Last week, I ranked the top 14 shortstops in Part 1 of my shortstop rankings. Today is Part 2, including rankings from #15 to #35. There are a handful of shortstops that will be useful in a 10 team leagues, and another handful or two that will be useful in 12-16 team leagues. Toward the end, we get the utility types and the guys you probably don’t want to be drafting, but might be useful at some point throughout the season it’s good to have them on your radar.
15) Jurickson Profar, OAK (1B, 2B, 3B, SS) – 134 ADP
Profar has been in and out of the Rangers line up since 2012, yet he is just 25 years old and coming off a 20 HR, 10 SB season where he hit .269. He’s got a decent contact rate of 82%, walks at a 9.1% clip, and strikes out at just 14.8%. The prospect pedigree is there, so the thought of Profar as a late bloomer is enticing. He was traded to Oakland in the offseason and should finally get playing time. Draft strategy: Pofar is an intriguing option, but at an ADP of 134 he isn’t exactly cheap. I won’t have many shares of Profar unless his price drops.
16) Paul DeJong, STL (SS) – 191 ADP
DeJong is a shortstop that could find himself inside the top 12 by seasons end, and that is due to his 30-home run potential. In 2017, DeJong hit 25 homers in 417 at bats. In 2018, 19 homers in 436 at bats. A career hard hit rate of 37.6% and career fly ball rate of 43.5% both support the power we’ve seen in his first two seasons. DeJong has also increased his walk rate to 7.3% from his rookie to sophomore campaign. To top it off, DeJong should bat in front of Paul Goldschmidt, which will boost his counting stats. On the downside, DeJong won’t provide any stolen bases, and his career 46.2% pull rate may limit the batting average. Draft Strategy: DeJong is a great late round target, either for your MI slot or to provide some depth / power upside at the SS position.
17) Garrett Hampson, COL (2B, SS) – 210 ADP
Currently projected to be the starting 2B for the Rockies, with Murphy playing 1B and Desmond in the OF. Hampson has 70 grade speed, so the SB potential is there. In a small 48 PA sample in 2018 Hampson walked at a 14.6% rate which means he should get on base enough to run. He’ll start the season in the bottom half of the order which brings his value down. Draft strategy: At an ADP of 210, that’s not exactly a bargain, but if you are looking for speed upside he’s definitely worth your consideration. The ultimate payoff is well worth the risk here.
18) Tim Anderson, CWS (SS) – 125 ADP
Anderson posted a 20-home run, 26 steal 2018. This was an improvement over his 17-home run, 15 steal 2017. He has a sub-par contact rate of 73.7%, as well as sub-par plate skills including a 5.0% walk rate and 24.6% strikeout rate. On the positive side, the walk rate increased from just 2.1% in 2017. Despite 20 home runs, Anderson slugged just .406 last year. His value is derived from volume, and while the 20/20 upside is there and provides some value, he’s comes with a lot of warts. Draft Strategy: I would only consider Anderson in a 5×5 league where the bad plate skills can be offset by the power/speed, however, overall, I will not be targeting him at this ADP.
19) Eduardo Escobar, ARI (3B, SS) – 173 ADP
Escobar, age 30, has posted two straight 20+ home run seasons. Most interesting is that he increased his hard-hit rate to 38.2%, after years of sub-30% rates. He also increased his walk rate to a career high 8.2% last year, another positive sign. Escobar, now in Arizona, seems more likely to repeat or improve on his 2018, which means another 20+ home runs. Draft Strategy: He’s not the most exciting name out there, but he’s a solid middle infield option. I won’t be targeting him, but if he fills a need for my team I will draft him.
20) Elvis Andrus, TEX (SS) – 162 ADP
Andrus has historically posted 20+ stolen base seasons at a relatively reasonable draft price. However, aside from one 20 home run season in 2017, Andrus has never eclipsed the 8-home run mark in his 10-year career. Andrus’ 2018 was hampered by a broken elbow that caused him to miss about 2 months. It’s hard to say, but perhaps that was a cause for Andrus attempting just 8 steals last year, a career low. Heading into 2019, I expect Andrus to return to his old ways, hitting a handful of home runs and stealing 20+ bags. Draft strategy: He’ll be reasonably priced this year and is worth a target for some reliable stolen bases, however don’t buy in expecting another surge in power.
21) Andrelton Simmons, LAA (SS) – 199 ADP
Simmons is known for his great glove. While that doesn’t have huge fantasy implications, it does mean a secure every day role for the shortstop, which is more than some other shortstops discussed today can say. Simmons is a high contact hitter, and in recent seasons has shown a little pop with 11 and 14 home runs in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Along with increasing his power, Simmons increased his hard-hit rate from 23.4% to 29.2% to 36.0% from 2016 – 2018. Simmons fly ball rate increased from 25.6% to 31.5% from ’16 to ’17 but remained flat at 31.1% in ’18. He should be able to maintain 10-15 home runs in 2019, and if he takes additional strides in his fly ball rate he could approach 20 home runs. In addition, Simmons has swiped at least 10 bases the last three years. Draft strategy: At an ADP of 199, Simmons is a great target for deeper leagues where you need an everyday player with a solid floor. While there is a bit of power upside, his ceiling is limited. In shallower leagues I would prefer higher upside in the later rounds over Simmons.
22) Marcus Semien, OAK (SS) – 217 ADP
Semien hit 27 home runs in 2016, but his power has waned since then, to the tune of 10 home runs in 2017 and 15 in 2018. With an approximate 30% hard hit rate, and 38% fly ball rate, 15-20 home runs sounds about right. He will need to hit the ball harder more often to approach 25 again. Besides some pop, Semien has swiped 10-15 bases each of the last four years, to go along with a slightly above average walk rate hovering around 9%. Draft strategy: Semien is a solid, safe player that is a good target in deeper leagues. However, like Simmons above, the ceiling seems limited, so I would pass in shallower leagues.
23) Amed Rosario, NYM (SS) – 158 ADP
The 23-year-old Met posted a 9-home run, 24 steal season last year, buoyed by a second half in which Rosario hit .268 and stole 18 bases. The increase in production seems attributable to Rosario batting first for the Mets most of the second half, after starting the year in the bottom third of the order. With a 4.9% walk rate and a .295 on-base percentage, I have concerns if the Mets will keep him atop the order to start 2019. In addition, with just a 27.7% hard hit rate and 29.5% fly ball rate, I don’t see a lot of power potential for 2019. Draft Strategy: At the 158 ADP, I’ll pass for 2019. I’d like to see Rosario continue to improve his hard-hit rate and on-base skills as he matures. I can see a potential 20 HR / 25 SB season down the road, but not in 2019.
24) Sir Didi Gregorious, NYY (SS) – 288 ADP
Gregorious had Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm after the 2018 season and is expected to be out until about July. With teams taking advantage of the 10-day DL, he’s probably not worth drafting to stash for 3 months unless you have unlimited DL slots. When does return to the field, Didi’s left handed swing has adapted to Yankee stadium, resulting in a 20, 25, and 27 home run seasons from 2016 to 2018. Expect similar power production, as well as strong run and RBI numbers in the Yankees lineup. Draft strategy: I would avoid drafting unless you have spare DL slots. I will be monitoring him in May/June to add him in anticipation of his return sometime in July.
25) Asdrubal Cabrera, TEX (2B, 3B, SS) – 234 ADP
Cabrera had solid campaign in 2018, posting 23 HR and a .262 average in a season split between the Mets and Phillies. At age 33 he finds himself in Texas to start 2019. It’s a great park to hit in, I expect a slight increase in numbers but not enough to move the needle. Draft strategy: Cabrera is a reliable veteran at this point in his career, one you can draft for a reasonable price.
26) Marwin Gonzalez, MIN (1B, 2B, SS, OF) – 233 ADP
Gonzalez signed with the Twins recently, where he should see a fair number of at bats. He’s a good bet for mid-teens HRs and an average in the .250s. The hard-hit rate improved last year, which could mean the potential for another 20+ home runs season (see 2017). Draft strategy: The ADP is likely suppressed with Gonzalez signing so late, but he is a great value in deeper leagues at his current ADP.
27) Jorge Polanco, MIN (SS) – 234 ADP
Polanco played only 77 games last seasons due to an 80 game PED suspension. In those 77 games, Polanco hit 6 homers and stole 7 bases, well on pace for repeating his 13 homer 13 steal season in 2017. Polanco has an average walk rate of 7.5%, and a great contact rate of 85.3%. He increased his hard hit rate the last three years, coming in at 32.1% in 2018. At age 25, there is reason to believe Polanco can continue that upward trend. He’s got a ceiling of a 20HR/15SB player, and he should bat in the middle of a Twins lineup with a lot of potential. Draft strategy: A solid floor, with some solid upside. I think he’s being undervalued, perhaps due to the 80-game suspension last year.
28) Ketel Marte, ARI (2B, SS) – 261 ADP
Marte took a big step forward in his 2018 season with Arizona, swatting 14 homers and increasing his hard hit rate by 8% to 36.0%, all while maintaining a .260 batting average. Marte has a great contact rate of 85.9% and solid plate discipline evidenced by a walk rate of 9.3% and a K-rate of 13.6%. In the past I viewed Marte as a player with BA upside and a bit of speed, so the developing power makes him an intriguing option. Draft strategy: The price is cheap for a player who is just 25 years old, and has potential to contribute modestly across all five categories. He’s someone I’ll be targeting in deeper leagues.
29) Chris Taylor, LAD (2B, SS, OF) – 200 ADP
Taylor is 28-year-old utility man who I think we’ve seen the best of in 2017. He’s got a bit of pop and a bit of speed, but I think he’s a long shot for another 21 HR 17 SB season, and I don’t see him batting .288 any time soon with a K-rate approaching 30%. Draft strategy: At a 200 ADP there are plenty of other options I prefer.
30) Willy Adames, TB (2B, SS) – 232 ADP
In 323 PAs last year, Adames put up a solid 10 HR, 6 SB, and .278 AVG. The 29.4% k-rate has me concerned, but the 9.6% walk rate is above average. He also hit the ball pretty hard (34.7%) for a rookie. He’ll likely bat in the middle to lower half of the Rays lineup to start the year, but it shouldn’t take much for him to move up in front of the likes of Ji-Man Choi and Avisail Garcia. If so, he should end up providing value to those who drafted him. Draft strategy: Adames is a cheap, young option with upside. He’s worth a flyer in shallow leagues, but I wouldn’t want to rely on him as a starting SS or 2B to start the season.
31) Lourdes Gurriel Jr., TOR (2B, SS) – 229 ADP
In a small sample size of just 263 plate appearances, Gurriel showcased a 30.6% hard hit rate, and a 77.4% contact rate. Not bad considering he is a rookie. He also showcased a 3.4% walk rate which means he’s got a lot some work to do in 2019. Playing time is also a concern, as the Jays have a crowded infield as well as a crowded outfield. Draft strategy: Probably best to avoid for 2019 until we have a little larger sample and the playing time picture is clearer.
32) Niko Goodrum, DET (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF) – 288 ADP
Based on a rookie 2018 season that included 492 plate appearances, Goodrum looks like a guy with a bit of pop and some speed. That is to say, his 16 HR, 12 SB season seems repeatable. Playing on the rebuilding Tigers will suppress his draft price, but batting 5th behind Miguel Cabrera could be a great opportunity for Goodrum to drive in some additional runs in 2019. Draft strategy: Not a bad guy to grab very late due to his positional eligibility and ability to contribute to multiple categories/
33) Kike Hernandez, LAD (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF) – 313 ADP
Kike is another Dodger utility man. He hit 21 home runs last year, a career high. He’s got above average walk and strikeout rates, and should provide decent output when he plays in the Dodgers lineup. Playing time in a concern, as it is with any utility player. Draft strategy: I’d avoid drafting Hernandez. I see him as a waiver wire fill in than a draft target.
34) Troy Tulowitzki, NYY (SS) – 367 ADP
Tulo signed a 1-yr deal with the Yankees in the off-season, and he will be the team’s starting shortstop to start the year. The veteran SS has had a hard time staying on the field in recent years, and so he should get his fair share of days off with Gleyber Torres sliding over to short, and DJ LeMahieu playing second. Draft strategy: He’s worth a short-term flyer if only because he’s a proud veteran with something to prove, plus he is in a great park and with a lot of talented hitters around him. Don’t plan on him being a long-term solution though. Even if Tulo stays healthy, he will cede the position to Didi Gregorious when Didi is ready sometime in July. I wouldn’t even recommend drafting both Tulo and Didi, because I think Tulo is an injury risk of his own and will likely get 1-2 days off a week.
35) Aledmys Diaz, HOU (3B, SS) – 433 ADP
Diaz seems the to be their heir to Marwin Gonzalez as the super utility man in Houston. Diaz has shown some pop in his 3 year career, hitting 17 and 18 home runs in 2016 and 2018, respectively. He doesn’t strike out much, but doesn’t walk much either and his contact rate is average. He is a good bet for another 10-15 homers, but playing time may limit any further upside. Draft strategy: I wouldn’t recommend targeting Aledmys, but he could be a useful addition off the waiver wire during the season if the injury bug strikes your team.
That’s all for this week and for the shortstop rankings. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with another article next week. In the meantime, drop a comment below to join the shortstop conversation.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore on Thursday February 28th, 2019 from 9pm – 10:30pm EST for the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. Call in number is 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Now that we have finished our divisional break downs we move on to breaking down each position for fantasy purposes. This week we will discuss corner infield. (1B/3B)
Be sure to check out our Sunday night show March 3rd from 8pm to 9:30pm EST. They will cover the middle infield (SS/2B)
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday March 3rd, 2019 from 8-9:45pm EST for episode #142 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Our topic this week is middle infield (2B/SS).
Our guest this week is Joel Gullo. Joel hosts a podcast at lennymelnickfantasysports.com.