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Shuffle Up: The joy of Jean Segura

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Flying J (USAT)

One unavoidable fact about middle infield this year: it's not deep for fantasy purposes. The fears of the preseason appear justified at the quarter pole.

The prices that follow below are how I'd attack this area (2B/SS) if redrafting right now. The games played to this point are an audition, not a ranking mandate. Expect to disagree with a lot of stuff, that's why we have a game. You know the preamble by now.

We'll use a 5x5 scoring assumption, as most reasonable people do. Don't worry about prices in a vacuum: what matters is how the players relate to one another. Assume similar-ranked commodities are equal.

I'll add comments later in the day and perhaps move a few ranks around. Share your suggestions in the comments but remember the golden rule: no one gains (or loses) 15-20 percent of bonus value simply because you roster them.

$31 Robinson Cano
$29 Dustin Pedroia
$28 Troy Tulowitzki
$25 Jason Kipnis
$24 Jean Segura
$23 Brandon Phillips
$21 Ian Desmond
$20 Ben Zobrist
$19 Starlin Castro

It's easy to focus on the low-homer count with Pedroia, but the rest of his stats are terrific. Specifically, he's doing well in the columns that normally create the least amount of roto buzz: batting average, runs scored, stolen bases. We still live in a world that goes crazy for the power stats. Durability issues keep Tulowitzki a half-tier below Pedroia.

Segura's career slugging percentage in the minors was an ordinary .439, good for his position but far below what he's showing now. So the pop is the first thing we have to worry about with him, along with the eventual batting-average dip (note the .372 BABIP). But the speed is fully supported from Segura's prospect page, and the Brewers are letting him run as much as he wants. The Angels might regret the Zack Greinke deal for the rest of the decade.

$18 Everth Cabrera
$17 Elvis Andrus
$17 Asdrubal Cabrera
$17 Jose Altuve
$16 Jimmy Rollins
$15 Matt Carpenter
$15 Howie Kendrick
$14 Kyle Seager
$15 Martin Prado

Everyone knew about Everth Cabrera's wheels, but he's also stepped up with his patience and power this year. We don't need him to slug 20 homers or draw 120 walks a season, but every little bit helps. He's not just a rabbit in 2013, he's a multi-dimensional ballplayer.

Maybe some rotoheads will get off Prado's back after a seven-hit weekend. I'm still giving him a fair amount of leash because the Snakes will keep playing him and I love those multiple-position grabs.

$13 Jed Lowrie
$12 Kelly Johnson
$11 Marco Scutaro
$11 J.J. Hardy
$10 Daniel Murphy
$10 Jedd Gyorko
$10 Jhonny Peralta
$9 Alcides Escobar
$9 Brandon Crawford
$9 Andrelton Simmons

Johnson turned out to be another terrific garage-sale move by the Rays, though most of his damage is coming against right-handed pitching (.287/.352/.596, all eight homers, all four steals). In daily leagues, you probably should sit him against the southpaws.

My buddy Michael Salfino likes Hardy as a possible buy-low and I'll agree. Hardy's .240 average feels unlucky given a trim in strikeout rate, a snappy line-drive clip (18.8), and a depressed BABIP of .230. He's not going to push .300 or anything like that, but he's better than what we've seen. And there's obviously nothing wrong with Hardy's power.

Peralta's surprising average is partially explained by a 26-percent line-drive rate, though he's striking out more this year, too. He's done a better job limiting out-of-zone swings, one of his long-running problems. But I'm not willing to discount all the data we had on Peralta before the year: .267 career average, .239 mark in 2012. If there's an optimistic market for him in your league (and I can't promise you there is), I'd look to lock in profits and sell now.

$8 Dan Uggla
$8 Michael Young
$8 Rickie Weeks
$8 Omar Infante
$8 Didi Gregorius
$7 Neil Walker
$5 Tanner Boyle
$4 Alexei Ramirez
$4 Zack Cozart
$4 Stephen Drew
$4 Yunel Escobar
$3 Jurickson Profar
$3 Erick Aybar
$3 Danny Espinosa
$3 Emilio Bonifacio
$3 Mark Ellis
$3 DJ LeMahieu
$2 Yuniesky Betancourt
$2 Ryan Raburn
$2 Marwin Gonzalez
$2 Pete Kozma
$2 Mike Aviles
$2 Pedro Florimon
$2 Steve Lombardozzi

Uggla's always been a three-true outcome type of guy, but this year his strikeout rate is up to 33 percent and the contact rate is the lowest of his career. A sizzling HR/FB clip (20 percent) has bailed out some of his value, but when you're missing the ball as much as he does, no amount of luck is likely to fix things.

LeMahieu's minor league record showed a pretty average (aided by Colorado Springs) and not a lot of category juice, but he did swipe eight bases in 33 games this year and he's already added two more with the Rockies. I'd feel better about him if he owned the No. 2 slot - he'll bat near the bottom of the lineup some of the time, maybe most of the time. But the Rockies also start that glorious 15-in-18 home stretch Thursday, so anyone in the area deserves consideration.

$1 Dee Gordon
$1 Dustin Ackley
$1 Jeff Keppinger
$1 Nick Punto
$1 Darwin Barney
$1 Alexi Amarista
$1 Daniel Descalso
$1 Jordany Valdespin
$1 Ryan Roberts
$1 Chris Getz
$1 Donovan Solano
$1 Munenori Kawasaki
$1 Adeiny Hechavarria
$1 Derek Dietrich

Courtesy Injury Ranks - Not Open For Debate
$21 Ian Kinsler
$16 Hanley Ramirez
$15 Chase Utley
$15 Aaron Hill
$14 Jose Reyes
$6 Gordon Beckham
$5 Derek Jeter

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