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Here’s what I said last year, “We’re gonna find out if the top 20 shortstops are as Ken Bonerific as the top 20 2nd basemen.  Hint:  they are.  Damn, I gotta work on building suspense.  That hint pretty much gives the whole kit away and tacks the kaboodle onto its back as it’s walking out the door.  Goodbye, kit and kaboodle, I just gave you away for nothing.”  And that’s me quoting me!  This year?  Not so much.  Without further Machado, to recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Elvis Andrus – I’ll go over shortstops, in general, in Machado’s blurb.  Okay, one quick generalized thought, hitting was good this year, but shortstops weren’t and Andrus is the lowest ranked number one at a position outside of catchers by a big margin.  He scored $30.4 worth of fantasy value; no other position’s number one scored less than $37.  $7 is a large difference.  Any hoo!  Now, let’s shine the fleshlight on Andrus.  Never before has he hit more than eight homers in a season, last year he hit 20.  That’s where the anomalies stop.  And, I’m not sure homers are really an anomaly for him either.  Anomalie was a great movie, by the way, and neither am I sure if I mean Amelie or that weird Charlie Kaufman movie.  HR/FB% was up from previous years, but not something insane.  He only hit five ‘Just Enough’ or ‘Lucky’ homers.  He is a .280-ish hitter too, which should give runs.  His RBIs are due to lineup placement.  Overall, his season doesn’t look as crazy as I thought going into this blurb.  Preseason Rank #11, 2017 Projections: 75/8/69/.302/24, Final Numbers:  100/20/88/.297/25

2. Francisco Lindor – Honestly, the most surprising thing about Lindor’s huge jump in homers from 15 to 33 is why I didn’t expect more than 17 in the preseason.  That feels like a Mr. Bungle, in retrospect, which is different than a PBS retrospective about Mr. Bungle.  Preseason Rank #4, 2017 Projections: 103/17/82/.308/19, Final Numbers:  99/33/89/.273/15

3. Manny Machado – As promised, we know Machado, so I wanna speak on the state of shortstops.  Chris Taylor was the 10th best 2nd baseman, here he’s 4th; Segura was the 17th best 2B, here he’s 12th; Jose Reyes was the 20th 2B, here 17th; semi-colons are fun.  Guys/5 girls, shortstops were deep last year.  The 20th best shortstop last year, Asdrubal, went 65/23/62/.280/5 would be around that of Tim Beckham this year.  So, there’s five less shortstops this year that were as valuable last year.  Some of those names:  Aledmys — member him?  Gone.  Addison Russell — Oh, who again?  Jonathan Villar?  Um, yeah, buh-bye.  Brad Miller makes good last year, this year makes terrible.  Ian Desmond?  Well, he lost eligibility, but was still awful.  There was offense this past year, but not from shortstops.  Preseason Rank #1, 2017 Projections: 102/35/107/.292/5, Final Numbers:  81/33/95/.259/9

4. Trea Turner – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen.

5. Chris Taylor – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen.

6. Alex Bregman – He never showed 17-steal speed in the minors, but Bregman’s year doesn’t just cast head-scratching on his own season.  I had a narrative that said the Astros just don’t run that much — farting in Correa’s general direction — and Bregman throws that narrative out the window.  Hey, don’t throw that DVD out the window!  I said narrative, not Narnia!  Preseason Rank #15 for 3B, 2017 Projections: 73/23/81/.259/8, Final Numbers: 88/19/71/.284/17

7. Carlos Correa – Two steals in three steal attempts!  The power wasn’t down as bad as it appears because he did miss 40+ games, so it’s fair to suggest he would’ve hit 30 homers easy this year, but two steals?!  Last year, Big Papi stole two bases at the age of 40.  Sandoval stole two bases when he was 25 years old, but he was also 289 pounds!  I mean, c’mon.  Preseason Rank #2, 2017 Projections: 98/26/104/.275/20, Final Numbers: 82/24/84/.315/2

8. Corey Seager – Last preseason, I told you I wasn’t drafting Seager.  Didn’t lie, didn’t own him.  A guy with 25-homer power and no speed is hard to get excited about as high as he was going last preseason — around 25 overall, and even as high as top 15 overall in some rankings.  Wouldn’t be shocked if he’s still too high this coming year.  Fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) love guys with a high average even though it’s one of the most fickle stats.  Khris Davis, for unstints, goes later than he should because he hits .245, and Seager will go earlier.  Preseason Rank #6, 2017 Projections: 96/28/85/.298/3, Final Numbers: 85/22/77/.295/4

9. Didi Gregorius – The Gregorius D.I.D. surprised me, apparently.  I thought he was going to be worse than 2016, he was much better.  I know why and it highlights a problem, and illuminates a secret.  Wow, I’m really building this up, huh?  It’s not that good.  All I want to say is you need to put eyes on guys.  I didn’t say “eyez” about Didi Smalls or I’d be starting a rap war.  I watched Didi in the playoffs and he has power now.  Prior, I was going on his previous years’ stats.  Preseason Rank #23, 2017 Projections: 63/15/71/.268/7, Final Numbers:  73/25/87/.287/3

10. Andrelton Simmons – This year Andrelton was extra terrestrial.  Highlights how poor the shortstops were this year, when the 10th ranked guy had a 2nd half of 5 HRs, 6 SBs and .263.  I could prolly find a player that did that in a week.  Preseason Rank #37, 2017 Projections: 54/7/59/.262/7, Final Numbers:  77/14/69/.278/19

11. Javier Baez – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen.

12. Eduardo Nunez – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen.

13. Jean Segura – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen.

14. Xander Bogaerts – Wow, what a super garbage season this was from Bogaerts.  I’m gonna start calling him Squander Mo’garbagets.  (The t’s silent.)  On a team that gave Squander fewer counting stats, he would’ve been Yangervis Solarte.  “Shut yo’ mouth!”  That’s Yangervis being insulted.  Preseason Rank #5, 2017 Projections: 107/22/94/.304/11, Final Numbers: 94/10/62/.273/15

15. Zack Cozart – Too bad Rolfgang Omadeus Cozart can’t stay on the field and, at 32 years old, it seems unlikely to change any time soon.  Also, he should steer clear of anyone named Salieri when he turns 35.  Preseason Rank #29, 2017 Projections: 71/17/54/.258/5, Final Numbers: 80/24/63/.297/3

16. Jose Reyes – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen.

17. Trevor Story – His end of the year numbers don’t appear as bad as he was.  At certain points last year, people who owned him were hoping he’d be demoted just to make the drop easier.  Unfortch, the Story doesn’t end there — pun points!  In the 2nd half of the year, he hit .254 with 13 HRs and 4 SBs.  Sorry to everyone that was screwed by him this past year, but the Trevorending Story will go on again next year.  Preseason Rank #3, 2017 Projections: 89/31/98/.258/12, Final Numbers:  68/24/82/.239/7

18. Tim Beckham – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen.

19. Tim Anderson – I knew I liked Anderson a lot last preseason, but I didn’t realize I was *that* aggressive.  Asterisks for emphasis, not aesthetics.  I wasn’t that off on his projections either, except steals.  Fifteen steals is surprising too.  He stole 49 bags in Double-A one year, and he was only caught once all of last year.  He’s only 24 years old, and I already want to draft him again for next year.  One guy that will be ranked about hundred spots earlier in my rankings than everyone else’s?  You’re looking at him.  Unless, of course, you’re cross-eyed, and my Google Analytics say that’s true of at least one of you.  Preseason Rank #13, 2017 Projections: 75/14/63/.277/25, Final Numbers:  72/17/56/.257/15

20. Jorge Polanco – Fun Fact!  Jo-Po is not only Jorge Polanco’s nickname, but also Jo Polniaczek’s from The Facts of Life.  Preseason Rank #24, 2017 Projections: 69/10/44/.286/8, Final Numbers:  60/13/74/.256/13

   
  1. Another F'ing Jeff says:
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    Paul DeJong was very good this year. When Cozart got hurt mid-season I picked him up and never looked back. DeJong doesn’t know a stolen base from a Pop tart but his other numbers are similar to Didi Gregorious.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Another F’ing Jeff: Yeah, he did have a solid abbreviated season, not sure where it came from tho

      • LenFuego says:
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        @Grey: I don’t know either, but it did not seem at all fluky – there were no torrid streaks or slumps, he just consistently hit, and with good power, all season after he was called up.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I hear ya

    • OldNavy says:
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      I picked him up and I had Chris Taylor and Lindor in the mix. It was a really good year.

  2. Brad says:
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    Hi Grey,
    I always read your blogs. They’re very well done!
    I was looking for some advice on my keeper h2h team.
    It’s a 12er and the cats are: runs, hits, RBIs, TBs, offensive k’s, batting avg, OPS, SBs, Wins, ERA, WHIP, k’s, K:BB.
    my for sure keepers are:
    Bryant
    Gary Sanchez
    JD Martinez
    Rendon
    Segura
    Degrom

    I have to keep 2 of Greinke, Wood and Pham. ESPNs early top 300 pegs Pham at 81st overall for next year. Does that sound about right to you or would you rank him lower than that? He had a high BABIP but appears to have the tools and attitude to continue his success. I know that health has been an issue in the past.

    The only reason why I’d keep Wood over Greinke is due to age but not sure I trust Wood after his second half and his injury history. I have read that Greinke could follow the same career path as Greg Maddox due to similarities in their pitching approach. Maddox was great even through his age 35 season where he dropped off thereafter so I figure Greinke could have 2 more really good years left in him.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated. I realize there’s lots of time to determine who to keep but off-season trading has already started!

    Thanks,

    Brad

    • Packers says:
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      @Brad: It just seems with the cats being skewed at 8 – 5 you would want hitters.

      • Brad says:
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        @Packers: I typically keep 6 hitters and 2 pitchers. Plan to keep pham and one of Wood or Greinke. I want to know if Grey thinks pham is the real deal and which pitcher he would keep between Wood and Greinke.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Brad: Thanks! That sounds crazy for Pham… Don’t love that you’d be keeping 3 starters tho either… I’d prefer 6 hitters and 2 pitchers… So it’s between those two starters… I’d lean the younger one, Wood

      • Bryce as Nice says:
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        @Grey:

        So you’re saying you like younger wood?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Hehe

  3. Saints says:
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    Hay Grey great stuff. What do you expect for these 3 guys next year:
    2016 Brad Miller or 2017 Brad Miller?
    2016 Trevor Story or 2017 Trevor Story?
    2016 Zach Cozart or 2017 Zach Cozart?

    And are there (besides Tim Anderson) any “Buy Low” Shortstops in a dynasty this offseason who you like for next year ?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Saints: 2016 Miller — 2016 Story — 2016 Cozart — I do love Anderson

  4. Organigram Dan the Met Fan says:
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    Hi Grey, which SS will you be targeting in Drafts next season? And which of these guys are considered a sleeper for next year?

  5. thorbs says:
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    How far off do you think Taylor will fall next year? He’ll obviously not hit this well again, but if he’s starting regularly at the top of the order he should provide some value, no>?

    • J-FOH says:
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      @thorbs: why wouldn’t he hit this well again? As long as he continues to keeps the ball off the ground and doesn’t have a jump in K% he should be fairly repeatable. The power is where we will have to wait and see but with his speed that babip doesn’t look unreasonable. But I’m a Doyers homer so I may be bias.

      • thorbs says:
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        @J-FOH: I don’t personally think there’ll be a massive drop-off, but I usually use ESPN’s HR tracker as a tool, and he had 9 “Just Enough” bombs and 2 “Lucky” ones, so I was pegging him as more of a .270 – 12 – 25 sort of guy with good Rs and OBP.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          15-ish HR seems reasonable with 3 HR cushion on both sides… Guys don’t go from 10 lucky homers to none…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @thorbs: You triggered JFOH with Taylor talk… I’d peg him around 15/15 with room on both sides

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          HAHAHAHA… Does he wear Opti-Grab glasses?

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Grey: you Jerk!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              HA

              • Ralph Lifshitz

                Ralph Lifshitz says:
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                @Grey: SOMEONE IS TRYING TO KILL THESE CANS!!!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  All I need is this chair…

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Grey: DON’T TRUST WHITEY

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Come here, Shithead!

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      HEY!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Hehe

  6. Hawk says:
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    A gloating moment from my keeper league:

    Back in mid-July when Francsico Lindor only had 13 homers, I traded Xander Bogaerts and Zach Britton for him. League mates thought I gave up too much. Wonder if they still think that?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Hawk: Nice!

  7. GFY250 says:
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    I think either the Player Rater is off or your rankings are off when it comes to Correa and Cozart. But you don’t make mistakes so I’ll blame the robot. Cozart and Correra both had 24 HRs but Correa had 2 more runs, 21 more RBIs, and 18 points in average. I don’t think 1 extra steal from Cozart equals all that production. Correa should be ahead of Seager and Baez for that matter as well, a, maybe as high as #6.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @GFY250: Did I copy it wrong? Is that what you mean?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        I goofed big time, I had it sorted wrong… I changed the numbers now

        • GFY250 says:
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          @Grey: TY! It’s amazing that Correa out performed Seager with missing 40 games and not stealing. If only the Astros would let him run next year. #FreeCorrea

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Agreed!

  8. Geno says:
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    You put way to much emphasis on a few steals or steal expectations in your rankings. Correa is ranked 14th even though he had the same number of steals as Didi who was ranked 6th and hit for a higher average, 1 less HR and basically the same runs and RBI’s. He hit 60 points higher than Machado with again basically the same run and RBI production (missing 40 games). Correa had a slow April and then was a beast the rest of the year when he could play.

    Your take on the Astros was not wrong. The top of the order except for Altuve, did not run much. Bregman spent most of the season at the bottom of the order where he and Marisnick would steal some.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Geno: I put too much emphasis? This is where the players ended the year when looking at the Player Rater.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Geno: I copied the numbers wrong some how, Correa moved up

  9. J-FOH says:
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    How was your shitty concert?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Incredible that we were in the very first row, terrible that I didn’t know or like the band

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Grey:
        Cougs “why do you keep looking at your phone? The band is playing”
        Grey “Did you know the orangutang is really an ape?”

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, more like Cougs, “that’s not gonna work.” *me trying Shazam the songs so I know what they’re playing*

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              You said in Lance’s article that him, me and Ralph were only ones worth reading…

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Grey: doh! I forgot about her… oops. I’m the worst

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