Mar 4, 2008

Shortstops: Buy/Sell Recommendations

Quick recap of the concept for this series: The 'Sell' players are basically going in higher rounds or for more auction money than they truly warrant based on what they'll likely produce for 2008. The 'Buy' players are just the opposite, going in lower rounds or for less money than what they'll likely produce for 2008.

Shortstops to SELL:

  • Derek Jeter

    You can certainly count on Jeter to hit over .300 and score over 100 runs, but he's in a steady decline in the power department. His home run totals over the past four seasons have dropped from 23 to 19 to 14 to 12 and in 2007 he posted a near-career low in stolen base percentage getting caught eight times in 23 attempts - the 15 steals were the second lowest total he's posted in a season with 600+ at-bats. Also, factor in the fact that Jeter has topped 78 RBI just three times in his career and you can pretty safely predict a .320 average, 12-14 homers, 70+ RBI, 100+ runs and 12-14 steals. Good numbers for a shortstop, but not worthy of where he's being drafted or the auction money he's getting.

  • Miguel Tejada

    Similar to Jeter, Tejada is definitely a very good shortstop - he's just not the elite shortstop he was in 2004 and earlier. In 2004, Tejada's first year in Baltimore, he hit .311 with 34 home runs, 150 RBI, 107 runs scored and four steals. In the three years since, he has averaged .311 with 23 home runs, 93 RBI, 87 runs scored and four steals. Don't pay for the 2004 Tejada. Know what you're getting - a shortstop who will give you a .310 average, 25 homers, 95 RBI, 85 runs scored and a handful of steals. And don't overthink the 'Juice Box' factor - Tejada is actually hurt by his change in home ballparks (see previous post: The 15 players hurt most by their new 2008 home ballpark)

Shortstops to BUY:

  • Stephen Drew

    Drew suffered through a sub-par sophomore campaign, his first full season in the bigs. However, he did show significant improvement in his home run rate in the 2nd half of 2007 - hitting eight homers in just 237 at-bats (compared to four homers in 306 1st half at-bats). Look for Drew to make giant leaps forward in 2008 to the tune of a .290+ batting average, 20+ homers, 75 RBI, 75 runs scored and 10+ steals.

  • J.J. Hardy

    Hardy put up a first half batting line of .280 / .495 / .833 in 2007 along with 18 home runs. While he's unlikely to duplicate that amazing first half, especially in the home run department, I don't think he's going to drop off too much from that level. Look for a .280+ average, 27-30 homers, 90 RBI, 90 runs scored, and a couple of steals in 2008. He's basically Miguel Tejada with a lower batting average.

Other posts in the spring training buy/sell recommendations series:

Catchers: Buy/Sell Recommendations

1st Basemen: Buy/Sell Recommendations

2nd Basemen: Buy/Sell Recommendations

3rd Basemen: Buy/Sell Recommendations

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