NFBC and Prospects1500: Shortstop

We continue around the diamond and eschew common practice to skip straight to third. I debated splitting this post into two, but instead I’ve listed all 11 shortstops who have been drafted in NFBC drafts and made their respective team’s top 50 list.

Note: Draft positions were exported around January 31.

Dansby Swanson

NFBC draft position – Average: 186 | Minimum: 136 | Maximum: 248

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 1st Braves

Swanson needs no introduction. If you’re drafting this year, you know him. If you’ve been in a dynasty league for at least two years, you know him. And even if you don’t play baseball, you know him as one of the players Dave Stewart traded for Reno Aces pitcher Shelby Miller.

Rather than give you some in-depth analysis, I will quote Paul Sporer from Fangraphs who I think is spot on: “‘jack of all trades, master of none profile coming up may have him underrated on the fantasy landscape, somewhat similar to how Lindor was before bursting onto the scene. He’s unlikely to reach Lindor’s heights immediately, but a double-double with a .270 AVG is plenty useful in the 12-14th round range.”

Ozzie Albies

NFBC draft position – Average: 463 | Minimum: 399 | Maximum: 545

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 4th Braves

I’m currently around pick 455 in an NFBC draft. So, Albies is someone who is hanging around my queue (note: I’m one of those people who puts 20 or more players in his queue, so take the statement for what it is worth).

On FanTrax, he has dual MI eligibility. And in a format like NFBC’s draft-and-hold, positional flexibility in the middle of season can be key.

But the question is whether we will see him. Roster Resource thinks it will be mid-2017. Steamer, though, is not projecting any at-bats. That could be something, or it could be nothing.

For my part, I am taking him out of my queue. I don’t think the fantasy upside is there to use a mid-draft pick that I need to backup my starting lineup. It has not stopped Atlanta in the past, but there is only so much to gain by calling him up, especially when they have serviceable players already on the 40-man roster: Calhoun and Carmago. And Bonifacio is not on the 40-man roster but could be used instead to protect service time while giving Albies more consistent at-bats on the farm.

J.P. Crawford

NFBC draft position – Average: 469 | Minimum: 351 | Maximum: 551

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 1st Phillies

Unlike Albies, Steamer is projecting Crawford to pick up at-bats: 300 of them!. This lines up well with projections that Crawford will be up during the middle of the 2017 season.

So, what kind of production can we expect?

Projections say a below average AVG and single-digit HR and SB (though both would be double digits if extrapolated for entire season). So, Crawford could be the answer to some counting stats problems come middle of the season. Particularly if he gets placed atop the lineup; but there is no reason right now to suspect that would happen.

Dynasty league players would be happy to get their hands on Crawford, though he projects as a better real-life player than fantasy. But you’re not acquiring him to help your pennant chase this year.

In NFBC, I think there are other shortstops around that time in the draft I would be just as happy with. Jhonny Peralta if you don’t need SBs and Jose Iglesias who isn’t quite Crawford but a bit safer.

Franklin Barreto

NFBC draft position – Average: 524 | Minimum: 423 | Maximum: 715

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 1st Athletics

Range is normally good for a shortstop, but not when it’s looking at maximum and minimum position drafted. I have a hard time envisioning Barreto going in the 28th round. In the 35th, though, where he is averaging…yeah, sign me up.

But just plan for it to be an upside pick that may not pan out. Oakland has lots of MI options sitting on the 40-man roster.

Alen Hanson

NFBC draft position – Average: 575 | Minimum: 500 | Maximum: 639

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 16th Pirates

Steamer only has Hanson projected for around 170 ABs. To me, that seems low unless you think he will not be successful next year. In that case, you should just move on.

Just looking at the stats, Hanson has always had a good approach at the plate. Modest power may or may not translate well but he will steal bases. Steamer has him at around 1/18 stolen bases (note: does anyone know how accurate Steamer is on stolen base projections?).

If we project more ABs (say 50% more to get to 255 ABs), he could hid mid-teens in steals. And, I feel more confident with his playing time than Barreto.

Willy Adames

NFBC draft position – Average: 588| Minimum: 441 | Maximum: 686

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 1st Rays

I like Adames as much as the next guy, but this seems one year too early, right? I expect less than 100 ABs  this year. But, I’ve always been cautious in my NFBC drafts and don’t catch many minor league player breakouts.

In dynasty or keeper leagues, I’m guessing the time to pick Adames up has passed by. If not, you need to leave this site and roster him. I suspect you will be happy this time next year.

Gleyber Torres / Jorge Mateo

NFBC draft position – Average: 626 | Minimum: 509 | Maximum: 740
NFBC draft position – Average: 669 | Minimum: 603 | Maximum: 728

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 2nd and 4th Yankees

Rumors are that the Yankees explored trading Starlin Castro. That didn’t happen, but it seems to indicate they would have been content to proceed with either Mateo or Torres this season.

So, it wouldn’t surprise me to see one of them get some ABs this year, but don’t ask me which. Neither Roster Resource or Steamer projects them to be in the bigs this year.

Amed Rosario

NFBC draft position – Average: 642 | Minimum: 379 | Maximum: 723

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 1st Mets

From all accounts, Rosario has a bright future. But in NFBC drafts, anything more than a late round flyer seems too aggressive. But the price is right if one wants to forego a 3rd backup at MI in hopes of striking gold.

Carlos Asuaje

NFBC draft position – Average: 696 | Minimum: 635| Maximum: 739

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 19th Padres

Asuaje is one of  my two choices for preferred late-round shortstop prospect, particularly if he comes in the last 5 rounds of a 50-round draft. There are several avenues for Asuaje, who is already on the 40-man, to find playing time. The real question is which MI gets the first call.

Dixon Machado

NFBC draft position – Average: 699 | Minimum: 666 | Maximum: 736

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 12th Tigers

Tell me if you have heard this before. Middle infielder with little power and potential for 10-12 SBs. That’s Machado except play time is at doubt. Right now, he is possibly the 25th player on the Tigers roster. If not, there is a reasonable chance he can secure the 25th slot on another team.

For my part, I’d prefer finding another MI with similar potential for playing time but with a more guaranteed situation. That said, acquiring Machado could come cheap for a team needing depth in a deep league.

Gavin Cecchini

NFBC draft position – Average: 699 | Minimum: 630 | Maximum: 742

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 15th Mets

Cecchini is my other choice for late-round flyer. 48th round picks aren’t expected to provide much and that is likely what Cecchini will provide. But, if he gets a chance late in the season, he should provide a good average and minor contributions in all counting stats.

Kevin Newman

NFBC draft position – Average: 718 | Minimum: 665 | Maximum: 750

Prospects1500 Team Rank: 4th Pirates

I would put the odds pretty high that Newman will not contribute much this year. In NFBC drafts, I’ll spend the last couple rounds taking shots at RP who may procure saves or roster flexibility.

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