Daily Fantasy Baseball League News: Shortstops who could surprise in the Late Season

February 10, 2011
Fantasy Baseball
by derektor

Remember the good old days of Little League? When the shortstop was the coach’s son and by far the team’s best player? When you could scout out your opposition’s hitting ability simply by looking at their defensive lineup? (For those of you who never played when you were little, they usually stuck the…shall we say…less motivated kids in the outfield.)

Heck, remember the 90s? Wasn’t every great player in the majors a shortstop back then? Even A-Rod was still playing that infield lynchpin position back then. Weird now that A-Rod is just another power hitting veteran. But I digress.

These days, there are two types of shortstops. There are the glorified second-basemen who are put out there to steal a few bases and try to hit for a high average, and then there are the old-school, best-player-on-the-team, power-hitting, five-tool superstars. Well, if you’re looking for value in a daily fantasy baseball league or trying to shore up the position in a longer league, there are limited options that won’t break the bank. Still, here are some of your best bets if you’re looking to save salary cap money or make a solid free-agent pickup for your fantasy team at shortstop.

Rafael Furcal, Dodgers. When Furcal is at his best, he’s actually a surprisingly efficient power hitter. When he’s at his worst, he can’t hit the broad side of a barn. Fortunately for you, fantasy guru, Furcal is white-hot right about now. Since the beginning of June, Furcal has hit all six of his homers, and has failed to reach base in just four games. That includes a seven game multi-hit game streak at the end of last month. If you’re not convinced, he’s raised his average from .292 on June 6th to .336 on July 6th. Furcal picks up his game in a big way after the All-Star break every year, so jump on him now if you can still get him for a reasonable price.

Jayson Nix, Cleveland. What a couple of weeks this guy has had. In just 12 games since Cleveland picked him up off waivers, Nix has played like a man possessed. Last week alone, Nix hit .333 with five home runs (FIVE! LAST WEEK!) 7 RBI and 3 walks. Are you kidding me? He’s eligible for 2B,3B, and SS depending on your league, but if you play in a one-day league, you have to have this guy on your roster at one of those positions. At least for the next week or so. He hasn’t exactly wowed anyone in his baseball career up to this point, so don’t make a silly move to get him…but if he’s available for pickup or you have only a little salary cap left, do it without hesitation.

Felipe Lopez, St. Louis. Another hot infield utility man from the Midwest, Lopez plays more like a second baseman than a shortstop…but if you’ve got your steals and home runs coming from other places, Lopez is worth a look. He’s hitting .440 for the month of July. He won’t provide a ton of stats other than his consistent hitting, but he’d complement someone like Mark Reynolds nicely. If these numbers keep up, look to see him near the top of the St. Louis lineup soon…which means some pretty serious protection behind him and easier pitches to hit.

Cliff Pennington, Oakland. If you’re looking for a more typical shortstop that can provide a few stolen bases along with a high average, Pennington is your guy. Over the past month his batting average has risen nearly 60 points, thanks in part to a .391 BA in July. Since he’s been on base so much lately, his opportunities to steal bases have shot up as well. More than half of his steals have come since the beginning of June, and that number will likely increase for Oakland’s hottest hitter. One word of caution, however; he’s absolutely atrocious against left-handed pitching. One-day fantasy GM’s should seriously consider inserting him into the lineup against right-handed pitchers in day games…particularly against the Orioles, his favorite opponent in his young career.

Jose Reyes, New York Mets. Reyes started the season at a glacial pace, but he’s tearing up opposing pitchers over the past month. 5 homers, 5 steals, and a .362 average since June 8th don’t lie; Reyes is back in a big way. July and August are historically his most productive months, so grab him now while his season .277 BA still fools other owners.

Are you ready to get into the daily fantasy baseball league action? www.fantasyfactor.com is the home of daily and weekly fantasy leagues.

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