2018 Outlook: One of the few candidates for the major league stolen base crown who also possesses decent pop, Turner's fantasy impact is best illustrated by extracting his numbers in his past 162 regular-season games on the Nationals' active roster: 159 played, .308/.351/.500 rates, 24 home runs, 79 RBIs, 74 stolen bases, 122 runs scored. Those would be historic single-year stats, and while they overstate his potential due to including his unsustainable 2016 second half, even pacing his more realistic 2017 numbers over a full 162-game schedule would result in .284-18-72 with 74 steals and 120 runs -- still exceptional and Rotisserie first-round caliber. As Turner's rate stats have settled into more realistic levels, he has continued to show incremental growth as a hitter, alleviating his risk of being a bust, and his speed metrics are as strong as anyone's in the game. If there's any valid doubt about his numbers entering 2018, it's whether new Nationals manager Dave Martinez will give him the green light with the frequency that Dusty Baker did. Even as a 50-steal player, though, Turner would remain a Rotisserie building block, though he'd be more of a top-40 player in points formats due to the scoring system's tendency to devalue speed.
2018 Outlook: The torn left thumb ligament that cost him 42 of the Astros' games during the second half of last season was frustrating to his fantasy managers, but it also might have kept Correa's anticipated 2018 price tag within range of him becoming a relative value pick. He's sneaking up on people as a budding star in the on-field game -- though his playoff success did raise his profile there -- as well as the fantasy game. Before he got hurt, Correa sported the game's eighth-best batting average (.320), 10th-best on-base percentage (.397) and sixth-best well-hit average (.248). Correa also became only the second shortstop in history with three 20-homer seasons through his age-22 season, joining Alex Rodriguez, the player to whom he was most often compared at the time of his No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 amateur draft. Now just 23, Correa has first-round upside, yet he might sneak beyond that tier in drafts, which would make him a relative bargain.
2018 Outlook: A rocky 2017 campaign coupled with the prospect of being traded during the season -- Machado is eligible for free agency at year's end -- has probably deflated Machado's perceived draft stock to the point that he'll be a potential value in most leagues, should he slip beyond the first 15 picks. Although he had a quiet first half of 2017 (.217/.289/.420), he roared back with a stunning, .296/.330/.516 second half in which his contact rate ranked among his best at any stage of his career. Machado's .259 batting average seemed extraordinarily unlucky, as he had a .265 BABIP despite posting the second-most hard-contact line drives in baseball, which means he could record a mark as many as 30 points higher with greater fortune on balls in play in 2018. He's also an underrated power source, having hit 121 home runs before turning 25 (that occurred last July 6), good for 25th in baseball history and fourth among primary third basemen. Machado's arrow is still pointing upward, and his request to play shortstop in the future coupled with the prospect of a trade -- potentially to a team with a need at that position -- only provides additional benefit in fantasy. He's a premier talent, and he could make a borderline first-round case in points-based leagues.
2018 Outlook: Many players adjusted their launch angles in 2017 in hopes of boosting their home run outputs, but few exhibited as dramatic a shift in approach as Lindor. Previously a speedy on-base specialist, he shaved nearly 10 percent off his ground ball rate and elevated his launch angle by 6 degrees from 2016 to 2017 -- more than doubling his homer total and adding nearly 100 points of isolated power in the process. Better yet, he did this with no drop in contact or walk rate, a sign that with greater fortune on balls in play, he could reach .300-30 status. Lindor is also one of the more underrated baserunners in the game despite modest stolen base totals, and his outstanding defense will assure him maximum playing time, which only bolsters his fantasy value. He has become a true building-block player in points-based leagues, and he has the skills to be a five-category Rotisserie star as well. Don't let him sneak beyond the second round in your league.
2018 Outlook: Between Cody Bellinger's historic season and Seager's missed postseason time due to a back injury, the shortstop might have slipped beneath the radar in terms of star-caliber fantasy picks. Seager's sophomore year, however, wasn't really much less statistically impressive than his 2016 Rookie of the Year season. His underlying skills all seemed to improve: more walks, more hard contact, fewer ground balls, fewer bad swings on pitches outside the strike zone. In short, Seager was the young shortstop who didn't have the eye-popping 2017, yet possesses comparable skills to any of the elite players at his position. He's a legitimate early-round pick and a building block for those in dynasty leagues.
2018 Outlook: After struggling early in his sophomore season, Bregman took a significant step forward during the second half of 2017, batting .315/.367/.536 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs. In the process, he made noticeable gains hitting right-handed pitching while boosting his contact rate to 84.6 percent and well-hit average to .188. Those improvements bode well for his ability to fill the batting average and power categories. What's more, Bregman snuck in 30 games at shortstop while Carlos Correa was sidelined, giving the youngster coveted dual-position eligibility (third base being his usual position). If you're looking for a breakthrough candidate, Bregman is a wise pick-up, a top dynasty-league target and a surefire early-round pick in redraft formats.
2018 Outlook: Come for the steals, stay for the unexpected power! Andrus' 20 homers last season were more than double his total in any previous pro campaign, and three more than he had in the prior three years combined. Digging deeper into the numbers, his unexpected power seemed entirely fueled by luck on fly balls, his 10.4 home run/fly ball percentage more than double his career rate (nope, it's not the baseballs), and his 88 RBIs seemed more dependent upon his having made 137 of his starts as either a No. 2 or 3 hitter, unusual spots for him compared to in the past. Even with that in mind, Andrus appears as consistent a fantasy pick as any in the game, a player you can select in the early rounds if you believe in his power, but a wiser early-to-midround selection if you don't. But before you decide, remember this: It's really his batting average and steals that you want.
2018 Outlook: Though his final 2017 numbers experienced a downturn, it's important to remember that at the time Bogaerts was hit in the wrist by a pitch in June, he was performing along the lines of his 2016. His hit tool is his strength, fueling a solid batting average, but due to a ground-ball rate that routinely hovers just beneath 50 percent, it's unclear when or if he'll ever develop greater power. Bogaerts does enough to fill the prominent Rotisserie categories, earning him a place among the top 10 fantasy shortstops regardless of format, but until he shows more skills growth it's wise to simply expect more of the same.
2018 Outlook: After a huge, category-filling 2016 campaign, Segura's numbers settled into more realistic levels in 2017: his batting average dropping 19 points and home run total nearly slashing in half, with his counting numbers following accordingly. That's not to criticize his output: He finished within the top 100 on the Player Rater and 144th in fantasy points. Make no mistake, Segura is a free-swinging, albeit contact-hitting, speedster. His 54.6 percent ground ball rate was ninth highest among qualifiers, but he also got on base more than 30 percent of the time when he hit one for the second straight year -- an exceptional success rate. His lack of walks is more problematic in points-based leagues, illustrated by his 2017 standing, but he's a top-10 fantasy shortstop nevertheless, with that status a bit more assured in rotisserie formats.
2018 Outlook: After a stunning 2016 rookie season cut short by a torn UCL in his left thumb, Story took a step backward in terms of hitting rates as a sophomore, when he gave back 33 points of batting average, hit three fewer home runs in 131 additional at-bats and struck out 191 times -- 24 more than any other shortstop. While his power metrics didn't lose much of their luster, his contact issues held him back offensively and took their toll on both his counting numbers and, eventually, his spot in the lineup. Story still possesses that power stroke to reach the 30-homer threshold, and he's playing in the most forgiving ballpark for a swing-and-miss type. But he's also likely to be one of the streakier players in the game, a headache for those in head-to-head leagues (especially when the Rockies are on the road) and a shakier pick in points-based than in rotisserie formats. He can be drafted as a top-15 shortstop in the former and top-10 in the latter, but in any given week he has an equal chance of being a top option at his position or completely unusable.
2018 Outlook: At a cursory glance, Gregorius' power outburst the past two seasons looks like a Yankee Stadium product. Guess again: He has been a considerably better hitter on the road (.343 wOBA) than at home (.310) during his three-year Yankees career. Gregorius instead did it by radically shifting his batted-ball distribution, taking more uppercut swings and posting 41.6 percent fly-ball and 25.3 percent line-drive rates during the second half of 2017. That puts him in an odd spot entering 2018: Continuing that approach would give him an outstanding chance at a power repeat, especially with his returning to that same homer-friendly park, but it'd come at greater expense to his batting average, while returning to more of a line-drive approach might cost him some homers while affording him the chance at repeating or exceeding his 2017 batting average. Whichever path Gregorius chooses, he has arrived as a top-10 fantasy option at his position.
2018 Outlook: One of the game's most free-swinging players -- his 56.5 percent swing rate was fifth-highest and 43.5 percent chase rate at non-strikes was highest among batting title-eligibles -- Baez nevertheless finally seemed to gain his footing at the big-league level in 2017. He boosted his walk and well-hit rates as well as his isolated power, and in fact turned in .291/.340/.511 second-half slash rates, while flashing an elite glove that only assures he should continue to see increasing amounts of playing time. While Baez is a batting-average risk due to his impatience, he also possesses an underrated power/speed combination, one that's more attractive at second base. He's a breakthrough candidate worth taking in the early rounds in dynasty and just outside the top 100 in redraft Rotisserie formats, though he's a bit less valuable than that in points-based leagues due to his strikeouts.
2018 Outlook: Arcia enjoyed one of the more quietly productive sophomore seasons of 2017, providing adequate -- if not extraordinary -- contributions in several areas: Contact, a hint of pop, speed and defense. He also made significant strides against offspeed stuff, a particular weakness of his as a rookie, boosting his batting average against those pitches from .183 to .269 while slashing his swinging-strike rate by roughly five percent. It was a small step forward in Arcia's development that bodes well for his immediate future, and he'll return to an everyday role for a beefed-up Brewers offense that calls one of the most hitting-friendly ballparks home. As the team's No. 8 hitter, his counting numbers might not improve by leaps and bounds, but he's one of the more intriguing mixed-league middle infielders, with a hint of upside, on 2018 draft boards.
2018 Outlook: The Astros' utilityman, Gonzalez's best asset is also a potential liability, as he doesn't figure to have a single everyday place to play in Houston's already strong, crowded infield. He appeared in 15 games at first base, second base, third base and shortstop, becoming only the eighth player in history to do that, and in ESPN leagues he'll qualify at four spots (first base, second base, shortstop and outfield). Gonzalez's offensive output, however, was fueled by a career-high 12.0 home run/fly ball rate, meaning he's more of a .270-15 type than something more. Consider him to be a mid-round pick.
2018 Outlook: Here's how unlikely DeJong's breakthrough season was: He had a greater-than-1,000 ADP (regardless of your source), yet hit 25 home runs, sixth-most among rookies, while batting .285. Combining his output at all levels, he hit 38 homers, 10th-most among all professionals. It wasn't entirely fluky, either, as his batted-ball metrics showed his aim for power, even if it comes with a somewhat impatient approach. DeJong will surely regress to a degree in 2018, in large part due to his low walk rate, but he's also one of the better pure power sources among shortstops. He's worth your middle-infield spot in mixed Rotisserie leagues, though he's a bit more questionable of a mixed-league pick using points-based scoring.