Shortstop Sleepers and Busts for 2019 Points Leagues
Hopefully by now you’ve caught the rest of my Points League Sleepers series, and buy into the great aspects of points leagues. You also know there are certain things that can make a player better in points leagues than say Roto leagues and vice versa. Steals are a huge category in Roto leagues. But because in most leagues they are only worth two points well… like in the MLB, they just aren’t as valuable. Walks don’t help you in Roto leagues but are a huge part of points leagues. Strikeouts lose you points and you get rewarded for hitting a double. These are the things you need to look for when searching for points league sleepers! Those without these traits are ones that lead to busts! Today we’ll look at the shortstop sleepers and busts for points leagues.
If you’re like us you can’t wait until spring to get the 2019 fantasy baseball season started? Well, you don’t have to. Leagues are already forming at Fantrax.com, so head on over and start or join a league today.
As I have throughout the series, I will use Batter K%-BB%, meaning I will take their strikeout rate and subtract their walk rate. The lower the number, the better the points league hitter, as they will lose less points due to strikeouts and gain more due to walks. Those with a higher K-BB% are batters that are less valuable in points leagues.
Short Stop Sleepers
Andrelton Simmons was a player that I stated was undervalued in points leagues heading into the 2018 season. Well, I am saying the same thing heading into the 2019 season. Simmons did let me down a bit in 2018, as his home run total fell from 14 to 11, and he stole nine fewer bases. However, his Runs+RBI was only three short of his 2017 pace. Remember, you don’t care if it is runs or RBIs in points, just the two combined. The higher, the better. However, he was able to cut down his strikeout rate, from an already super low 10.4 percent to 7.3 percent. His 1.5 percent Batter K-BB rate is the lowest among all shortstops. While he will not be one of the first 12 shortstops drafted, but if your league has a middle infield spot he is definitely worth taking there.
You do not need me to tell you to draft Manny Machado or Francisco Lindor but you should know that they are even better in points leagues. Machado had a 4.8 percent Batter K-BB%, while Lindor’s was 5.0 percent. That ranked as the third and fourth lowest at the shortstop position.
Corey Seager is going off the board as the sixth shortstop with the 67.43 overall pick. This is the same player who was going rounds earlier in each of the last two seasons. There is a discount because he missed most of the season after needing Tommy John surgery. But here is the good news. He is expected to be fully recovered and ready to go at the start of Spring Training. He should have that month to shake off the rust, and even if he gets off to a slow start, the discount you are getting on him makes it worth the risk. In a limited season last year Seager had a 5.2 percent Batter K-BB rate, the fifth lowest among all shortstops. You know the upside he possesses and you are getting an injury discount, even though he will be fully healthy. He is worth the shot, especially in points leagues.
Jurickson Profar went from phenom to bust to very solid fantasy contributor in his young career. Profar hit .254 with 20 homers and 10 stolen bases, while scoring 82 runs and driving in 77 RBIs. What does that mean? You have a player with the rare but very useful 20-10, all while not hurting the counting stats and batting above league average? Yeah, Profar and his multi-eligibility will be valuable in Roto leagues. Normally that drives up the price in points and I would tell you to avoid. But Profar also has a 9.6 percent walk rate and a Batter K-BB rate of 5.7 percent, the sixth lowest among shortstops.
Jean Segura is a similar player to Profar. His skillset makes him valuable in Roto leagues, driving up that ADP. However, if you really like Segura, it is okay to take him in points leagues as well. He has a 5.8 percent Batter K-BB rate, the seventh lowest among all shortstops. Segura is also not a power hitter by any stretch, but the park shift from Seattle to Philly should lead to him hitting a few more dingers. Also, he began pulling the ball a career-high 35.7 percent, while also hitting it in the air at a career-high c29.2 percent lip as well. While he doesn’t make a lot of hard contact he could become a lesser version of Didi Gregorious, who hits a lot of homers without a lot of hard contact.
Elvis Andrus is one of my favorite buying opportunities right now. Before getting hit by a pitch in the elbow and landing on the DL for the first time in his career, Andrus had played in 145+ games in nine straight seasons. Before last year he stole 21 or more bases in nine consecutive seasons. And, while many questioned that power surge in 2017, it is worth mentioning that his hard hit rate was a career-high 33.8 percent, while his flyball rate was 31.1 percent, just percentage points behind his career high. I do have some concerns about the stolen bases being down, but that worries me more in Roto. He had a 8.9 percent Batter K-BB rate. Right now he has an ADP of 172.89, as the 11th shortstop off the board. You can wait until the 14th round and nab him as your starter. If you miss out on one of the short stops above, he is a great fallback option.
Other Short Stop’s with a favorable Batter K-BB%:
Didi Gregorious- 3.7 percent
Jose Peraza- 6.8 percent
Xander Bogaerts- 8.1 percent
Trea Turner- 8.5 percent
Marcus Semien- 9.9 percent
Points Leagues Busts
Adalberto Mondesi is the PRIME example of Roto Bias. He has an ADP of 46.42, meaning you have to nab him in the fourth round of 12-team leagues. I mean he puts up eye popping Roto numbers. In just 75 games last season he hit 14 homers, stole 32 bases and batted .276. But he put up a .306 OBP and had a ridiculously high 22.7 percent Batter K-BB rate. That is right he had a 26.5 percent strikeout rate and just a 3.8 percent walk rate. While the pace he was on in 2018 is clearly unsustainable, he can still put up solid numbers. The issue is those steals mean a lot in Roto, but do not make up for all the strikeouts and lack of walks in points. That ADP is inflated by Roto Bias, but do not cave and take the upside shot.
Scott Kingery may win the left field job over Nick Williams, but there is also the possibility that he is used in a super utility role like he was in 2018. If that is the case he is not worth using in weekly points leagues as he is not guaranteed at-bats. He also posted a 21.0 percent Batter K-BB rate.
Tim Anderson is a popular pick in Roto leagues because of his stolen base and as of 2018, power, combination. However, he has a 19.6 percent Batter K-BB rate, and as I always mention, steals are far less valuable in points leagues. Anderson is going off the board as the ninth shortstop, with the 122nd pick overall. I will wait 20 picks and take Andrus, personally.
Other short stops with high Batter K-BB rate:
Javier Baez- 21.4 percent (see second base article)
Chris Taylor- 20.4 percent
Willy Adames- 19.8 percent
Orlando Arcia- 19.7 percent
Trevor Story- 18.4 percent (still draft, just don’t reach)
Paul DeJong- 17.8 percent
Amed Rosario- 15.2 percent
And to help put these sleepers into play here is my Points League Draft Strategy for 2019.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.
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