So far I have rolled out the entire infield minus shortstop in our OBP series, and it appears there is no avoiding it anymore. As you might have expected, the average “spread” for qualified shortstops in 2015 was the worst of all positions analyzed thus far- sitting at .050. And while that total might not seem too horrible in its own, the names after the top five drafted are what can make a man lose his mind. I mean really, this position is brutal.
How bad is it…be honest? Is it Windows Vista bad? It’s not iPhone 4 bad…is it? Fu**. Don’t tell me this is Zune bad?!
I’m sorry boys…. It’s Apple Maps bad.
And here you have it…my risers, fallers, targets, and sleepers at the shortstop position!
(Keep in mind, the format is 12-team 5×5 OBP)
Corey Seager (6th Round, OBP Value= 5th)
I love all Seagers. In a perfect world I can rosterbate to my team with an infield of Kyle and Corey while listening to Bob Seager’s “Night Moves”. And with all due respect to Bob, Corey Seager’s time is now, and he’s got more than tonight.
In Corey Seager’s first year, the Dodgers prized possession did nothing but show the league that he is MLB-ready as he posted a righteous .425 OBP in 113 PA. And while that OBP was even out of whack compared to his minor league range of .370, he definitely is someone to look out for in your 5×5 OBP leagues.
And although Seager did suffer a knee injury that has him dropping a little bit in the ranks, it might actually be a good thing for upcoming drafters as his price tag becomes slightly more reasonable. I see big things from Corey in 2016 and my expectation is that he is a top three shortstop at year’s end. Use your 5th rounder in exchange for a 18-80-.360 slash line and enjoy.
Starlin Castro (15th Round, OBP Value= 17th)
I first want to say that I briefly thought about putting Xander Bogaerts here, but I freaking love Bogaerts in 2016. All signs point to a breakout campaign for him in this upcoming year and I couldn’t fathom having him as a “faller” even though he met the criteria. So after not much deliberation, I moved on to another youngster in Starlin Castro (and honestly was surprised he still was only 26).
The change of scenery and the age of Castro are two things that you can try and turn into a positive. But just like me, Castro has shown no signs of self-improvement over the last four years. He does have some weird every-other year type of thing going on with his stats though, that would mean 2016 could be set up to be okay? (Now THIS is called analysis…!)
So there you have it! Castro will hit 14 HRs, 65 RBIs, and have an OBP around .320. The steals are the kicker here, and with the Yankees running the 5th least in baseball last year (while the Cubs stole 9th most), I wouldn’t expect Castro’s numbers to go back to the 2012 years. And even though that may have just been the worst “Faller” piece thus far, expect a below average spread around .040 and draft him a round later than planned.
Addison Russell (11th Round, OBP Value= 10th)
Maybe it is because we both have feminine first names, but I have a soft spot for my bae Addison Russell. In fact, that is my first time ever using the word “bae” and it really felt right when referring to him.
Just last year, Addison Russell was ranked the number three overall prospect by Baseball America behind just Kris Bryant and Byron Buxton, and directly ahead of shortstops Carlos Correa and Corey Seager. People seem to forget that not only was Russell touted as a better prospect than all of the big name shortstops, but he was just 21 years of age in 2015. And although there were some bad things to take away from his 2015 campaign…there was some good too. And he was only 21! (Did I say that already?)
While everyone has their thumbs up Mookie Bett’s ass, keep in mind that Addison Russell’s BB% was higher in 2015 (as he had a spread of .065 compared to Mookie’s .050). If Addison increases his AVG from .242 to .260 (which I think he should), he definitely has a shot to have an OBP touching .330. Don’t be surprised to see a big breakout from this young pup that might have Addison hitting 20+ bombs and stealing 12+ bags. There is huge upside here that should put him on your must-draft list in 2016.
Brad Miller (23rd Round, OBP Value= 20th)
Let me preface this by saying I wasn’t all that thrilled about the sleeper options at SS, which is why I personally wouldn’t wait til the late picks to grab one. However, if you do find yourself missing out…one guy to take a gander at is Brad Miller. And even though his name is as much of a snoozer as this position in entirety, Brad Miller gives you a cheap combination of pop and speed. At 11 dingers and 13 swipes in 2015, he is kind of like a poor man’s Logan Forsythe. And if that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!
But in all seriousness, if Miller gets 600 PAs his numbers should look something like 14-14-.330 which is not too shabby for a late flier that hopefully is your MI (at most). Keep in mind that he is only 26, so Miller does have some breakout potential that gives you some minor upside in the late rounds. Take a shot at him in the 20th if you need a MI, but please for the love of god don’t bank on him as a starting SS.
Boy… am I happy to be done with this position.