Shortstop is top heavy, and you don’t want to leave your drafts, especially OPS-style, without one of the top six. Can I call them the Secret Six? Like the DC Comic? (Quick tangent, if you liked the Suicide Squad (movie or comic) and want an even better tale of misfit villains, then pick up Secret Six. It’s got Bane, Deadshot, great stories, and is just plain awesome. One of my favs of all time…) Anyhoo, so do you know what separates these six? They are the only guys I have predicted for an OPS over .800. Shortstop sure isn’t second base this season; who could believe all the power at the keystone?
But this isn’t about crappy beer, or Kieth Stone, it’s about the top SS in OPS leagues. So who’s number one? It’s a gimmie, right? We all agree it’s…Carlos Correa! What? Not Manny? Yeah, he’s right there, too. They are the top tier. Manny doesn’t need to run more to solidify himself as a top five guy in my book; he fills up the stat sheet, and is with eligibility at third too, he’s a top ten guy.
This season I don’t see how Correa isn’t going to improve, even if just a tiny wee bit. Entering his age 23 season (he won’t actually turn 23 until 9/22), I don’t like all the conservative rankings of him. Many in the fantasy baseball world were predicting that last season Correa was going to join the upper echelon first round club (The UEFRC, pronounced U Frak) and now this season he’s just top 20. Well I’m here to say this season he becomes a U Fraker and starts his streak of top 5 fantasy seasons; mark it down dude.
Big time Seager guy. He could be Machado in two seasons (Picture it, Season one of “Becoming Manny” starring Corey Seager and Corey Feldman). A 30+ homer guy hitting third in a great lineup? I’ll take two. Will Seager do it this season? Don’t see why not and next season him and Story may make it a foursome in the top tier.
I thought about including Story in tier one, and if any guy has good odds to do it, it’s him. The downside is that maybe he isn’t as great as he started and he did have a high BABIP and a high K rate, but that doesn’t scare me and it doesn’t really matter as long as he keeps his average above .250. He plays at Coors and he’s going to hit bombs, simple as that.
Boegarts & Lindor get here because of hitting in two real good lineups for those sweet runs and ribbies. Boegarts will hit a few more homers, Lindor will steal a few more bases, have an .800+ OPS and both guys have outside shots at 20/20 seasons. Once the top four are gone you should draft either and like it.
I picked up a fantasy magazine when I was at a local bookstore (that has so many magazines…I thought print journalism was dead, but there have to be at least 500 different magazines…and still tons of local newspapers…so, I’m not buying it. Well I did buy it, didn’t I? Dang it. Screwed by the man again). I know the rankings will be out of date when draft time comes; I do this for something to read when I can’t look at my phone (read: bathroom).
So the one I picked up had a 3 Up and 3 Down section for each position. Two of the guys on this list they had going down: Correa and Addison Russell. They also had Troy Tulowitzki, but that’s a gimmie. Two 23 year old, former top prospects, going into their third MLB seasons, are on the downswing? Yeah, I need to give this magazine to my worst enemy; we’re in a league because of course we are. In my mind it just reinforces the fact that I love Russell going into this season; a guy with 25+ homer power and 10+ steals in a great lineup is a guy I want on my teams. His batting average sucks, but we play OPS in here, son!
Villar should be good for speed without destroying your team’s OPS; the extra steals, slightly more power, and runs keeps him above the other speed guys at the bottom of tier four. Miller and Semien bring 25+ homer power but poor counting stats; nothing wrong with starting either. If you spend your money / high picks elsewhere in the draft adding Miller at second and Semien at short works in OPS.
Tier 4: Attention! Attention! Last chance to get a decent shortstop. Two Cardinals, Aledmys Diaz and Jedd Gyorko, sit at the top of tier four. Diaz has a shot to crack an .800 OPS (he did last season, his first, but for 2017 I see an OPS just below .800) and that with 20+ homers gives him a chance to leapfrog the tier three guys. Gyorko I kept trying to move down my rankings, but he hit 30 home runs last season, and was a top prospect for years; maybe he’s figured it out while playing every infield position.
After that it’s Didi Gregorius and Tulowitzki. Tulo will hit some homers, get hurt, and that’s that. Didi hit 20 homers last year, albeit with a .750 OPS, and I’m not sure I buy him hitting 20 again, especially not for what his price may be. Rounding out tier four is the speed guys Jean Segura, Eduardo Nunez, and Elvis Andrus, in any order you choose. I’m not going to go into my leagues starting these guys at short, but it’s your team, so I won’t be too judgy. At MI though, these guys will do…yes, these guys will do just fine.
Remember that there are at least two shortstops that are available on the cheap, thinking Villar and Diaz last season, but most of those guys were adds in the first few weeks. So if you drafted them, nice one brother, but just remember the waiver wire is your friend. Semien, Gyorko, Didi, and Nunez were all out there to start the season, most longer than that. This season keep an eye on Orlando Arcia and Freddy Galvis; if they start hot keeping it up wouldn’t be shocking.
Lastly, join up my OPS RazzMonsters League, which is 5×5 with OPS replacing AVG and Saves + Holds replacing Saves. Drop me an email here for an invite: [email protected] I want to create a safe (league) space for people who like OPS and don’t like being discriminated against by their AVG playing friends. The season is going to be here in no time, and I have more rankings to do. See ya on the flip.