2017 Rankings (OBP): Top 15 Shortstops: The Status Quo Prevails… Mostly

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There is a trend for leagues to move away from the traditional AVG category, and instead utilizing OBP or OPS.  How does that type of change impact our rankings?  In many cases it may not be a dramatic change, but there definitely are those who rise and those who fall.

Outside of some minor changes, the bulk of the shortstop rankings stay fairly consistent (though Jonathan Villar  does see a jump into the Top 5).  There are a few minor changes, though, and being cognizant of them certainly gives you an advantage.  Let’s take a look:

1. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles (1)
2. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros (2)
3. Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies (4)
4. Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians (3)
5. Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee Brewers (7)
6. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox (5)
7. Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers (6)
8. Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners (8)
9. Marcus Semien – Oakland A’s (9)
10. Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs (10)
11. Troy Tulowitzki – Toronto Blue Jays (11)
12. Aledmys Diaz – St. Louis Cardinals (14)
13. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers (12)
14. Eduardo Nunez – San Francisco Giants (13)
15. Dansby Swanson – Atlanta Braves (20)

 


 

Thoughts:

  • The switch to OBP allows Trevor Story to leapfrog Francisco Lindor on the rankings.  While Story does carry some risk in his AVG, thanks to a hefty strikeout rate, he’s always shown capable of drawing a walk (8.4% in the Majors in ’16, though 11.8% in ’14 and 11.7% in ’15 at Double-A).  That’s not to say that Lindor won’t draw a walk, but Story’s potential there makes the gap a lot smaller than it would be in AVG (our projections have a 50 point AVG difference, but a 30 point OBP difference).  Given Story’s power and speed, that gap shrinking leads to the change.
  • Jonathan Villar showed a great eye at the plate last season, with a 24.1% O-Swing% and 11.6% walk rate.  You couple that with his speed and you get a tremendous OBP option.  Now add in some power (19 HR in ’16) and you get the total package.
  • We’ve already talked about some concerns regarding Corey Seager (click here to view).  Unfortunately the change to OBP does little to eliminate that, as his 33.2% O-Swing% isn’t likely to lead to a gaudy walk rate (7.9%).  You already have the fear of a regression in his average (.355 BABIP) and questions about his power (29.3% fly ball rate), so it’s impossible not to further drop him down the rankings.
  • Dansby Swanson, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, clearly wasn’t overmatched in his first taste of the Majors as he showed a good command of the strike zone (28.8% O-Swing%).  Even if you don’t believe in last year’s .361 OBP (.383 BABIP), that skill with 10/10 potential allows him to slip into the back of these rankings.

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Make sure to check out our other 2017 Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catcher01/09/1702/28/17
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base01/23/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Shortstop02/13/1703/15/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
03/19/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
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Relief Pitcher01/02/17--

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