Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball: Top Ten Fantasy Shortstops

We always strive to do better as we move through the rankings at each position. So, we have added conventional rankings along with the total points rankings so you can get a better picture of each player. For shortstops, we are adding per 162 game data and Steamer projections to give you as much context as possible with the rankings. Every ranking system is flawed because it is impossible to include everything fairly. Hard decisions have to be made and in the case of every position we are including only players that are primarily shortstops. Feel free to adjust given the numbers we have provided in the past or in the future for players that have multiple position eligibility.

Total points is our focus because it might be a format many of you are not familiar with. However, it is growing in popularity and is used exclusively in daily fantasy formats. Obviously, our formula will be different from the formulas used on each platform. Feel free to adjust as you need here as well. Below is the formula we use.

Total Points = Total Bases + Runs + RBI + Walks + Hit by Pitch + SBSO – CS – GIDP

Carlos Correa—Houston Astros 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 109 350 3.21
2016 153 371 2.42
2015 99 281 2.84
AVG 120 334 3 2.78 2

Aggregate: .289, 22 HR, 70 Runs, 83 RBI, 10 SB, 56 BB       5 Category: 2

Per 162: .288, 30 HR, 94 Runs, 111 RBI, 13 SB, 75 BB           6 Category: 2

Steamer: .292, 30 HR, 94 Runs, 103 RBI, 8 SB, 71 BB          DRS: +4

The per 162 data represents the very maximum that each player can be expected to produce. Obviously, we can’t predict the future and some players will surpass that, but the reality is that most won’t. So, when a projection system like Steamer essentially matches it you have to take notice. The fact is that he might have been the MVP last season had he not gotten hurt during the season. It was a freak injury, so we should expect 150 or more games next season.

Corey Seager—Los Angeles Dodgers

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 145 348 2.40
2016 157 411 2.62
2015 27 85 3.15
AVG 110 281 7 4 2.55

Aggregate: .302, 17 HR, 69 Runs, 55 RBI, 3 SB, 45 BB         5 Category: 7

Per 162: .305, 26 HR, 102 Runs, 82 RBI, 4 SB, 66 BB           6 Category: 6

Steamer: .290, 25 HR, 93 Runs, 81 RBI, 4 SB, 62 BB            DRS: +10

It’s a tough call putting him here, but he has a little more upside than Francisco Lindor. However, Lindor has produced more in his first three seasons than Seager has in his. Both players have talented lineups around them, so this could be a jump ball. I like Seager a little better over the long haul, so he gets the call.

Francisco Lindor—Cleveland Indians 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 159 489 3.08
2016 158 410 2.59
2015 99 246 2.48
AVG 139 382 1 2.75 2

Aggregate: .296, 20 HR, 83 Runs, 73 RBI, 15 SB, 48 BB       5 Category: 1

Per 162: .293, 23 HR, 97 Runs, 85 RBI, 18 SB, 56 BB            6 Category: 1

Steamer: .293, 26 HR, 97 Runs, 91 RBI, 14 SB, 58 BB          DRS: +5

If one were to use WAR as their pick then they might well be better off with Lindor because he looks like the better all-around shortstop in the long-term. Both Correa and Seager lack the special skills he has defensively, but fantasy baseball is not built on all-around performance. Lindor is likely at his peak offensively where both Correa and Seager could still see some growth. That is why he is third and not first as the rankings have him. Of course, any enterprising young fantasy player can choose to flip flop him with either or both and probably be okay.

Trea Turner—Washington Nationals 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 98 294 3.00
2016 73 249 3.41
AVG 86 272 9 3.16 1

Aggregate: .313, 12 HR, 64 Runs, 43 RBI, 40 SB, 22 BB       5 Category: 8

Per 162: .304, 20 HR, 109 Runs, 70 RBI, 66 SB, 39 BB         6 Category: 9

Steamer: .298, 15 HR, 69 Runs, 68 RBI, 42 SB, 38 BB          DRS: -3

The fact is that attendance matters. Turner has not proven he can last through a whole season yet, but if you could guarantee 150 games then you might see him leapfrog at least one of the top three guys on the basis of stolen bases alone. The Steamer numbers represent a hedging of bets on his health. Yet, even if he produces those numbers he is good for this spot on the basis on his speed.

Jean Segura—Seattle Mariners 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 125 306 2.45
2016 153 451 2.95
2015 142 226 1.59
2014 146 219 1.50
2013 146 333 2.28
AVG 142 307 5 2.16 11

Aggregate: .283, 11 HR, 75 Runs, 48 RBI, 29 SB, 28 BB       5 Category: 5

Per 162: .283, 12 HR, 84 Runs, 54 RBI, 32 SB, 33 BB            6 Category: 7

Steamer: .275, 14 HR, 80 Runs, 61 RBI, 22 SB, 36 BB          DRS: -3

Segura could be a poor man’s Turner. The problem with him is that his 2014 and 2015 seasons are dragging down his total points and his aggregate. We like to show the individual seasons because often they give us more context than the simple aggregate. In essence, he is better than the aggregate shows and therefore the rankings across the board are not necessarily indicative of the potential here.

Xander Bogaerts—Boston Red Sox 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 148 329 2.22
2016 157 431 2.75
2015 156 349 2.24
2014 144 198 1.38
AVG 151 327 4 2.17 9

Aggregate: .282, 13 HR, 88 Runs, 70 RBI, 10 SB, 46 BB       5 Category: 3

Per 162: .283, 13 HR, 94 Runs, 74 RBI, 11 SB, 49 BB             6 Category: 3

Steamer: .289, 16 HR, 79 Runs, 77 RBI, 11 SB, 53 BB            DRS: -11

Bogaerts rates highly in total points, five, and six category formats. Unfortunately, the total points per game indicates he is at the pinnacle of his value. In other words, his numbers have nowhere else to go whereas the others above him should all improve some. Add to that two consecutive down seasons in the fielding department and there are plenty of reasons to pump the breaks on him.

Trevor Story—Colorado Rockies 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 145 233 1.61
2016 97 258 2.66
AVG 121 246 14 2.03 14

Aggregate: .256, 26 HR, 68 Runs, 77 RBI, 8 SB, 42 BB         5 Category: 4

Per 162: .253, 34 HR, 90 Runs, 103 RBI, 10 SB, 56 BB          6 Category: 4

Steamer: .253, 27 HR, 75 Runs, 84 RBI, 10 SB, 55 BB           DRS: +11

2018 represents a make or break year for Story. The story behind his total points drop off can be found in the massive amount of strikeouts. Players in five and six category leagues should take notice of the dropoff between 2016 and 2017. He needs to make some adjustments or it will ultimately catch up with him. His power and glove will keep him on the field, but he might drop out of the top ten.

Paul DeJong—St. Louis Cardinals 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 108 236 2.19
AVG 108 236 15 2.19 8

Aggregate: .285, 25 HR, 55 Runs, 65 RBI, 1 SB, 21 BB         5 Category: 10

Per 162: .285, 38 HR, 83 Runs, 98 RBI, 2 SB, 32 BB            6 Category: 12

Steamer: .261, 26 HR, 71 Runs, 85 RBI, 3 SB, 33 BB            DRS: -1

This is when we get into risky territory. There are a number of guys we could put here and all of them come with their own form of risk. Will DeJong have the Diaz curse? He does bring a low walk rate to the fore and pitchers will not be taken by surprise again. Much like Story, he might have too much power to simply ignore. Steamer predicts a drop off, but even with those numbers he deserves to be in the top ten.

Elvis Andrus—Texas Rangers 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 158 428 2.71
2016 147 345 2.35
2015 160 316 1.98
2014 157 263 1.68
2013 156 337 2.16
AVG 156 338 2 2.17 9

Aggregate: .278, 8 HR, 81 Runs, 65 RBI, 29 SB, 46 BB        5 Category: 6

Per 162: .277, 6 HR, 88 Runs, 62 RBI, 31 SB, 52 BB              6 Category: 4

Steamer: .279, 12 HR, 74 Runs, 69 RBI, 21 SB, 45 BB          DRS: +3

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate drops to zero. Andrus will turn 30 next season and while that is not a major concern for most players, it is a concern for players that build their games around speed. He flashed some power last season and if that stays he belongs in Segura range, but otherwise he just doesn’t offer enough of everything else to overcome a slight decline in the stolen base department.

Troy Tulowitzki—Toronto Blue Jays 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 66 100 1.52
2016 131 285 2.18
2015 128 275 2.15
2014 91 307 3.37
2013 126 363 2.88
AVG 108 266 11 2.46 6

Aggregate: .287, 19 HR, 58 Runs, 62 RBI, 1 SB, 41 BB         5 Category: 13

Per 162: .290, 28 HR, 96 Runs, 98 RBI, 7 SB, 64 BB            6 Category: 9

Steamer: .261, 21 HR, 61 Runs, 66 RBI, 2 SB, 42 BB            DRS: 0

Tulowitzki comes with a very large asterisk. If you select him here you must be prepared to select another solid shortstop when he goes down with injury. Notice I didn’t say if. He is the one player where the 162 game numbers are more of a thought experiment than any kind of objective reality. However, if he gives you 100 or 110 solid games and you were thoughtful enough to select another decent shortstop then you will like what you get from the shortstop position overall.

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2 Comments

  1. Linds
    January 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm — Reply

    Tulowitzki, top ten, seriously? He stopped being top ten before last season even started. At this point, Tulo shouldn’t be ANY fantasy team’s starting SS. In fact, in my (very deep) league, this guy is on the waiver wire. Here are all the shortstops I’d rather have over Tulo in ALL league formats, roto/H2H, dynasty/keeper/redraft. This even includes those who will no longer be SS-eligible in 2019.

    – Bregman
    – Gregorius
    – M. Gonzalez
    – Baez
    – Semien
    – Arcia
    – Beckham
    – Anderson
    – Simmons
    – Owings
    – Cabrera
    – Russell
    – Polanco
    – Crawford
    – Peraza
    – Rosario
    – Galvis

    Factoring in the rest of your top ten, this is pretty much the rest of the starting SS in the league. Heck, it doesn’t even include Swanson or Torreyes or anyone else I’m forgetting and I wouldn’t blame anyone for starting either of them over Tulo.

    • January 17, 2018 at 8:45 am — Reply

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to engage. As you noted, a couple of those guys may not be eligible in 2019. I went with the primary position each player played in 2017 and is likely to play in 2018 so I could profile each player only once. I too would draft guys like Bregman before him, but that would mean profiling him twice. As for the others, I will just say that the primary basis for my rankings was past performance. That included a five year average in total points, five, and six categories. A more recent aggregate might have yielded different results, but also would not have been as accurate across the board. Steamer has him hitting .260 with 20+ home runs, so not every projection system agrees he’s a marginal talent. That being said, many of your points are reasonable given his many health concerns, but everything else being equal I find it hard to believe guys like Galvis, Peraza, and Polanco should go before him. The rest are reasonable though if we are speculating on future performance and not basing anything on past performance.

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