Two years ago, 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. Then last year, I got goofy with myself and thought there were a ton of early, sexy-AF middle infielders. You know what they say, “When you think, you make a think out of you and me.” This year, I’m back to punting MI and there’s about a dozen 2nd basemen/shortstops that are going to make this possible, so let’s get in there like swimwear. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2018 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 2018 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2018 fantasy baseball:
Tim Anderson (ESPN 225, Yahoo 211) I need to write something out and see if it makes sense to everyone, because I think I’ve become untethered from reality. Yahoo shortstop rankings go Chris Taylor, Tim Anderson and Addison Russell, that order. However, they have them ranked overall Chris Taylor (158), Addison Russell (190) and Tim Anderson (211). I know, what you’re thinking. I thought that too! That they have multi-position eligibility so it boosts them overall. Only problem there, Anderson and Addison only have shortstop eligibility. My brain hurts. As for Anderson, I gave you a Tim Anderson sleeper.
Marcus Semien (ESPN 231; Yahoo 235) Shark Tank Idea Alert! A sock brand called, Marcus Semien, which are the color of semen, so no muss, no fuss, no people asking, “Is that pus?” C’mon, Mr. Wonderful, stop with the royalty deals! Any hoo! If Semien gets lucky with his BABIP, he could have a 25/10/.255 season. Ya know, essentially Dozier. (Okay, not Dozier, but closer to Dozier than you’d ever think.)
Orlando Arcia (ESPN 234; Yahoo 230) I wrote about 600 words for Arcia in my top 20 shortstops, and the outcome of my verbiage was, “Not as excited as I thought I would be.” However, my lack of enthusiasm goes out the window –*window smashes* Crap, forgot to open the window first. — because of how late Arcia is being drafted. For his price, I’d take the flyer he stumbles into the top third of the lineup in Milwaukee, and busts through my apathy.
Gleyber Torres (ESPN 250; Yahoo 330) It’s worth pointing out I like Gleyber a lot, but if he’s really being drafted 250th overall at ESPN, he wouldn’t be on any of my teams. I wrote my Gleyber Torres fantasy back in November. A few things changed since then, with Headley going skedaddle/Drury appearing, but the gist of the post remains. Hey, gist sounds like a Marcus Semien sock competitor. Gleyber’s numbers just don’t excite me yet, looks like a poor man’s Amed Rosario. Nick Ahmed?! God, no. Not that poor.
Amed Rosario (ESPN 262; Yahoo 316) Speaking of a rich man’s Nick Ahmed–Okay, no more Nick Ahmed comparisons, promise. Though, Nick Ahmed did say he slept in a humidor all winter preparing for the season. Any hoo! Rosario should hit leadoff and be *the* man for the Mets, which is to say the Mets will hit him 8th and highlight Asdrubal and Todd Frazier. Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with the Mets either. They went out and got A-Gon, Frazier and re-signed Bruce. Sounds like they wanted chaperones.
Ketel Marte (ESPN 295; Yahoo 297) This is a little bit of a silly bit of prorating, but I’m going to do it just so you get an idea of Marte’s ability. In a half season of Triple-A, he stole 20 bags, so 40-steal ability over a full season (I told you silly), and he hit five homers in half a season for the Diamondbacks last year, so 10-homer power (very silly). So, he could go 10/40, and he’s projected for a .289 average by Steamer. Basically, he could be Trea Turner, and you should draft him 3rd overall, right? Well, no, but there’s potential here.
Chad Pinder (ESPN 359; Yahoo unranked) Pinder’s average home run distance is 418, situated between Joey Gallo and Gary Sanchez for that stat. What does this mean? I’m not sure. I mean, I know what it means means, but does it mean Pinder is going to hit 35+ homers like those guys are capable of? I have my suspicions against that conclusion, but Pinder can get into a pitch when he makes contact.
Addison Russell (Yahoo 208) Well, we know what to expect from Russell. He’s been in the league for three full seasons, and hasn’t done anything that exciting. Sure, he’s projected for 20-ish HRs, 5 SBs and ~.250, but he’s already 24 years old. Wait, that’s not old. Russell’s in a tough place to see prime-lineup-spot at-bats. Think Starlin Castro and how he’s now the three-hole hitter in Miami. However, Russell could still conceivably get better, and a 7-hole hitter on the Cubs vs. three-hole for the Marlins won’t be that dramatically different.
Zack Cozart (Yahoo 236) Drafting Cozart comes down to how much you believe last year. His batted ball profile numbers were relatively flat from previous years with an uptick in HR/FB%, which doesn’t scream to me repeatable. However, he dropped his swings outside the zone, made better contact and walked a ton more. So, more selective at the plate could lead to hitting hard the balls he can drive and up his homers, right? How you answer that will inform whether you’re drafting him.
Jorge Polanco (Yahoo 260) I could go same route as I went with Ketel with Mr. Prorater and getting crazy jazzed about Polanco. 15-homer power isn’t inconceivable said like Vizzini, and he stole 18 bags one minor league season is less than a full year, so give him 15/25/.275 and *screams wildly while drafting Polanco* Of course, that’s taking the ceiling off his projections, getting in a hot air balloon and ballooning up 15,000 feet to a new ceiling of projections for Polanco.
J.P. Crawford (Unranked for both) According to his ADP and preseason ranks, no one wants Crawford. I don’t even want him, but me not wanting him vs. others not wanting him more, and I want him more or less more than they ever could want him less. Okay, makes no sense, but you follow (maybe). Crawford was once a top prospect, is still only 23 years old, has a starting job and could put up an OBP north of .350. Also, Anime Grey had some words on him: