The shortstop position is not one of the deepest positions in fantasy baseball this season. There are two players worthy of being drafted in the first two rounds. After that, the remaining shortstops fall into the middle and later rounds. With fantasy owners following the big names like Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki, one player has fallen by the wayside.
The Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons is a shortstop not many people are talking about, from a fantasy perspective. The Braves and Simmons agreed to a seven-year, $58 million deal last Thursday. He is yet another young player the Braves are locking up long-term for years of success.
Simmons made his MLB debut in May 2012. He played for a couple of months before suffering a fracture in right hand. In 49 total games, he hit for .289 with three home runs and 19 RBI. He was named NL Rookie of the Month in June after hitting .333 with six doubles, three HR and 14 RBI in 25 games.
In a full season, we all saw what Simmons can do. He played in 157 games, the most among all Braves hitters. He hit 27 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs and 59 RBI. With a slash line of .248/.296/.396, it was hard to be excited. However, with good power and plate discipline (52 walks to 76 strikeouts), he makes for a great middle-round option at shortstop.
He is quietly ranked as a top-10 shortstop with top-five upside. If he can be more consistent at the plate, hitting the ball and getting on base more, then he has a bright future ahead of him.
Heading into 2014 fantasy drafts, he should be the eighth shortstop taken, in between Xander Bogaerts and Asdrubal Cabrera. He can provide good power numbers, for a shortstop, while hitting close to .275. If you play in a keeper/dynasty league, Simmons should be one of the first five shortstops taken. Simmons will be a player we’ll be talking about for years to come.