Shortstop can be a tough position to fill on your fantasy baseball team. If you are patient, you can get a good value in Alcides Escobar in the middle rounds of your draft this spring. In a 12-team league, he might still be available in round 14 or 15, which would provide an exceptional value.
Escobar, who bats second in the Kansas City Royals lineup, has been selected down near the 180 position in drafts this spring. This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Managers are taking Elvis Andrus more than 100 spots earlier, but last year, Escobar had a better batting average: .293 to .286. He also had more steals: 35 to 21. We’ll give Andrus his 17 more runs scored, but there is no way Escobar is 100 players behind Andrus. Maybe this anomaly is because Andrus plays for the Texas Rangers while Escobar toils in the obscurity of Kansas City.
Even Derek Jeter, who is recovering from a broken ankle at age 39, is being selected ahead of Escobar. One of Jeter’s primary values has been his ability to play almost every game each season, which must be called into question at this point in his career. This also is a big market versus little market scenario, but you need to be smart enough to not just think of “brand names” when you are knee deep in your draft.
So don’t panic when you look at your cheat sheet and see that most of the shortstops are gone. Just be patient, wait for Escobar and you will be happy that you did. Good luck in your draft and hit me up for any last minute draft advice you might need.