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 + SB – SO – CS – GIDP
Carlos Correa—Houston Astros
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.