San Francisco Giants Brandon Crawford: Top 5 Shortstop in 2016?

San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford had an all-star season this year. With shortstop not as deep as other positions, he could be a value pick in 2016.

The San Francisco Giants had one of the best offenses in the league in 2015. They ranked in the top half in hits, RBI and average among other things. One of the main contributors was shortstop Brandon Crawford. He was good in 2014, but he had his breakout season this year. With another year under his belt, 2016 could be the last year to buy low on Crawford in drafts. 

Brandon Crawford has played for five years, but it doesn’t feel like that. For the first couple, he wasn’t talked about too much. In his first 358 games, he hit 16 home runs, 109 RBI and a .241 average. It wasn’t until 2014 that Crawford became fantasy relevant.

He played in a career-high 153 games and hit 10 home runs, 69 RBI and a .246 average. While the average wasn’t anything to write home about, the increase in power opened up some eyes. He also hit 20 doubles and 10 triples, which contributed to a then-career high .389 slugging percentage.

Then, 2015 happened. In 143 games, he had a career-high 130 hits (33 doubles, four triples and 21 home runs), 84 RBI and a .256/.321/.462 line. At the end of the season, he finished as the eighth-best shortstop on the ESPN Player Rater, just 0.5 points behind Odubel Herrera.

As a waiver-wire pickup in most leagues (260 ADP), he became one of the most valuable shortstops in fantasy last season. He led his team in home runs and finished second in RBI. Hitting behind Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt will do that for you.

As we are just about four months away from Opening Day, it’s hard to gauge where Brandon Crawford should be drafted. The shortstop position added a lot of depth this past season with the emergence of Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts. I also don’t think Crawford can repeat as a 20-HR hitter. He is more likely to regress a little, back to his 2014 season. Regardless, with the shortstop position being hit-or-miss, you could do a lot worse than Crawford.

Projections: 122 hits, 13 home runs, 68 RBI, .248 average

Draft: Round 13