It’s an exciting time for shortstops in fantasy baseball, and for reality baseball for that matter as well — but as I like to say…this is real living in a fantasy world. And I can’t get enough of it! 7 of the top 10 ranked shortstops on this list are 23 years old or younger. Yes, that is correct! That is the state of where this position is moving toward in fantasy baseball, which might make it appear to be very attractive and deeper than recent years. I will say that it is deeper in terms of the amount of talent and potential, but there might be an overrating of some of the young talent. I know what you’re thinking — “How can you say it’s overrating of young talent when you have 7 of the youngsters ranked so highly in the top 10?” Well, it’s simple. There’s the super elite talent at the top 2, but after that it is a steep dropoff to some of these other youngsters that are being treated as if they are already valuable fantasy commodities when in the reality of the fantasy world they have much to prove. Yet, they are still better than much of the rest of the shortstop player pool.
Below are THE BACKWARDS K 2016 FANTASY BASEBALL SHORTSTOP RANKINGS. Included for each player is “The Backwards K Quick Take” and a self-produced player projection for 2016.
***Please note the following:
The player’s names are color coded to signal different tiers at the position.
The rankings reflect standard 5×5 roto scoring settings (AVG/HR/RBI/R/SB) with position eligibility requirements as 10 total games played at a position in 2015, or 5 total games started at a position in 2015 (i.e. Yahoo! settings).
The numerical order is not necessarily a suggested order to draft them in, but it is the order that is calculated based on each player’s listed projections, unless noted otherwise.
Noted in some players’ “Quick Takes” is if they gain or lose notable value in points leagues that factor penalize hitter strikeouts and reward hitter walks.
It is shortstop edition time of “Year to Date.” One of the top shortstops, who is also a huge headache to own due to his fragility, Troy Tulowitzki, is not off to a great start but he is hitting near .300 so he’s not quite a super disappointment and I am sure he will get it going soon as long as he can stay on the field. But there are some other big busts so far at the shortstop position, as well as some unlikely names finding themselves in the current top 5 of the shortstop rankings. Let’s take a look.
Surprises: Adeiny Hechavarria, Zack Cozart, Marcus Semien
Hechavarria of the Marlins seems like just about the most unlikely of pre-season shortstop starters to find himself as the #2 ranked shortstop on Yahoo behind the great Hanley Ramirez. Hechavarria is hitting .315 with 2 HR, 17 RBI, 18 R, and 1 SB through 29 games while hitting 8th for the Marlins. This fast start now has him 76% owned in Yahoo leagues, which is 4% more than Jean Segura. Hechavarria as the #8 hitter on the Marlins has no business being higher owned than Segura who is hitting 1st/2nd for the Brewers and is actually bouncing back pretty well from his nightmare 2014 performance that was plagued with tragedy. Hechavarria is a light hitter with not as much speed as you would expect and nearly everything in his batter profile suggests that he is going to tail off and be waiver wire fodder. His walk rate is down and his strikeout rate is up. His line drive rate is down to a mostly unimpressive 18.4% while his infield fly ball rate is high at 14.8%. Also, his infield hit rate is down to 4.5%, which is a couple points below his career mark. So the fact that he has a very high .372 BABIP when all these trends would suggest otherwise, it is quite confusing. At best Hechavarria is a .270/5 HR/10 SB guy. Continue reading →
*The order of these rankings are based on a valuation system for a 5×5 roto scoring league with 5 games played minimum for position eligibility. This is not necessarily the order I would draft these players in, as different factors should impact which player to choose.