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Early 2020 ADP Reflections - Shortstop

When a baseball season ends, the following season can’t come here soon enough for some fans, myself included. We start thinking about what we want to see from some players, which includes letdowns, bounce-backs, and even young prospects. Instead of letting them bounce off the brain walls, let’s put these musings into digits. This includes things to watch out for as the season approaches that will affect drafts and in-season management. Some will force further research in the offseason.

This series will provide a few insights and items for consideration at each position; this week we dive into shortstops. There are definitely more juicy morsels than the catcher, first base, and second base positions reviewed previously. Let's toast to one of the most talented positions of 2020 with your favorite bourbon du jour. Power and speed for everyone.

There are enough talented shortstops that each team in a 12-team league could own two. While you have the luxury of plucking one at any point in the draft, 10 of them will go off the board in the first couple of rounds. My preference is to get one of the top power/speed options in the first round. If my draft takes me elsewhere, I'll happily wait and throw a rope to one of the guys stuck in the mud.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

Accelerating Off The Draft Line

  • Francisco Lindor (ADP: 8) leads the group of six shortstops that comes off the board in the first two rounds. He missed three weeks and still provided 32 homers and 22 stolen bases. I’m here for this price all day. Lindor and Turner would battle for my attention as the first SS off the board, assuming I take a shortstop this early.
  • Alex Bregman (ADP: 8) is not a bad way to start your draft. However, if the speed isn’t returning, I’d just rather secure 40 homers from Nolan Arenado with the hope he stays in Colorado.
  • Some people might forget Trea Turner (ADP: 9) played 2019 with a busted thumb, missing more than a month of playing time. Yet, he still stole 35 bases with 19 homers. Fully healthy, I’m buying into a 20/40 season. I’d gladly pay this price every day, twice on days that end in ‘y’.
  • Trevor Story (ADP: 12) has put the negative talk about shoulder issues in the past with two-straight seasons of 30 homers and 20 stolen bases. That’s quite attractive and gives your roster a solid foundation.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. (ADP: 18) displayed enough sexiness (22HR/16SB) in 374 plate appearances) for drafters to push him into the second round. Pick up your jaw and wipe the drool off your face. He is extremely athletic, but don’t expect a repeat of his .300AVG, especially with a .410BABIP. Keep an eye on Tatis’ adjustments off-speed pitches (67%Contact and 29.6%K rates) as well. Don’t be surprised if his explosiveness brings him close to the first round by the start of the season. He’s very tempting.
  • Would you like 30HR, 200+ R+RBI, and a .300 batting average in the third round? Xander Bogaerts (ADP: 36), the eighth shortstop-eligible player off the board, is available and looking for a good home. Unfortunately, despite his excellent stats (no speed), there are very few scenarios where I have him on my roster due to construction preference unless draft position dictates otherwise.
  • Keep an eye out for Javier Baez (ADP: 41) who seems to be falling to the fourth round in some drafts. We know he’s ambitious at the plate (44.1%Chase rate), but despite his aggressiveness, he still can provide 30 homers with 15 stolen bases and a .280 batting average. Does that sound familiar? Yep, it’s not too far off from Trevor Story, only 30 picks cheaper.
  • Adalberto Mondesi (ADP: 39) (shoulder surgery) should be ready for Opening Day. So, his third-round price is very attractive if you can handle the risk. You’re not coming for Mondesi’s plate discipline (42%Chase & 21%Swinging Strike rates); his delicious speed is the prime catch. It will help carry the category, especially if you drafted uber power and/or pitching with the first two picks, a strategy I will likely employ. However, don’t use Mondesi (or any major speed guys) as a reason to avoid guys that chip in speed for the rest of your draft.


Coasting Down Draft's Main Street

  • As the 12th shortstop off the board, you get a fantasy baseball universe favorite, Bo Bichette (ADP: 75). He has the seemingly requisite power and speed for the position. A full season at the top of the Jays’ lineup with 20/20 contributions will bring a smile to any face. You’ve also got to love him for giving a kid a moment he’ll always remember in the Bahamas.
  • Manny Machado (ADP: 61) moved to San Diego with a big contract. He hit at least 30 homers for the fifth season in a row but his ADP dropped 40 spots from 2019. This could be attributed to the minimal drizzle of stolen bases he provides. Petco Park was not kind to him (.219AVG), but maybe 2020 will be more favorable (.230BABIP). With SS/3B eligibility, this might be a little bit of an opportunity for value.
  • Carlos Correa (ADP: 90) and Tim Anderson (ADP: 96) are huddled together. Correa has power but his speed has been resealed in a blast-proof container. To maximize his value, Correa needs to stay on the field. Even when healthy, a speed-less Correa isn’t as useful as Anderson, who isn’t shy with his exploits (master bat-flipper). He covers many bases with his speed, pop, and batting title (don’t expect a repeat of this level). Do not love him as much as he loves chasing (45.2%). I’ll select Anderson before Correa.


Stuck In The Draft Mud

  • Jorge Polanco (ADP: 151) put his skills on display in 2019, yet he remains a value on draft day. He is a wonderful combination of better-than-average power, speed, and batting average. Polanco’s biggest attribute is the triple-digit runs he will accrue thanks to his excellent plate discipline, .352wOBA, and position near the top of a potent Twins lineup. I’ll happily own him on every team.
  • Corey Seager (ADP: 153) is one such example that the pendulum of opposition has swung too far the other way. He still provides power and batting average. Can you imagine if he started doing yoga and Pilates to help alleviate some annual health issues? This price would be a steal.


Frugal Shoppers

  • Woe is the Didi Gregorius (ADP: 212) owner. Gregorius leaves Yankee Stadium and his value plummets. Be thankful; he is now a ridiculous value as he joins another dynamic offense in Philly. Give me a full season of his second-half 2019 power stroke (12HR in 233at-bats) with first-half AVG (.275) and it’s a gold mine. The risk to reward is minimal.
  • Do you remember the overbooked airline flight you took recently that caused so much frustration? That is the Rays situation. However, Willy Adames (ADP: 278) has a reserved seat. Not only that, but he’s a developing 24-year-old with a little pop and speed. Adames improved his barrel (8.4%) and K (26.2%) rates. We can only hope his splits versus southpaws (career .259 wOBA) improve as well.

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