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Tiered Shortstop Rankings for 2016

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For those who like to see position rankings in tiers, Ray offers his 2016 tiered shortstop rankings, where he opines that the position is deeper than he originally thought.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The shortstop position in 2016 is headed by two of the top 10 players in fantasy, Manny Machado and Carlos Correa, and several young shortstops, Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor, and Addison Russell, who are looking to build on their 2015 performance, and Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager who is looking to fulfill his Rookie of the Year potential in his first full season in the majors.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is included in our rankings as he met the Yahoo fantasy five game minimum position eligibility, so let me get that out of the way. Of course, if he is eligible at shortstop in your league, by all means roster him there, as he provides that much more value at a thin shortstop position in 2016.

That said, the position won't be thin for long, with players like Seager, Bogaerts, Lindor, Russell and others expected to take that next step this season. The first tier of shortstops includes Correa and Machado, along with the former #1 fantasy shortstop, Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who will be looking to bounce back after a "disappointing" 2015 season, for him. Correa and Machado have the potential to put up 30 home run, 20 stolen base seasons, while Tulo has the power to hit 30 home runs and hit .300+. The question many of us have heading into drafts is where to draft Tulo, and he has fallen into the early fourth round of drafts after several seasons of being a first round pick.

The next tier of shortstops includes several guys I mentioned previously, plus Ian Desmond, who is still looking for a home in 2016. He is too good to not be signed at this point, and it could take an injury to pop up in spring training to force a team to give up their first round pick to sign him to a team-friendly deal. At this point, he would be smart to sign a one year deal to re-establish his value, and enter free agency once again next year when the pickings are pretty slim. The other shortstop in the second tier is Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien, who I think is the the value pick among all shortstops this season. His ADP currently tells us that you can draft him, a second tier shortstop, in the 17th round of drafts. Semien is coming off a solid 2015, his first full season in the big leagues, where he hit .257 with 15 home runs, 65 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. While his fielding is very bad, he is productive at the plate, and I see him building on his 2015 campaign. Like Semien, I think Cubs shortstop Addison Russell can build on his 2015 rookie season as well.

My third tier of shortstops isn't too shabby either, with Brandon Crawford coming off a 21 home run, 84 RBI season, Jhonny Peralta, who you can count on for 15 home runs and 70 RBI in most seasons, and Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang, who will probably start the season on the disabled list, but should be productive once healthy.

I usually have an idea of which shortstops I want to target in case my main target is drafted before I am ready to pick him. I don't write them down, I just have a good idea who my second, third and fourth choices will be. But the distractions that can occur during a draft is reason enough to use tiered rankings. You've attended an in-person draft. The beers are flowing, March Madness is on, and you are thinking about whether to have that third slice of pizza or moving back to the chips and having another beer. Owners are yelling at the one guy who is taking 5 minutes to make his next pick. You are thinking to yourself "did this guy not prepare for the draft like I did?" You need tiered rankings to keep you focused. Or, if you lose focus, something to use when it is your turn to make a pick.

Quick Thoughts

  • If you don't get one of the first tier shortstops, don't hesitate to draft Seager, who I think will be in the first tier this time next season, or Ian Desmond, Jung-ho Kang or Marcus Semien.
  • I think the owners who draft Lindor this season might be disappointed, as I am surprised to see him being drafted in the fifth round of drafts this season.
  • Another guy I won't touch this season is Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes, unless he REALLY falls in drafts. I think he will receive the worst suspension amongst he, Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman. I wouldn't be surprised to see him miss half the season due to suspension.
  • The only shortstop I like after Kang, is Cubs infielder Javier Baez, and I have written about him in our second base and third base rankings over the past two weeks. If he plays every day, I think he could help some teams win their league championship this season. He has the offensive potential to hit 20+ home runs and steal 15-20 bases if given a regular role this season.

Tiered Shortstop Rankings for 2016

Rank

Tier

NFBC ADP

Name

Team

1

1

8.22

Manny Machado

Orioles

2

1

7.33

Carlos Correa

Astros

3

1

48.76

Troy Tulowitzki

Blue Jays

4

2

59.21

Xander Bogaerts

Red Sox

5

2

56.77

Corey Seager

Dodgers

6

2

64.32

Francisco Lindor

Indians

8

2

116.39

Ian Desmond

Free Agent

9

2

252.62

Marcus Semien

Athletics

7

2

140.26

Addison Russell

Cubs

10

3

175.29

Brandon Crawford

Giants

11

3

242.61

Jhonny Peralta

Cardinals

12

3

194.76

Starlin Castro

Yankees

13

3

142.44

Jose Reyes

Rockies

14

3

172.75

Jung Ho Kang

Pirates

15

4

151.43

Elvis Andrus

Rangers

16

4

401.78

Jed Lowrie

Athletics

17

4

199.04

Jean Segura

Diamondbacks

18

4

278.36

Alcides Escobar

Royals

19

4

295.13

Asdrubal Cabrera

Mets

22

4

283.42

Javier Baez

Cubs

25

4

285.48

Eugenio Suarez

Reds

20

5

224.05

Ketel Marte

Mariners

21

5

333.56

Erick Aybar

Braves

23

5

366.69

Didi Gregorius

Yankees

24

5

272.89

Brad Miller

Rays

26

5

258.59

Alexei Ramirez

Padres

27

5

279.80

Trea Turner

Nationals

28

5

390.59

Jose Iglesias

Tigers

29

5

357.73

Andrelton Simmons

Angels

30

5

339.55

Cesar Hernandez

Phillies


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