Of all the shortstops out there this season, there are not many reliable fantasy baseball options. Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes are widely considered the number one and number two options, but they even come with some degree of uncertainty.
There are still several sleepers to target in deeper leagues outside of the top 10 shortstops. One of those lesser-known shortstops to keep an eye on is Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar.
In 2012, Escobar really emerged as a respectable low-end starter in fantasy leagues. He finally matured as a big leaguer and his .293 batting average was far and away the best hitting performance of his young career. He looked much more comfortable at the plate and showed that he has potential to be a great leadoff hitter.
Escobar has never been known as a power hitter. He hit just five home runs and was only able to drive in 52 runs, which were not exactly near the top of the league. It’s not like Jose Reyes or Derek Jeter are going to lead the MLB in home runs anytime soon, so fantasy owners should expect that this is not a position to get power out of.
The speedster also had a huge impact on the base path for fantasy owners. Escobar managed to steal 35 bases in 2012, while only being caught five times. He also hit seven triples and scored 68 runs, as speed is easily the most intriguing aspect of Escobar’s fantasy value.
Many people tend to overlook Escobar due to the fact that he rarely hit home runs, but his fantasy value comes from his batting average and stolen bases. His skill set is not that different from other All-Stars at the position, so don’t sleep on this youngster due to his lack of pop.
Escobar is a top 12 option at shortstop this year and will be a great value pick anywhere after the 15th round. He may not be a top-tier option, but he will allow you to address more important positions in 2013 drafts.