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February 4, 2014

Graphical Fantasy Rankings

Shortstops

by Mauricio Rubio

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For a primer on this series, click here. (Note: this is based off the PECOTA projections from the annual).

The first thing that popped out to me as I was doing this graph was how well rounded Ian Desmond projects to be. Desmond helps out across all five standard categories while dominating none of them. The other thing that pops out is how there are still usable options through the upper portion of the tier-two rankings, and even a guy like Jonathan Villar has his uses down toward the bottom.

A few notes:

Once again, playing time is a concern with some names creating graph lines that perhaps don’t jive with their tiers. Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki both come in under 500 PAs, which hurts their counting stats some. In Ramirez’s case, if he crosses the 500-PA threshold, he will be an elite option across all five categories relative to his position. Tulowitzki doesn’t run as much anymore, but his bat does serious damage, and if he’s healthy, he might be the top SS performer even without the steals.

Stolen bases are the position’s forte, and it’s evident throughout tiers 2-5. Tier two features burners up and down, and should Jose Reyes play a full slate of games, he would post elite SB numbers as well. I think Everth Cabrera was an interesting addition here, as he’s essentially a one-category player.

The Starlin Castro rebound PECOTA expects is an interesting note, and I do think the SB number is perhaps a bit too high, but I think he’ll bounce back nicely and should be a useful player in fantasy once again. Simmons teased elite output last year, but he projects to put up bland SS numbers across the board this year.

Tier four features a couple of players with statistical profiles I enjoy in J.J. Hardy and Jed Lowrie. I’m a sucker for the type of power they bring to a position that lacks it. I do think Villar is an interesting option down here. His graph is lacking, because PECOTA projects fewer than 300 PAs for him in 2014, but if he plays a full slate of games, he becomes a useful SS in most formats. Derek Jeter’s HoF husk is still patrolling the ranks.

Tier one is uninteresting and only the desperate should entertain guys like Yunel Escobar and Stephen Drew. Zack Cozart has some fantasy upside, but that’s really the only usable option that I see down in this tier.

For the curious, here are the stat bins:

HR

Tier 1

17+

Tier 2

12-16

Tier 3

7-11

Tier 4

2-6

Tier 5

1-

R

Tier 1

80+

Tier 2

63-79

Tier 3

46-62

Tier 4

30-45

Tier 5

29-

RBI

Tier 1

68+

Tier 2

54-67

Tier 3

39-53

Tier 4

25-38

Tier 5

24-

SB

Tier 1

27+

Tier 2

18-26

Tier 3

8-17

Tier 4

1-7

Tier 5

0-

AVG

Tier 1

283+

Tier 2

269-282

Tier 3

255-268

Tier 4

240-254

Tier 5

239-

Mauricio Rubio is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mauricio's other articles. You can contact Mauricio by clicking here

7 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

BP staff member Mauricio Rubio
BP staff

Two notes:
I ranked Zobrist at 2B and so I left him off this graph.
The online PECOTA is different than the PECOTA projections I used which are from the book. In the near future I will have updated graphs to reflect this.

Feb 04, 2014 06:02 AM
 
pobothecat

Really am enjoying your work this off-season. But ...

"Simmons is teasing with an elite output, as he projects to put up bland SS numbers across the board."

... might be a construction worth a second stab.

Feb 04, 2014 06:43 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mauricio Rubio
BP staff

Yep that's pretty awful on my part, meant but as the conjunction and "teased" in place of "teasing.

Feb 04, 2014 06:48 AM
 
pobothecat

(Also, 39-53 RBI for Hanley Ramirez? Don't have my annual yet. Is this right?)

Feb 04, 2014 06:51 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mauricio Rubio
BP staff

Yeah in limited playing time. The Book projections weren't too keen on his ability to get past 400 PAs IIRC and they're pretty pessimistic about RBI in general. I would skew up there.

Feb 04, 2014 06:52 AM
 
BP staff member Mauricio Rubio
BP staff

*Much beyond 400 PAs.

Feb 04, 2014 06:54 AM
 
BP staff member Mauricio Rubio
BP staff

It's fixed here, thanks for catching that.

Feb 04, 2014 06:51 AM
 
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