Short: People are forgetting how good Tatis Jr. is
D.J. Short, Scott Pianowski, and Connor Rogers dive into which shortstops they are buying at their current ADPs, including Fernando Tatis Jr., Willy Adames and Corey Seager.
CONNOR ROGERS: On the more optimistic side, DJ, a couple of players that you're buying in on compared to their draft position right now.
DJ SHORT: So Fernando Tatis Jr. is number one for me. I've actually been trying to trade for him in every dynasty league that I'm in. But my leaguemates are a little too smart because I think right now, we're forgetting how good this guy is-- even coming off, yes, the fractured wrist, the PED suspension, that shoulder surgery. The last time we saw Tatis, he led the National League in home runs. And that was playing through a compromised shoulder.
I mean, certainly, his reputation has taken a hit. But he's one of the most talented players in the game. He's only going to miss the first 20 games this season as he finishes out that PED suspension. So that's basically like a stint on the injured list. And then you have a top five fantasy player from that day forward. To me, I'm not letting him fall past maybe late first round or early second round. That's how aggressive I want to be on him this year.
CONNOR ROGERS: Yeah, 19.75 ATP for Tatis right now. Scott, are you as optimistic on Tatis when he returns?
SCOTT PIANOSKI: I-- I think I'm neutral to Tatis. I think his ADP is fair for me. But I don't know. The shoulder makes me maybe a little bit more nervous than DJ does. But still, I mean, we know what Tatis's upside is. He could be the number one. He could be on your magazine next year. That's-- that's how good he is-- the cover. So I-- the guy I'm targeting a little bit further down the ADP list is Willy Adames, who I think is the most underrated shortstop in baseball. He's been a different player since he went to Milwaukee.
And I don't know if it-- part of it is the Park. I don't know if part of it is he fixed an eye problem that-- a vision problem he was having. But his slugging percentage has gone up by about 60 points. And last year, 31 home runs, 98 RBIs. And he misses about 25 games of the season. So I mean, those numbers would have been a little bit more. Maybe it's just how our eye changes. If he drops in 111 runs and hits, like, 35 home runs, maybe people treat him differently. And I don't think he's a batting average drain. His career average is around 255.
So I think you're going to get exquisite power from him, exquisite run production. And you might even get a plus average. And he still hasn't aged-- you know, age 27 season. I don't know whether we've seen his best yet. Milwaukee is a good place for home runs. So I-- again, sometimes the changes we don't-- it's not obvious stuff. It's not like every major media outlet wants to talk about Willy Adames's eyesight. But he's fixed it. He's corrected a-- a problem he had. It's improved his plate recognition. His slugging percentage is a lot higher in Milwaukee.
And I think it's come with a lot less fanfare. The Brewers haven't been as interesting in the last few years as Christian Yelich is, you know, hitting into another ground ball double play as we-- as we tape this podcast. But he's not-- Willy Adames is not going to be the MVP. Yeah, again, he's not going be on the cover of your magazine next year. But I think he's going to outkick his ADP by, like, three or four rounds.
DJ SHORT: I totally agree with you. He's on my list as well. What you love about Adames is he puts the ball in the air. And he plays half of his games in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in sports. So I'm all in on Adames, too. Another name I wanted to mention is Corey Seager. You look at his first season in Texas-- hit 245, which is just not what Corey Seager does. And despite that batting average last year, he hit the ball extremely hard. His XBA was at 283, which is basically right in line with his career average. And he was really hurt by the shift last year.
Mike Petriello of MLB.com, a friend of the show here, recently estimated that Seager lost 20 hits compared to if the shift restrictions were in place already like they're going to be this year in 2023. So I-- I expect that batting average to come back to where it usually is and for those lovely counting stats to be there as well-- probably more RBIs, probably more runs scored as a result of not losing as many hits as he did last year.
So I'm in on Seager. His ADP right now is 67.14 on NFC. So if you missed out on those top-- that top wave of shortstops, I think you should feel pretty good about Seager.
SCOTT PIANOSKI: Love the Seager call-- second year after a big contract, so he's-- he's got everything figured out in Texas about how his life is rooted. And we know one of the big stories of the year is, you know, how are these new rules going to change things. When people say to me, who's going to benefit the most from the shift, the first name I think of is Corey Seager.