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2016 Shortstop Keeper Values: The Other Guys

These rankings are derived from my 15 step formula. The Keeper Valuation Formula uses the players’ age, draft round, number of teams in the league, current stats, projected stats, games played percentage, positional value, and some secret squirrel statistical math. The product is a TRUE Keeper Value for each player.

Translation of Keeper Formula Values

less than 0 - Slap Yourself for Considering
0-25 - Gross, only if hes your favorite player
26-50 - If your options are limited
51-75 - Good Solid Keeper
76-99 - No Brainer. Keep
100 or more - The Fantasy gods have smiled upon you.

These players did not make it into my Top Five Shortstop Keeper Values, but may still generate inquiries from fantasy owners this off season.


2016 Shortstop Keeper Values: Outside the Top Five

Troy Tulowitzki TOR, 31 (Second Round) Keeper Valuation Formula Score: Negative

2015 Stats: 77 R, 17 HR, 70 RBI, SB, .280 BA

In Troy Tulowitzki's 10 seasons, he has reached 600 PA only three times. He hasn't reached the milestone since 2011, and 2015 was no exception thanks most in part to spending most of September on the disabled list. But despite his 534 PA, Tulo still ranked second among shortstops in R, and fourth in HR and RBI. But the underlying numbers showed a much different player than we were used to seeing out of the All-Star. 2015 saw a sharp decrease in Tulo's plate discipline as he posted his lowest BB% (7.1), and highest K% (21.3) of his career. He swung at pitches outside the strike zone at a personal-high rate, and his Contact% dropped below 80.0 for the first time since he played 25 G as a rookie in 2006. This led to his first full season since 2009 not hitting above .300. The batted ball stats and graphs look in line with his career averages. The only difference was an increase in his pull percentage, but that definitely is not an issue since 15 of his HR being pulled to left. Untitled

So what led to the reduced power? In 2015, Tulowitzki managed a .160 ISO, versus a .212 career average, and a .440 SLG versus a .508 career average. Was it bad luck? It looks as if luck contributed slightly, as his 12.2 HR/FB% was three points lower than his career percentage, and eight points lower than 2014. But what really jumps out from his 2015 stats is his performance against the fastball. Since 2007, Tulo ranks 21st among active players in wFB. In 2014 he posted the fourth highest in the league (29.1). In 2015, however, he only managed a weak 0.8 wFB. Once baseball players start eclipsing the 30 year mark, adjusting to the fast stuff gets harder each season as their eyes and muscles slow down. Each player reacts to this inevitable part of aging in a different way. It seems that it has caught up to Tulo, and he was not able to make the necessary adjustments mid-season.

There is no doubt that Tulowitzki is talented enough to make the necessary adjustments to begin crushing fastballs again in 2016. Now a part of one of the greatest assembled offenses of our time in Toronto, even if the HR and BA never get back to his elite standards, his R and RBI potentials will carry enough value alone to be near the of his position in fantasy. But as we all know, he carries enormous injury risk, especially at the age of 31. With the slowly declining skill set, and ever increasing age, it is no shock to see a negative keeper value tied to his early ADP in 2015.


Ian Desmond FA, 30 (Third Round) Score: Negative

2015 Stats: 69 R, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 13 SB, .233 BA

The second shortstop drafted in fantasy leagues, Desmond was the kryptonite to many fantasy rosters in 2015. This was the first season in four years he did not reach the 20/20 club, while setting career lows in BA, SB, and OBP (.290). He was able to post some career highs, however, unfortunately they were not any of the good stats. He struck out a career high and position-leading 187 times, and pounded the ball into the ground, posting a career high 1.72 GB/FB ratio. A measly 15.6 LD% was the lowest among shortstops, and combined with a 13.0 IFFB%, shows that Desmond could not make solid contact. To make matters worse, his .233 BA could have been even lower. He reached first base on infield hits 24 times in 2015, at an 11.3% rate, more than he ever has in his career.


Look what we have here, another shortstop reaching the big three-oh and suffering a massive decrease in his value when facing fastballs. In 2014, Desmond posted a 4.5 wFB, and 10.4 wFB in 2012. In 2015 we see a huge drop down to -6.7.

To give Desmond at least some credit somewhere, one cannot deny his durability. He has had at least 640 PA in three straight years, and since 2010 he ranks fifth among shortstops in PA. Also a small potential silver lining in an otherwise dreadful season, was a decent bounce back in the 2nd half of 2015. After the All-Star break, in 55 less PA, Desmond hit .262 with 12 HR, second to only Carlos Correa, and eight SB. But before you get excited, these numbers came with a very high 23.5 HR/FB% and a ridiculous .346 BABIP. His modest power and speed combination can still produce some fantasy value, but don't expect a full recovery to his .292 BA from his All-Star season in 2012. He has become too much of a free swinger to contribute anything in that department, with a 13.2 SwStr% and a 73.3 Contact% that only rookie Addison Russell managed to get beneath at the position. Thanks to the decrease in production, -19 career Defensive Runs Saved, and Trea Turner knocking on the door, the Nationals have moved on from Ian Desmond. Fantasy owners in keeper leagues should do the same in 2016.


Jhonny Peralta STL, 33 (17th Round) Score: 27.72

2015 Stats: 64 R, 17 HR, 71 RBI, SB, .275 BA

The veteran shortstop had himself a nice second season in St. Louis, making his third career All-Star appearance. Peralta tied Tulowitzki for the fourth most HR among shortstops, while his RBI ranked third. He cut his K% down to 17.3, more than two points lower than his career average, and found success hitting up the middle. In 2015 Peralta hit up the middle 34.8% of the time, compared to 28.1 in 2014. When going to the center of the field, he hit .387 with five HR and a .897 OPS. But in all, he lost a significant amount of pop in his bat along with the ability to keep the ball off the ground. His ISO dropped from .180 in 2014, all the way down to .136, and he posted his highest GB/FB ratio since 2009 (1.41).

Being selected to the All-Star game is a great honor, but for Peralta, it signified the beginning of a downward spiral in 2015. In the second half of the season, he hit .243 with only four HR, a .631 OPS, and a 'so bad you can't believe' .082 ISO. The ISO was the tenth lowest in the league, and not quite what you want to see out of your cleanup hitter.


How about one more shortstop over the age of 30 struggling with fastballs in 2015? After earning a 13.9 and 12.5 wFB in 2013 and 2014, respectively, Peralta managed -2.1 runs above (in this case, below) average against fastballs in 2015. Seriously, someone should look into this.

Despite the terrible second half, Peralta still finished the season with fantasy numbers fairly close to those of Tulowitzki while being drafted much later.  He has no chance of contributing in the SB category, his -3 net stolen bases were the lowest among shortstops, and will likely slide down a spot in the lineup in favor of Randal Grichuk. But Peralta is still in a position to give modest numbers in four categories. He earns a slightly positive value in the keeper formula, but based on the rising youth in the position and his current 2016 ADP, Jhonny Peralta does not warrant the use of a keeper selection.


Jung-ho Kang PIT, 28 (Last Round) Score: 33.66

2015 Stats: 60 R, 15 HR, 58 RBI, 5 SB, .287 BA

The Pirates took a gamble last off-season when they signed Korean star Jung-ho Kang to a four year deal. Many experts believed that a power hitter from Korea would have trouble adjusting to Major League pitching. But after just one season in the MLB, it is looking like the juice will be well worth the squeeze. In 467 PA, Kang had the fourth highest BA among shortstops (min 200 PA), third highest wOBA (.365), second highest wRC+ (130), and tied Xander Bogaerts for the highest OBP (.355). He impressed offensively and defensively, earning an impressive 3.9 WAR.

The first half of the season was a big adjustment period for Kang, and he struggled early on while trying to earn playing time. Heading into the All-Star break, he had only hit four HR, with a .268 BA, .732 OPS, and a weak .116 ISO. But Kang rebounded in a big way after the break and looked like a seasoned veteran. One adjustment that was made was cutting down his high leg kick prior to his swing. Shortening this step greatly increased Kang's timing. For the second half of the season he belted 11 HR, and hit .310, with a .913 OPS and .239 ISO.




Kang still has improvements to be made as he continues to acclimate to MLB pitching, such as improving his plate discipline (0.28 BB/K). He also struggled mightily against southpaws in 2015, hitting .238, with only six XBH and an enormous 3.08 GB/FB ratio. Compare to his .300 BA, 35 XBH, and 1.61 GB/FB ratio against righties. Kang has the potential to be a fantasy star in the near future, and has shortstop and third base eligibility for the 2016 season. But not many are on board the Kang train, yet, as he is being draft around the 15th round in mock drafts so far this year. If you can get him this late in your league's draft, there is no need to use a keeper selection despite the 33.66 keeper value score.


Ketel Marte SEA, 22 (Last Round) Score: 7.58

2015 Stats: 25 R, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 8 SB, .283 BA

After a call-up at the end of July, Ketel Marte assumed the starting shortstop and lead-off man gig for the Mariners for the second half of the season. While nothing electrified in his 247 P, Marte showed consistency in his abilities in his transition to the big leagues. He will never be a source of power, as he hit five total HR in 2015 (minors included), which was a new season high. But Marte is able to contribute with his speed, swing eight bases after July and 20 SB in AAA. This matches up nicely with his 29 SB between AA and AAA in 2014. His high contact rate (81.8 Contact%) and fairly impressive plate discipline (.351 OBP, 9.7 BB%) leads to a nice BA output. Marte has hit over .300 in A, AA, and AAA during his minor league career.

The BA and speed are nice, but what really made Ketel Marte was hitting lead-off with the likes of Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, and Robinson Cano behind him. But with the acquisition of Norichika Aoki this off-season, all that sexy R potential has vanished. If you are in need of cheap speed with maybe a slight boost to your team's BA this year, Marte could make for a nice late round sleeper. But there is really nothing more than that here.


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