Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball: Shortstop Rankings 11-20

The calendar has switched over to 2018 and all 30 teams are trying to turn over a new leaf. Millions of fantasy owners are doing the same. Here at the Fantasy Fix we are always trying to improve as well. In honor of that we have decided to add as much information as we can to help you make those tough draft decisions. In many ways, going over the second group of players at a position is more difficult than the first. All of them have warts, so choosing between those warts makes life a bit challenging.

We are including total points, the basic five categories, and adding walks for a sixth category. We are also including per 162 game data, and Steamer projections. The combination has been used to come up with these rankings. We are handicapping ourselves a bit by only including players that primarily played shortstop. We might include the multi-positional players later. You are familiar with the six categories, but you might not be familiar with total points. Our total points formula can be seen below.

Total Points = Total Bases + Runs + RBI + BB + SB – Strikeouts – CS – GIDP

 Andrelton Simmons—Los Angeles Angels

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 158 370 2.34
2016 124 241 1.94
2015 147 265 1.80
2014 146 215 1.47
2013 157 348 2.22
AVG 146 288 6 1.97 16

 Aggregate: .263, 9 HR, 61 Runs, 52 RBI, 9 SB, 37 BB          5 Category: 15

 Per 162: .264, 10 HR, 67 Runs, 58 RBI, 9 SB, 41 BB             6 Category: 12

 Steamer: .270, 12 HR, 66 Runs, 67 RBI, 12 SB, 41 BB          DRS: +32

Depending on the season in question, Simmons is either another Ozzie Smith or another Mark Belanger. The placement here feels a little closer to Smith and there was growth on Smith’s part as he got older and more experienced. Simmons has a little more pop than both of those legendary fielders and it might be the difference between Simmons as a fantasy regular and just some guy you enjoy watching on the highlight reels.

Zack Cozart—Los Angeles Angels

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 122 368 3.02
2016 121 263 2.17
2015 53 128 2.42
2014 147 185 1.26
2013 151 261 1.73
AVG 119 241 15 2.03 14

Aggregate: .256, 13 HR, 59 Runs, 48 RBI, 3 SB, 33 BB         5 Category: 19

Per 162: .254, 18 HR, 82 Runs, 61 RBI, 5 SB, 43 BB              6 Category: 17

Steamer: .254, 17 HR, 75 Runs, 66 RBI, 4 SB, 55 BB            DRS: +2

The Angels nabbed up Cozart to cover their hole at third base. The idea was two-fold though since Ian Kinsler will become a free agent after the 2018 season. Adding both improves the infield offense and defense substantially. Of course, for you this all depends on his ability to stay healthy. 120 games a season won’t get it done. If he can play 140 or more he will be worthy of this spot.

Addison Russell—Chicago Cubs 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 110 179 1.63
2016 151 306 2.03
2015 142 188 1.32
AVG 134 224 18 1.67 21

Aggregate: .240, 15 HR, 60 Runs, 64 RBI, 4 SB, 42 BB         5 Category: 16

Per 162: .240, 18 HR, 72 Runs, 77 RBI, 4 SB, 51 BB                6 Category: 15

Steamer: .252, 18 HR, 57 Runs, 64 RBI, 4 SB, 43 BB             DRS: +15

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to try to find a balance between numbers and intuition. Russell was dogged by abuse charges last season and it effectively derailed his season. Those charges seemed to have cleared, so 2018 should be a bounce back year for him. Add in a loaded infield and there should be added motivation to come back strong. He is an excellent defender, so the Cubs should give him every chance to keep his spot.

Aledmys Diaz—Toronto Blue Jays

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 79 128 1.62
2016 111 323 2.91
AVG 95 226 17 2.38 7

Aggregate: .280, 12 HR, 51 Runs, 43 RBI, 4 SB, 27 BB         5 Category: 20

Per 162: .283, 20 HR, 87 Runs, 72 RBI, 7 SB, 46 BB              6 Category: 18

Steamer: .265, 10 HR, 40 Runs, 39 RBI, 4 SB, 21 BB            DRS: -10

Diaz is officially a man without a position, but the trio of Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, and Devon Travis all missed significant time last season. Tulow and Travis have missed time nearly every season. So, Steamer may project limited time for him, but in all likelihood, he is going to get his plate appearances one way or another.

Didi Gregorius—New York Yankees

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 136 368 2.71
2016 153 329 2.15
2015 155 264 1.70
2014 80 135 1.69
2013 103 180 1.75
AVG 125 255 13 2.04 13

Aggregate: .261, 13 HR, 56 Runs, 54 RBI, 4 SB, 27 BB         5 Category: 20

Per 162: .266, 17 HR, 72 Runs, 69 RBI, 5 SB, 35 BB              6 Category: 16

Steamer: .270, 19 HR, 67 Runs, 75 RBI, 4 SB, 31 BB            DRS: +1

Gregorius has slowly evolved into a quietly dangerous hitter at the plate. His solid defense allowed him to transition from Derek Jeter’s successor into his own man at the position. He won’t make anyone forget about the former captain, but he is more valuable than Jeter was at the end of his career. With Giancarlo Stanton added to the lineup, he won’t be hitting cleanup anymore.

Marcus Semien—Oakland Athletics

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 85 192 2.26
2016 159 294 1.85
2015 155 236 1.52
2014 64 93 1.45
AVG 116 204 21 1.76 19

Aggregate: .245, 15 HR, 55 Runs, 47 RBI, 9 SB, 38 BB         5 Category: 17

Per 162: .246, 20 HR, 76 Runs, 65 RBI, 13 SB, 51 BB            6 Category: 14

Steamer: .251, 21 HR, 73 Runs, 68 RBI, 11 SB, 53 BB           DRS: -9

Semien is one of those players that is forever going under the radar. It is to the point where I almost feel guilty putting him this low in the rankings. However, if you take every ranking together you can’t help but put him in this neighborhood. He would be an excellent companion pick to Tulowitzki because you know you will have to use him at some point. You just have to hope he is healthy as he was in 2016 and 2015.

Jorge Polanco—Minnesota Twins

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 133 300 2.26
2016 69 127 1.84
AVG 101 214 20 2.12 12

Aggregate: .269, 9 HR, 42 Runs, 51 RBI, 9 SB, 29 BB         5 Category: 21

Per 162: .266, 13 HR, 67 Runs, 81 RBI, 14 SB, 48 BB          6 Category: 20

Steamer: .273, 15 HR, 71 Runs, 72 RBI, 13 SB, 46 BB          DRS: -1

At the all-star break, Polanco was hitting .224 with 3 home runs, 29 runs, and 31 RBI. When the music stopped he had 13 home runs, 60 runs, and 74 RBI on the season. He obviously discovered something, but improvement is rarely ever linear. In other words, expecting him to hit 20 home runs with 70 runs, and over 80 RBI is horribly unrealistic. The per 162 and Steamer numbers seem reasonable enough.

Jose Reyes—New York Mets

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 145 328 2.26
2016 60 160 2.67
2015 116 268 2.31
2014 143 378 2.64
2013 93 249 2.68
AVG 111 277 8 2.50 4

Aggregate: .274, 10 HR, 66 Runs, 45 RBI, 20 SB, 34 BB       5 Category: 11

Per 162: .286, 13 HR, 105 Runs, 64 RBI, 47 SB, 52 BB           6 Category: 12

Steamer: .258, 8 HR, 41 Runs, 35 RBI, 12 SB, 27 BB              DRS: -26

The horrible defensive numbers are alarming and he is definitely closer to the end than to the beginning. He is also rehabilitating from an abuse conviction. Some fantasy owners may want to stay away for those reasons. At this point in a draft you are looking at what a player can give to you and not necessarily what they can’t. Reyes can still offer some speed and some power and that could be valuable at this point in the draft.

Tim Anderson—Chicago White Sox

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 146 219 1.50
2016 99 154 1.56
AVG 123 187 22 1.52 30

Aggregate: .270, 13 HR, 65 Runs, 43 RBI, 13 SB, 13 BB       5 Category: 9

Per 162: .268, 17 HR, 85 Runs, 57 RBI, 17 SB, 17 BB             6 Category: 13

Steamer: .263, 15 HR, 66 Runs, 64 RBI, 16 SB, 21 BB          DRS: -8

Putting Anderson on the list is a bit of a maturation point. The walks alone would normally have scared me off, but when you add in the strikeouts it would have been just as easy to say no thanks and then move on. Yet, the rest of the numbers are what you look for in a fantasy performer. There is bound to be some slippage given the plate discipline issues, but there is enough power and speed here to be somewhat intriguing.

Brandon Crawford—San Francisco Giants 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 144 254 1.76
2016 155 329 2.12
2015 143 298 2.08
2014 153 244 1.59
2013 149 216 1.45
AVG 149 268 10 1.80 18

Aggregate: .256, 13 HR, 59 Runs, 71 RBI, 4 SB, 48 BB        5 Category: 14

Per 162: .252, 12 HR, 62 Runs, 72 RBI, 4 SB, 50 BB             6 Category: 7

Steamer: .257, 15 HR, 62 Runs, 69 RBI, 5 SB, 51 BB            DRS: +9

Crawford and Anderson are mirror images. In real baseball you would much rather have Crawford. He is a better contact hitter and a better fielder. Neither of those skills particularly matter in most fantasy leagues. If you want a steady guy on your bench then he is your guy, but he doesn’t offer enough of anything in particular to be a fantasy regular.

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2018 Fantasy Baseball: Top Ten Fantasy Shortstops

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2018 Fantasy Baseball: Generation Next-- Shortstops

2 Comments

  1. Brian
    January 5, 2018 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    Hi Scott:
    I’m curious….what kept Orlando Arcia from making your top 20?
    .277 15 53 56 and 14 steals look pretty solid? Thanks.

    • January 5, 2018 at 5:53 pm — Reply

      Brian,

      Thanks for reading. Arcia ranked 25th in total points, 28th in total points per game, 25th in aggregate five categories, and 25th in aggregate six categories. Essentially, everything is based on his entire career. 2017 was positive and if he repeats it he should be fine.

      Scott

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