Our review of the 2016 fantasy baseball season continues with a look at some busts at the shortstop position. These players simply couldn't bring enough value to justify their ADP.
Shortstop Busts - 2016
Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
It’s weird to label Correa a bust in any way, considering he has 42 HR and 27 SB through his first year and a half. However, the 22-year-old hit a bit of a snag in his first full season in the big leagues, and can be considered a bust for the 2016 season given his draft stock. He was widely selected in the first round of fantasy drafts, but finished 11th among shortstops in homers, eighth in steals and ninth in batting average. Nine shortstop-eligible players provided more fantasy value in standard leagues, including two heavily-undrafted guys in Eduardo Nunez and Jose Ramirez.
Correa posted 22 HR, 52 R, 68 RBI, 14 SB and a .279/.345/.512 slash line in just 387 AB in 2015, earning Rookie of the Year honors despite not making his debut until June. However, across 577 AB in 2016, he hit just 20 HR and stole 13 bases to go along with a .274/.361/.451 slash line. He also suffered setbacks in isolated power (.177), strikeout rate (21.1%) and home run per fly ball ratio (16.5%). This is pretty normal for a young player, but fantasy owners were expecting an MVP-caliber season, and Correa instead fell into a sophomore slump.
His 2017 draft stock shouldn’t be significantly affected. A player as talented as Correa is more than capable of making the necessary adjustments. The Astros’ shortstop is likely to come off the board in the first two rounds this coming Spring.
Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays
Tulowitzki kicked off his first full season in Toronto by hitting a measly .169 with four homers in April. He picked up the pace average-wise, and maintained a similar power pace until the end of the season — he was homer-less over his final 59 AB — but never truly looked like the Tulowitzki of old.
He had an ADP of 46 coming into the year, but finished well outside of the top 200 overall and outside the top 20 shortstops. Tulo still hung around towards the top of the power categories among shortstops — he eclipsed 20 homers for the seventh time in his career — but despite accumulating his most at-bats since 2011, he finished 16th in hits and 23rd in runs scored. His .254 average was his lowest since his first year in the big leagues, when he saw just 96 AB.
The 2016 season saw Tulowitzki finally begin to decline, and while he still holds solid value, the 32-year-old should, at the very least, sit firmly behind guys like Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, and Xander Bogaerts. Playing a position that has seen an influx of young talent, coupled with the likely departures of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, diminishes Tulowitzki’s fantasy appeal.
Ketel Marte, Seattle Mariners
Marte was a popular sleeper choice for 2016, with fantasy owners buzzing about his potential for big numbers in front of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager in Seattle’s lineup. However, the switch-hitting speedster could never seem to find a rhythm at the plate. He hit .276 with five steals through 156 AB before landing on the disabled list with a thumb injury. Upon his return in June, he batted .270 with three steals over his next 126 AB before missing time with mono. On the season, Marte managed just one homer, 55 runs, 33 RBI and 11 steals (in 16 attempts) with a .259/.287/.323 slash line. He struck out 18.0% of the time and walked just 3.9%. He failed to hit even .270 in a given month, and slashed just .217/.238/.287 in 143 AB against southpaws.
Marte is only 23 years old and maintains the potential many saw in him heading into 2016. Still, he will need to prove that he can not only hold down a spot in the lineup, but actually produce at a respectable level, as well, before fantasy owners in mixed leagues can entrust him with a roster spot.