2018 Preseason Rankings (OBP): Top 15 Shortstops: Who Are The Risers & Fallers?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that shortstop has become one of the deeper positions in the league, especially with some surprising names having emerged (like Elvis Andrus) and others who appear on the verge.  That will always lead to some surprising rankings, though how do things change when we move from a standard format to an OBP format?  Let’s take a look:

1. Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians
2. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros
3. Trea Turner – Washington Nationals
4. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros
5. Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners
7. Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies
8. Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
9. Jorge Polanco – Minnesota Twins
10. Marcus Semien – Oakland A’s
11. Orlando Arcia – Milwaukee Brewers
12. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
13. Ketel Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks
14. Paul DeJong – St. Louis Cardinals
15. J.P. Crawford – Philadelphia Phillies

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Thoughts:

  • J.P. Crawford sneaking into the Top 15 may surprise many, but he should open the year as Philadelphia’s starting shortstop. Even through a generally down year at Triple-A last season he posted a 14.2% walk rate, while also making consistent contact (5.3% SwStr%).  Those two things should lead to a strong OBP, and with a job in hand there’s a lot of upside.
  • Many people are going to hype Xander Bogaerts, but he owns a minor league career .339 OBP. Couple that with lackluster speed and last season’s step back in his power (10 HR courtesy of a 30.5% fly ball rate and 7.2% HR/FB) and it’s hard to get overly excited regardless of the format.
  • We talked about Jorge Polanco before, which you can read by clicking here. The fact is that his “breakout” was overshadowed by the second halves produced by Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario, but he showed all the signs with a .359 OBP to go along with 10 HR and 7 SB.  The biggest changes were luck (.250 BABIP to a .313 BABIP) as well as the spike in power.  With the underlying metrics indicating both are for real, there’s a lot to like.
  • While Elvis Andrus could take a step back in ’18, there’s going to be value regardless of the format you play in. To see our 2018 projection, click here.

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Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catchers03/14/1802/02/18
First Basemen01/08/1802/09/18
Second Basemen01/15/1802/13/18
Shortstops03/21/1802/27/18
Third Basemen03/09/1803/06/18
Outfielders1-20: 03/18/18

21-40: 03/19/18
1-20: 03/12/18

21-40:
Starting Pitchers1-20: 03/24/18

21-40: 03/24/18
--
Relief Pitchers02/12/18--

3 comments

  1. Daniel Chester says:

    No Didi in the top 15? I would put him 8th & bump out Marte.

  2. The Old Professor says:

    I agree, not including Gregorious is insane, or an oversight. Crawford upside in no way overshadows Didi’s numbers, especially in that line up, in that ballpark

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    I understand the love for Gregosius, but lineup or not there’s a lot of reasos to think a regression is coming (which I talked about here http://www.rotoprofessor.com/baseball/?p=34839). You couple those concerns with the idea of these being OBP rankings, and his OBP was .318 last season as he rarely walks, and that’s why he fell short of the rankings. His value has to drop significantly in this type of format

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