The highlights of this post last year were Fernando Tatis Jr., Jorge Polanco and Brendan Rodgers. So they’re not all winners, but 2nd basemen to target and the shortstops are necessary evils like changing your underwear. Whether you want to or not, it is a good idea to take a flyer on a late middle infielder, and you should still expect to get crapped on. Unlike previous years, I’m hopeful that everyone owns at least one shortstop prior to getting to the sleepers in this post. Top shortstops are the bees knees and bees do have knees; I’m a scientist. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2020 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 2020 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:
Didi Gregorius (NFBC 204, ESPN 201) Yahoo seems to be the only sane one here (besides me), ranking Didi inside the top 200. Him and Dansby (who I’ll get to shortly) make me think I’m going crazy, or am just way too optimistic. So, just the facts: Didi hit 27 homers in 134 games in 2018; he hit 25 homers in 136 games in 2017; he hit 16 homers in only 82 games last year. Sure, there’s a park change. Is Citizens Flank Park bad for homers? Negatory, Ghost Rider. Last year, it was the 7th best park for homers; Yankee Stadium was 25th. Weird year maybe for NYC, so we’re gonna recanvass. In 2018, Yankee Stadium was 6th best for homers; Citizens Flank was 4th best. Have y’all ever seen the Phils’ stadium? It’s not a pitchers’ park. Meet the new park, same as the old park. Don’t get fooled again.
Jon Berti (NFBC 248, ESPN 294, Yahoo 255) For those who check out from baseball during offseason and check in during preseason and know the difference (clock strikes twelve when I start my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings), then it might be news to you that I wrote a Jon Berti sleeper. To think, the Marlins were one of the few teams making moves this offseason (not preseason) to make my sleeper post outdated. Red Sox and Cubs did nothing; Marlins made crazy moves. Welcome to hell: Population, Pete Rose, O.J. Simpson, Aaron Hernandez. That might be the only time Pete Rose has a legit case for a “Get out of Hell” card. Either way, Berti can steal 30 bags with at-bats, but the at-bats have dried up quicker than my Cougar after Tom Selleck shaved his mustache.
Dansby Swanson (NFBC 253, ESPN 207, Yahoo 232) I think preseason potential lineups are the worst thing a fantasy baseballer (<–my mom’s term!) can look at. They give people the illusion someone is batting 8th, when no one has said anything to that sort. Braves’ lineup is Acuña, Albies, Freeman, OZUNA, then flip a coin. Dansby could hit 5th easily. If an injury happens to one of the top four hitters in the Braves’ lineup, everything changes. I might get stricken down by lightning for pointing this out, but in two years Acuña’s missed one month to injury, OZUNA’s missed massive time, and Freeman missed time two years back and is currently dealing with an elbow issue. None are quote-unquote injury prone, but shizz happens. Finally, Dansby is a 22/12/.270 hitter with a full season of at-bats with upside. What’s that, barely worse than Austin Meadows? Yeah, I’m drafting that before 200 overall. Also, my Dansby Swanson sleeper.
Carter Kieboom (NFBC 297, ESPN unranked, Yahoo 313) In my Carter Kieboom fantasy, I compared him favorably to Anthony Rendon. Didn’t have to jump through that many hoops to do it either. Okay, a few. Sadly, that optimism came before the signing of Castro and Asdrubal, so need to take Kieboom with a grain of salt, and that makes me salty. On a side note, the Nats are saying all the right things about Kieboom getting a shot at the Opening Day lineup, but they don’t sign Castro and Asdrubal to forgo them. So, where I’m optimistic on, say, Nick Madrigal, I’m less so on Kieboom. Still, in deep leagues, you can give him a whirl. “Wow, that was almost one hedge in every sentence.” That’s a landscape architect reading the preceding.
David Fletcher (NFBC 328, ESPN unranked, Yahoo 348) Since I’ve talked a great deal about preseason lineups in this post, I have no idea who’s hitting leadoff for the Angels. I wonder if Joe Maddon will appreciate David Fletcher as the leadoff man more than Brad Ausmus. My guess is no. Could actually see Maddon putting Trout, Upton or even Pujols as leadoff, to keep his tradition going that he started when he made Schwarber or Rizzo the Cubs’ leadoff man. A La Stella/Fletcher platoon could work at leadoff if the new Launch Angle Stella was at all equipped to hit leadoff. Goodwin is goofy garbage, but who knows. Fletcher, a .290 hitter, should hit leadoff for 550 at-bats. Will he? What? Willie who? That’s www dot I don’t know.
Jose Peraza (NFBC 354, ESPN unranked, Yahoo 340) 2nd player in this post that I wrote a sleeper post about that got had by an offseason signing. Without 500+ at-bats, Peraza’s value is very localized like anesthesia, so from sleeper to ‘he could put you to sleep.’ How’sever, think a moment about the Sawx’s lineup. Chavis and Moreland in at the same time? Why? That makes no sense. How about Chavis and Moreland platoon at 1st base and Peraza plays 2nd? That makes actual sense. Not sure it’ll happen, but there’s a way stronger case for that. Then, if Peraza is in the lineup, who makes more sense to hit leadoff, Benintendi or Peraza? Okay, prolly Benintendi, due to his OBP, but we’re two hypotheticals in at this point, so don’t stop a bad thing. Ergo, Peraza is going to hit leadoff for 600 ABs!
Nico Hoerner (NFBC 417, ESPN unranked, Yahoo 359) Have I mentioned you better have drafted a shortstop before we get to these guys? Okay, good. The plague of teams buying cheap vets instead of playing rookies is spreading, and Cubs got a “rash of non-spending” and ended up with a Kipnis. Hoerner never really excited me that much, though, so *raspberries lips* Why mention him then? Well, if you’re in a deep 15 team league, around 400th overall, he isn’t a terrible gamble. No relation to Rudy.