This week’s fantasy baseball shortstop review will help you identify shortstops available in 50% or more of Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues. For deep league players, the third is available in 85% or more of Yahoo! leagues.
Didi Gregorius, Yankees (37% owned)
Gregorius missed the first six weeks of the season with a should injury from the World Baseball Classic. Since he’s been back, the 27-year-old carries a .301/.328/.423 slash line. While he lacks substantive power so far this year, he smacked 20 home runs last season and already has three in 31 games.
Gregorius carries value as part of the potent Yankees lineup, as he already has 17 R and 18 RBI. While those are not stats indicative of Didi’s performance, they do speak to the players around him. It’s easy to get balls to hit when pitchers just had to worry about Aaron Judge (who has been hitting in front of Gregorius). Didi’s hitting profile does not show anything different from his 2016 campaign (20 home run, 68 R, 70 RBI and a .276 average). He deserves an ownership north of 50%.
Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay (28% owned)
Beckham’s quietly having himself a productive season. The Rays’ utility infielder has multiple home runs and stolen bases in the last two weeks, a feat only one other SS-eligible player can boast. Beckham’s BABIP is higher than it should be given his track record, but that’s likely due to him scorching the ball; Beckham’s hard hit rate is 10% higher than his career average, leading to an increase in line drives. His home runs tie a career high, but that isn’t saying much–he’s seven plate appearances away from a career high. The Rays finally gave Beckham a chance, and he’s turned into a productive deeper-league fantasy baseball shortstop.
Andrelton Simmons, Angels (15% owned)
Simmons is defense-first, but he’s been swinging a hot bat lately. That stat above about only two shortstops hitting multiple home runs and stealing multiple bases over the last two weeks? Simmons is the other one. He’s on a definite hot streak, and shortstop has been a wasteland so he’s likely a short-term pickup.
That having been said, Simmons has some encouraging stats to back up his play. He strikes out only 10.2% of the time, which is exceptional. Simmons already has six stolen bases, which is a career-high clip Running more means not only more stolen bases but also more opportunity for runs. If he can replicate his 2013 with 17 homers (maybe push it to 20) and chip in 20 steals, you have a productive shortstop. Stolen bases are mostly a statistic of desire and opportunity, so if he’s running more it will elevate his value.