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NL Shortstops: Day Four
by Tim Polko

Today's Fantasy Rx

National League Shortstops without Positive Draft Value

Quick Key to the tables:
B = Bats.  T = Throws.  Age = Player's Age as of October 1, 2006.
Proj. = Rotohelp's projected 2006 stats and fantasy values for each player.
2006 = Each player's final 2006 stat line and fantasy values.
AB = At-bats.  H = Hits.  BA = Batting Average.  HR= Home Runs.
RBI = Runs Batted In.  SB = Stolen Bases.  R = Runs.
Pos = Position qualification based on 20 appearances or max. # of games in 2006.
4x4 = BA, HR, RBI, and SB in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
5x5 = BA, HR, RBI, SB, and R in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
RAR = Runs Above Replacement; aRAR = RAR adjusted to
consider a player's 2006 defensive rating in Scoresheet fantasy baseball.

We ranked players by position in order from the highest draft value in a 4x4 league to the lowest. As the majority of fantasy leagues allow you to keep anyone traded to the other league, we listed all players in the league where they began the season.

31.  Robert AndinoFLO MarlinsAge: 22B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Florida for my comments on Andino.

32.  Melvin DortaWAS NationalsAge: 24B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Washington for my comments on Dorta.

33.  John NelsonSTL CardinalsAge: 27B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: St. Louis for my comments on Nelson.

34.  Omar QuintanillaCOL RockiesAge: 24B:L   T:R

Posting an uninspiring .276/.342/.403 performance with 4 HR, 29 RBI, and a 28:55 BB:K in 308 AB for AAA Colorado Springs(PCL) places Quintanilla in a very precarious position on the Rockies. Already the club appears committed to employing Kaz Matsui, Jamey Carroll, and Troy Tulowitzki as the primary middle infielders, with Clint Barmes and Luis. A. Gonzalez competing for most likely a single bench spot. Quintanilla stands between that quartet of veterans, plus the club's top prospect, and another round of young infielders, including Jayson Nix, Corey Wimberley, Chris Nelson, and Eric Young, Jr. While Quintanilla possesses the defensive chops to merit a job as a big league reserve, his general lack of offensive upside makes him a poor fit for a revitalized Rockies' squad. Wait until he receives a shot in another organization before employing him as more than short-term roster filler.

35.  Jose VizcainoSF/STLAge: 38B:S   T:R

San Francisco cut the 18-year veteran in August, and true to form, he landed with yet another contender, providing the Cardinals a needed boost down the stretch with a .348/.375/.609 output in 23 at-bats. Of course, he didn't make the playoff roster, largely due to his extremely limited upside. Vizcaino lacks the power and speed to take advantage of his veteran-savvy plate discipline, and with his defense also declining as he approaches his thirty-ninth birthday in the spring, he deserves more than an afterthought NRI. You don't want anyone with this little fantasy potential on your roster.

36.  Henry MateoWAS NationalsAge: 29B:S   T:R

While Mateo remained in the Nationals' farm system last year and saw some action in September, his otherwise pedestrian performance leaves this minor league free agent at a career crossroads. He only managed a .254/.318/.344 output with 2 HR, 35 RBI, a 33/44 SB%, and a 38:78 BB:K in 433 AB for AAA New Orleans(PCL), unacceptably low numbers even for someone merely trying to sneak onto the end of a big league bench. Yes, his speed makes him a little intriguing to roto teams, but as we saw in September, the accompanying BA risk just doesn't seem worth the trouble.

37.  Clint BarmesCOL RockiesAge: 27B:R   T:R

This one hurt. We drafted Barmes in almost all our NL and combined leagues this year and then watched him devastate our BA for more than half the season while continuing to expect a rebound. Apparently he still suffered from the aftereffects of the broken collarbone he sustained in June of 2005 while carrying deer meat courtesy of Todd Helton. The major change from his 2005 skill set involved increased contact problems, which limited both his BA and power numbers. Of course, Barmes' general lack of plate discipline leaves him in a highly uncertain position with the franchise. Troy Tulowitzki almost certainly will spend the rest of the decade as Colorado's starting shortstop, and with Willy Taveras likely holding down center until Dexter Fowler reaches Coors, Barmes will land a bench job at best. Given his limited growth during the first half of his peak, we can't assume Barmes will remain productive in any capacity, so although I won't recommend against grabbing him during Dollar Days due to the upside of any Rockies' reserve, only roster him in leagues with very loose transaction rules.

38.  Chris BarnwellMIL BrewersAge: 27B:R   T:R

Please refer to our Post-2006 Prospect Review: Milwaukee for my comments on Barnwell.

39.  Alex S. GonzalezPHI PhilliesAge: 33B:R   T:R

The 33-year-old and thirteen-year veteran abruptly retired in mid-May after a simply terrible start to the year. Both his power and already-weak contact ability appears to wane after an injury-plagued 2004 campaign that saw him head to Montreal in the Nomar deal and then conclude the season in San Diego. Of course, Gonzalez never added much to his teams other than the occasional year where he combined respectable defense with an OPS at least a little over .700, and his departure from Philadelphia allowed Chris Coste, who's two months older than Gonzalez, to finally debut in the majors seven weeks later than planned. Although Coste essentially echoed Gonzalez's numbers for a month, he eventually emerged as one of the Phillies' most reliable batters, so if Gonzalez remains happy in retirement, this season seemingly concluded to everyone's satisfaction.

Second Base Week begins tomorrow.

Today's Fantasy Rx: Players rarely amass this much negative fantasy value without lacking some vital skill for offensive success. Of the nine shortstops discussed above, Gonzalez retired, Vizcaino might retire, and the other seven mostly reached the majors in the first place because of their ability to handle a middle infield position without severe embarrassment. While Dorta possesses a little speed and could emerge as a useful role player, none of the other youngsters warrants much attention right now due to a general lack of plate discipline seemingly destined to result in awful batting averages. Other than a potential end-round gamble on Barmes, don't place any of these guys on list of potential draftees regardless of your league's depth.

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