Archive for Shortstops

2015 End of Season Rankings: Shortstops

The 2015 fantasy baseball season has come to a close, so it is time to look back at the season past and determine which players were the most valuable at each position. After looking at third basemen last week, we finish off the infield by focusing on shortstops.

The players were ranked based on their 2015 production, using the evaluation system explained and updated on this site some time ago. The valuations are built for $260 budgets and standard 5×5 roto fantasy leagues, where only one catcher is started. Players are listed only at their primary positions from 2015.

One important thing to note is the premium (or lack thereof) placed on the position a player occupies in your lineup. For example, while a first baseman may be able to accumulate superior overall numbers, the availability of such production lower in the rankings severely dampers the amount the player was worth. These rankings are meant to reflect a player’s value should he have occupied this spot in your lineup for the entire year. A player who missed time due to injury but put up great numbers during his time on the field would be worth less.

Read the rest of this entry »

Addison Russell Surprises and Disappoints

Heading into the season, Addison Russell was ranked as the Cubs’ second best prospect and third best prospect in baseball. After finishing last year at the Double-A level, he figured to open the year at Triple-A and remain there for the majority, if not all, of the 2015 season. But that didn’t happen.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Change: Identifying Potential Young Surgers

Earlier today, we published my conversation with Joey Votto about aging, and within the post is a graph that didn’t necessarily fit the narrative but should contain an interesting tidbit for we fantasy players.

Take a look at this graph again, except instead of looking towards the end of the graph where the old guys are hanging out, look at the beginning of the graph. Under 25, it looks like hitters with pull percentages under 45% have a little more growth left in them than their pull-heavy counterparts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Explaining Eduardo Escobar

One of the most pleasant surprises of 2015 has been the performance of the Minnesota Twins. Even if they fail to capture a wild card spot, this season has surpassed any reasonable Twins fan’s expectations. A team that appeared to be in the midst of a full rebuild ended up as a legitimate playoff contender, and one of the unexpected bright spots is their largely unheralded super-utilityman, Eduardo Escobar.

The switch-hitting Escobar entered the year as a bench player for the Twins, one whose versatile glove could plug a number of holes. Case in point: In his first four defensive appearances in April, he played four different positions (2B, 3B, SS, LF). Through July 31, he had 27 starts in left field, 20 at shortstop, seven as the designated hitter, five at third base and two at second.

Read the rest of this entry »

Three Troy Tulowitzki Replacement Options

I should have known. I was thrilled to have acquired Troy Tulowitzki upon his entrance into the American League at the trade deadline in AL Tout Wars. I crossed my fingers that he would remain healthy, and productive, for the several months on my squad. That wasn’t to be. Naturally, it was a freak injury that has now sidelined him, causing his many fantasy owners to groan and think to themselves “of course this happened to him”.

If you missed the news, Tulowitzki suffered a bruised back and a cracked left shoulder blade, with the best case scenario having him returning in two to three weeks. Since that means there’s a very real chance he’s done for the season, or makes it back for just a couple of games, it’s time to search for a replacement. My American League only options are pathetic. But yours might not be. So here are a couple of shortstop eligible hitters owned in fewer than 50% of leagues that could make up for at least some of the lost production.

Read the rest of this entry »

Going Bananas for Kiké Hernandez

Remember when the Dodgers were so flush with players that they couldn’t regularly find all of them playing time? How many times do we see this same thing play out with starting pitchers? Either situation seems to always play itself out either with underperformance of one or more of those involved or, and this is usually the case, by injury.

The Dodgers have had a cluster of talent vying for playing time on the infield just within their 25-man roster before we even account for Corey Seager knocking on the door in the minors, but a pair of injuries – one a long-term situation – has cleared the path for one of their bench bats to get something of an extended looking. Justin Turner is recovering from a skin infection on his thigh and should return this week (could even be today), but Howie Kendrick’s hamstring strain will leave sidelined for at least three weeks.

Enrique Hernandez (aka Kike, pronounced Key-kay) was essentially a throw-in piece in the Dee GordonAndrew Heaney deal. By the way, it is often referenced as the Gordon-Heaney deal, but there were five others players in that trade: Hernandez, Dan Haren, Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, and Miguel Rojas. It was the second deal that Hernandez had essentially been thrown into that year. He went with Jarred Cosart and Austin Wates to Miami for Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran, and Francis Martes.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Change: Kang, Yelich and Batted Ball Changers

Ground-ball rate stabilizes fairly quickly. Usually, you’ll hear this factoid in the first month of the season as we look at April stats and try to render prognoses on the rest of the season. Of course, ‘stabilizing’ means that there’s about a 50/50 chance the data is meaningful in that small sample.

Hidden in that fact is the key to today’s look at the player population. Players change. They change their batted ball mixes in season, too, not just in April. And if you look at month-long samples, you’re pretty close to that stabilization point again. You want about 30 games to believe in ground ball numbers, and your qualified batters typically play around 25 games in a month.

And, since we’re now comparing July to June instead of April to all of last year, and we’ve already admitted that players change their mixes, it’s useful to remember that this is not some sort of skeleton key that will figure it all out for us. Still, we need to know which players are altering their batted ball mixes, because it might stick, and it might mean something going forward.

And for Christian Yelich, Adam Eaton, Brandon Crawford and even Jung-ho Kang… we could be seeing the future.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Attempt at Figuring Out Carlos Correa, Plus a Pollock Update

So about Carlos Correa. He looks pretty solid. It’s hard to avoid getting to excited with a player like this. I think it’s been fairly well established that Correa is good. Real good. I’ll try to tackle the fantasy implications of his first 50 games and determine how much weight to give them. Statistics through Aug. 5.

Is Correa the top fantasy shortstop for 2016?

Read the rest of this entry »

Tiered Shortstop Rankings: August

With two months to go, we’ll do one more reboot of the tiered shortstop rankings. Perhaps next month we’ll do some keeper rankings. The rankings below were derived by running our rest-of-season depth chart projections through the z-score method with a few names getting moved around by moi. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler Saladino & Tony Cingrani: Deep League Wire

It might be the start of the second half so far as real baseball is concerned, but for us fantasy folks, we’re deep into the middle of the 2015 stretch run. Whether you’re looking to plug in some spare parts to aid your efforts or just need some warm bodies to fill your roster as you mull a fire sale, here are two players unowned in the vast majority of leagues who could help your cause.

The usual fine print: The players in this column are typically better suited for mono leagues, and the ownership percentages are by way of CBS.
Read the rest of this entry »