The MLB season is upon us which means it is time for the Fantasy Baseball season. We here at the Sports Script want to do everything possible in setting you up for draft day and helping you throughout the season to win a Fantasy Baseball Championship. We are gathering a team of Sports Script writers as well as some special guest to answer 5 key questions about each position for the upcoming 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season. Today we have gathered me (Ricky Valero), Matt Bell and Matt Wincherauk as we are going to take a look at the ShortStop.
5 Questions surrounding Fantasy SS
1 – Which player or players are you targeting?
Matt Bell – This is the one position I seem to struggle at yearly to pin point players. I think you obviously target Hanley Ramirez or Troy Tulowitzki, but of course they are both injury risks to waste a high pick on. They have a ton of reward if they don’t get hurt for you as both guys are élite players. I wouldn’t mind passing on these guys if you don’t get some value on them and taking a guy like Ian Desmond. He’s hit around .280 for his career and is a threat for 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases just like he did in 2013 again in 2014.
Matt Wincherauk – I’ve always been a huge fan of Troy Tulowitzki, and he’s probably the most sure things when it comes to a short stop. He’s the guy that I’ll be targeting come draft time.
Ricky – Jed Lowrie is someone I really want on all of my teams. In his 1st full season as a Big leaguer, Lowrie impressed hitting .290 with 15 HRs and 75 RBIs. He is currently ranked in the mid-teens on most draft boards and I see him sneaking among the top 8 fantasy SS this season.
2 – Which player are you staying away from?
Matt Bell – This is tough as I don’t see one guy that I would just hate to have on my team in the top of most rankings, so I’m going with Derek Jeter here. The guy is awesome and a hall of fame shortstop, but he’s not someone I want in his final year on my fantasy team. I think some fantasy players this year with go with the sentimental pick and take him this year and I’m not one of those people. Derek Jeter I wish you all the best, but I want to win my fantasy championship!
Matt Wincherauk – I am definitely staying away from Derek Jeter this year, despite him being a sentimental favorite. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy of late, and the production just isn’t there anymore. Some people will take him out of emotion.
Ricky – Jean Segura – His pre and post All-Star stats are a big concern. As you will see below.
Pre All-Star – .325 BA – 54 R – 121 H – 11 HR – 36 RBI – 27 SB
Post All-Star – .241 BA – 20 R – 52 H – 1 HR – 13 RBI – 17 SB
Such a big difference between the two half has put a ton of question surrounding his status for the 2014 season. With really not knowing which Segura I am going to get and him having such a high price in fantasy leagues, I don’t think I will be drafting him this season.
3 – Who is the biggest sleeper heading into 2014?
Matt Bell – The Sleeper at SS that I was going to go with was going to be Starlin Castro as I figure he will have some value this year after a terrible 2013 for his standards, but I decided that seemed to obvious. I’m going to go with a name that not many will be familiar with and that guy is Jonathan Villar. He’s going to be the starting short stop for the Houston Astros and should be batting leadoff. He hit for around .240 last year in 52 games, but was still able to steal 18 bases in that short time. He’s very fast and can be a threat for stolen bases as well as extra base hits.
Matt Wincherauk – My biggest sleeper is one of the best young prospects in baseball, its Xander Bogaerts. He really impressed everyone during the Red Sox run to a World Series Championship, and now he’s looking to blow up in his first full year.
Ricky – Everth Cabrera – Cabrera has yet to play a full season and boy if/when he does he is going to be good. He has huge upside with .280 average, 50+ SBs and 80-85 runs scored as the leadoff man for the Padres.
4 – Which player will be a bust for Fantasy owners?
Matt Bell – The biggest disappointment this year will be those people who wait and grab Jimmy Rollins in the later rounds thinking they’ve got a steal, but in reality they’ve got a 35-year-old shortstop. Rollins is going to be decent, but I don’t think he can be considered a top short stop option anymore and should just be passed on for some of the younger guys below him.
Matt Wincherauk – Jose Reyes is my pick for bust, mostly because the guy can never stay healthy. His first year was a bit of a disappointment, and don’t see things getting better in Toronto.
Ricky – Starlin Castro – One of my favorite guys heading into last season. He was a true bust and really killed all my fantasy teams. A ton of talk surrounding him being a potential “sleeper” this season and bouncing back from the miserable year he had. I just don’t see it happening, he had a low in hits, runs, RBIs, stolen bases, batting average, OBP, SLG and saw a career high in strikeouts. The patients at the plate is concerning and all the “sleeper” talk will make his stock higher than it deserves to be. Stay far away from him this season if you can.
5 – Give a bold prediction for one player.
Matt Bell – The bold prediction for short stop is that we see a breakout season for Castro after his worst year. He will finish in the top 5 of all shortstop and be named to the all-star team for the Cubs.
Matt Wincherauk – Despite the hype around Jean Segura and Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki will be the best shortstop in fantasy baseball. Another 30+ home run, and .300+ average for the best in baseball.
Ricky – Alexei Ramirez will be a top 5 Fantasy Shortstop in 2014. The power loss is a concern but a guy with back to back 20+ stolen bases, scores and has a solid average. Ramirez will step it up this season and Fantasy owners will sit back and enjoy.
If you have any questions about the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season make sure to hope on over to twitter and ask. You can follow me @rickygangster @mattbell211 & @TheMattyWin and we will answer any and all questions.
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