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Shortstops to Avoid in 2015

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The Fake Teams fantasy baseball staff offer you some shortstops that you should avoid in your 2015 fantasy drafts, including Jean Segura, Xander Bogaerts and Jose Reyes.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

When preparing for your fantasy baseball drafts, it is a must to have a draft strategy, and on Wednesday, Daniel Kelley offered his thoughts on how to approach shortstops on draft day. We have also provided you with our Top 30 shortstop rankings for 2015 earlier in the week:

Part 1

Part 2

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 shortstops they would avoid in fantasy drafts this season, and you can find them along with their reasoning below.

Shortstops to Avoid in 2015

Jean Segura, Brewers - Ray Guilfoyle

I may have recommended avoiding Segura last season as well, but I am not a fan once again this year. I know he has the speed to steal 20+ bases, but I don't think he has the hit or power tool that others at the position can offer. Let's take a look at his monthly batting average trend in his two seasons with the Brewers:

2013

April - .367

May - .345

June - .277

July - .281

August - .252

September - .214

His batting average dropped every month of the season.

2014

April - .244

May - .288

June - .196

July - .179

August - .250

September - .319

He hit better in the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2013, but the other two half seasons are abysmal. Add in the fact that he doesn't hit for power and his stolen base success rate dropped last year, and he is one to avoid in 2015.

Alcides Escobar, Royals - Timothy Finnegan

Escobar finished as the 5th best SS and 114th overall player last year in Yahoo leagues, fueled primarily by strong SB and BA totals. There are few things that make me uncomfortable about investing in Alcides Escobar in 2015, though. Firstly, Escobar's performance has been erratic year to year for the last 4 seasons:

Season

wRC+

BABIP

AVG

OBP

SLG

2014

94

.326

.285

.317

.377

2013

49

.264

.234

.259

.300

2012

97

.344

.293

.331

.390

2011

70

.285

.254

.290

.343

Secondly, Escobar makes too much soft contact. He was at the bottom of the league in soft contact in 2014, ending 59% of his at bats with a softly hit ball. Lastly, Escobar doesn't walk. Escobar's 3.7% BB% was fifth worst in baseball last year and his 3.7% BB% dating back to 2011 is third worst. Having such a poor walk rate, combined with the poor quality of contact, makes it very difficult to be a productive offensive player. Escobar has a career wRC+ of 76 and a career on base percentage of .299.

Escobar is a good source of stolen bases, but his year to year performances are too erratic for me to invest in.

J.J. Hardy, Orioles - Brandon Decker

I'll make this one quick. Hardy hit .268 with only 9 home runs and 52 RBI. His power completely disappeared. His LD% of 19.2% was his best since 2005 with the Brewers, his GB% and FB% stayed pretty consistent from years past, yet his biggest drop was his HR/FB% down to 5.6% and his ISO dropping to .104. His power was completely gone.  He had a career best BABIP of .317, yet his average was still only .268. His BABIP is expected to regress not only to the mean, but closer to his career BABIP of .278, so his average should see a drop in 2015. There's too much uncertainty for me to have Hardy on my team in 2015.

Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox - Nick Doran

Bogaerts is likely to be a star someday. Key word being "someday", like way in the future. Why bet your team's season on a 22 year old coming off a dreadful season where he ranked way down at 21st among shortstops in 5x5 leagues? He finished behind the likes of Jordy Mercer, Brock Holt, Justin Turner and Brandon Crawford. That is not good. He needs to make HUGE improvements real fast if he is going to be worthy of starting on a good fantasy team this year. He will eventually make those improvements. Will he do it this year? Very unlikely. The Red Sox offense is going to be much better this year than it was last year, which will help Bogaerts in Runs and RBIs. But his value is going to be held down by his AVG and the fact he does not steal bases. If you want to win your league you need a top 10 shortstop at a bare minimum. Bogaerts is more likely to spend time in the minor leagues this year than he is to be a top 10 shortstop in 2015. The Red Sox are expecting to compete this year and will not be as patient with his struggles as they were last year. If you are a gambler then take a big risk on Bogaerts. If you are confident your team is going to be a contender, pick a safer player to be your shortstop.

Jose Reyes, Blue Jays - Timmy Kennedy

Jose Reyes is a great shortstop, but I'm avoiding him. Why, you may ask? Reyes is a great shortstop, but he is hugely overvalued. Last season, Reyes posted a wRC+ of 102, tying him with the much cheaper Brandon Crawford, for example. His ISO and BB% are on the decrease and his K% is on the increase. Approaching his age 32 season some regression in his speed should be expected, too. Defensively, he's always been below average - owning a career UZR of -2.1 and a career DRS of -37. All in all; yes, Jose Reyes could be an easy three win player. But, that said, there are plenty of other equally as good, and much, much cheaper shortstops out there. Avoid Jose Reyes.

Andrelton Simmons, Braves - Rob Parker

If you are like me and owned Simmons last year, you know just what his offensive floor looks like. He has no speed, a league-average batting average on his best days, and bats at the bottom of the order. His power was the only thing keeping him fantasy relevant after he hit 17 homers in 2013. I was fooled into thinking he could improve on that number in 2014. I was so, so wrong. He hit only 7 dingers to go with four steals and a combined 90 runs+rbi. Even as weak as shortstop is, that is hurting you and you would almost be better off having an empty roster spot. I don't think he will hit only 7 homeruns this year, but even if he hits 12-14, I don't see improvements in steals or average and the lineup around him will be significantly worse, reducing his runs and rbi even more than last year. There are certainly better options. I would rather take a flier on Marcus Semien, Wilmer Flores, Brad Miller, or Jose Ramirez than spend the season hoping Simmons will finally turn into a decent hitter.

Jimmy Rollins, Dodgers - Daniel Kelley

You ever think about the origins of phrases? Like "dead-cat bounce." It comes from the stock market, which has to be the least enjoyable place in the world, because their old-timey-sounding phrases involve killing cats for no real reasons. Anyway, it is from the idea that even a dead cat will bounce if you throw it from high enough. Sure, I guess. Anyway, after averaging a 91 OPS+ from 2009 to 2013, Jimmy Rollins put up a 101 last year. The cats, they be a-bouncin'.

Danny Santana, Twins - Jack Cecil

Danny Santana did it all last year, and if you enjoyed him last year, accept that what he did is not happening again this year, and because projection systems have to bake in his 1 year of results, he will be overvalued.  His 400+ babip is only part of the concern, he also struck out 20+% of the time and walked under 5% of the time.  He has very little power, so that won't save his value either.  The Twins aren't good, and they won't be doing Santana any favors this year either.  A steals only SS is something rosterable in this day and age, but I won't bother with him this year.

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more fantasy baseball rankings, and players to avoid, to get you ready for your fantasy baseball drafts, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, the one spot on the internet for all things fantasy.