I feel as though I’ve had my fair share of luck with free agent pickups. Unlike in other fantasy sports, success in baseball can only be reached by a daily devotion. Not only does an ongoing and constant commitment garner information about daily games, but it also leads you to become more aware of–and hence take advantage of–players on hot streaks. In my case, surprise players such as Jeff Locke, Francisco Liriano, and recently Adam Lind have paid dividends, simply because I determinedly searched free agency day after day.
Yet of course, despite my examples of good fortune, my team’s shortstop spot/s are still unsettled, a all-too common fate for fantasy players, as the position is the hardest to strongly fulfill. While Braves SS Andrelton Simmons has gradually improved in the fantasy baseball world and essentially locked his spot on my roster, the situation for Red Sox SS Jose Iglesias is more precarious. As much as I’ve attempted to disregard my favorable, homer bias to Boston players, I’ve still remained reluctant to drop him. With my regular shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera set to return from the DL in a week, I still have enough time to concoct a controversy for the SS position. Mariner Nick Franklin and National Anthony Rendon (a 2nd baseman who I can still fit into my lineup), are the primary guys I’m looking at for now, and have unquestionably moved up the ladder of my interest in the past week.
*Note: The league I play in follows a point system (which I feel best suites baseball and football, but that’s beside the point), as its motto is in fact “H2H Football style scoring”. Apprehension over averages is thrown out the window, and accumulating total bases becomes of utmost importance.
Here are the stats over the past 15 games for each of the 3 players in question.
All three are viable options, as well as popularized prospects in their respective organizations. Yet, at this point, I may be leaning away from Iglesias. Red Sox manager John Farrell has displayed an inclination towards the likes of Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks (the position battle has encompassed the 3rd base position as well), and may just be playing Iglesias out of obligation, because of his hot-hitting streak. Iglesias has cooled down a bit, but when the ball was really flying off his bat a week or so ago, Farrell was even more hesitant to convert him to an everyday player. (Remember that Iglesias was beginning to mold into an everyday starter at the start of the season, in fill-in duty for the injured Stephen Drew, before he himself was derailed by injury).
With a risky play choosing Iglesias, that leaves us with Franklin or Rendon. Both of these players were called up to their clubs a few weeks into the season, and have made great impressions thus far. While Franklin serves as the better model of consistency, Rendon provides the “it” and “wow” factor, simply because he plays for the Nats, and has also posted several 3-hit games. Rendon certainly appears to have the more attractive offer, especially for the upcoming series: Washington faces Colorado/Arizona and Seattle goes up against Oakland/Pittsburgh. The only factor going against Rendon is his long-term impact: will he remain a forceful player on the team after other Washington mainstays regain their wealth, or will his production be squeezed out once his teammates return?
Looking for the short-term, the answer appears to be in Rendon’s way. In general, the consistency displayed from both him and Franklin have made it so you can’t really go wrong with picking up either player. But as the Nationals continue to try to recollect their offensive firepower, Anthony Rendon may be the more worthwhile addition.