2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers and Busts - Shortstop
Here it is. The moment you've all been waiting for...the Sleepers and Busts for Shortstop as brought to you by Kevin Tompkins and Steve Rapin!!!
Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals
Do you like Carlos Correa’s production? I mean, who wouldn’t? What if I told you that you could get virtually the same production approximately 120-140 picks later? You’d call me a fool, right? Enter Paul DeJong. If he can stay on the field for a full season, you’ll get that same production minus a few walks and a handful of stolen bases. DeJong would bat in a lineup that produced the 9th best offense in the major leagues last year and added Paul Goldschmidt. Whether it’s higher in the order or lower, the counting stats should definitely be there and DeJong should split the difference in terms of batting average from his two seasons of .285 and .241. The power is there (44 HR in 850+ at-bats), he just has to stay on the field.
DeJong played in 115 games last season, missing time with a broken bone in his hand that sapped a lot of his skills at the plate. He did put up a combined 3.8 WAR last season, so clearly he’s going to get his shot at shortstop this season. He’s too good to hit .241 like he did last season, but even if he hits 500 at bats and bats .265, the counting stats will be there, no matter where he hits in the order. This is one of the biggest bargains in fantasy, and I’ll be more than happy to scoop him up in my leagues to plug in and reap the benefits.
Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins
I am still waiting to see what the former Twins big time prospect, Jorge Polanco can do if he plays anything close to a full season. He's dealt with a combination of injuries and suspensions that unfortunately have limited his fantasy production. Unfortunate for him, but fortunate for you, because you should be able to get him at a discount this year, possibly for the last time.
Polanco is still only 25 years old, capable of hitting .270-.280, with 15 home runs and steal 15 bases. Minnesota is an improving team and Roster Resource has him projected to hit leadoff for the Twins in 2019. He is currently being drafted as the 22nd shortstop off the board in the NFBC with an ADP of 218. Anytime I can get a 15/15 guys that hits for good average and a possesses a high ceiling outside of the top 200, I'm jumping for joy. Well, I'm kind of fat, so I don't really jump, but maybe I will attempt a hop...
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
Corey Seager is going to be an excellent player for the Dodgers for years to come, but at a position where there are numerous power options, do you really want to take him in the ADP range of 80 when you can take plenty of other valuable shortstops that can provide the power he does, or maybe a reduced power profile but will give you stolen bases (which Seager doesn’t provide)?
I’d much rather have a guy like Paul DeJong, who I profiled earlier, who provides that power at a reduced injury risk. It’s not as though shortstop is barren for fantasy options either, so don’t get drawn into the sexy names like Seager come draft day. You can get your .280/25/70 much later on in the draft.
Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
I really hate to call Gleyber Torres a bust, but I worry about his poor second half and the possibility of a "Sophomore Slump". Torres started out his Yankees career on fire as he posted a .294 batting average with 15 home runs over his first 62 MLB career. However, he struggled the second half of the season as he only hit .249 with nine homers in his last 60 games. There is a lot of pressure placed on you when you play for the Yankees, so if his struggles carry into 2019, I'm worried he will fail to live up to his top-70 ADP. While I don't think he will be a complete bust, I do worry that Torres will struggle to return value this season.