2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy BaseballTotal Run Index

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Total Run Index – ADP vs. TRI Shortstops

As we approach the end of the infield positions we see by far the weakest position on the diamond offensively. That being said, there are a number of young shortstops that are making the game exciting. Nearly twenty years ago it was Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Nomar Garciaparra. The fact that two of those three are still in the game is a testament to their greatness.

Four of the top twenty shortstops (according to ADP) have played two years or less. Three of the four came up last season and there are several more at the minor league level threatening the come up in the next year or two. However, 2014 finds us in between the old guard and new guard. Only three shortstops have TRI scores above ten. There is no single position that is this thin. Furthermore, as we will see, some players are severely overvalued because of how thin the position is.

POS

ADP

Index

Hanley Ramirez

1

10.57

+21.8

Troy Tulowitzki

2

14.49

+19.9

Jean Segura

3

28.91

+0.4

Ian Desmond

4

37.03

+7.0

Jose Reyes

5

37.09

+19.8

Elvis Andrus

6

51.63

+0.1

Everth Cabrera

7

85.69

+0.3

Starlin Castro

8

122.83

-4.2

J.J. Hardy

9

141.74

-4.0

Jed Lowrie

10

142.66

+5.7

Andrelton Simmons

11

143.06

-2.4

Alexei Ramirez

12

153.83

-6.0

Xander Bogaerts

13

161.06

+1.6

Asdrubal Cabrera

14

173.46

+7.0

Brad Miller

15

190.40

+6.7

Jimmy Rollins

16

193.03

0.0

Jhonny Peralta

17

204.23

+3.2

Jonathan Villar

18

215.46

-4.2

Erick Aybar

19

219.37

+2.6

Alcides Escobar

20

241.69

-14.0

TRI Bargains

Jose Reyes

There are three players with TRI scores north of ten and Reyes is one of them. He finishes a narrow third place to Troy Tulowitzki and yet he is being drafted fifth among shortstops. I know people are nervous about his durability, but there is no way on God’s green earth that he should be going after Jean Segura or Ian Desmond.

Asdrubal Cabrera

Funny, there is very little in between on Cabrera. His presence on ESPN Web Gems made many think he was the best fielding shortstop since Ozzie Smith. He probably isn’t even among the top half of fielding shortstops in reality. Meanwhile, he goes through a tough 2013 and suddenly becomes a backup fantasy shortstop. He is tied for fifth among the shortstops on the board in terms of TRI. I’m not sure whether that is an accurate projection or not, but he should be a fantasy regular.

TRI Players to Avoid

Jean Segura

When you see a discrepancy this big it makes you wonder if you are doing something wrong. Segura’s total places in the bottom half of players on the board and we haven’t even looked at players on the waiver wire. So, what in the heck is going on? Well, if we look at the first and second half splits we see a bit of an answer.

  • First Half: .325/.363/.487
  • Second Half: .241/.268/.315

Virtually all of that production in the first half came in the first two months. He hit a collective .356 in those two months mainly due to a BABIP of nearly .390. He still stole 17 bases in the second half and I don’t think we will see the .593 OPS player this year (like he was after the all-star break) but he clearly will likely not be the player he was in the first two months of 2013.

Starlin Castro

I’ve never been a big Starlin Castro guy, but last season he fell off the proverbial cliff. According to Fangraphs, he was a below replacement level performer in 2013. The problem from a fantasy perspective is that he lost his speed (25 stolen bases to 9 stolen bases). Castro’s ability to throw in some power with that speed was the only reason to really consider him as a fantasy option. Now, you have a player that will get lots of hits, but swings at everything that moves. A low OBP, coupled with diminishing speed, makes him a fantasy backup these days.

TRI Waiver Options

Derek Jeter (300.23 ADP)

Jeter barely qualifies as a waiver option, but if he is available on your waiver wire he is the perfect waiver claim. If he is healthy he is potentially a starting quality fantasy player. You don’t get those very often on the waiver wire. The problem is that he is at such an advanced age that we don’t know whether he will be healthy. A waiver claim is a risk worth taking though.

Yunel Escobar (358.86 ADP)

When you are dealing with a player like Escobar you have a track record to go on. He has one season with a wRC+ below 100. We are talking about a player that has been a regular since 2007. Yes, he has been difficult to deal with and has been with three different teams, but he is at the very worst an average offensive player. Average offensive performers deserve attention if they are on the waiver wire.

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