Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Shortstop (2023)
Our next stop on our tour around the diamond in designating our favorite sleepers per position has us landing at shortstop. Like the previous edition of this series in second base, shortstop is a position I strongly suggest waiting on in drafts. There of course are the outliers such as Trea Turner if you get the chance to draft him as he’ll likely be the first overall selection in most drafts.
There is just so much value at the position later in drafts that it makes more sense to me to invest your early selections on positions such as first base, third base, the outfield or starting pitching. As you’ll see as we get into this article, you can find a player that can be your everyday shortstop for your fantasy teams with an ADP around 200th. Let’s get into it!
Each year I do this sleepers series, offering my favorite sleepers per position leading up to draft season. Typically per position I will offer my three favorites, while offering five sleepers for the outfield, starting and relief pitchers.
You can find the other editions of this series below:
First Base: https://www.weknowfantasy.com/post/fantasy-baseball-sleeper-series-first-base-2023
Second Base: https://www.weknowfantasy.com/post/fantasy-baseball-sleepers-second-base-2023
Nico Hoerner (Chicago Cubs)
2022 Stats: 517 PA, .281 BA, 10 HR, 55 RBI, 60 R, 20 SB & 57 SO
2023 Projections: 476 PA, .275 BA, 8 HR, 50 RBI, 54 R, 15 SB & 69 SO
It’s criminal that Nico Hoerner is being drafted in the 15th round of 12-man leagues. He’ll do a bit of everything for your fantasy teams. He’s a career .277 hitter. In his first season a year ago as the everyday shortstop for the Cubs, he hit for an average of .275. He adds a bit of pop off the bat as well, hitting ten homers for 55 RBIs. On top of all of that, he stole 20 bases a year ago.
The Cubs only got better as a team from a year ago as well. They brought in Dansby Swanson to be their everyday shortstop, which will move Hoerner to second base. We’ll see Hoerner eligible at both shortstop and second base. The Cubs also brought in names such as Trey Mancini and Cody Bellinger. Seiya Suzuki is also entering his second season. This is a very underrated lineup that is going to score a lot of runs.
So in the 15th round of 12-man leagues, you’re getting the leadoff hitter for a Cubs’ lineup that is going to score a bunch of runs. You’re getting a .280 hitter who can swipe upwards of 20 bases as well. This seems like a no brainer to me.
Thairo Estrada (San Francisco Giants)
2022 Stats: 541 PA, .260 BA, 14 HR, 62 RBI, 71 R, 21 SB & 89 SO
2023 Projections: 484 PA, .258 BA, 14 HR, 57 RBI, 62 R, 14 SB & 89 SO
When I said there’s a lot of value to be had later in drafts when it comes to the shortstop position, I meant it. Thairo Estrada can be found in the 16th round of 12-man leagues. You’re getting a lot of value with the current average draft position.
Estrada offers a good amount of power for the position. He hit 14 homers a year ago for 62 RBIs and I don’t see why he can’t repeat those numbers. Along with hitting for a bit of power, he did so with a decent .260 batting average. On top of all of that, he stole 20 bases. He checks a lot of boxes for someone you’re getting in the 16th round.
He’s set to lead-off for the Giants who were busy in free agency as well improving their lineup. They brought in names such as Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto. The value is too nice to pass up on Estrada. He’s being faded a bit for the fear of repeating his breakout 2022 season. Either way, he’s welcomed on my rosters.
Bryson Stott (Philadelphia Phillies)
2022 Stats: 466 PA, .234 BA, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 58 R, 12 SB & 89 SO
2023 Stats: 433 PA, .241 BA, 10 HR, 46 RBI, 52 R, 10 SB & 85 SO
If you’re looking for even more of a sleeper than the two previous suggestions, look no further. Bryson Stott is tied to the lethal Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup who scored the seventh most runs in the MLB a year ago and added Trea Turner in the off-season. Yes he’ll likely hit eighth in the lineup, but he’s still a part of it.
We can’t forget that Stott was a rookie a year ago after becoming the everyday shortstop for the Phillies after they cut Didi Gregorius. He still doesn’t have a full season under his belt and showed drastic improvements as the season progressed. With a full training camp and becoming the everyday second baseman for the Phillies, I expect him to improve even more.
He’ll be dual eligible at shortstop and second base which adds additional value. He offers a bit of pop with his bat, hitting nearly 50 RBIs as a rookie deep in the Phillies’ lineup. As a second option for your team this season, there are definitely worse options than Stott. He’s currently being drafted in the 22nd round of 12-man leagues.