How many people have driven halfway to the hospital thinking they’re dying only to realize if they go to the hospital they really will die, then pulled over into the shoulder and wept? No one? Wow, brave souls. Listen, if it’s not meant for sobbing into it, it shouldn’t be called a shoulder. That’s all I have to say on that. So, I’ve already given you updated 100-games-played projections in my 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, but this, here, this thing you’re reading here, this is some thoughts on specific shortstops whose value could change based on a shortened season — shortenstopped season? Hmm, needs work. I’ve already done Corona timeline updates for the 1st basemen, 2nd basemen and catchers. The top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball were updated with new projections for a 100-game season. Anyway, here’s thoughts on the top 20 shortstops for 2020 fantasy baseball with the new Corona timeline:
7. Javier Baez – Before everyone falls out of their seat screaming, “But I drafted him already! Don’t you dare change his ranking now!” There’s no change for Baez. Just wanted to briefly discuss his new projections: 64/19/67/.286/4 in 366 ABs or, if you prefer our Steamer hitter projections: 58/21/62/.273/9 in 374 ABs. Actually, I prefer Steamer’s projections too. That would be sweet for my team where I drafted Baez. Either way, his steals are what I wanted to talk about. five steals difference between those two projections seem like no big deal, but imagine there’s about 1,000 guys who are 5-foot, six and three-quarters inches like yours truly. We’re told to line up by height (this is not a recurring nightmare from my elementary school days or anything). With all the extremely average height men and not-at-all-short sexpots standing there, it’s hard to tell who is taller. So, we start judging on hair, and my hair is glorious and pompadour’d up nice and high so I’m at the front of the line. That’s what this season could be like with steals. Aside from some pituitary gland cases like Mondesi or Treat Urner, everyone is going to be 5-foot, six and three-quarters inches tall with speed. So, Baez’s five steals difference could be huge. Therefore, ergo, vis-a-vie, is Baez more of a 4-steal guy or 9-steal guy? Well, that’s the thing, I’m not sure we know. In a short number of games, a guy like Baez could steal, say, six bags in one series (and not just if all teams just play split-squad games and he gets to face Jon Lester). Steals rack up fast. Baez could steal three bags in one game and blow away preseason projections in one good month. Or with more games in a shortened period of time, players will run less, saving their legs. Yes, this was 400 words to say “I don’t know,” but it needed to be said.
14. Tim Anderson – Okay, last point made again to beat a dead horse — sorry, PETA! — Anderson is projected for 13 steals in my top 20 shortstops and, yes, if he gets, say one steal a week, which is his usual average, then 13 steals sounds about right, but he’s the type who could steal 10 bags in one month and put up a 20-steal season in only 100 games. No one, not even me, is saying he will, but that’s the thing about steals. Usually over the course of a 162-game season steals even out. A guy steals 10 bags one month, then takes a month off, then gets hurt, then returns with three-steal months for three months (this hypothetical sounds oddly specific), but in a short season, there’s less time for regression — or flattening of the curve, did I just invent that saying?
18. Carlos Correa – I moved Correa up in my rankings! For the first time ever, I could see drafting him! We’ve turned a corner, y’all! What has been Correa’s problem for his entire career? Playing 162 games. Guess what won’t be a problem this year. It’s a brand new day! You, “Whoa, so much enthusiasm, so where did you move him?” He went from 143rd to 133rd overall in my top 500! Exciting, right? Hello? You still there? I hear heavy breathing, but not sure if you threw your phone against the wall, and your St. Bernard is licking the phone. Okay, so not a huge difference, and, in all likelihood, Correa is still off the board by the time I’m drafting him, but I moved him above Didi and Dannys Antana, because I would draft Correa over them, and I wouldn’t have before the shortened season.
25. Jorge Polanco – In the 1st half last year, which is about the same number of games we’re looking at this year (said me confidently without any confidence), Polanco’s stats were 57/13/42/.312/4 in 356 ABs. I’m not saying he will do that, but if he does, he will be a top 12 shortstop. Starting fast is going to make all the difference this year. So, is Polanco regularly a fast-starter? Or as Prodigy would scream, “FAST-STARTER!” No, Polanco isn’t, which is why I didn’t move him up. Historically, he’s been a slow starter, if you put aside last year, but last year might’ve been a corner turning. He’s turnt? Maybe, but impossible to say. Just thought on Jo-Po, besides my usual thought on Jo-Po which is, “Is Jo-Po the prison in Massachusetts or a nickname for Jo Polniaczek ?”