Please see our player page for Adalberto Mondesi to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

One week ago, I was lamenting the state of the second base position in Major League Baseball and thus fantasy baseball. Outside of a few top players, it is now overrun with utility players and doesn’t have much depth.

This week, however, we talk about one of the deeper positions in baseball. Today we unveil the 2023 Top Keepers – Shortstops edition.

Unlike second base, the shortstop position is populated with highly skilled athletes who can do it all – hit, hit for power, run and field.

The numbers shortstops are putting up support that statement, but so too does this simple fact: last season, 20 players (out of 30 MLB teams) played 100 or more games at short. Another two (Kyle Farmer and Bobby Witt Jr.) appeared in 98 games at the position while a third, Tim Anderson, missed half the season due to injuries. Then there is Fernando Tatis Jr., who we all know missed the entire year.

Unless a team is rebuilding or just doesn’t have a good player at short, it is a spot on the field where managers want to have the same player every day. And more often than not, those players are not glove-first players. Today’s shortstops are expected to hit.

What is Your Preference?

The goal, both in real life and in fantasy, is to get the great all-around shortstop. But if you want to use a utility slot or middle infield slot to boost a specific stat, this is a great position to pick a player from.

Want speed? Ten shortstops stole 20 or more bags this past season. Need power? There were 15 shortstops who walloped 15 or more homers. What about help with your average or on-base percentage? Eight shortstops in these rankings hit .290 or better and another 11 had an OBP over .330.

If your team has a specific need, a number of shortstops would be great keepers. Now, let’s dive in and take a look at the 2023 Top Keepers – Shortstops rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sun beating down across a desert landscape. Sweat beading from my forehead. I lift a thermos to my face and spray my face with liquid to freshen myself. “I think I just sprayed my face with urine,” I say to no one, because no one is around. A mirage from the sand rises; it’s Pegasus. The horsey with wings kneels in front of me so I can get on. Pegasus turns to me and says, “I need to get you to an internet cafe so you can put Ronald Acuña Jr. in your lineup.” Thank you, Pegasus! Thank you, Ronald Acuña Jr.! Thank you, Tildaddy! Okay, now I’m just singing that crappy Alanis song, Thank you. I really needed Acuña (1-for-5, 1st and 2nd steal, hitting leadoff). Now stay on the field, Tildaddy says it’s October! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Sum of All Fears with rookie pitchers is they will do things to you that you never want done. Things Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Jim from The Office would try to stop by running and screaming through a Washington landmark, while diving for a helicopter that is lifting off. In the Ryanverse, Joe Jack Ryan and Joe Exotic should never interact, but here they are. Spies are taking shortcuts trying to get Tigers into the country from Bengal to sell them to finance a far-off arms deal with a rebel army in Latin America that is illegally trying to take down a corrupt government. Joe Jack Ryan is exactly who you want because of his command of the strike zone, and what it means to be an American. “Sell those tigers if the price is right. We’re running tigers for arms,” a corrupt CIA agent says to an actor that looks like a Latin Phil Hartman. But what they don’t know is Joe Jack Ryan is actually hiding inside of one of the Tigers, having taken them down himself in Minnesota. Any hoo! Joe Ryan went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.17, as he does exactly what I was hoping when I told you in the preseason, “In the big picture/pitcher, he’s about the command, and it’s as beautiful as advertised. The zone% on his pitches would’ve been 45.9%, or 5th in the league if he qualified (in 2021). Obviously, he didn’t qualify because he only was in the league for 26 2/3 IP. By the way, in those MLB innings, he had 10.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 0.79 WHIP (!!!), and a 3.43 FIP. Bit too in the Zone% because he gave up a few homers, but those numbers are ace-like. I wouldn’t expect better peripherals from Shane Bieber as far as K/9 and BB/9. 10+ and 1+ absolutely works. And by “works,” I mean it f*cks. Rookie pitchers are the devil incarnate with their blowups, but Joe Ryan has the makings of a ‘safe’ rookie starter, due to his command.” And that’s me quoting me! Hopefully, Joe Jack Ryan is wearing a giant bird suit next week when he takes down the Orioles. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Above Yankee Stadium last night was a transparent cherub, sitting on the clouds — rosy cheeks, belly full of gabagool, Italian flag wife beater shirt. It was the one and only American actor, James Gandolfini, and next to him was the American actress, Nancy Marchand, who famously played his mother. Together, they smiled down on the Italian stallions, Joey Gallo, who went 1-for-4, and his 1st homer; Aaron Judge, whose name ends in a vowel, went 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 4th homer, and Anthony Rizzo who went 3-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBIs, 6th, 7th, and 8th homers, because last night the Yankees went ayo whaddya know bada bing bada boom. Though, Rizzo went bada bing bada boom bada bing bada boom bada bing bada boom. The three bada bing bada booms were previously reserved for guys from Staten Island and celebrated on special occasions like a baptism or when someone buys a Corvette. So far, Anthony Rizzo’s year couldn’t be coming at a better place for a true Zombino. The short porch was made for him. First, the Yankees Letter, then Anthony Rizzo’s 3-homer night. Not since Babe Ruth homered the night he torched his house with his lovely wife inside, have the Yankees had such a roller coaster day. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Motivational speaker, Manny Machado, entered the Padres’ clubhouse before yesterday’s contest and asked new head coach, Bob Melvin, if he could speak. His teammates’ rapt attention centered on Manny, and he spoke, “I won’t always run hard to first, 2nd, third or home. I will usually ask for a golf cart to take me out to 3rd base between innings. When it’s my time in the on-deck circle, I will ask the umps if I can put on water wings and slap around in a kiddie pool. When that clock strikes April 19th, I will check out until sometime in July. But I am telling you right now, you have every piece of me from this moment here, until roughly ten o’clock on April 18th, then again sometime in July. And I will take you where you need to go, so hop on!” And with that Wil Myers stood and began to clap at first. Then he elbowed Eric Hosmer (4-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs), who was dreaming of grounding out to 2nd base, and he stood and clapped too. And, before anyone knew it, the entire clubhouse was in a rousing ovation for their leader, Manny Machado — the best clubhouse guy a team could hope for. Then, as the ovation began to dissipate, Machado asked Luke Voit if he could drive the golf cart that would take him out to the field. So, yesterday, Manny Machado (5-for-6, 4 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 1st homer, a 111 MPH shot into left field, and two steals for the magnificent slam and double legs. This was Machado’s 2nd career five-hit night. Five hits, 4 runs, 2 SBs with a homer in a game had only been done three times since 1987 — Andrew McCutchen, Carl Crawford and Tony Gwynn. Machado gets a bad rap; he does usually put up top 25 overall type numbers, as long as Voit continues to gas up the golf cart. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

TOP DOGS

1. Jose Ramirez  Guardians  No Suprise Here as Ramirez has shown out of the gate he still has great plate discipline and has never seen a fastball he didn’t like. You would like to see a little more hard contact but it’s super early and Ramirez will get into one of his grooves and drafters will once again be happy he is on your squad.

2. Rafael Devers Red Sox  Devers has hits in all of his games so far and has popped one out of the park in his 1st game of the season.              Another elite hitter who will find his groove shortly.  Whiff% and Chase Rate are a little higher than we would like to see but no worries here as another great season awaits from Mr. Devers.

3. Austin Riley Braves Riley is squaring up the baseball so far and is showing at least out of the gate he can sustain the lofty totals that he            acquired last season. His WOBA is .427 which is about 100 points above his average so yes it will come down and you will have to deal with the occasional 3 K out day like yesterday against the Nationals for example but the ride will be worth it.

4. Nolan Arenado Cardinals Facing the likes of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff will give all power hitters a boost in their numbers it            looks like this season but Arenado torched the Pirate staff this past weekend and is off to a hot start. 2 HR out to left field and a few doubles to boot Arenado looks really good so far and drafters are reaping the rewards early on.

5. Manny Machado Padres No barreled up baseballs yet out of 14 batted balls but Manny is hitting the ball well and is just getting a little            unlucky on some of his at-bats. He will come around eventually but definitely misses Tatis Jr. in the lineup and you can expect an uptick in his production when that happens.

SOLID PROS

6. Alex Bregman Astros Whoa, nice start from Bregman here, has only struck out one time in 14 plate appearances and has hit 2 HR               already. He’s a little tough to root for unless you are a die hard “Space City” fan but if he’s on your fantasy team who cares. I like the start so far and he could break the top 5 if he keeps it up.

7. Kris Bryant Rockies

8. Justin Turner Dodgers 

9. Anthony Rendon Angels

10. Matt Chapman Blue Jays Chapman had a nice 3 run blast the other day against the Rangers. He has struck out 8 out of 16 plate                 appearances so that isn’t great but it will even out and Chapman should do his thing and hit 30 HR just with that low average we kinda cringe  at thinking about.

STUCK IN MIDDLE

11. KeBryan Hayes Pirates Nice start to the season for Hayes as he worked out a minor injury in his 1st game to come back and get 4 hits      in 3 games over the weekend and they were nice hard hit balls for the most part. Wouldn’t be surprised if he settles in the 7-9 range shortly.

12. Josh Donaldson Yankees

13. Adalberto Mondesi Royals Well at least owners of Mondesi know he can at least steal a base as he did on Sunday. Not much else to see    here as it could be a rough year awaiting him.

14. D.J. Lemahieu Yankees Bad News 1 for 10 start for D.J. and is not playing every day. Good News is he has had some hard hit balls so        far they just have found the opponents glove. I think he will be ok in the long run but if we are depending on him producing like he did two  seasons ago I think that train has left the station.

15. Ryan McMahon Rockies

 HAZY FUTURE 

16. Jeimer Candelario Tigers Not a great start from the Candy Man but has driven in two runs so that’s been nice to see. Has only struck out twice so that’s a positive. I think there is more to see and the Tigers look good so far and that’s usually contagious.

17. Eduardo Escobar Mets

18. Gio Urshela Twins Gio had a great looking HR against the Mariners in the Twins 1st game where he had to lunge at the baseball and was able to get enough to hit it out to LF. Good Sign there just depends if he’s going to be in the lineup every day to be useful and provide enough for you to keep him in your lineup. You could do worse at your CI spot in your lineup.

19. Alec Bohm Phillies Well the man who hates the place he plays in has actually hit the ball pretty decent but it’s his defense that is getting the most of the unwanted attention. I think the Phillies probably move him at some point but in the mean time they keep trotting him out most of the time to get some exposure to other teams that may be interested. Still has some good attributes so not giving up on him just yet.

20. Joey Wendle Rays

Honorable Mention

Josh Harrison White Sox Luis Urias Brewers (Injured) Yoan Moncada White Sox (Injured)

 

 

 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s finally time, Opening Day is here and we can all rejoice. Sing from the heavens, baseball is back. I must confess, I was worried that the lockout would rob us of far more baseball than the week we were actually delayed. Fortunately I was wrong and I have never been more happy to be wrong. So here we are, drafts are complete, lineups are set.  Now the real fun begins. We have real games and that means the wavier wire picks up steam. So let’s get ahead of the wire and check out some guys you should keep an eye on. These guys are all on the wire in a good chunk of leagues but could be fantasy assets. I have reasons for some, such as making the Opening Day roster and some I just like and want to see do well. Either way they’re my early waiver wire candidates who at the very least should be on your watch list. Or, if you will, monocle list.

Please, blog, may I have some more?