We are approaching the conclusion of Shortstop Week at Fake Teams, and we couldn't end the week without offering some shortstop sleepers for the 2015 season. This list will include some shortstop that may not be drafted in 12 team mixed leagues, and maybe even deeper leagues, but who could outperform expectations in 2015.
Here is a look at a few shortstops who will be available late in drafts, or on your league waiver wire, who could outperform their draft day value in 2015:
Everth Cabrera, Orioles
The Orioles signed ECab earlier this week and he will likely compete with Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty for the Orioles starting second base job. Cabrera has one skill that all fantasy owners look for on draft day….speed. He will more than likely come cheap on draft, assuming Schoop wins the second base job out of spring training. Cabrera won't hit for power, or hit for a high batting average, but he should provide solid stolen base totals when he does play. Cabrera doesn't need to play a lot to offer value. Here are his games played and stolen base totals over the last three seasons:
2012: 115 games, 44 SBs
2013: 95 games, 37 SBs
2014: 90 games, 18 SBs
He is a nice late round selection, or waiver wire pickup, in 2015.
Marcus Semien, Athletics
I have written about Semien quite a bit this offseason, so i won't rehash my reasons why he is a solid sleeper pick this season. Semien is a sleeper and a shortstop I would target in 2015, and said the same in our Shortstops to Target in 2015 article yesterday.
Jose Ramirez, Indians
Ramirez will start the 2015 season as the Indians starting shortstop. Whether he finishes the season as their starting shortstop depends on a few things, his performance in the field and at the plate, and how top prospect Francisco Lindor performs in AAA.
Last season, Ramirez put up a 1.8 fWAR in just 68 games, so he has plenty of value in real life baseball, but the question is whether he has value in fantasy. In 2014, he hit .262-.300-.346 with 2 home runs, 27 runs scored, 17 RBI and 10 stolen bases, so he adds value in the batting average and stolen base categories. He's a decent late round or $1 auction bid in deeper mixed leagues and AL only leagues in 2015.
Wilmer Flores, Mets
Tim Finnegan wrote an excellent piece on Flores earlier in the week, and you should click that link to check it out. Flores will start the season as the Mets starting shortstop, and as long as he can show he can play average defense, he should play every day. With that said, his value is with the bat, and Tim feels he is a candidate to hit 20 home runs in 2015. Whether he hits 20 this season is up for debate, but I think he can hit 12-15 home runs with an above league average batting average.
Jung-ho Kang, Pirates
Kang isn't getting any love this offseason, and that is why he is a sleeper. I think he could surprise everyone this season but he needs a starting job to provide value to his owners this season. Right now, Jordy Mercer is slated to be the Pirates starting shortstop, but the Pirates invested in Kang this offseason, and I don't see him sitting much this year. His performance in spring training will be very telling, but he has the power to offer excellent late round value in all leagues in 2015.
I highly recommend taking the time to read Dan Farnworth's profile over at FanGraphs, as he breaks down his swing and projects Kang to hit 25 home runs in 2015. He might be my favorite fantasy sleeper in 2015. Shhhh…...
Brandon Crawford, Giants
Crawford had a breakout season in 2015, hitting double digit home runs, driving in 69 runs and tossing in 5 stolen bases. Can he repeat in 2014? I think the power should return and the Giants lineup will miss third baseman Pablo Sandoval, so there is a chance he sees more RBI opportunities depending on where he hits in their lineup.
Corey Seager, Dodgers
I am not sure what the Dodgers plans are, but if they don't sign Hector Olivera to play third base, Seager could see a mid-season call up. He has not been challenged in the minors to date. Last season, he hit 20 home runs and 50 doubles across two levels - High A and AA. In AA, he hit .345-.381-.534 with 2 home runs, 16 doubles, 3 triples, 28 runs scored and 27 RBI in just 161 plate appearances (38 games). That's a lot of production for a 20 year old in AA.
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