Over/Under: 2015 Shortstops

Sep 26, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) throws to first base for the force out of Miami Marlins left fielder Enrique Hernandez (12) during the second inning in game one of a baseball doubleheader at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Over/under 117 games played for Troy Tulowitzki: over.

In my article earlier this week, I mentioned that Troy Tulowitzki has missed an average of 45 games per season in his career.  Last season, Tulo only managed 91 games before getting shut down with a hip injury.  While this prediction is truly a guess in the dark, I think we get 130-135 games from the league’s top shortstop.  As a result, Troy Tulowitzki will finish as the top shortstop in 2015.

Over/under 25 homers and 25 steals for Ian Desmond: over and under.

I think Desmond will finish with 27 home runs and 21 stolen bases.  This combo of stats along with an improved slash line from 2014 make Ian Desmond worth his hefty draft day cost.

Over/under 15 home runs for Starlin Castro: over.

Starlin Castro rebounded nicely in 2014 after a dreadful 2013 season.  At only age 24, Castro sent 14 balls into the bleachers with a career high 10.1% HR/FB%.  His line drive rate improved to a career best 22.3%.  I think we see his numbers continue to inch up as he begins to enter his prime.  At this moment, I have Castro down for 18 homers.

Over/under 50% ownership at season’s end for Jean Segura: under.

This over/under assumes that Jean Segura is healthy at the end of the season.  I am a complete seller in Jean Segura.  Segura was terrific in the first half of 2013 when he hit .325 (including .367 through April), hit 11 homers, and stole 27 bases.  He looked like a superstar fantasy shortstop in the making.  Since then, Jean Segura has offered virtually no power and a meager batting average.  He should only be rostered on teams that are desperate for steals.

Over/under J.J. Hardy finishing in the top 10 shortstops: over.

I highlighted why I thought J.J. Hardy would rebound earlier this week in my article found here.  I think Hardy finds himself with 20+ homers yet again, which is enough to vault Hardy back into the starting shortstop conversation as a top 10 SS.

Over/under a .700 OPS for Xander Bogaerts: over.

I think a full Major League season under Xander’s belt in 2014 was critical for his development.  I feel that Xander Bogearts will be far more settled this season and it will show at the plate.  Bogaerts only had a .660 OPS in his rookie year, but I think it jumps a full 75 points all the way up .735 next season.

Over/under 120 starts at SS for Wilmer Flores: under.

This prediction is not based on health, but rather on the fact that the New York Mets do not trade for a shortstop this offseason and deploy Wilmer Flores in the most important defensive position in the field (not including catcher).  Flores plays decently with a .260 average and hits 10 first-half HR’s, but GM Sandy Alderson still makes a play for a new shortstop at the trade deadline when the Mets are actually in contention.

Over/under 12 home runs for Andrelton Simmons: under.

Simmons is more known for his glove, but he also crushed 17 bombs in his 2013 season where he played some of the best defense ever.  In 2014, Andrelton Simmons regressed at the plate and only hit 7 home runs.  I think Simmons continues to struggle at the plate and only sends 9 balls into the stands, but his home run total will also match his error total in 2015.

Over/under .5 Gold Gloves for Andrelton Simmons: over.

This is not really relevant to fantasy baseball, but his defense is that good.  He is a wizard with the glove.

Over/under a top 10 season among shortstops for Alexei Ramirez: under.

Alexei Ramirez is one of my many busts at SS next season.  Ramirez is now 33 years old and he still refuses to draw a walk.  I do not think he will start out the season again piping hot where he maintained an over .300 batting average into June.  The Cell is a great hitter’s park, so I think double-digit home runs are a strong possibility, but Ramirez struggles in all other fantasy departments.

Over/under 1% ownership of Derek Jeter in 2015: over.

I have no idea who these people are, but Derek Jeter will be owned by a select few in fantasy baseball.  As tribute to the Captain, I will predict that he is owned in 2% of leagues.  Of course, those 2% of people that own Jeter probably also drafted Alex Rodriguez last season.