The shortstop was a constant concern for fantasy baseball owners on Draft Day, but those days are long gone. With five-grade cleats in the top row and plenty of solid producers all around lower in the rankings, it’s not particularly hard to find a good SS in 2021. That said, it never hurts to be looking for a sleeper worth it, especially in deeper leagues or leagues with an MI spot. Fortunately, there are several potential breakouts that are worth adding to cheat sheet drafts, and at least a few provide the rarest stat of all: Stolen Bases.
Amed Rosario, Garrett Hampson and Andres Gimenez could all be over 20 steals from guys, and while neither is hitting a high average or having many RBIs, those steals do have some value. The guys who can hit home runs (Willy Adames, maybe Willi Castro) aren’t so noteworthy, but there’s still potential value there if they really do break out.
Overall, the shortstop is one of those positions that deep league fantasy owners always seem to be looking for once the season begins. Even if you have a good starter, just one injury can cause you to panic. Having an SS eligible for multiple positions and / or a Category Specialist on your bench is important, especially if you rely more on your starter in one category than others.
Fantasy Baseball SS Sleepers: escape shortstops, end-of-round flights
Job eligibility based on Yahoo default settings
Willy Adames, Rays. Adames has shown he can achieve decent power in the majors (20 HR in 2019, eight in 54 games last year), but it’s unclear whether he can do much else. Finding a short shop that hits .260 with 20-25 HR and five SB isn’t that hard, so Adames will have to become a 30+ home run hitter or start stealing more bases to really be a fantastic consideration. outside of MI spots in deep leagues. At 25, he could continue to improve, and given that he hit the ball harder overall last year (.222 ISO, .488 SLG) he’s headed in the right direction.
Amed Rosario, Indians. While many focus on his eligible SS compatriot Andres Gimenez (and for good reason), his youth (22) and overall hitting profile leaves a little to be desired, at least at this point in his career. Rosario also has his warts, but the 25-year-old infielder has a legitimate 20/20 advantage while playing multiple points on the pitch. Rosario will likely be an afterthought in many projects, but given his background and his transition to a better batting park, he can be a cheap source of at least a little bit of power and speed.
Garrett Hampson, Rockies (also eligible for 2B, OF). Hampson hits too much and doesn’t walk enough, but the versatile speedster can still help fantasy owners, especially in Colorado. He hit eight homers and stole 15 goals in 108 games in 2019, and last year he stole six goals and had five homers in 53 games. As Brendan Rodgers (hamstring) heads to IL to start the season, Hampson should find his way into regular bats, and if he’s playing well, that should mean regular playing time. This would likely result in double-digit circuits and flights over 20.
Willi Castro, Tigers (3B). Castro impressed during his 36-game stint in the majors last year, hitting 0.349 / 0.381 / 0.550, but a ridiculous BABIP of 0.448 is a clue his average won’t be as good this year. Still, the 23-year-old switch-hitter has decent power and speed. Considering his versatility, this has value in deeper leagues.
Andres Gimenez, Indians (2B, 3B). At just 22 years old, Gimenez could be in a year or two to really make an impact, but the talented fielder is expected to steal 20-30 goals with regular playing time, which gives him a lot of value. He won’t be hitting a lot of home runs or hitting for a high average (.278 / .356 / .405 career hitter in minors), so don’t surprise him, but he’s definitely worth getting on yours. watch lists.
Dee Strange-Gordon, red * (2B, OF). With Eugenio Suarez looking like he’s playing the shortstop for the Reds this year, Strange-Gordon might not get the chance to take the job like he was at the start of spring training. However, if the speedster finds its way into normal playtime, we all know what it can bring to the table. Strange-Gordon struggled a lot last season in Seattle (.200 / .268 / .213 with just three SBs in 33 games), so it’s possible he failed, but he’s still worth watching now. that he’s in a more hitter-friendly park.
Other eligible SS sleepers written elsewhere: Dylan Moore (2B, 3B, OF), Jake Cronenworth (1B, 2B), Ha-seong Kim (2B), Carter Kieboom (3B), Jon Berti (2B, 3B, OF), Isiah Kiner-Falefa (C, 3B )), Luis Urias (2B, 3B)
*Not eligible for this position on draft day, but expected to play there during the season