Shortstop Outliers: Tim Anderson

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NBC Sports EDGE Staff
·2 min read
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To celebrate both baseball's return and the launch of our 2021 MLB Draft Guide, we're going to be taking looks at what we have to offer all the way up to Opening Day. With a loaded arsenal of content -- from positional rankings, ADP reports and season-long projections, to mock drafts, projected lineups and draft cheat sheets -- we are as proud as we've ever been of what we've put together and are eager to share it with you in the coming weeks. No matter the format or size of your league, we are confident we can deliver the tools you need to secure that championship hardware.

Today, we'll be giving you a look at the guide's exclusive positional outlier column series with the below excerpt from the Shortstop Outliers.

Tim Anderson, SS, CWS

EXPERT

RANKING

Bissell

6

Boyer

9

Crawford

9

Johnson

8

Montanez

8

Pouliot

11

Short

9

Shovein

9

Silva

9

Williams

8

Staff

9

Composite

8.6

George Bissell had Tim Anderson at 6. The composite ranking was 8.6.

There’s a historical tendency to overestimate the impact of over-the-fence power and stolen base and underrate the impact of batting average and counting stats contributors within the fantasy community. The primary reason for this phenomenon seems to be that homers and steals are flashy, context-independent, easily identifiable measures of individual skill. There’s a lot more noise than signal when it comes to projecting context-dependent stats like batting average and runs scored, the primary drivers of Anderson’s fantasy value over the last few seasons. There’s a range of potential outcomes, fueled entirely by batted ball luck, but the 27-year-old shortstop has established himself as a certifiable .300 hitter as a baseline moving forward. He’s also leading off atop a loaded White Sox’ lineup which features Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Yasmani Grandal, Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert. That’s a ton of firepower, and it gives him a realistic shot at eclipsing the 100-run plateau this season. Over the last decade, only three shortstops -- Ketel Marte (2019), Jean Segura (2016) and Francisco Lindor (2016) -- have hit .300 while scoring at least 90 runs and also recording double-digit homers and steals in a single season. If those benchmarks sound far-fetched, consider that Anderson hit .335 with 81 runs scored, 18 homers and 17 steals in his last full-season back in 2019. He has a credible path to being the most valuable shortstop in fantasy baseball this season. – George Bissell (@GeorgeBissell)

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