MARKET PULSE: Shortstops, 2020

NOTE: Our preseason Market Pulse column is an exercise in identifying the gaps between the valuation of the "popular" market (as reflected in Average Draft Position, or "ADP") and that of BaseballHQ.com. If a player is not listed here, it's likely that he qualifies at a scarcer position, or he's not in the ADP Top 500-600 (it's a bit fluid). Remember that this is an exercise in relative valuation, not absolute.

Each hitter is being considered at his scarcest qualified position (in order: C/DH, SS, 2B, 3B, 1B, OF), as it is the scarcest eligible position that typically drives fantasy value. The rankings are a risk- and position-adjusted estimate using current BaseballHQ.com projections. It is a purely quantitative ranking, with no specific consideration of "upside" (aside from reliability scores). The dollar values are position adjusted, but do not incorporate risk. Average auction values are approximate. These are not the "official" BaseballHQ.com straight draft rankings, but they should be close.

The article assumes a standard 15-team, mixed, 5x5 league, though the recommendations here will generally apply in most formats. A positive number in the "Diff" column indicates a player that BaseballHQ.com ranks higher than the "market," and a negative number indicates we have the player ranked lower, based on ADP. The list is split into tiers, based on the ADP. The ADP itself is based on recent NFBC drafts.

Previous columns: C/DH

(NFBC ADP Report) | Unofficial Rankings

 

There was a recent debate on Twitter as to whether the shortstop position is "deep" this year. While there are a lot of good/solid shortstops available, some felt there was a big drop-off after the first 15 or so. BaseballHQ has 19 shortstops projected as 10th-round value or higher. We would call that "deep."

                                      HQ                      --  HQ Projections --
Player                TM POS REL ADP Rank Diff HQ$ AAV Diff |  AB AVG HR RBI  R  SB
===================  === === === === ==== ==== === === ==== | === === == === === ==
Lindor, Francisco    CLE   6 AAA   8    9   -1  31  38   -7 | 628 282 30  82 107 21
Bregman, Alex        HOU  56 AAC   9   14   -5  30  37   -7 | 551 298 28 102 111  8
Turner, Trea         WAS   6 CAB  10   11   -1  35  36   -1 | 596 289 21  65 104 44
Story, Trevor        COL   6 BAC  12   28  -16  27  34   -7 | 561 282 29  87  91 19
Tatis Jr., Fernando   SD   6 CDD  18   60  -42  22  30   -8 | 469 286 27  66  85 19
Torres, Gleyber      NYY  64 ACA  29   42  -13  21  26   -5 | 559 276 32  95  84  8
Villar, Jonathan     MIA  46 AAB  36  140 -104  10  23  -13 | 529 250 13  49  73 30
Bogaerts, Xander     BOS   6 AAB  37   23   14  26  23    3 | 585 294 26 103  95  6
Baez, Javier         CHC   6 AAB  40   19   21  27  22    5 | 584 281 29  94  94 16
Mondesi, Adalberto    KC   6 CDB  40   37    3  27  22    5 | 585 255 17  76  80 49
Machado, Manny        SD  56 AAF  60   64   -4  18  18    0 | 586 266 32  86  79  7

Bichette, Bo         TOR   6 ADA  74   26   48  26  16   10 | 599 275 27  73  91 26
Semien, Marcus       OAK   6 BAB  84   55   29  20  15    5 | 580 275 23  82  97 11
Correa, Carlos       HOU   6 FCF  93  179  -86  11  14   -3 | 422 269 25  81  64  3
Anderson, Tim        CHW   6 BBC  97   53   44  21  14    7 | 591 289 19  59  84 21
Andrus, Elvis        TEX   6 CAC 129  165  -36  10  11   -1 | 578 263 14  58  68 19
Rosario, Amed        NYM   6 AAA 131   74   57  16  11    5 | 583 282 15  62  75 21

Polanco, Jorge       MIN   6 ABA 153  152    1   9   9    0 | 499 273 17  66  72  7
Seager, Corey         LA   6 FCB 154  190  -36  10   9    1 | 465 278 19  78  74  1
Segura, Jean         PHI   6 BAB 187  117   70  13   7    6 | 549 290 10  54  77 16
DeJong, Paul         STL   6 BBB 193  112   81  14   7    7 | 564 251 28  81  85  5
Newman, Kevin        PIT  64 CBB 195  223  -28   6   7   -1 | 513 280  7  50  64 16
Gregorius, Didi      PHI   6 DBC 210  138   72  14   6    8 | 515 279 19  85  77  5
Berti, Jon           MIA6o85 CDB 237  149   88  11   5    6 | 462 249 12  45  80 29

Swanson, Dansby      ATL   6 BBA 252  181   71   8   4    4 | 521 253 18  69  72  9
Adames, Willy        TAM   6 ABA 290  192   98   7   3    4 | 526 259 21  55  72  7
Goodrum, Niko        DET6o47 BCB 291  170  121   9   3    6 | 560 249 19  64  75 17
Kieboom, Carter      WAS   6 AFB 305  419 -114  -1   2   -3 | 402 255 19  43  52  4
Urias, Luis          MIL  64 ACB 311  499 -188  -3   2   -5 | 463 258  9  47  68  3
Fletcher, David      LAA546o ABB 328  305   23   2   2    0 | 541 280  4  45  71  8
Simmons, Andrelton   LAA   6 CAB 346  240  106   5   1    4 | 478 278  9  56  57 11
Galvis, Freddy       CIN  64 AAA 370  322   48   1   1    0 | 514 251 17  59  59  6
Ahmed, Nick          ARI   6 CBA 385  194  191   8   0    8 | 566 245 19  78  75  7
Peraza, Jose         BOS46o7 ABD 387  818 -431  -9   0   -9 | 294 269  4  25  32 11
Hoerner, Nico        CHC   6 AFF 394  710 -316  -8   0   -8 | 285 276  3  22  37  7
Taylor, Chris         LAo648 BBB 444  358   86   0  -1    1 | 371 259 12  45  56 10
Crawford, J.P.       SEA   6 CDA 518  546  -28  -5  -3   -2 | 425 233  9  49  54  6
Rojas, Miguel        MIA   6 CBB 536  340  196   1  -3    4 | 482 268 10  51  55  7
Lopez, Nicky          KC  46 ACD 541  493   48  -3  -3    0 | 508 261  5  40  59  9
Arcia, Orlando       MIL   6 ABB 565  999 -434 -13  -4   -9 | 254 237  6  26  26  5

Fernando Tatis, Jr. (SS, SD) certainly looked like a budding superstar at times in 2019. Fantasy GMs are clearly betting on that happening in 2020, as he's being taken ahead of fantasy studs like Jose Ramirez (3B, CLE) and Anthony Rendon (3B, LAA). Or maybe fantasy GMs just don't like third basemen. But let's pump the brakes on the train to Cooperstown here (and stop mixing metaphors, while we're at it). He's not going to repeat his 42% H% or 32% hr/f from 2019, which means his BA and home-run rates will come down; his .317/.265 BA/xBA disparity should serve as a warning here. With a 67% ct% and very-good-but-not-elite power (126 xPX), there may be some sophomore struggles ahead. He's talented and immensely enjoyable to watch, but he's a poor bet to match his 2nd-round price tag.


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Jonathan Villar (SS, MIA) has one of the biggest value discrepancies we've ever seen in a guy going this early. To justify his ADP, though, he'd need a full repeat of 2019, where he posted his highest totals in PA, Runs, Home Runs, and FB%. He's moving from a park that pumps up homers to one that suppresses them, and from a team that runs a lot to one that doesn't run so much. He's got wheels, for sure, but to expect repeats of his runs, steals, and home runs from 2019 is a stretch, especially as he's playing in a crowded infield in Miami. The BaseballHQ.com projection may prove to be a touch harsh, but the 3rd round is a big reach for Villar.

It's rare to find a hyped prospect like Bo Bichette (SS, TOR) going at an apparent bargain price, especially after putting up very credible numbers in 2019, including a .311 BA and 11 HR in 196 AB. It's certainly not playing time concerns, as he has a virtual lock on the SS position in Toronto. His skills weren't great in the big leagues in 2019, but good enough to give us some comfort that his current projection will hold up. No, we wouldn't take him in the 2nd round either, but at his current ADP, there's quite a bit of upside.

The ADP love for Carlos Correa (SS, HOU) continues. There's nothing wrong with looking at his 2019 numbers in 280 AB and seeing him fulfilling his promise as a young player. Look, the metrics support his 2019 HR (21 HR vs. 19 xHR) and BA (.277 BA vs. .274 xBA). And it's not that a .275 BA / 30 HR profile doesn't have value, even in the bouncy ball era—there are only 7 players who project with those kinds of numbers (and yes, Correa isn't one of them). The problem is the 177 days he's spent on the IL the past three years. Even with a 7th-round ADP, that's a lot of risk you take chasing that upside. The BaseballHQ.com playing time projection is a bit of a hedge, but one you should also take. Given his strong 2019 pre-injury, we could see moving him up to the 9th round or so, but anything higher is too much risk for us.

Amed Rosario (SS, NYM) has shown flashes here and there: solid contact (80% ct% in 2019), speed (125 RSpd in 2019), and the ability to steal a base (84% SB% in the first half of 2019). He's never going to hit for much power, so his 15 HR in 2019 is close to a ceiling. He's also yet to break 70% SB% in a full season, so there's improvement to be made. He's still only 24, with a fairly high floor and some upside remaining. His BaseballHQ.com projection is quite reasonable, making him a great pick past the 7th round.

Players with low BA can be undervalued, and that's likely the case with Paul DeJong (SS, STL). In this case, his .233 BA could be more noise than anything, as it was mainly precipitated by a drop in LD%. Even a little bit of recovery there and it's perfectly fine for a guy who can hit 30+ HR. The power numbers are legit. We don't know if his 9 SB in 2019 was an anomaly or a breakout (RSpd says anomaly, while Spd says maybe they're real), but he doesn't need speed to have value. Grab him in the 10th-11th if you can.

Jon Berti (3B/SS/OF, MIA) doesn't fit any mold we're aware of. He was a 29-year-old rookie in 2019, with marginal contact and not much power. He's more likely to steal 30 than to hit 10 HR, but given the team context and his Swiss army knife position eligibility, he could play himself into 450+ AB. There are far fewer late-round sneaky steals options than there used to be, and while there's some risk here, he's a guy you can maybe target in the 12th-13th as a speed source.

Quick hits on some end-gamers:

Niko Goodrum (SS, DET) can play anywhere, so even if there's no clear path, if he hits he'll get PT. With full-time AB, he could hit .250 with 20/20 upside. None of the skills (especially the contact) are great, but he can do a little bit of everything.

Truth be told, we've always been a bit underwhelmed by Carter Kieboom (SS, WAS) as a prospect. He's always come across as a guy with solid all-around skills, but nothing that stands out. His projection is for a hit-first middle infielder with some pop, but the "pop" right now is more of the 20-homer variety and in today's environment, that's not terribly exciting.

Luis Urias (SS, MIL) is similar to Kieboom as a hit-first guy with projectable power. Unfortunately for Urias, the power is less of a present skill and more of a projection than is Kieboom's.

Both Kieboom and Urias have some value as late-round middle infielders with positional flexibility and upside. Their 21st-round ADPs aren't terrible, but they're best off as reserve picks. Neither should be counted on, but they're both capable of surprising.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.