Sabermetric analysis is and has been the foundation of our Fantasy Baseball player projections since 1999. This analysis along with our founding concept of position scarcity, has helped us achieve superior consistency in projections accuracy. All of which can be customized to your league settings in our 2015 Player Projections Software. Let's start by looking at some of the Sabermetric indicators that are defining our 2015 Shortstop projections:
SS Rollins, Jimmy His production popped
back up in 2014, but at 36, his Batted Ball Spped (BBS) on his HRs continues to
fall (98.2), making him risky to continue the mid teens in HRs in 2015,
especially in his new home. To his credit, his speed component continues to
impress thanks to being 14 out of 15 in the 2nd half.
SS Reyes, Jose At 32, Reyes is still within his prime. His BA from last season looks a little discounted, so there'll be a bounce up there. His other component is speed, and he posted his best SB ratio 30 for 32 last season. The key of course going forward is his hamstring health.
SS Peralta, Jhonny Peralta flashed back to his 2011 form in 2014. As good as his numbers were last year, they could have been better. Our Expected Runs scored indicate that he should have posted 74 runs instead of 61, and his expected RBIs should have been 86 instead of 77.
SS Tulowitzki, Troy If Tulo can ever stay healthy, and that's a big if, he's going to win an MVP or at least post MVP numbers some season. His production per at bat is top 5 in all of MLB (.88 FPI last season). Can we get 500 Abs from him this year?
SS Hardy, J.J. We saw a big drop in hardy's HR/FB ratio last season, and part of it can be attributed to his lofty Infield Fly ball rate of 15% and loss of about 1% in BBS. That said his average HR distance remained constant, and the return to low 20s HRs should return in 2015.
SS Aybar, Erick Solid Contact rate (88%), but minimal power, and slumping speed...
SS Escobar, Yunel Still not achieving the upside in HRs, his 6% HR/FB ratio is surprising given his above average BBS.
SS Drew, Stephen Doesn't have the bat speed to provide enough production as a flyball hitter (.61 GB/FB), and when you consider his subpar contact rate of .79, he's not going to hit for average either.
SS Lowrie, Jed Lowie's BA lives and dies with his ability to gather extra base hits, as his heavy flyball rate (.71 GB/FB) without enough power (99.9 BBS) make for a risky category. Look for him to increase his 3% HR/FB rate, but he's not going to hit 20 HRs anytime soon (without a lot of luck).
SS Castro, Starlin Castro has slowly been lifting his swing, but when will his HR count finally reach it's potential? He's got the bat speed to be a 20+HR guy, but he's just not getting enough balls up in the air to make that happen. Still at only 25, that transition is within reason. What has been disappointing is his abandonment of the speed component.
SS Cabrera, Asdrubal According to his BBS of 101-102, Cabrera is not the type of hitter that going to expand on his mid teens HRs. He's a gap hitter through and through. There is room for expansion in the SB department, where he's been at a 80%+ clip.
SS Ramirez, Alexei Alexei turned up the power numbers last season, but a closer look indicates that most of those dingers were of the Just enough variety, as his BBS doesn't support his 8% HR/FB rate. Still a combined 30 (HR+SB) from the middle infield position is a plus.
SS Crawford, Brandon There was a nice ramp up in Crawford's bat speed last season (103.7 BBS) and it prevailed in other categories as well, including a higher singles rate and pickup in his XBH rate (8.2), a very nice progression as he enters the peak years.
SS Gonzalez, Marwin Like the selectiveness of his strike zone, walk rate, and XBH potential. Not likely to start the season in the lineup, but could come on in the 2nd half.
SS Flores, Wilmer Flores is an aggressive hitter with gap pop and power potential. He tore it up in AAA in 2013 with 55 XBH in 424 Abs and 26 XBH in 220 in 2014. What was surprising was seeing his contact rate at 88% during his stint with the Mets last season. He doesn't have the bat speed to be a big power hitter, but if he can find his spots (gaps) he could be a productive middle infielder in fantasy.
SS Segura, Jean One of the biggest disappointments of the 2014 season was Jean Segura. . He was a fantasy sensation in his rookie year launching 12 homers and stealing 44 bases, but has dropped off in each category by nearly 75%. He's really been hurt by an .80 point drop in BABIP which has helped drop his average down to .239 on the season despite his batted ball rates all being mirror images to 2013. He's even upped his walk rate and cut down on his strikeouts, so his 2015 prospects relies completely on whether you believe this or the 2013 version is the real Segura. We think he falls somewhere in between, posting a .270-.275 BA with 30 steals...which would make him an excellent value pick.
SS Gregorius, Didi Can Gregorius will be tasked with trying to fill the shoes of Derek Jeter's replacement in NY. Yikes, Yankee fans will be disappointed. What's most troubling about Gregorious is his heavy flyball rate (.87 GB/FB), with sub par bat speed. However that might not play so bad in Yankee Stadium where lefties have a very favorable advantage. But will low teen HRs be enough to offset a sub .250 BA?
SS Escobar, Eduardo Impressive 43 XBH in 2014, but .336 BABIP is likely going to regress as is his BA in 2015.
SS Escobar, Alcides Inflated BABIP of .326 leaves his .287 BA at risk. The SB component is fairly safe with some upside as 31 for 37 is an excellent percentage.
SS Mercer, Jordy Unlucky Singles % should normalize about 10 points to his BA, can sneak into the mid teens in HRs, but not much more
SS Desmond, Ian Desmond has one of the best batted ball speeds in baseball (106.5 on his HRs). If he puts a little effort into lifting his swing, he can easily become a 30 HR guy as his 18% FB/HR ratio is fully substantiated. With that comes a higher BABIP and of course BA. He's one of those players who's projection is a little bit of a reach.
SS Ramirez, Hanley Going to explode in the power categories with his move to the AL east. His BBS of 107 on his HR's was muted during his tenure in LA and Miami. His 11% HR/FB rate can easily be pushed to 16 or 17% which will push Hanley into the low to mid 20 HR range in 2015. Look for a climb in RBIs as well.
SS Cabrera, Everth PEDs aside, I think we going to see a decent bounce back from Cabrera this season. Power was never in the cards, and I don't think that much of the increase we saw in contact rate was directly related to the PEDs use. A return to 30 Sbs is well within reason here if he can work himself up to semi regular playing time in Baltimore.
SS Andrus, Elvis Unlucky BABIP cost him 20-25 in BA, and his speed component fell considerably in 2015...but at 26, those legs are still fresh and bound to rebound.
all of the player projections and Fantasy Rankings customized for your league
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SS Owings, Chris Recovering from a shoulder procedure, but expected to be ready for the season. Owings posted an very solid 15% ISO similar to what he posted in the minors, and with an 80% contact rate...he's intriguing at a historically thin position. We'll need to see how healthy he is this spring as shoulder recoveries tend to be drawn out.
SS Iglesias, Jose Don't buy into the .305 BA from last season, as his .356 BABIP is not sustainable. Not much else here as the speed component isn't here, and the gap power is still in it's infancy.
SS Santana, Daniel Santana made solid contact with a 26.4% Line Drive Rate in 2014, but his .405 BABIP is off the charts in any format. With a 22% K Rate and a 5% BB Rate, his SB potential will be hampered by the ability to get on base....
SS Hechavarria, Adeiny Solid Contact rate (.84) and heavy GB rate (2.26), helps him maintain a healthy BA. Unfortunately very little power and little speed.
SS Walters, Zach Zach has had a power epiphany in the last 18 months or so, as he busted out for 29 HRs in 2013 in AAA. However his 10 HRs in only 124 Abs was a complete anomaly as he's got average BBS (103). Zach has no speed game and he has never been able to claim any kind of OBP prowess, either.
SS Simmons, Andrelton Simmons had a down season, but if you look closely at his peripherals, you'll see that he was a little unlucky. Starting with his .263 BABIP and .228 Singles rate, which cost him 25+ points on his BA. His 87% contact rate is well above industry norm as is his heavy 1.68 GB/FB rate, indicating that there's plenty of opportunity for us to see a rise in BA this season. His HR/FB rate dipped to 5% from 8% and his underlying 407 ft distance and 104 BBS on his HRs indicate to us that there's a lot more power that is untapped.
SS Colon, Christian Colon only has Omar Infante as a hurdle in front of him and will see significant action this year if he gets off to a hot start in AAA. Colon can be a mid 20s type of SB guy, and his propensity to keep the ball down with a good BB/K ratio puts him on base.
SS Bogaerts, Xander Bogaerts has enough pop in his bat to make him a intriguing fantasy prospect. His 12% ISO combined with his above average distance (398) on his HRs last season, provides enough RBI potential to make him fantasy viable in most leagues....and at only 22 YO, there's a lot of upside that he can develop into a 20+ HR guy sooner rather than later.
SS Miller, Brad Miller's season was quite a disappointment, his 10/36/.324 season was exactly way forecasting young hitters and then relying on those forecasts is a risky game. His power and batted ball speed (105) translates to a hitter that should have a HR/FB ratio closer to 16% rather than the 10% he posted last season. On top of that he was very unfortunate on balls hit into play (.268 BABIP) which cost him considerable BA. We're expecting bigger and getting things from him this season.
SS Baez, Javier First and foremost is the shear power that Baez possesses....his 106.1 BBS on HRs was among the best in all of Baseball. That said, he won't be able to sustain an everyday role, until he steps back and slows his violent swing down and focus on making contact. His 59% Contact rate was among the worst in baseball...and some serious correction must take place before Baez can achieve his true potential.
SS Kang, Jung Kang hit 40 HRs in Korea last year, good for a astounding .740 Slugging%. Not bad for a shortstop....but before we get too excited lets consider that his previous HR high was 25 in a season, and his best slugging % was 560. Then there's the Korean translation of power to American baseball and its enlarged ballparks....we shouldn't look at Kang as more than a Mid to high teens guy in HRs. He's got a decent eye, but will strike out at a higher clip than most far eastern players (20-25%), so batting average might be an issue for this flyball hitter. That said he's playing the weak offensive position called shortstop, so he does offer us something to chew on.
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