Fantasy baseball 2018: 3 shortstops to target late

J.P. Crawford: late-round shortstop flyer
J.P. Crawford: late-round shortstop flyer /

If you don’t draft one of the elite shortstop options and then miss out on the mid-tier ones, there are three you can get with a late-round pick.

Whether you play in deep league formats, AL/NL-only leagues or simply need to wait to draft your shortstop or middle infielder, we have identified three shortstops that are available in the late rounds (after pick 300), who could return excellent value for their draft position.

Asdrubal Cabrera (ADP 302)
The Mets decided against adding a second baseman either via trade (Jason Kipnis) or free agency (Neil Walker), satisfied that Asdrubal Cabrera will continue the resurgence he has undergone since turning 30.

Over the last two seasons, Cabrera has slashed .280/.343/.455 with an average of 18 home runs, 31 doubles, 66 runs, 60 RBI and four stolen bases.

Although he has the tag of being injury-prone, Cabrera has played at least 135 games in seven straight seasons. Not only does the 32-year-old offer consistent production, he does it with triple-position-eligibility. Don’t reach for Cabrera in shallow mixed leagues but his versatility and the avenue for everyday playing time make him an excellent late-round pick.

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J.P. Crawford (ADP 317)
After fueling concern that the former top prospect might be a bust, J.P. Crawford finally discovered some power last season with 15 home runs in Triple-A. The left-hander has a patient approach, as demonstrated by 16 walks to 22 strikeouts in his Major League cup of coffee in September.

To show their commitment to making Crawford their primary shortstop, the Phillies traded away Freddy Galvis to the Padres.

Prospect fatigue and a less-than-stellar debut stint are holding Crawford’s draft position down, but he offers the potential for double-digit home runs and stolen bases with the guarantee of a good OBP.

Ketel Marte (ADP 410)
One of the main beneficiaries of Brandon Drury’s move to the Yankees, Ketel Marte is expected to be the Diamondbacks’ everyday shortstop.

The Dominican has a range of skills that could translate into serious fantasy production if he can put them all together. He is speedy; although that has yet to translate into useful stolen base totals. He is patient at the plate; 11.5% walk rate is impressive for a young player on a new team. He makes contact; his Contact% has increased each season. And he hits the ball hard; Marte went deep a career-high 12 times last season across all levels.

The 24-year-old was all set to be one of my breakout sleepers for 2018, but the humidor could impact his ability to get to double-digit home runs. He is still one of my favorite picks outside the top-400.

Next: Wait on outfield to win your league

I find the depths of the shortstop position particularly unexciting. Although there are lots of players in the 200-300 pick range, who could finish as top-100 players. Mets’ Amed Rosario is a class player but is downgraded as he looked overmatched in his first taste of the majors. He was only 21 years old.

There will, of course, be surprises like Jorge Polanco of the Twins or the Cardinals’ Paul DeJong, who seemingly appear out of nowhere to become significant fantasy contributors.