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February 7, 2014

Fantasy Players to Avoid

Shortstops

by BP Fantasy Staff


For the previous installments in this series, click below:

Shortstop isn't as shallow as you think for fantasy purposes. So don't mess up by taking a shortstop who isn't good. This is the analysis you came here for.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
Cabrera is a confusing player to forecast from an analytics point of view. He's increased his line-drive percentage over the past few seasons, yet his BABIP has been worse. He's hitting more fly balls, yet fewer of them are going for home runs and his ISO has seen a sharp drop from his glory days of 2011. He's stealing fewer bases, striking out a bit mor,e and walking a bit less, and his batting average has fallen in each of the past five seasons.

That being said, Cabrera is entering his age-28 season and as my colleague Mike Gianella pointed out in the counterpart to this piece, Cabrera will still have some value in 2014. I think his days of hitting anywhere near .300 or challenging for 20 homers are well in the past, though, and what we're left with is a MI-type in standard leagues with little upside and declining speed. Unfortunately, his peak season probably came early. —Ben Carsley

Starlin Castro, Cubs
There are a lot of questions revolving around whether or not Castro will rebound, but forget about all of that for a moment. The two biggest concerns surrounding Castro involve whether or not he’ll run again and whether or not that Cubs lineup will produce enough for him to see much of a jump in runs/RBI at all. If Castro doesn’t run and is only good for 10-12 steals in 2014, you’re drafting a shortstop who is probably going to hit 12-14 home runs with a .280-.290 average even if he does bounce back. That’s solid—and definitely would be an improvement from his moribund 2013—but it pushes him well out of the realm of elite performers at the position. —Mike Gianella

Alcides Escobar, Royals
Escobar has his selling points—namely speed—as he went 22-for-22 in stolen bases last year. Still, that was a marked drop from his 35 swipes the year before, and with Norichika Aoki in town, it’s unlikely he’ll benefit from batting atop the Royals’ potent lineup, something he did in 49 percent of his plate appearances last season. While his batting average should receive a bump thanks to some better BABIP luck, it won’t be enough to offset the minimal power he offers, combined with the lower counting stats he’ll get at the bottom of the lineup. Given that he was already under 60 runs and RBI, that’s a hit he can’t really afford to take. Stolen bases are worth plenty, and they’re worth more as the run game continues to decline, but given where you’re going to take Escobar, there are better options available. —Craig Goldstein

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (02/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Avo... (01/31)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Players to Avo... (02/14)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: ... (02/07)

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