Please see our player page for Gleyber Torres 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.

Last year is officially behind us!

Months after the Dodgers defeated the Rays in the World Series to cap the most unique season Major League Baseball has ever seen, followed by countless offseason moves and meaningless exhibition games, the baseball season has thankfully begun.

Of course, it is impossible to completely put the past behind us. For the Mets and Nationals, they must think that they are still stuck in 2020 as their season-opening series was wiped out due to the COVID virus affecting a host of Washington players. But for everyone else, every hit, home run and strikeout now count. That means we are all checking how our fantasy teams five or six time a not to see how our players are doing on the field.

Gone are the endless updates of our preseason rankings as we prepared for drafts. Now the fun part starts – tracking the players and their performance as the season unfolds. Will the top players perform as expected, or will one of them pull a Christian Yelich or Jose Altuve on us and stink it up all season. With only a handful of games in the books, the Top 25 Shortstop Rankings are basically the same as they were a month ago, but there has been some player movement.

So without further adieu, lets get to the rankings.

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In just a few short days, the screams of “play ball” will be yelled on baseball fields across Major League Baseball  – finally. The darkness of winter is finally giving way to the warmth of the sun and the sounds of baseball. Even better, the cheers of fans will once again be heard in baseball stadiums in anticipation of the first pitch.

The start of the season also means the endless hours spent pouring over statistics and coming up with intricate formulas to create the perfect ranking list for players at each position is coming to an end. Instead, we can all rank a player based on his actual current performance. That gut hunch you had about Gavin Lux will either be proven right, making you look smart for taking him a three rounds ahead of the his ADP,  or  leave you looking foolish for reaching on an unproven player.

These rankings first appeared more than a month ago, at a time when drafts had yet to happen or were just starting. The rankings weighed several factors – position eligibility, re-draft league value, dynasty league value and just the good ol’ gut hunch factor. With the season nearly here, the top 25 second baseman rankings have some players in new slots and some new players being ranked altogether.

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With your NCAA tournament bracket now busted due to the rash of upsets this weekend, you can turn your attention back to baseball. In fact, why was your attention even turned away from baseball? With less than two weeks until the start of the regular season, spring training starts to take on a little bit of importance. OK, who am I kidding? We don’t need spring training to know who the top shortstops are, especially in 12-team mixed leagues.

However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues and thus a much larger player pool you need to dip into. Additionally, many deep leagues still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league.

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.
However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues. The player pool you need to dip into is greatly expanded when you have that many teams. Additionally, many deep leagues like these still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league. 

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.

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I’m sure many of you have spent countless hours pouring over Grey’s 2021 fantasy baseball rankings to see who he’s got way higher than anyone else. Grey’s rankings are great but they’re focused on categories so they don’t tell the whole picture for points leagues. For example, average isn’t important for points. Yes a higher average means more hits but you also get points for walks as well. What we’re really looking for is total bases. I still highly recommend that you check out Grey’s thoughts because he knows what he’s doing, but mostly he’s pretty entertaining. 

Now onto points leagues. I crunched some numbers behind the scenes to see who should get shifted in the ranks. Basically made my own simplified version of malamoney’s spreadsheet using the Razzball/Steamer projections and what seems to be the standard scoring system. The result is some cold hard data on who’s going to do what this season. 

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March, a month where the snow is hopefully gone, trees and flowers start to bud and bloom, and the days start to grow long once again. For those of in the south March just means we get to spend another weekend mowing the lawn. But as baseball fans flock or social distance in flocks to Florida and Arizona to see their favorite teams get ready for the season, March is also the month for fantasy players to draft teams and dream of winning championships.

There are numerous types of leagues, from redraft leagues to dynasty leagues. Which league you prefer will greatly influence how you draft. Redraft leagues are great, but they are more for those who like instant gratification. You draft, you win, you start over next year. Dynasty leagues are for those who like to build something and see it last. These leagues require you not to just think about today, but next year and the year after that.  Thus, it requires you to think differently when drafting your team, with potential and youth being more important than a known quantity and experience.

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March is here, and that means one thing: filling out a bracket or two for March Madness. Oh, wait, wrong sport.

In the world that really matters, it is fantasy baseball drafting season. For many, that means after hours and months of going over every player and compiling your own rankings and checking them twice, it is time to match wits against others and quickly learn that the perfect mock draft you created for yourself needs to be thrown out of the window after the second round.

When it comes to fantasy baseball, there are seeming a gazillion types of leagues you can join, from the stats that are going to be used, whether it a head-to-head or points league to the number of teams in the league. Also, is the league a redraft league or are you starting a new dynasty league. That is an important factor, because if it is a dynasty league, how you build your team is very different from a redraft league – or at least it should be.

We all want to win right away, but in dynasty leagues the goal is to win not just this season, but for multiple seasons. If you draft a team that is reliant on older players, you may do well this year, even next. But you don’t want to win just now. You want to win every year. So with the goal of building a team that wins today, tomorrow and three years from now, below is my list of Top 25 Shortstops for dynasty leagues.

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I added You ever get home from a trip to the grocery store, look at what you bought and then wonder if you forgot something? You haven’t? Well, then you either have a personal shopper or you are still living at home with the parents. But for us old timers, it happens more than we like to admit. Doesn’t matter if we have our list and checked it twice, there is always something that we forget after hearing some nagging voice from the other room asking if you got the toothpaste, or enough food to cook well balanced meals for the week. Hey, I remembered to add extra cookies and ice cream, what more do you need?

Anyway, that is kind of how it feels when revisiting the Top 25 Second Baseman for 2021 Fantasy. Everything that was on the shopping list was added to the cart, especially the protein, vegetables and fruits. Knowing I had enough food to prepare some good meals, I paid for everything, got home and then heard that voice from the other room, “are you sure you remembered everything?” Hmmm, did I get enough dairy and grains? Do I like the dairy and grains that I got?

After coming home from the grocery store and putting everything up and feeling good about myself, that voice from the other room asked “Dylan Moore doesn’t make your top 25? Speed is real but hitting a fluke last year?” Crud, did I overlook that block of cheddar cheese at the store? In short, yes. I’m still not sold on Moore. But he is deserving of a spot in the Top 25. So let’s examine Moore a bit further.

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Look, I’m not going here and pretend that this love letter to Gleyber Torres is something you haven’t read before on any other site. It’s quite well known by now that Torres is the de facto “rebound” selection going into the 2021 season. I guess everyone knows that Torres had a pretty terrible 2020. What this post presupposes is… maybe he didn’t? Look, I’m not going to be that guy, since I’m not nearly brave enough to, and go full contrarian here, but I think it’s still worth looking a bit more on what makes Torress so primed for that breakout, if the analysis out there matches some basic litmus tests, and the idea that if this player truly is the rebound avatar that everyone loves to have, how much should you really pay for him? That and more after the jump!

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I feel like I say this every year around this time — but I LOVE keeper leagues. Especially all the crazy rules and context to them. “If you drafted him in the 13th round, he becomes a 10th round keeper next year, then a 4th round keeper the year after that, then a 1st the year after that. And if you keep him in the 1st you can’t keep anyone else with a 1st.” or “If you bought him for $5 his inflation becomes $18 in 2022. Then in 2023 he’ll be $31.43” or “You can’t keep anyone in the first 5 rounds, because one year Smitty somehow kept Miggy, A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Roy Halladay and broke the league.” And let me tell you — I love ALL of it. Your league’s crazy rules are what make it unique and interesting. Navigating this craziness is part of the fun. So these are just my rankings for your standard, vanilla 5×5 roto league. But my favorite part of this article — is always in the comments helping you guys breaking down your crazy keeper rules and making the best choices. So get down there and tell me your league’s crazy keeper system and how I can help you make your best decision! 

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When doing bi-monthly rankings, I asked myself while freezing in the dark with no electricity because I live in a state that can’t handle the cold, “Jakkers, how do I do bi-monthly rankings when there are no games going on, not even fake games? Heck, spring training just started!” Now, because I was right there in the room when I asked this question, I immediately responded to this outstanding query. I told myself, “Well, let’s take a closer look at some of the players ranked two weeks ago.” I have to say, that is a brilliant answer. How do I know it’s brilliant? Because I asked it and I answered it, and I am brilliant. OK, in my world I am brilliant. Those around me probably have some other adjectives they’d likely use to describe me. Brilliant may not be one of them.

However, before we delve more into a few players, let me get my bias out in the open. Shocking, I know, but my rankings have a bias. I run two dynasty fantasy leagues. The leagues in which I participate but don’t run are, for the most part, dynasty leagues. Because of my preference for dynasty leagues, I prefer younger players with upside over players who have plateaued or are on the downside of their careers. Did this bias affect the rankings first posted two weeks ago? Yes. I ranked Willi Castro higher than Chris Taylor or Marcus Semien. I rank Bo Bichette fifth because he is only 23 as of Opening Day and has huge amounts of upside and he has three years on Corey Seager.

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