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Staff Post: Shortstops to Target in 2018

The Fake Teams Staff tell you which shortstops to target in 2018, including Didi Gregorius, Addison Russell, Jorge Polanco and Ketel Marte.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Shortstop Week is drawing to close, but that doesn’t mean we are done yet. What follows are some of our favorite guys to target, and later today we will offer our guys to avoid.

2018 Staff Targets at Shortstop

MLB: New York Yankees-Media Day Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Didi Gregorius, Yankees (Punk is Dead)

ADP: 113.2

Didi Gregorius always and forever. He has been a top 10 shortstop in each of the last two seasons. He has improved his numbers (BB%, K%, ISO) each of the last two seasons as well. Now, he is playing in an even better Yankees lineup. It is time fantasy owners started drafting him like a top 10 shortstop.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Polanco, Twins (Heath Capps)

ADP: 202.9

I discussed Polanco in our state of the position on Monday. He is 24 years old and coming off of a 13/13 season in which he slashed .256/.313/.410. He did this in 133 games. In 2018, he should bat fifth for Minnesota—a productive spot in a lineup that was seventh in runs scored last year. Polanco moved up to third in the batting order when Miguel Sano missed time last year, for what it’s worth. It’s clear that he will be in a position to produce, and with some power and some pop I love his 15/15 potential and .270+ BA potential (last year’s .278 BABIP is likely to improve). After pick 200, I’m all over Polanco this year.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Addison Russell, Cubs (Joe Gentile)

ADP: 259.0

After three pretty disappointing seasons, it seems like everyone doesn’t believe in Addison Russell anymore. His current ADP is 263.8 and I truly believe that is a steal for the upside you could be getting. He is only going to be 24 years old to begin the season, and he has shown improvements in line drive rate, hard contact rate and swinging strike rate every year he has been in the majors. The biggest reason I love Russell heading into 2018 is his 13.8% soft contact rate from 2017, which was better than Cody Bellinger’s and J.D. Martinez’s rates last year. Russell has been improving his game since reaching the majors and it looks like 2018 could be the year he finally breaks out as a fantasy star.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks (Eddy Almaguer)

ADP: 352.5

Beginning in late June, Ketel Marte took over as the DBacks’ regular shortstop. In 73 games, his counting stats look really pedestrian. Just five home runs and three stolen bases. But don’t miss out on his 11 percent walk rate and 14 percent strikeout rate that led to a .260 AVG and .345 OBP. Marte has no competition at his position, and even though Arizona now has a humidor that will hurt offense, hitting bombs wasn’t part of his game to begin with. Still just 24, he is an improving player. Last season he began hitting the ball in the air a little more and a little harder. I’m not saying he’s a slugger now, but instead of five home runs we might be looking at 10. With an ADP of 353, Marte is free in drafts. He is a great grab in deep leagues and NL-only formats and has a strong chance at standard mixed league viability by the end of April.

Poll

Pick your favorite shortstop value!

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Didi Gregorius, 113.2
    (107 votes)
  • 26%
    Jorge Polanco, 202.9
    (95 votes)
  • 29%
    Addison Russell, 259.0
    (104 votes)
  • 14%
    Ketel Marte, 352.5
    (51 votes)
357 votes total Vote Now