We're coming to the end of another spin around the sun. Christmas is just around the corner. You know what that means: Time for fantasy baseball rankings!
Today we'll cover shortstop. As a reminder, this first round of rankings features picks from Bill Dubiel, Brad Johnson, Nick Mariano, and yours truly.
If you missed the rest of the infield rankings, click the link below. Longtime readers will note that we've switched up the format a bit for this round to allow for a bit more insight into each writer's thought process.
Editor's note: Be sure to also check out our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. It's already loaded up with tons of great rankings articles and draft analysis. Aside from our tiered staff rankings for every position, we also go deep on MLB prospect rankings, impact rookies for 2017, and dynasty/keeper rankings as well. Bookmark the page, and win your drafts.
2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Shortstop
Which picks by others look overly bullish/pessimistic?
Kyle: Given the quality and depth at the position, I can't get on board with Brad putting Peraza in the top 10. We've said our respective pieces about the scarcity of stolen bases in the current landscape, so no need to rehash that here. I just don't see Peraza providing enough value elsewhere to justify that ranking. He doesn't walk much, doesn't hit for power, and even speed can only do so much to prop up your batting average if you don't hit the ball hard consistently.
Bill: Nick and Brad seem a bit high on Jose Reyes for my liking, mostly because we can't be sure what his role will be on the Mets this season. Right now the Mets infield looks like it'll be David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker and Lucas Duda. Wright's health will always be a huge question mark, and Jose Reyes would be the ultimate insurance policy. If he does wind up starting every day, he'll probably wind up in my top 15. As it stands now though, he looks like the utility infielder on a DH-less National League team. Talented though he might still be, I want more security in his role before I begin moving him up here.
Brad: Andrus is definitely a very boring veteran with almost no upside. For all the talk about shortstop being very strong, the talent level drops very quickly after the top of the pool. Andrus belongs in the mid-teens in this group. Bill was particularly rough, ranking him 20th. That said, I expect to own zero shares of Andrus.
Baez will play more in 2017 thanks to his defensive exploits during the postseason. However, he's still a likely bet to record fewer than 600 plate appearances. The Cubs have so much depth which will push Baez into a five days per week role. His five category production is partially offset by a low OBP. He should only be owned by very active owners.
Nick: I just do not like Crawford. My #21 ranking of him may be a little too harsh, but I simply don't want to sign up for his floor if I can grab a guy like Gregorius or Nunez ahead of him. We saw the 2015 power burst come back down to Earth, as his 16.2% HR/FB rate will surely stick out like a sore thumb on his player page forever and ever. He actually hit more fly balls in 2016, so I don't necessarily buy the jump in BABIP/average either even though his line-drive rate rose a few ticks to support it. The RBIs are nice with his steady spot in the San Francisco order, but I don't want to rely on just that or his going perfect on the basepaths again to help me out. I get that he's unlikely to hurt you, but I'm just not inspired.
Are there any picks you want to defend?
Bill: I'm a huge fan of Brandon Crawford and it's not because he's devastatingly handsome, I promise. Crawford broke out as a key part of the Giants' offense in 2015, making his first All Star team and setting career highs in homers, runs scored, RBI and stolen bases. He was a top-seven option that year, and was quietly a top-10 option in 2016 as well, trading some of his power numbers for a career-high .275 batting average. On top of the numbers, he's played in at least 143 games each year since his rookie season. While I understand the position is deeper than it has been in years, I still think Crawford merits a top-15 ranking given his durability and consistent productivity.
Brad: Not that they need defending, but the top five at this position are soooo good. They should all be off the board by the end of the second round. Villar might go by then too. Story is a tic behind the others in my book. He could easily be the top shortstop when all is said and done, but there's more risk to him than the others.
I expect Peraza to be a high average, top of the order hitter in 2017. Obviously, he won't provide juice in the home run or RBI department, but he should do just enough to not be a total blank. He'll hit at least five home runs at Great American Ballpark. Meanwhile, 100 runs, 55 steals, and a .300 average are all within one standard deviation of my median projection.
I don't know why I bothered putting a number by J.P. Crawford (You didn't, actually - Ed.). Last year, I correctly said he wouldn't reach the majors. This time, he'll eventually get the call, but he'll be the Arcia of 2017. In case you failed to notice, Arcia was not playable in all but the deepest formats.
Nick: There isn't much to hate here, but it looks as though I should go to bat for Story. My love for the kid is well documented at this point, but I would rather have him than Bogaerts, who was just a guy throughout the second half, and Correa, who raised some concern with more whiffs. Obviously, Story's own whiffing is something everyone loves to slap him for, but it was improving as his season progressed and I think he (and Colorado as a whole) runs more in 2017 as well. Coors for the win.
Kyle: What a difference a year makes, eh? Correa was going in the first round in the majority of 2016 drafts after winning Rookie of the Year honors. Now, after a "down" year, he's barely a top-five shortstop according to my colleagues, displaced by some of the other young guns at the position. I come here not to bury Corey Seager (a reigning Rookie of the Year himself), Trevor Story, or Xander Bogaerts, but instead to praise Correa. He was just 21 last year - younger than any of the aforementioned trio - and produced a .274-20-76-96-13 line despite playing through myriad injuries.
We're living in a glorious golden age for shortstops, and you really can't go wrong with any of the top guys - the fact that we have a consensus top five but no agreed-upon order bears that out. Just feel like Correa's being undervalued a bit.