Roto SS Rankings – Fantasy Baseball

Joy R. Absalon - USA TODAY Sports

This may be the deepest year for infield players that I can remember and the SS rankings don’t really differ in that fact. It isn’t as deep as the other three infield positions (I’m ignoring catcher) but compared to the history of this position where it was ugly outside the top 7 or 8 there are 14 guys I am happy to own this year. We then have another eight guys who are gambles for various reasons but have good upside before we start settling for safety at the position. This year is going to be a tough year to draft but in a great way because there are going to be a ton of good options available at every round on the hitting side of the ball so the best player available approach may never be more applicable than it will be this year.

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C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF| SP | RP

Please keep an eye out for the other positions coming over the next few weeks and the equivalent point’s rankings.

The Elite

  1. Manny Machado, 3B/SS, BAL

Machado is the best SS eligible player by some distance this season because he has 30+ home run power, he will score and drive in a ton of run, hit for a pretty good average and if he’s in the mood he could steal some bases as well.

The Really Flipping Good

  1. Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
  2. Corey Seager, SS, LAD
  3. Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE
  4. Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS

This is a really good tier and if Machado wasn’t eligible here this would be a perfectly acceptable top tier for any position. Splitting them is really splitting hairs and I am more than happy to wait and take the last one available. Correa’s mid-20s power and 15-20ish steals gets him the nod over this tier. I think Seager is still developing and could add further power this year. Lindor is perhaps the best all-around talent at the position but it wouldn’t surprise if he struggle this season. Bogaerts is in a really nice line-up and will score a ton or runs whilst driving in a ton as well.

The Safe Starters

  1. Jonathan Villar, 3B/SS, MIL
  2. Jean Segura, 2B/SS, ARI
  3. Aledmys Diaz, SS, STL
  4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, TOR
  5. Trevor Story, SS, COL

Another tier of guys where I am happy with any of these guys as they all offer something above the average and then couple it with nice, if not spectacular, stats in other categories. Villar’s speed gets him the nod given he stole 60+ bases in his first full season and could easily do it again if he gets another full season. Segura being traded made sure he was below Villar because I fear he loses not only power with the park switch but also a few steals with a philosophy switch. Diaz can hit for 20 home runs and hit for a decent average which is not something you often find at this position. With a full time position all season and maintaining this average he will jump into the tier up. I just cannot give up on Tulowitzki especially with him in a hitter friendly Toronto with a still decent if not as good line-up around him. Let’s look for 20 homers at around a 0.290 average. Now can Story match last year to the same extent? Probably not but he should still hit 30 bombs and steal at least half a dozen bases whilst, amazingly, not killing your average.

The Low End Starters

  1. Eduardo Nunez, 3B/SS, SF
  2. Addison Russell, SS, CHC
  3. Alcides Escobar, SS, KC
  4. Brandon Crawford, SS, SF

This tier isn’t as exciting as the two either side of it but all of these guys are solid fantasy producers who should be able to add value to your team as starters without making you pull your hair out. Nunez stole a ton of bases last season and whilst he may not match that number this year I still think 30+ is more than possible with a handful of homers and decent average. Russell is now past him prospect status and it’s time to start performing as expected. His floor comes from the fact he is in a great line-up where he should score a ton of runs and RBI whilst having the potential to hit 20+ homers. Escobar is another guy who provides you with speed and whilst it isn’t to the same extent as Nunez he should provide more value in the runs department batting atop the KC order. Crawford  doesn’t have the power upside of Russell but he dies provide more safety in the average department.

Marilyn Indahl - USA TODAY Sports

Marilyn Indahl – USA TODAY Sports

The Prospects

  1. Jorge Polanco, SS, MIN
  2. Tim Anderson, SS, CWS
  3. Dansby Swanson, SS, ATL
  4. Orlando Arcia, SS, MIL

These four guys are all going to be given the chance to show what they have in 2017. I expect that at least one will be a roaring success and at least one will massively disappoint and that the gamble you have to take if you’re going to dip into this tier. Polanco needs to show more of something in the power or steals department this year to really progress but he has the most experience of these three guy and therefore is the ‘safest’. Anderson wet his feet last year in the majors and should get a full go this year. He had a decent 2016 from a power standpoint and if he maintains that and adds the speed we all expected from him then he could be a really solid fantasy contributor. Swanson is a little bit of an unknown professional baseball wise as we really haven’t seen much of him on any stage but he can offer an all-around contribution and Atlanta clearly think he is going to be a game changer. Arcia will get his shot in Milwaukee this year and if he can build on last season we are looking at a steals guy with decent power to back that up. He is the one I am least bullish on just because he doesn’t have a great line-up supporting him and they have Villar who can step back over to SS if he struggles.

The Big Power

  1. Jedd Gyorko, 2B/3B/SS, STL
  2. Javier Baez, 2B/3B/SS, CHC
  3. Marcus Semien, SS, OAK

I’ve discussed Gyorko and Baez a lot in these rankings and the same goes here. If they get 125+ games they well be extremely valuable thanks to the power they can offer. Semien is the guy who will frustrate you for weeks and then explode for a few homers and a steals and all will feel well. He is tough to trust and feel happy with whilst in a hitting suppressing park in Oakland.

The Speed Options

  1. Elvis Andrus, SS, TEX
  2. Jose Peraza, SS/OF, CIN

The value for Andrus is very much dependent on where he bats in the Rangers line-up. Whilst he is stuck at the bottom of the line-up he is just a steals guy with a decent average because he cannot provide much power and doesn’t set the world alight in the other counting stats. If Peraza gets full time ABs then he is going to steal 50+ bases and whilst he isn’t going to offer you a massively great average he isn’t going to hurt you either. I still think he is worth drafting in daily leagues to take advantage of his limited playing time.

The Mid-Level Power

  1. Brad Miller, 1B/SS, TB
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, NYM
  3. Zack Cozart, SS, CIN
  4. Didi Gregorius, SS, NYY
  5. Danny Espinosa, SS, LAA

This tier is loaded full of guys who can provide that 12-20 home run power with a handful of steals and won’t destroy your average. No one stands out here to make them worth talking about.

The Meh Tier

  1. Chris Owings, SS/OF, ARI
  2. Andrelton Simmons, SS, LAA

Owings can at least offer 10+ steals but he really isn’t the exciting SS option we hoped he would be when he first came up. Simmons is really the most meh of all regular starters at the SS position in the MLB. Don’t get me wrong he is an unbelievable defender but hitting wise the only reason you are drafting him is because you want an everyday guy who won’t destroy you.

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