Shortstop is pretty loaded...there are names for days. That said, we are here to share some of our favorites. For my part especially, I’m trying to hold true to guys I keep drafting. Hopefully this is helpful to someone, somewhere.
We’ll have our Staff Avoids tomorrow, and our SLEEPERS on Monday. Be sure to circle the proverbial wagons right on back around, partner. Yep, too much 1883 for me. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s no such thing as too much 1883...
Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers (Garrett Atkins)
NFBC ADP: 41.00
Draft rank: 6th
Need I remind you how great Marcus Semien was in 2021? He hit .265 with an .872 OPS, 45 home runs, 15 steals, 102 RBI, and 115 runs. That’s was good for the 7th best hitter in fantasy. This was a historic performance and the numbers at face value are not likely to repeat. But he’s not being drafted as a top 10 hitter. His draft price already bakes in regression, maybe a little too much. Let’s not forget in 2019 Semien finished top 3 in MVP voting, just like he did in 2021. Maybe he’s just a great hitter.
Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals (Andrés Chávez)
NFBC ADP: 89.87
Draft rank: 14th
I’m not saying “go grab him in the third or fourth round,” like many people are doing. I’m saying that, if I see Witt Jr. around his ADP, I’m definitely taking him. Is he risky? Yes, I’ll admit it. But the Royals have said they will give him every chance to win the third base job in Spring Training and I don’t think they can get away with having him start in the minors again. At most, he should be up after a couple of weeks. And when that happens, I’m 100 percent confident in his ability to hit homers and run. He has the potential to return first-round value, as he hit 33 dingers and stole 29 bases in the minors last year.
Carlos Correa, Free Agent (Heath Capps)
NFBC ADP: 109.17
Draft rank: 15th
Sometimes you have to separate your head from your heart in fantasy baseball. I don’t know that I would love hanging out with Correa necessarily...but he’s one heck of a ballplayer. Here’s a little Correa propaganda:
Only 3 players had hit the following marks in 2021— Nic Civale PT, DPT (@NicoCiva1) February 15, 2022
xBA > .295
Avg EV > 90.0
maxEV > 116
K rate > 20%
Batted balls in play >300
Soto, Vlad and ____?
Hint: (he’s a SS)
The answer is of course Correa, and the stat is actually players with a K-rate below 20%. Props to Nic for further confirming the love I’ve had already towards Correa as a mid-round value in 2022. We know he won’t run (48th percentile sprint speed), but the rest of the Statcast page is 60th percentile or better, with many marks in the deep red category. The ability to play great defense (98th percentile OAA) coupled with a low K-rate and great batted ball quality make him one of my primary targets around pick 100. No matter where he lands, he’s going to be a four-category contributor. Once things get murky, I’m into Correa as a guy who will finish as a top 12 shortstop, or as a way to stabilize my lineup if I drafted some power/speed guys early who are suspect in batting average.
Amed Rosario, Cleveland Guardians (Mark Abell)
NFBC ADP: 141.61
Draft rank: 20th
His expected stats were slightly below his actual stats, which lends itself to regression. But I’m optimistic about the increased patience at the plate, increased power and quality of contact (not topping or hitting under the ball), and an improved spray chart. He made a step forward in 2021 and there is reason to believe he continues on that path in 2022. He showed the right signs that he wasn’t a flash in the pan.