indians (.307, 13.5 HR, 74.5 Runs, 64.5 RBI, 15.5 SB, 42.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 3

3 Year 6 Category- 4

5 Year 5 Category- 3

5 Year 6 Category- 3

Lindor is a study in balance. There is a very compelling argument to be made that he is the best shortstop in baseball. He combines very good offensive production with Gold Glove quality defense. In terms of fantasy, he gives you a little bit of everything offensively. He has some power and speed. He combines that with decent patience and the ability to hit for average. The combination makes him valuable although I might switch him with Xander Bogaerts. Rank: 3rd

Jordy Mercer—Pittsburgh Pirates (.262, 8.7 HR, 52.0 Runs, 49.3 RBI, 2.7 SB, 37.7 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 20

3 Year 6 Category- 19

5 Year 5 Category- 24

5 Year 6 Category- 23

Mercer is similar to Didi Gregorius in that he is known mostly for his fielding, but he has been getting better offensively in recent seasons. He doesn’t have the power that Gregorius has, but the numbers are getting better with each passing season. As recently as 2015, it looked like he would be supplanted by Jung Ho Kang or anyone else. His fielding has become too valuable for that to happen. Rank: 20th

Brad Miller—Tampa Bay Rays (.241, 17.0 HR, 54.7 Runs, 54.3 RBI, 7.7 SB, 42.7 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 17

3 Year 6 Category- 16

5 Year 5 Category- 16

5 Year 6 Category- 16

Like many of the others, Miller has been getting progressively better with each passing season. He moved to first base last season, but will be eligible at shortstop next season. He will be eligible at both positions and that makes him more valuable. Like many of today’s hitters, he is flawed in that he strikes out a little more often than we might like, but he hit a very sneaky 30 home runs last season. Rank: 16th

Jhonny Peralta—St. Louis Cardinals (.266, 15.3 HR, 54.0 Runs, 58.3 RBI, 1.3 SB, 42.7 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 16

3 Year 6 Category- 15

5 Year 5 Category- 19

5 Year 6 Category- 15

As we saw on the previously published knocking on the door series, the Cardinals are loaded with infielders. There could be a trade that opens things up before the seasons, but as it stands the Cards have four infielders for three slots. It’s hard to say who the man on the outside will be if there will be one at all. Rank: 15th

Jose Reyes—New York Mets (.276, 8.0 HR, 65.3 Runs, 42.7 RBI, 21.0 SB, 28.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 10

3 Year 6 Category- 12

5 Year 5 Category- 11

5 Year 6 Category- 11

Reyes is listed as a backup infielder at this point for the Mets, but David Wright hasn’t been healthy since the Bush administration (seemingly). So, chances are he will settle in as a regular third basemen before all is said and done. He probably is not worth a top 12 selection at short, but he is based on past performance. Rank: 11th

Addison Russell—Chicago Cubs (.240, 17.0 HR, 63.5 Runs, 74.5 RBI, 4.5 SB, 48.5 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 11

3 Year 6 Category- 10

5 Year 5 Category- 12

5 Year 6 Category- 9

Again, we see a low batting average guy that fills out the rest of the stat sheet. The key with Russell will be how much growth he can muster in his third full season. He hit 21 home runs a year ago and could be ready to take the next step. That would probably include a bump in batting average instead of a bump of power. Rank: 10th

Corey Seager—Los Angeles Dodgers (.308, 26.0 HR, 105.0 Runs, 72.0 RBI, 3.0 SB, 54.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 1

3 Year 6 Category- 2

5 Year 5 Category- 1

5 Year 6 Category- 2

As discussed in the first edition, the battle amongst fantasy experts will be between Seager and Carlos Correa for the top spot. Correa is going into his third season while Seager will be beginning his second. Here is betting he sees a little more growth than Correa, but obviously there is plenty of reason to go the other way. Rank: 1st

Marcus Semien—Oakland Athletics (.248, 21.0 HR, 67.5 Runs, 60.0 RBI, 10.5 SB, 46.5 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 7

3 Year 6 Category- 7

5 Year 5 Category- 9

5 Year 6 Category- 7

Maybe batting average is dead. Semien has been an under the radar fantasy star the last two seasons. He provides good speed and very good power at a premium defensive position. Like the others, the only question is whether he will be able to lift his batting average to a more acceptable level. Rank: 7th 

Andrelton Simmons—Los Angeles Angels (.263, 5.0 HR, 50.9 Runs, 44.7 RBI, 4.7 SB, 33.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 22

3 Year 6 Category- 20

5 Year 5 Category- 17

5 Year 6 Category- 18 

Simmons is about as close as you can get to a modern day Ozzie Smith. He is the single best impact fielder in the game today and because of that he will always play. Smith became a quality offensive player later in his career and there is always the chance that Simmons may do the same. It isn’t likely to happen this season. Rank: 19th

Trevor Story—Colorado Rockies (.272, 27.0 HR, 67.0 Runs, 72.0 RBI, 8.0 SB, 35.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 4

3 Year 6 Category- 5

5 Year 5 Category- 4

5 Year 6 Category- 5 

Story was the toast of the sport in April of last season. He set the record for home runs in a month by a rookie. Then came the rest of the season. Story certainly wasn’t horrible from May forward, but he was ordinary. Will he take a step forward and produce these numbers again or will he continue to regress and become an ordinary shortstop? Only time will tell. Rank: 5th

Troy Tulowitzki—Toronto Blue Jays (.291, 20.7 HR, 67.0 Runs, 67.0 RBI, 1.0 SB, 43.7 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 6

3 Year 6 Category- 7

5 Year 5 Category- 10

5 Year 6 Category- 10

Rating Tulowitzki is challenging at best. Any phrase describing him usually begins with the phrase “when health…” Add that to the fact that the Blue Jays could lose three members of their everyday lineup from last season and you have the makings of a fantasy collapse. Ironically, the one thing that seems to have remained is his power and leaving Coors Field would have been enough to bet against that. Rank: 6th

 Jonathan Villar—Milwaukee Brewers (.259, 9.3 HR, 47.0 Runs, 33.7 RBI, 28.7 SB, 36.0 BB)

3 Year 5 Category- 18

3 Year 6 Category- 17

5 Year 5 Category- 20

5 Year 6 Category- 20

The numbers above don’t do Villar justice. Last season was his first full season in the big leagues. He responded with 62 stolen bases and surprising power. So, the ranking below is easily one of the more inappropriate rankings on the board. It might be more instructive to check out one of the many projection systems to see where he could be. He will play shortstop again, but also should have third base eligibility in most platforms. Rank: 18th

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