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Mid-Round Shortstops - Fantasy Baseball Draft Values and Targets

Tim Anderson - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Welcome officially to the 2023 fantasy baseball season! Spring training is in full force, and fantasy managers are gearing up for another exciting season in the MLB. Once you reach the middle rounds of drafts, everyone is looking to draft players that can provide a great return on value. You can start taking calculated risks on emerging prospects, overlooked veterans, players returning from injury, or even players with some playing time concerns out of the gate. The early rounds are critical, and the late rounds are where you can take your chances on dart-throw sleepers, but the middle rounds can make or break your roster.

Today, we're looking at some middle-round shortstops for you to consider drafting in your season-long leagues this season. Are their ADPs undervalued? Will they make significant fantasy contributions and become a priority mid-round draft target? Read on to see our take.

Our editors have hand-picked these specific MLB players for your draft prep enjoyment. Usually only available to Premium subscribers, the five outlooks below are meant to give you a taste of the in-depth analysis you receive with our industry-leading 2023 Draft Kit. Be sure to subscribe today to start reading all of our in-depth 2023 player outlooks and many other premium articles and tools including Team Sync, the Live Draft Sync assistant, Custom Rankings Service, and so much more -- available exclusively in our 2023 Draft Kit.

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Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox

Like most of his teammates, Anderson spent a lot of time on the IL in 2022, racking up just 351 Major League plate appearances. In that time, he hit .301/.339/.395 with six homers and 13 steals - business as usual for the White Sox lead-off man.

Since we're past the days of the juiced baseball, Anderson no longer profiles as a 20+ homer guy. What you get from him is a bunch of runs, a high batting average, and a good supply of steals. He is still just 29 and certainly isn't losing his spot at the top of that order this year, and if the White Sox stay healthy they could be a solid offense even with the loss of run-producer extraordinaire Jose Abreu.

He swings the bat a ton, which limits the OBP but also limits strikeouts and lets him use his foot speed when putting all those balls in play - it's long worked for Anderson, and we shouldn't expect a change now. The depth of shortstop and the injuries last year have pushed Anderson even further down draft boards, making him a great value target at the position around pick 90.

-- Jon Anderson - RotoBaller


Willy Adames, Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames had a solid 2022, putting up career-highs with 31 homers, 98 RBI, 83 runs, and eight steals. While the counting stats were excellent, his career-low .238 AVG took some of the shine off his breakout campaign. Still, the three-category production he provided while also chipping in some steals made for very good value, and if he were to repeat his 2022 season he would be worth his current ADP of 100.7.

But were his power numbers just a fluke? Statcast would suggest it wasn't. His .451 xSLG was 80th percentile and his barrel % was 90th percentile. He also plays in a hitter-friendly park that gave him an xHR of 33 (if all his games were at home).

The slugging shortstop should finish with around 30 homers again this season, and the counting stats should remain similar as he maintains his role in the heart of the Brewers lineup. While his .238 xBA doesn't suggest his average will climb, he has a history of hitting at least .250 which shows he can improve in that department. Adames is a solid fallback option at shortstop that you can grab in the mid-rounds.

-- Matt Garon - RotoBaller


Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins

It's time to move past what happened for shortstop Carlos Correa this offseason. Most importantly, he signed with the Minnesota Twins on a six-year deal worth $200 million with multiple conditions that could keep him in Minnesota through 2032.

He's arguably the most talented shortstop out there, and he's got all of the intangibles in the game to mold a superstar. The optimal goal is to get him healthy and fix his finger, which caused him a handful of games this past season. Correa molded a .834 OPS this past season with a 140 OPS+. He missed 30+ games, but his compiled stats are equivalent to MVP numbers.

The 28-year-old plated 64 runs and topped off the year with a .362 wOBA through 590 plate appearances. Assuming that Correa is ailment free, it would be worth the while to draft him early on. ATC projects Correa with a .270/.349/.456 slash line with 23 home runs, 76 RBI, 77 runs, and .350 wOBA in 2023. He's granted a 119.88 ADP from NFBC, but he's certainly more valuable than his current mark.

-- Rephael Negnewitzky - RotoBaller


Jeremy Pena, Houston Astros

Jeremy Pena's rookie season did not leave many Astros fans missing the departed Carlos Correa, especially after his performance in the World Series. During the regular season, Pena slashed a solid .253/.289/.426 with 22 homers and 11 steals.

The loaded offense around him bolstered him to 72 runs and 63 RBI despite the fact that he was a bottom-third hitter last season. Now we find Pena going around pick 100 in drafts at a loaded shortstop position. The good news with Pena was that he managed strikeouts (24%) and stole enough bases to be a positive in that category.

The bad news is that his barrel rate was more "good" than "great" at 9.6% - and he doesn't hit the ball very hard with a max exit velocity of 110.5 and a lower 36% hard-hit rate. Pena feels like a safe bet to hit 20 homers and steal 10-15 bags again this year, which is certainly useful in fantasy, but there are fair questions about whether or not his ceiling is good enough to be a top 120 pick as a guy unlikely to start many games in the top five sports of the lineup.

-- Jon Anderson - RotoBaller


Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs

After an impressive 2022 campaign, shortstop Dansby Swanson was only bound to receive considerable money. He settled with the Chicago Cubs on a seven-year, $177 million deal, his first jersey swap since going pro. Swanson had one of the best years in his career, and it doesn't go unnoticed that he played all 162 games. He compiled a career-high 6.4 WAR and blasted 25 HRs with a .776 OPS with the Braves in 2022.

There's a good chance that Swanson's bat may not be as productive in 2023, but nobody expected Swanson to amass those numbers this past season. Steamer gives the 28-year-old a .316 WOBA with 22 home runs and a .309 OBP. Those numbers are not on par with last year's performance, but maybe a change of scenery will boost him. Maybe his 78.73 ADP will slip a little if everything goes right.

-- Rephael Negnewitzky - RotoBaller

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