2016 Steamer Position Review – SS

Steamer projections are now available and we’ve converted them to Ottoneu scoring (FGPTS) for 2016.  It’s now to time dig into these projections position by position to see if we can find anything interesting for the upcoming season.  Each Steamer projection sheet includes full projected stats for 2016 along with post-arbitration Ottoneu Average $ Values (FGPTS) and custom $ values by Ottoneu mastermind Justin Vibber.

The $ values are based on early versions of Steamer for 2016 and represent a snapshot in time. Use them to inform your valuation of various players but check back often for updates and new projection systems.

We’ll start with SS.  You can find the full SS projection list here.

SS 2016 FGPTS Steamer Top 12.JPG

2016 Steamer Position Review – SS

  • Anyone surprised to see Machado top the list? You shouldn’t be.  There aren’t many players in the game that increased their value more than Machado did in 2015 with a combination of a breakout .370 wOBA and new-found SS eligibility.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to Correa, but if for some reason you find yourself with the choice of drafting Machado or Correa, don’t think too hard about it: Machado is projected to lead the position in 2016 with 27 HR and the only SS Steamer projects with an OPS over .800.  He should sit comfortably at #1 in total FGPTS (909) by the end of the season and Justin looks justified in valuing him > $40 at auction.

  • Correa is awesome…Thought about just stopping there, but you only have to watch him to appreciate how good he is (by the way, if you just play Ottoneu and don’t actually watch MLB players like Correa, you’re doing it wrong).  Unless Tulo revives his career in TOR, Correa is the best bet to challenge Machado as the top SS over the next several seasons.  Everyone in your league already knows this, so if you happen to own Correa, the only thing that might make the pain of arbitration easier to swallow this winter is the ridiculous trade offers you are likely to get as 11 other owners in your league try to pry him away from you.  Keep in mind Correa was actually slightly better than Machado on a P/PA basis last year, but Steamer isn’t quite that optimistic heading into 2016, so while he’s clearly a top flight SS, expect some bumps along the way to 800+ points.
  • Reyes could be in jail.  Bid accordingly.
  • Here’s a good, recent article on Xander that will be more beneficial than anything we can reveal here, but Bogaerts might be on the short list to lead arbitration candidates this time next year as he’s got the pedigree and approaching power to be one of the better buys on this list in FGPTS.  Steamer pegs Xander for 15 HR, which would double his output from 2015, and that ISO number will be critical as Xander tries to fight agains at .378 BABIP from last season too.  With a slightly more powerful approach Steamer sees him matching his output from last year, which should put him at just over 5.0 P/G.
  • Tulo is likely to be the “most cut” player heading into February among Ottoneu leagues.  As usual, the most important projection for Tulo is PA, and Steamer is optimistic with 580 PA, which would represent his healthiest season since 2011.  As you can see from the $ values ($48 average; $21 calculated), Tulo is tough to peg in 2016 auctions.  I’d expect his real price to fall somewhere in the mid-$30’s, but his 2016 exit price may be all over the map.
  • Over the past two seasons Jhonny Peralta has ranked 1st (2014) and  3rd (2015) among shortstops in total FGPTS.  Not bad, and Steamer has him in the upper half of 12 teams leagues again at #6 (#8 in P/PA). He’s not sexy, but neither are most of the SS options you see after passing on the guys listed above, so sometimes steady will do just fine (eclipsing 700 points each of the last two seasons). $20 is too high, but if you can snag him for just under that price, you’re looking at fair value.
  • Lindor missed out on ROY honors, and most people reading this missed out on his breakout rookie contribution last year too.  Lindor was terrific (exactly 6.0 P/G) but “don’t get too excited about Lindor’s early power output.”.  Bottom line here is that Steamer sees regression, we see regression, and you see regression.  And yet, despite all that, Steamer still has Lindor ranked as the 7th best SS by total points heading in 2016.  All those PA’s add up, but don’t let him bust your budget (> $15).  He might be worth more to you as a trade chip if the rest of your league hasn’t read this yet.
  • RotoGraphs is typing faster than I can at this point so you can find some Seager love here (and more here), but he’s going to be good, and it’s going to come as early as 2016.  BUT, don’t expect Correa – he will forever be linked to Correa like Harper is linked to Trout, but don’t get caught up in the genealogy: they aren’t the same player, and you shouldn’t expect them to be.  Steamer’s projected .319 wOBA seems a little lite to me, but it won’t matter because if you’re either buying him at auction or acquiring him in trade, you’re going to have to give up more than $13 worth of value to land him.  He’ll be one of the more interesting SS to watch in 2016 and should be expected to maintain SS eligibility into at least 2017.
  • The thing that really sticks out about Semien is that he looks like the last line of defense before you really drop off the cliff of SS mediocrity in Ottoneu, at least according to Steamer. Sure, Desmond could have a bounce back season, but Steamer doesn’t see it, and Semien’s 1.07 projected P/PA is a breath of fresh air compared to Andrus, Desmond, Simmons, Alexei, and Castro, who are so boring I’m unlikely to type more than this sentence about them.  If you don’t like any of the SS up top and can’t find the patience to wait for the return of Kang, Semien might be your guy, and if you’re pinching pennies, he’s a smart buy at ~ $10 with a 102 wRC+.
  • Quick: which SS out-homered all SS not named Machado or Correa in 2016? Yep, Brandon Crawford was a bargain heading into 2015 and found himself on a lot of championship Ottoneu teams for a big 1st half breakout that fizzled a bit in the 2nd to land at .332 wOBA.  Steamer doesn’t appear to buy the power bump (from .462 SLG to .381) and a big part of that is likely tied up in a career-best 16.2% HR/FB% from last year.  But before you back away, be sure to read one of the better articles of 2015 on player adjustments here.  Crawford should find himself back in the Top 12 SS in Ottoneu in 2016; pay accordingly (~$8-$12).
  • In the Top 20 SS by FGPTS by Steamer, Wilmer Flores has the 5th highest SLG (.424) outside of Machado, Correa, Xander, and Tulo.  Bottom line: before you buy Ian Desmond in 2016, look at Wilmer Flores; he’s the same player at about 1/3 the price.
  • With just over 1.0 P/PA, Jed Lowrie looks like a sneaky buy outside the Top 20 SS.
  • Speed doesn’t play in FGPTS.  Don’t be fooled by Ketel Marte (CS = -2.8 PTS).  Steamer isn’t.
  • Surprised to see Addison Russell so low (28th in total FGPTS with 498)?  Keep in mind Steamer projects just 501 PA likely due to his frenzied rotation in the CHC infield last year.  He should be more of a full time player in 2016 but you aren’t really going to get him at a discount so it probably doesn’t matter.  I’m not sold (.305 wOBA) that Russell is ready to take a big jump up this list in 2016, but with an average price of $10, he’ll need to do it soon.
  • Jedd Gyorko started 28 games at SS in 2015.  That seems crazy, so he might not even be owned in your league.  If not, you’re in luck, because he offers some upside, which is supported by Steamer’s at-least-bench-worthy 1.02 P/PA.  He’s the magic 27 y/o this season and has a previous 4.75 P/G season on his resume…
  • Eugenio Suarez is another guy you should have watched played the game in 2015; he can hit, and he also really isn’t a SS, so don’t expect to see him there for long.  In fact, he may find himself with OF eligibility in 2016 as well, so keep an eye on him.  He could be a great draft bargain and a Zobrist-lite type player as early as 2016.  Steamer is slightly optimistic at 1.06 P/PA, which is Adrubal territory.
  • I have no idea what to do with Trea Turner, but just remember speed plays down in Ottoneu, and that’s his skill set.
  • I am staying away from all shares of Zack Cozart in 2016.
  • Javier Baez – remember him? He’s rostered somewhere in your league but is probably more attainable today that at any point in his previous Ottoneu existence.  Steamer still sees the hype at 1.18 P/PA (that’s not that far off Tulo territory), so if you can snag him cheaply this could be the season to watch him boom or bust on your own roster.  The power is legit (.457 SLG); just have to make contact…
  • Brad Miller still has SS eligibility and since he was just traded to TB, he’s now the new official Zobrist 2.0.  I’ve always liked Miller, and TB should be able to maximize his value.  It would be smart to do the same on your team in 2016 (but only against RHP; 125 wRC+ in 2015).
  • Stephen Drew.  No.
  • Brock Holt.  Just something fun about owning a guy that can play 1B/2B/SS/3B/OF.
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