Earlier this morning we shared our favorite targets. Now it’s time for the other side. Not the dark side, but the side we are less excited about for one reason or another.
Staff Targets at Shortstop 2018
Elvis Andrus, Rangers (Eddy Almaguer)
Elvis Andrus is going to disappoint many owners this year. He is the fifth shortstop off the board at pick 58 overall and everyone is expecting he repeats his 20/25 performance. First, the only thing that changed was the ball. There were no dramatic shifts in his profile to suggest a jump from eight home runs in 2016 to 20 in 2017. Yeah, he hit plenty of doubles and it wasn’t just homers, but I’m betting on the under being 15. Most alarmingly, however, is he stole just five bases in the second half in eight attempts. Why? Beginning in mid-August he began hitting third as he and the team embraced his new power. Part of his allure is the 20/20, right? Get ready for 15/10.
Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (Punk is Dead)
Xander Bogaerts was heavily overrated last year. It seems the consensus has corrected this heading into 2018 but I am still unlikely to draft him. Bogaerts finished 2017 as the #13 SS in roto and #136 overall. The power numbers took a big hit in 2017 compared to 2016. I’m leaning towards seeing more of the 2017 version of Bogaerts this year. Still a solid player, but certainly not the #7 SS and #76 overall which is what his current ADP suggests. I’m taking players like Jean Segura, the aforementioned Gregorius, and even Javier Baez over Bogaerts in 2018.
Trevor Story, Rockies (Joe Gentile)
Story scares me a lot when I look further into his stats. Sure, he can be a 30/10 player when fully healthy, but his tendency to strikeout only increased last season. With a 34.4% strikeout rate, Story is going to need to hit a lot of line drives to keep that average away from the Mendoza line. The problem I have is only 18.5% of his batted balls were line drives. If that is the case again, you could be looking at an even lower BABIP in 2018...and we all know what that means.
Paul DeJong, Cardinals (Heath Capps)
Part of this is acknowledging the state of this position. For my part, I plan to pay up early with a guy like Corey Seager, who compares favorably to Carlos Correa but can be drafted a couple of rounds later. Partly it’s roster construction—I enjoy having speed and upside at this position, and I’d prefer to get that with a guy like Jorge Polanco, who is being drafted a solid 50 picks after DeJong. DeJong should hit around seventh for St. Louis this year, while Polanco is projected to bat fifth (or higher, if Sano misses any time). I just don’t see the upside for a guy like DeJong, who is basically only going to contribute in the power department. You can find 25 home runs anywhere these days.