Final Week Shortstop Plays By Category

With just a week to go in the season, teams mostly fall into two firm camps: those with something to play for, and those without.

Teams with something to play for can be counted on to play mostly their top players, while those without could trot out an Astros-esque lineup without raising any eyebrows.

It makes the last week of the season difficult for those still lucky enough to have something to play for. Ideally, you want players on a “still playing” team, because their playing time is safer, against teams “not playing,” who may throw out terrible pitchers.

Still playing: Boston, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, Texas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh

Bubble: New York Yankees, Baltimore, Kansas City, Los Angeles Dodgers

Not playing: Toronto, Minnesota, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle, Houston, Washington, New York Mets, Philadelphia, Miami, Milwaukee, Chicago Cubs, Arizona, San Diego, San Francisco, Colorado

And now, for comparison, here are the shortstops who have received the most playing time in the past two weeks, along with their Yahoo ownership percentage (maximum 50% ownership rate; any blank ownership tags indicate less than five percent):

Name Team G PA AVG R HR RBI SB Y! Own% TeamCat Opp1 Opp2
Jonathan Villar Astros 13 60 0.231 5 1 2 3 21% Not Playing Mid
Adeiny Hechavarria Marlins 15 54 0.231 1 0 3 0 Not Not Playing
Yunel Escobar Rays 14 54 0.238 7 0 2 0 13% Playing Mid Not
Brian Dozier Twins 13 54 0.275 6 1 5 2 47% Not Playing Playing
Ronny Cedeno Padres 14 52 0.213 3 0 2 2 Not Not Not
Andrew Romine Angels 13 51 0.289 2 0 7 0 Not Playing Playing
Zack Cozart Reds 12 51 0.234 5 2 10 0 32% Playing Not Playing
Daniel Descalso Cardinals 14 48 0.209 5 0 7 0 Playing Not Not
Andrelton Simmons Braves 13 47 0.22 4 2 5 0 49% Playing Not Not
Alcides Escobar Royals 12 46 0.279 4 1 6 3 46% Mid #N/A Not
Stephen Drew Red Sox 11 43 0.289 3 1 5 2 26% Playing Not Mid
Nick Franklin Mariners 12 43 0.278 3 0 2 0 14% Not Mid Playing
Brendan Ryan Yankees 11 39 0.27 6 1 1 0 Mid Playing Not
Pedro Florimon Twins 12 36 0.161 2 0 1 0 Not Playing Playing
Mike Aviles Indians 9 32 0.125 2 0 4 0 9% Playing Not Not
Jordy Mercer Pirates 9 31 0.379 4 0 2 0 Playing Not Playing
Brandon Crawford Giants 9 30 0.16 3 0 2 0 22% Not Mid Not
Chris Owings Diamondbacks 10 30 0.308 3 0 5 1 Not Not Not
Nick Punto Dodgers 12 30 0.222 1 0 0 0 Mid Not Not
Josh Rutledge Rockies 9 30 0.214 3 0 0 0 20% Not Playing Mid
Eduardo Escobar Twins 9 28 0.308 2 0 1 0 Not Playing Playing
Eduardo Nunez Yankees 8 28 0.259 2 1 2 1 Mid Playing Not
Ramon Santiago Tigers 10 27 0.25 3 0 1 0 Playing Not Not
Jose Iglesias Tigers 9 26 0.174 1 0 1 1 20% Playing Not Not
Willie Bloomquist Diamondbacks 11 25 0.28 4 0 2 0 Not Not Not
Brad Miller Mariners 6 24 0.211 2 0 0 1 9% Not Mid Playing
Munenori Kawasaki Blue Jays 8 23 0.211 2 0 0 0 Not Mid Playing
Ruben Tejada Mets 7 23 0.143 2 0 0 0 Not Playing Not
Carlos Triunfel Mariners 8 22 0.2 1 0 1 0 Not Mid Playing
Didi Gregorius Diamondbacks 6 22 0.158 3 1 2 0 5% Not Not Not
Jonathan Herrera Rockies 6 22 0.429 1 0 1 0 Not Playing Mid
Clint Barmes Pirates 11 21 0.15 2 1 2 0 Playing Not Playing
Omar Quintanilla Mets 8 21 0.211 0 0 0 1 Not Playing Not
Xander Bogaerts Red Sox 5 18 0.143 3 0 1 1 11% Playing Not Mid
Billy Hamilton Reds 7 16 0.429 6 0 1 9 45% Playing Not Playing
Pete Kozma Cardinals 11 14 0.214 4 0 0 1 Playing Not Not
Jurickson Profar Rangers 5 14 0.154 2 0 0 0 19% Playing Not Not
Dee Gordon Dodgers 8 11 0.4 2 0 0 4 Mid Not Not
Ehire Adrianza Giants 4 11 0.3 2 1 3 0 Not Mid Not

First of all, Billy Hamilton is the key add. If he’s still available, grab him; nobody is going to give you the juice in any one category as much as he will. Unless you have no need for speed (and any competitors also don’t need speed), pick him up.

Beyond Hamilton, some of the best plays by category need could be as follows:

Runs
Yunel Escobar – Rays are still competing and they draw the Yankees (still kind of in it) and the Jays (not).

Stephen Drew – the Sox have a chance at home field throughout the playoffs and play the Rockies (out of it) and Orioles (who will be by then).

RBI
Zack Cozart – as much as he’s not very good, he hits after a group of excellent hitters on a team that will be competing until the very last day of the season.

Daniel Descalso – he’s been playing pretty much every day, and while he isn’t an RBI machine, playing time in that Cardinals lineup is a good set up.

Home Runs
Josh Rutledge – if he gets to play, he’s got a pair of games left in Coors Field and has shown category juice (at the expense of ratios).

Chris Owings – he’ll play at Chase Field on the final weekend of the season and is likely to get in the lineup. He’s flashed double-digit power in the minors the past few seasons and could luck into his first career dinger.

Stolen Bases
Jonathan Villar – getting every day playing time so the team can judge his readiness, he runs pretty much any chance he gets.

Dee Gordon – with the Dodgers clinched and unlikely to grab the top NL record, the team is likely to rest Hanley Ramirez for a few games, giving Gordon a chance to play.

Overall
Brian Dozier – some nice category juice here, and the Twins could let him play (albeit against good teams) to pad his career-year numbers.

Hope some of these tips help and that table can be useful at other positions as well. I’ll try to answer any pick-up or sit/start questions all week in the comments.




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Blake Murphy is a news editor at The Score, and is a freelance sportswriter covering baseball, basketball, hockey and more. Think Bo Jackson, without the being good at every sport part. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.


9 Responses to “Final Week Shortstop Plays By Category”

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  1. DonChrysler says:

    Nobody going to help in batting average? I know it’s rather late to be moving ratios, but I’m in a verrrrrry tight batting average race that could win or lose me the title. I swung 2 points in it just yesterday.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Baroque6 says:

    Elvis Andrus isn’t on the list, FYI

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. fiji.siv says:

    I’d throw Ed Lucas (Mia) in the mix since he’s eligible at SS according to Yahoo even though he’s been playing the corners. Over the last two weeks his numbers have been a nice surprise for somebody who drafted Castro:

    13 G, 54 PA, .377 AVG, 6 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 4% owned, playing
    .377/.389/.528

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Endershadow says:

    Is Billy Hamilton worth one of my two adds hoping he starts on non-Hanley days? Or should I just roll with Hanley and his off days plus a pair of SP streams…

    Not sure what cats I need yet.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Blake Murphy says:

      Well the cats needed is a huge consideration for that question. Hamilton’s lone value is gonna be in SB, so with just two adds left you have to allocate assets based on category needs.

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  5. Daniel says:

    If andrus was on that list he’d have the most PA and the best SB outlook

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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