CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (09/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: S... (09/11)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: N... (09/17)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (09/13)

September 13, 2013

Fantasy Fool's Gold

Shortstops

by Craig Goldstein


As we continue our way around the infield (in as abstract a way as possible), we land on the most physically taxing position outside of catcher. This of course lessens the burden on the bat in basically every aspect, from contact to power to whatever else you may be looking for. What matters so much in real life, though—the ability to stay at shortstop—is so much less relevant to any prospective fantasy owner.

While the offensive shortstop is a rare unicorn (quiet, Russell) indeed, even in the fantasy realm, prospectors don’t care so much that they stay at the vaunted position as they do that the bat is real. Javier Baez could be a monster shortstop, but if he can hit and play third? Well, we’ll gladly accept it.

The list below includes players who either overstated their prospect status statistically or are likely to move off the shortstop position and in so doing, will significantly damage their prospect stock. As with the other iterations of this column, many of the observations below come from the BP Prospect Team.

Marcus Semien, Chicago White Sox
Drafted out of the University of California in the sixth round of the 2011 draft, Semien burned through the minor leagues along with former Cal teammate, Erik Johnson, with both earning call-ups this September. Semien wasn’t on many radars entering 2013, but a strong performance in Double-A started to generate buzz, and his promotion to Triple-A only intensified it. While Semien’s performance was certainly noteworthy in and of itself, it was aided by the fact that he was producing strong numbers in a White Sox system that saw many of it’s top prospects struggle, and was generally regarded as one of the lower tier systems in the league.

Over 105 games, the 22-year-old Semien put together a .290/.420/.483 slash line showing off his plate discipline while also displaying solid pop. His 17 percent BB rate helped him walk right into the hearts of statheads, especially when compared to a 14 percent strikeout rate. Semien’s production wasn’t the product of luck either, as his .317 BABIP was right in line with his career norms. Upon his promotion to Triple-A, we saw Semien add to his career high in home runs, ending the year with 19 between the two levels. He did suffer a drop in batting average; from .290 to .264, while also seeing his walk and strikeout rates go in the wrong direction. Don’t take the Triple-A numbers too hard though, as the sample size is only 142 plate appearances. Despite the hit in the slash line numbers, Semien maintained a semblance of his power, as well as a 10 percent walk rate and a strikeout rate that was elevated, yet manageable.

Semien’s fantasy future is a bit clouded. The White Sox seem unwilling or unable to let go of Alexei Ramirez (an extremely high-quality defender) and/or Gordon Beckham (great name…? I guess?), leaving Semien without a place to play everyday. Evaluations on his capabilities, even if he was guaranteed a spot, range from utility man to bottom-end second division player. Despite the usefulness of his package in real life, the impact is lacking to make him someone to target in fantasy leagues.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

4 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (09/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: S... (09/11)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: N... (09/17)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (09/13)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Useful Non-Closer Relieve...
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: Players We're Buying at th...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, July ...
Premium Article The Call-Up: Aaron Sanchez
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Headley Chased
Eyewitness Accounts: July 23, 2014
2014 Draft

MORE FROM SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: My MVP Case for Miguel Cab...
Premium Article Notes from the Field: In Person: Miguel Sano...
Premium Article Raising Aces: What's the Point?
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Meltdown Madness
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, September 1...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 25
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: September ...

MORE BY CRAIG GOLDSTEIN
2013-09-20 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: The Save Rush
2013-09-17 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Yordano Ventura
2013-09-13 - Premium Article Covering the Call-Ups, Part Two
2013-09-13 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: Shortstops
2013-09-12 - Premium Article Covering the Call-Ups, Part One
2013-09-10 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Injured NL Starting Pitchers
2013-09-06 - Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Would-Be, Could-Be Closers
More...

MORE FANTASY FOOL'S GOLD
2013-09-25 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: National League Startin...
2013-09-18 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: American League Outfiel...
2013-09-17 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: National League Outfiel...
2013-09-13 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: Shortstops
2013-09-11 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: Second Base Prospects
2013-09-04 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: Third Basemen
2013-08-30 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Fool's Gold: Catcher and First Base ...
More...