Last year, this post and the 2nd basemen to target were necessary evils like changing underwear. Whether you wanted to or not, it was a good idea to take a flyer on a late middle infielder, and you were still expecting to get crapped on. Now? Well…. I like some late middle infielders, could see owning one, but there’s a ton of early, sexy-AF middle infielders, so there’s a chance I own an MI before I even reach the 100th pick overall. In other words, I could own a shortstop, 2nd baseman and shortstop or 2nd baseman all in the first eight or so rounds. Yeah, crazy time we live in. In no other way is it a crazy time, except for fantasy baseball. Then again, I have the 2016 election results on my DVR and I haven’t watched yet. No one ruin the surprise! This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball. The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:
Marcus Semien (ESPN 199, Yahoo 230) Real question, why doesn’t anyone like Semien? Last year his stats were 72/27/75/.238/10. That was the 89th best hitter last year, and 134th best player overall. His real negative is obviously his average. Well, ZiPS and Steamer have him projected for .245 and .249, respectively, so they expect better. Here’s where logic and reasoning take a real detour in ESPN’s rankings. They have him ranked 90 spots after Tulo. Tulo’s ESPN projections 65/24/74/.271/1; Semien’s projections 70/22/66/.241/10. That’s a valuable thirty points in average! Here’s another fascinating one, they have Dansby Swanson projected for 72/10/61/.255/10. Can you guess where they have Dansby ranked? Oh, just 100th overall. Here’s a shot in the dark, Semien will be mine. Hmm, maybe I should’ve reworded that.
Dansby Swanson (Yahoo 210) Swanson’s rankings might be the most disparate I’ve seen this year. Some clowns have him at 100 overall (Klara Bell), and I’ve seen him as low as 300 overall elsewhere. I know which way I lean (I have him ranked in the 230’s), but maybe I’m missing something (doubtful). We need someone (Son?) to break down how Dansby can be so all over the map from site to site. For rankings obviously, a Dansby in general is not all over the map; he’s quite xenophobic.
Tim Anderson (ESPN 226, Yahoo 208) Since I’m constantly ragging on ESPN, but giving Yahoo a bye, let me just say puzzling is underselling my feelings on Anderson being ranked in front of Semien. And, since this post has already started as a reverse-ode to Dansby Swanson, Anderson’s ESPN projections are 73/9/39/.269/27. Damn, those are a crazy valuable 20 RBIs Dansby’s got on Anderson to rank Dansby over a hundred spots in front of Anderson. For what it’s Werth, I have Anderson down for 14 HRs and 25 SBs and a .277 average, but at least I have Anderson ranked in front of Dansby. Why do I hate Dansby so much? He sounds like he owns a yacht and has a wife named Muffy; those are awesome things! Oh, and I gave you a Tim Anderson sleeper, because I care.
Chris Owings (ESPN/Yahoo NR) I should’ve prolly mentioned this in the lede, but shortstops are like a zaftig-figured Billy Butler. Heavy up top, but much lighter on the bottom. Shortstop sleepers this year are a lot less interesting so it makes it doubly important to draft a top one. By the by, you thought you sounded drunk saying ‘Drury?’ Try saying doubly. You sound so sauced. As for Owings, 7-homer, 20-steal guy that is going undrafted, and being ranked below Ketel Marte, who is ticketed for the minors.
Jorge Polanco (ESPN/Yahoo NR) What would be a blurb in the shortstops to target post without a mention of Dansby? Owings’ blurb. But since I’m on the subject that I won’t let go, Polanco’s ZiPs projections: 63/11/67/.269/11; Dansby’s projections: 71/12/64/.253/7. Looks tomato-tomato said with different emphasis. Because we all love the supremely goofy ESPN projections, Polanco’s projections are 48/8/52/.263/13 in 501 ABs. 48 runs from a guy in the two hole on a major league team? I mean, the Twins are one of the saddest teams ever, but c’mon. They scored the 16th most runs last year, about the same as the Astros.
Orlando Arcia (ESPN 255, Yahoo NR) But compared to Dansby! Kidding, I’m done with the misplaced Dansby hate. I don’t hate him, I just think it’s funny how obscene Klara Bell’s ranking of Dansby is. Any hoo! I was all over Arcia last year like white on Trump supporters, but this year I’m much more blasé, which is not the beverage of choice for rappers. “The Moet and blasé keep me pissy.” That’s Biggie Smalls being misquoted. So, why less enthusiastic about Arcia this year? Honestly, no real idea. He’s still a 10-15 HR, 20+ steal, .255+ guy and could hit in the two hole if Broxton stumbles. Hey, I’ve just talked myself into liking Arcia again! Sweet!