2016 End of Season Rankings: Shortstop

In reality, Corey Seager was indisputably the top shortstop of 2016. Fantasy is not reality. It’s axiomatic. We value things in our fantasy world, like stolen bases, that just aren’t very important in the real universe. I think you probably know where I’m going with this – Seager is not the top shortstop because he didn’t steal bases. Those things are important. I’d argue it’s doubly important for your middle infielders to be base thieves.

In case you’re just tuning into this series for the first time, I recommend going back in time and starting from the beginning. Luckily, you won’t need a time machine. The post on catchers has notes on important methodological changes. You can also go straight into the calculator to tweak values for your league.

For these articles, I’m going to assume a 12 team, 5×5, standard deep roster with a pitching cap of 1475 innings (most leagues are 1450 or 1500, I split the difference). I set the batter split at 65% because that produces what I consider to be the most realistic position adjustments.

2016 End of Season Rankings: Shortstop
Rank Name G PA HR R RBI SB AVG $$
1 Jonathan Villar 156 679 19 92 63 62 0.285 26.4
2 Manny Machado 157 696 37 105 96 0 0.294 22.6
3 Xander Bogaerts 157 719 21 115 89 13 0.294 21.8
4 Corey Seager 157 687 26 105 72 3 0.308 18.2
5 Francisco Lindor 158 684 15 99 78 19 0.301 18.2
6 Eduardo Nunez 141 595 16 73 67 40 0.288 16.9
7 Carlos Correa 153 660 20 76 96 13 0.274 13.5
8 Elvis Andrus 147 568 8 75 69 24 0.302 11.8
9 Trevor Story 97 415 27 67 72 8 0.272 9.2
10 Brad Miller 152 601 30 73 81 6 0.243 8.2
11 Didi Gregorius 153 597 20 68 70 7 0.276 6.9
12 Aledmys Diaz 111 460 17 71 65 4 0.3 6.8
13 Marcus Semien 159 621 27 72 75 10 0.238 6.5
14 Brandon Crawford 155 623 12 67 84 7 0.275 6.1
15 Asdrubal Cabrera 141 568 23 65 62 5 0.28 6.1
16 Addison Russell 151 598 21 67 95 5 0.238 5.7
17 Freddy Galvis 158 624 20 61 67 17 0.241 3.7
18 Troy Tulowitzki 131 544 24 54 79 1 0.254 3.2
19 Chris Owings 119 466 5 52 49 21 0.277 1.3
20 Danny Espinosa 157 601 24 66 72 9 0.209 1
21 Alcides Escobar 162 682 7 57 55 17 0.261 -0.6
22 Zack Cozart 121 508 16 67 50 4 0.252 -0.9
23 Jordy Mercer 149 584 11 66 59 1 0.256 -2.1
24 Tim Anderson 99 431 9 57 30 10 0.283 -2.9
25 Andrelton Simmons 124 483 4 48 44 10 0.281 -4
26 Jose Peraza 72 256 3 25 25 21 0.324 -5.5
27 Tyler Saladino 93 319 8 33 38 11 0.282 -5.8
28 J.J. Hardy 115 438 9 43 48 0 0.269 -6.6
29 Ketel Marte 119 466 1 55 33 11 0.259 -7.4
30 Jose Iglesias 137 513 4 57 32 7 0.255 -8
31 Daniel Descalso 99 289 8 38 38 3 0.264 -8.4
32 Alexei Ramirez 145 506 6 38 48 8 0.241 -9.2
33 Adeiny Hechavarria 155 547 3 52 38 1 0.236 -12.2
34 Jorge Polanco 69 270 4 24 27 4 0.282 -12.2
35 Eduardo Escobar 105 377 6 32 37 1 0.236 -13.2
36 Stephen Drew 70 165 8 24 21 0 0.266 -13.6
37 Erick Aybar 126 459 3 34 34 3 0.243 -13.6
38 Greg Garcia 99 257 3 33 17 1 0.276 -13.8
39 Dansby Swanson 38 145 3 20 17 3 0.302 -14.5
40 Chase d’Arnaud 84 262 1 24 21 9 0.245 -14.6
41 Luis Sardinas 66 197 4 25 18 4 0.244 -15
42 Tim Beckham 64 215 5 25 16 2 0.247 -15.6
43 Orlando Arcia 55 216 4 21 17 8 0.219 -15.9
44 Shawn O’Malley 89 232 2 24 17 6 0.229 -16.4
45 Ivan De Jesus 104 243 1 21 20 3 0.253 -16.4
46 Nick Ahmed 90 308 4 26 20 5 0.218 -16.7
47 Jimmy Rollins 41 166 2 25 8 5 0.221 -17.4
48 Gregorio Petit 89 223 2 21 17 1 0.245 -17.4
49 Cristhian Adames 121 256 2 25 17 2 0.218 -18.1
50 Wilmer Difo 31 66 1 14 7 3 0.276 -18.4
51 Matt Reynolds 47 96 3 11 13 0 0.225 -19.2
52 Charlie Culberson 34 68 1 6 7 1 0.284 -20.1
53 Taylor Motter 34 93 2 11 9 0 0.188 -20.7
54 Ehire Adrianza 40 71 2 3 7 0 0.254 -21
55 Chris Taylor 36 65 1 8 7 0 0.213 -21.1
56 Ryan Goins 77 196 3 13 12 1 0.186 -21.4

I warned you, didn’t I? Seager not only didn’t rank first, he missed the top three altogether. That’s not even including shortstop-eligible Jean Segura. He was worth $24. This has important implications for the first round of 2017 drafts. I’ve seen Seager talked about as the top shortstop – I’ve even hesitantly agreed. Now we have some thinking to do.

Betting on a repeat of Villar’s 62 steals is foolish. I’m anticipating closer to 35. That’ll bump him down to somewhere around the $18 level. Machado should probably be the top shortstop with Seager, Bogaerts, and Correa competing for second fiddle. Personally, I have a lot of analysis ahead of me to solve this particular conundrum. It’s possible I’ll be singing an entirely different tune as soon as tomorrow when I release my Way Too Early Rankings. Let’s not forget Story either. A full season at his pace would have put him right there at the top.

The breakouts at second base sucked some of the value out of shortstop. Most of those middle infield slots went to the keystone. Espinosa (power) and Escobar (speed) served as the replacement level.

Galvis’ 20 home runs are perhaps my favorite surprise of the season. Look at the name under Galvis. It’s the Notorious Tulowizki. Wow, right? Hiding among the negative performers were Cozart, Anderson, Peraza, Polanco, and Swanson.

If you ever wondered how much one-fifth of a good season is worth, take a gander at Swanson’s line. That’s solid five category production and -$14.5. He’ll likely have an important role in the Braves lineup – perhaps batting second. He’ll be overdrafted relative to his projection, but he has the upside to pay off anyway.

Cozart was a rich man’s Galvis, except he had trouble staying on the field for a second consecutive season. Anderson showed surprising Cell-aided pop, and less speed than I expected. He’s a work in progress at the plate. Shallow leagues should check back in two years. Polanco looks like a desirable streaming option with upside to be better.

Peraza has become a personal favorite of mine. This is another case of the calculator hating partial seasons. A healthy, full season of Peraza should look something like Andrus plus 35 steals. I bet he’s drafted in the $11 range, but I’m projecting closer to $20. Maybe expectations will catch up between now and March.





You can follow me on twitter @BaseballATeam

newest oldest most voted
Frank
Member
Frank

Great analysis as always, Brad. Just to be clear – do you project Peraza as a Top-10 SS?