Fantasy Dugout: Top SS Targets
What is going on, Ball Boys and Ball Girls! I hope you all are doing super well. Thank you so much for being here; as we approach the 2021 season, I want to give you guys some fantasy input for who my top 15 targets are at each position. Most fantasy baseball leagues are 8-10 players; scoring formats vary from league to league, structure, and server. You can check out my fantasy tips and tricks here. I will break down the players into categories: Obvious targets, above average, better than average targets, and lastly, a few if you're desperate names. Let me know what you guys think over in the Fantasy Forum. The Shortstop position is one of the deepest in baseball, and it was so hard for me to make distinctions between several. The talent at the position is insane.
Obvious Targets, a.k.a. don't pass on these players:
#1 Fernando Tatis Jr.- El Nino is primed for another great year in sunny San Diego. Tatis Jr is primed to continue his ascent up the ranks as one of the elite MLB talents on an even more loaded Padres team going into 2021. The rotation is much improved, and with the emergence of Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim's addition, the top of the order will be setting the table for Tatis Jr and Machado to do damage in the middle of the order.
#2 Corey Seager- Seager is now one of the premier faces entering 2021 after a dominant 2020. Seager plays on the best offense in all of baseball and will give you 25+HR, 90+RBI, .290+AVG. Make sure to target Seager in the first couple of rounds if you miss out on Tatis.
#3 Francisco Lindor- Lindor has been one of the leading forces in changing the position into one that hits for power and plays excellent defense. Lindor will give you 30+HR, 85+RBI, .280+AVG on the season; Lindor wasn't his usual fantastic self in 2020, but with him playing for a big payday, look for Lindor to put up career numbers. Draft Lindor in the first three rounds. Lindor, now with the Mets, will be surrounded by some of the best talents he has played within years and will be crushing the NL East and opposing fantasy team in 2021.
#4 Trevor Story- Story is another power-hitting shortstop playing for a big payday come to the end of the season. Story can give your team 30+HR, 95+RBI, as well as a .275+AVG. Much like Lindor, Story will be putting up career numbers this season. Make sure to use one of your top 5 picks on Story in the draft.
#5 Tim Anderson- You won't be getting elite power numbers or runs. But you are getting a veteran leader on a young team who will give you consistent production every time he takes the field. Anderson led the AVG league in 2019 and followed it up by leading the Runs' league in 2020. Anderson gets on base a lot and will provide consistency. You won't have used more than a top 7th round picks or, later on, Anderson.
Above Average, you just missed out:
#1 Trea Turner- Turner balled out in 2020, pacing career-high numbers in most offensive categories. Turner will give your team 20+HR, 75+RBI, with a .295+AVG. Turner and the Nationals will be playing games in 2021 with a chip on their shoulders to rebound and show everyone that 2019 wasn't a fluke. You can probably target turner around the 7/8th rounds in drafts.
#2 Javier Baez- El Mago was not himself in 2020. I had him on two teams in 2020 and had high hopes, but that failed me miserably as he was benched more than he played in my lineup. Baez is also playing for a big payday come next offseason. Baez can give you a team 25+HR, 85+RBI, with a .265+AVG. Look for Baez to pace the Cubs offensively in 2021 and post near career highs across the board. Based on the down season in 2020, you can target Baez around round 9/10.
#3 Adalberto Mondesi- Modensi is one of the more unproven players on my list, and I feel the ranking maybe a little too high for Mondesi. However, I think Mondesi may find himself one of the offensive leaders on a young, rebuilding Royals team. Mondesi might not blow you with the bat, but he can give you some consistency. He should provide your team 20+Hr, 70+RBI, a .260+AVG. You can target Mondesi later in drafts, probably rounds 12 or later, if you wanted to spend your capital elsewhere.
#4 Bo Bichette- We have yet to see Bichette play more than 46 games in a season. Bichette carries immense upside on a team that is only getting started. Bichette will give you a team of 30+HR, 90+RBI, .295+AVG, and maybe even 15+SB. Bichette will be a highly sought after target in most drafts but still on the back end of drafts. Look to target him in round 9 or so.
#5 Carlos Correa- Correa, another member on the list playing for his big payday next offseason. Correa is a little more interesting as he will be expected to carry the offense with Springer, Brantley, and Reddick all now departed. Correa will look to set career highs in all offensive categories, but he will still give your team 25+HR, 95+RBI, and a .275+BA. Correa should be a round 11-13 pick in the draft.
Better than Average, you could have done better:
#1 Xander Bogaerts- Back in 2019, we saw Bogaerts hit for career highs in HR, RBI, OBP and finish 5th in the MVP Vote. Look for him to repeat similar numbers in 2021 with 25+HR, 95+RBI, and a .297AVG. With Verdugo, Devers, and Benintendi, the Red Sox have a threatening lineup. You can probably draft him around round 12 or so.
#2 Dansby Swanson- If 2020 were a full season, Swanson would have been on pace for a top 5 MVP season. Swanson is a vital member of the Braves lineup and plans. Swanson may not wow you with the bat, but without a doubt, build off his healthy 2020 and give you 20+HR, 75+RBI, .270+BA, and you can even get Swanson later in drafts, probably in round 12 or later.
#3 Jorge Polanco- Polanco isn't the most attractive name at the position but is one you may want to target later in drafts and get an excellent return. I have taken this approach in both 2018/19, and I was not disappointed with the production. Polanco will give you 15+HR, 80+RBI, 10+SB, and a .275AVG or better. Polanco can be targeted after round 14.
#4 Paul DeJong- DeJong is incredibly valuable because he carries 2B and SS eligibility in most formats. DeJong doesn't hit for the highest AVG and may give you a headache in terms of strikeout numbers, but he will give you 25+HR, 75+RBI, and 115+H. Take your shot on DeJohn after round 15.
#5 Marcus Semien- I love the landing spot with the re-vamped Blue Jays. Semien may end up being full-time third basemen or second basemen. Semien will give your fantasy team about 25+HR, 75+RBI, .270+AVG. The signing with the Blue Jays gives Semien a round 12-14 value.
Desperate times, or you auto-drafted:
Amed Rosario, Elvis Andrus, Kevin Newman, Jean Segura, Willy Adames/Wander Franco, Niko Goodrum, Nico Hoerner, JP Crawford, Brandon Crawford
Note: The above players are in no particular order; however, it shows how deep the position is as a whole.
Thanks for reading today; I am so grateful for your time reading. I also want to thank my partners over at Repp Sports for RAZE Energy. Thanks to this clean and sufficient energy, I can have the intense focus to deliver content to you guys consistently. Click here to save 15% right now with the code "BALL BOY" at check out.