Selecting a DFS shortstop is a well-documented struggle. Paying a premium for the top options hasn’t even seemed to cut it lately either.
Focusing specifically on the most recent month, Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez have been especially mediocre. Tulo’s 6% upside indicates a much needed price reduction and it took Hanley 25 days to get his first RBI in May.
The graph above depicts the top-35 shortstops in terms of at-bats. Only 15 have registered a positive Plus/Minus.
The four distinct peaks are represented by Jung-Ho Kang (+1.5), Danny Santana (+1.5), Marcus Simien (+0.8) and Jimmy Rollins (+0.7), but do they provide the production to be considered one of the top-10 SS values?
10. Addison Russell ($3,600*) vs. LHP: Russell has yet to take a lefty out of the park but has an ISO of .227 thanks to five doubles in 22 at bats. His success against lefties dates back to his time in the Minors, as Russell batted .356 with five homers in his 45 at-bats in 2014.
9. Freddy Galvis ($3,400*) vs LHP: Galvis is rare in that he’s thrived in lefty/lefty matchups this season. He’s hitting over .400 against lefties with a wOBA of .360 over 39 at-bats this season. His career splits offer the necessary sample size to confirm this outlier.
8. Danny Santana ($3,800*) vs RHP: Santana leads all shortstops in Consistency rating and prefers a matchup against right-handers. His .335 wOBA and .136 ISO vs righties combined with his 51% consistency have all the makings of a solid daily value.
7. Starlin Castro ($3,700*) vs LHP: Castro flat out hits lefties to the tune of a career .340 wOBA, which qualifies as above-average. What he lacks in power, Castro makes up for with a high floor that is good for cash games.
6. Adeiny Hechavarria ($3,300*) vs LHP: Hechavarria’s overall improvement at the plate has been furthered by his performance against left-handed pitchers. Over the last calendar year, Hechavarria has produced a .363 wOBA and .145 ISO against southpaws.
5. Danny Espinosa ($3,200*) vs LHP: Espinosa has built a reputation for his pop, but hits .276 against lefties compared to a .230 overall career average. A career ISO split of .182 qualifies as above-average power upside which is hard to find from players at his low salary.
4. Zack Cozart ($3,500*) vs LHP: Cozart has 3 homers in 34 at-bats vs LHP compared to 3 in 105 vs RHP. Normally considered a poor hitter, Cozart has been a complete threat against lefties with a .365 wOBA to complement his power potential.
3. Brad Miller ($3,400*) vs RHP: Miller is fresh off AL Player of the Week honors with impressive numbers that were accumulated against RHP. He carries a .361 wOBA and tremendous .206 ISO splits.
2. Jose Iglesias ($3,300*) vs LHP: One of the nicest surprises of 2015 has been what Iglesias has been able to accomplish offensively. Known for his glove, Iglesias has expanded his game by punishing lefty pitchers. Across 31 ABs, he has managed to tally a .472 wOBA and .194 ISO.
1. Jung-Ho Kang ($3,700*) vs LHP: Kang has been quick to dispel any theories that his KBO stats were simply a fluke. The .492 wOBA that he carries against lefties is among the top-15 in the league for players with at least 20 ABs against southpaws.
*Average salary over last 15 games