When preparing for your fantasy baseball drafts, it is a must to have a draft strategy, and on Wednesday, Zack Smith broke things down for you to assist you in your fantasy shortstop draft strategy.We have also provided you with our Top 30 shortstops rankings for 2014:
Included in the rankings above, we provided 2014 projections for almost every shortstop ranked, courtesy of Daniel Schwartz from Fake Teams and Rotobanter.
In addition, Daniel Kelley provided you his shortstop breakdown using his new fantasy stat called Equivalent Fantasy Average, or EFA.
Now that we have provided you all these tools you need to prepare for your drafts, your fantasy draft preparation would be incomplete without some shortstops to avoid, which we provide you today, and some shortstops to target, which published yesterday.
We asked each of the fantasy baseball writers to provide you with the shortstop they would avoid in fantasy drafts this season, and you can find them along with their reasoning below:
Shortstops to Avoid in 2014
Segura had a very good 2013 season, his first full season in the big leagues, hitting .293 with 12 home runs, 74 runs, 49 RBI and 44 stolen bases in 57 attempts. Solid performance across the board. But there are warning signs that fantasy owners should be aware of. After a very hot start to the 2013 season, he struggled in the second half.
He saw his slash line drop from .325-363-.487 in the first half to .241-.265-.315 in the second half. In the first half, he had 30 extra base hits. In the second half, he had just 12, with his home runs dropping from 11 to just one. I don't know if he was playing injured in the second half or not, but it appears pitchers found some weaknesses in him.
I also don't see him repeating his .294 batting average, which could lead to a drop in stolen bases as a result.
Cabrera strikes me as a potential empty stolen base provider. He had never hit above .255 in a single season prior to 2014, and has never managed to play more than 115 games in a year. The potential eye-popping stolen base totals keep me interested, but all the questions surrounding him leave me wanting to find a slightly more stable player. Add in that he was suspended as a part of the Biogenesis scandal, and I'd rather let him be someone else's headache given where he is being drafted right now.
WHAT?!?!! Avoid the top 2 fantasy shortstops? Okay, now that you think I'm crazy, let me explain. The quickest way to bury your fantasy season is to misuse your top draft picks. While I would rather own Hanley and Tulo than any other shortstops out there, when you factor in their price tag, I will take a pass. There's a chance they could make me look foolish for writing this, but it's all about the risk factor here. To land one of these two, you will most likely have to spend your 1st round pick on them. Tulowitski has topped 450 at-bats in just 3 of the past 6 seasons. Ramirez has topped 350 at-bats in just 2 of the past 4 seasons. Hanley recently turned 30 years old, and Tulo will be 30 later this year. So you want to take a chance on using your 1st round pick on those injury rates improving as these two shortstops enter their 30's? If either SS puts up at least 500 at-bats, they can carry a fantasy team. But they have been accumulating those AB's totals about 50% of the time. Are you willing to take a 50/50 shot on your 1st round draft pick?
Jean Segura, Brewers - Daniel Kelley (follow @danieltkelley)
I think I made my Segura opinion clear in my back-and-forth with Kantecki from Tuesday. But I'll reiterate here: I think last year was basically Segura's best-case scenario. Perhaps not in the sequencing (strong first half, awful second), but in the endgame (.294/.329/.423). He never showed a lot of pop in the minors, and he was considered a speedster who would do just enough other things to justify his spot. There's not a lot to separate Segura from guys like Elvis Andrus and Everth Cabrera; in fact, I think he's a notch or two below those guys.
Elvis Andrus, Rangers - Joe Pytleski (follow @agape4argentina)
I've been all over this guy all offseason and I just can't shake the feeling that he's not going to live up to the expectations that are assumed for him in the Rangers' reloaded lineup this year. My in depth thoughts on him are here but if you can wait and select Everth Cabrera probably 5 rounds or so after Elvis, why not do that?
It's not that I dislike Jose Reyes, but I do have him ranked the lowest of all Fake Teams' writers at No. 6. His consensus ranking is fourth, just two points behind Ian Desmond; I'd happily take Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Desmond, Jean Segura and Elvis Andrus all before taking the Blue Jays shortstop. A gruesome ankle injury cut Reyes' season short in 2013, limiting him to 93 games and 15 steals. He still hit well enough (.296) and provided some pop (10 home runs), but I don't see the 30-year-old returning to his 30-40 stolen base ways in 2014. I still think he'll be plenty valuable and provide value across the board (minus RBIs), but I would temper my expectations. Let him fall to you.
If you are looking for more position rankings, or plain old fantasy baseball goodness, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one place to get all things fantasy.
- Equivalent Fantasy Average: Shortstops
- Can Brad Miller shoot up the shortstop rankings in 2014?
- Shortstop Profile: Starlin Castro
- Does Addison Russell Make the Grade?
- Shortstops to Target in 2014
- NFBC ADP Rankings Analysis: Shortstop
- 2014 Shortstop Draft Strategy
- 2014 MLB Prospect Profile: Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Does Francisco Lindor Make the Grade?
- Consensus Position Rankings/Projections: Top 30 Shortstops for 2014, Part 2