Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager will be around for a while. He is dominating in his first full season. Should he be ranked as the top shortstop in 2017?
Unless you are in your league’s playoffs, the 2016 fantasy baseball is pretty much over. While you should pay attention to your team all the way through, that isn’t always the case. So, with your attention turning towards the 2017 season, you’re developing your draft strategy. After the way his season went, is Los Angeles Dodgers’ shortstop Corey Seager the No. 1 guy at his position?
Seager made a brief appearance in the 2015 season, 27 games, and played well. He had four home runs, 17 RBI and a .337 batting average. Even with the short sample size, fantasy owners were all about the Seager hype train.
He averaged as a seventh round pick in ESPN drafts, 67.2 ADP. He was the fourth shortstop drafted, 10 picks behind Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts has a lower average and on-base percentage, but more steals and runs scored.
Seager is on a tear this season. He has 25 home runs, 69 RBI, 98 runs scored and a .313/.373/.524 line. He also has 122 strikeouts to 52 walks. Seager doesn’t steal much, only two steals on five attempts, that’s still more than Manny Machado, who still has zero on the season.
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Seager missed just four games so far this season. With that durability, you know you will be getting consistent production on a weekly basis. That is the complete opposite of what you’d get from Troy Tulowitzki or Jose Reyes.
As of this writing, Seager is the No. 49 player on the ESPN Player Rater. Not the No. 49 hitter, overall player. He would rank higher if he stole more, but his contact and power keep him in the top 50.
Of the other shortstops in the top 10, or even top five on the Player Rater, each one has their own faults. Jonathan Villar and Jean Segura steal more, but they don’t provide the same power. Francisco Lindor is fair across the board, but doesn’t excel at in one particular category. Carlos Correa isn’t hitting over .275.
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, I do not like drafting steals early. The speed-only players can be found late. Segura was a 22nd round pick, Villar was a 23rd round pick, Eduardo Nunez wasn’t drafted. However, the power and contact Seager possesses at the position cannot be found late. Machado is first in home runs and fifth in average among shortstops.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I think Seager’s are less impactful than the others.
Seager will turn 23 next April. His value will continue to go up from here. He is a legitimate 30 HR/100 RBI/.315 hitter. The Dodgers struggled in the first half, 19th in runs scored. If they played like they have in second half, Seager’s numbers would be a lot higher. He is the top shortstop in keeper/dynasty leagues, but should also be No. 1 in re-draft leagues, too.