If you have missed out this week, be sure to check out our stream for Shortstop Week, which has all the content on the dot com since Monday. Now let’s get to some “sleepers.”
Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs (ADP:263.8)
There is no denying Russell’s ability with the glove, but his offensive output over the past three seasons has been nothing short of a disappointment. With a .239/.304/.418 slash line and only 12 home runs last season, I am sure many people are wondering why I have him ranked as my ninth shortstop for 2018.
Although his strikeout rate did increase to 23.6% last season, his swinging strike rate and contact rates have slowly been improving since reaching the major leagues in 2015. His hard contact rates and line drive rates have also been improving, and his soft contact rate was a very impressive 13.8% last season. These trends should continue in 2018, and this could be the first season we see him post a batting average over .250. At the moment I currently project him to have a batting average above .260. With a good amount of raw power, Russell could be a fantasy stud if he can cut down on those strikeouts.
Amed Rosario, New York Mets (ADP: 265.5)
Rosario was the Mets’ number one prospect to start last season and could break out to become a fantasy star in 2018. Among runners with at least ten opportunities, he ranked fifth in Statcast's Sprint Speed, just ahead of Delino DeShields and Manuel Margot. With superb line drive rates throughout the minors, it is possible that Rosario can hit for a decent average. I am a little concerned about his poor plate discipline, but I can overlook that due to his low cost and 15/30 potential.
Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks (ADP: 349.3)
Marte doesn't get enough love for what he can do offensively. In 2016 he only hit 20.2% of batted balls with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph. In 2017 that number rose to 34.6%. That is a 14.4% difference and shows that his rise in power last season was no fluke. His value does go down a little bit, but he still shows the potential to be a 15/20 player. With steals being taken so early in drafts, this makes Marte a big bargain for where he is currently being drafted.
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves (ADP: 354.3)
Swanson was being drafted with the 188th pick last season, and after a terrible 2017 his ADP has dropped out of the top 300. Swanson's .292 BABIP does show some bad luck as he should be someone who posts a high BABIP. With a minuscule 18.0% soft contact rate and 23.2% line drive rate last season, his BABIP should be around the .310-.320 range. This would help him post a batting average around the .260 mark, which would help make him a fantasy relevant player again.
Which shortstop are you taking in the later rounds of your draft?
This poll is closed
Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs
Amed Rosario, New York Mets
Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves