As the first week of the MLB season teeters on the edge of its first full weekend of action. Breakout campaigns and previously undervalued players are coming to the forefront in fantasy baseball. Teams and players are getting more plate appearances under their belts, and a clearer picture of who they are is solidifying. Today we take a look at some early season free agent shortstops who may be available in your league. The threshold for inclusion in this article is sub-50% ownership in Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues for two of these guys, and a 90% availability for the third. [Jeff]
Marcus Semien, Oakland (48% owned)
Semien routinely finds himself in the MI conversation, or the backend shortstop conversation. While an unsustainable HR/FB rate means he won’t repeat his 27 dinger campaign from 2016, but he should settle in around 15-20. Pair that with 10-15 steal potential and what should be a .260ish average and you have a decent bench bat. Semien isn’t going to light the world on fire but he’s a good guy to keep on your radar if you suddenly find yourself in a bind sometime soon.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Mets (32% owned)
Cabrera, like Semien, saw a career high HR/FB rate, leading to a massive home run spike. Still, he managed an .810 OPS last season at a weak offensive position. He should be available in fewer than two out of three fantasy baseball leagues. Instead, he languishes on the wire. Hitting #2 in the Mets lineup this season means fewer RBI but more runs for him, but he could go for 150 combined. Cabrera is less preferred than Semien, but he’s still drastically underowned.
Freddy Galvis, Philadelphia (6% owned)
Galvis has already hit a home run this season, but hasn’t done much since the Phillies’ first game of the season. However, his ownership belies his 2016 production. When sorted by standard deviation from the mean, Galvis was a top-twelve shortstop last year. He was near 20-20 last year, with a deflated BABIP, but at this point, nobody has interest in Galvis outside the deepest of leagues. That’ll change.