Shuffle Up: Sell high on Gleyber Torres?

Roto Arcade
Hotshot rookie <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/10236/" data-ylk="slk:Gleyber Torres">Gleyber Torres</a> still hits in the lower third of the Yankees lineup, for now. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Hotshot rookie Gleyber Torres still hits in the lower third of the Yankees lineup, for now. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The Shuffle Up season rolls on. Today, we tackle the middle infielders.

The numbers don’t matter in a vacuum; what matters is how the player prices relate to one another. Assume a 5×5 scoring system, as always. Everyone listed here has second base (hiya, Rizzo) or shortstop eligibility in the Yahoo game at the current time. Players at the same cost are considered even. I’m not ranking the injured guys; it just becomes a silly game of “Who has the most injury optimism?”

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And I’m not a doctor. (Somebody get me a doctor.)

Have some disagreements? Have some major disagreements? That’s good! That’s why we have a game. I welcome your respectful disagreement, anytime: @scott_pianowski on Twitter.

Everything to this point is an audition, that’s it. If you want a ranking of who’s been the best to this point, you can get that elsewhere.

$41 Jose Ramirez
$41 Jose Altuve
$40 Francisco Lindor
$32 Carlos Correa
$31 Manny Machado
$30 Jean Segura
$28 Anthony Rizzo
$28 Trevor Story
$27 Trea Turner
$26 Scooter Gennett
$26 Javier Baez

Story’s breakthrough is a modestly-kept secret. He’s already up to a career high in stolen bases, he’s trimmed the strikeout rate by 7.7 percent, he’s pulling the ball more and he’s significantly improved his hard contact. His walks are static, but every other plate discipline stat is in his favor. He bats fourth or fifth, nightly, behind Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. Life is good . . . Gennett’s past calendar year: .314/.361/.534, with 32 homers, 113 RBIs, 96 runs. He’s turned himself into a star. The four-homer game last year was your tipoff, but too many people took the easy way out and took cheap shots at Gennett, held that performance against him. Players sometimes improve in a surprising or non-linear way.

$24 Alex Bregman
$22 Xander Bogaerts
$22 Andrelton Simmons
$21 Ozzie Albies
$20 Didi Gregorius
$19 Brandon Crawford
$19 Whit Merrifield
$18 Brian Dozier
$18 Dee Gordon
$17 Cesar Hernandez
$15 Gleyber Torres
$15 Daniel Murphy
$15 Eduardo Escobar

I’m sure I’m going to get killed in the comments for intimating that Torres might not automatically be the next Yankees great in line with DiMaggio, Mantle and Jeter. But let’s try to be realistic about who he is and what he’s done. He’s slashing .283/.337/.554 in 48 MLB games, after posting a .285/.362/.419 slash in his entire minor-league career. He only hit 24 home runs in 370 minor-league games; he already has 13 for the Yankees. He might be able to keep that .327 BABIP, especially with his elevated hard-hit rate. But he’s also striking out 27.5 percent of the time, and he’s only stolen two bases.

He’s batted ninth in 38 of his starts, albeit any spot in the New York lineup is a good one. But it will cost him that extra at-bat most of the time. Sure, they theoretically could move him up. Who’s moving down?

I have him priced as a solid player. I don’t consider $15 any kind of an insult. But baseball is hard, pitchers will make adjustments too, Torres might bat at the bottom of the order all year, and it’s tricky to trust a player who hits for more power in the majors than he did in the minors. Yes, the MLB ball is different. Yes, we saw this with Gary Sanchez (anytime you’re ready in 2018, Sanchez). Yes, Torres is just 21 and he’s still growing into his body and his career. But when someone is this splashy and this productive, this quickly, for this public a team, you better believe I’m going to look around and see if someone will make me a sweetheart deal. This is the type of player you can often be overpaid for.

$14 D.J. LeMahieu
$13 Matt Carpenter
$13 Chris Taylor
$13 Jonathan Schoop
$12 Asdrubal Cabrera
$11 Tim Anderson
$11 Yangervis Solarte
$10 Jurickson Profar
$9 Josh Harrison
$9 Jed Lowrie
$8 Ian Kinsler
$8 Derek Dietrich
$8 Marcus Semien
$7 Jose Iglesias
$7 Jonathan Villar

Schoop’s ranking is an “I don’t know either” ranking, to be sure. He’s been hurt this year. He’s hitting in bad luck but he’s making a lot of that bad luck, hitting more grounders, losing tons of hard contact. He’s chasing an eyelash more this year but it’s not a major difference, and his strikeout and walk rates are almost identical from last year. He’s hit two homers in his last seven games, with five walks against six strikeouts. Perhaps he’s finally settling in after the oblique injury. I would not drop him or give him away in a cheap deal; give this story a little more time to develop.

Cabrera hasn’t hit a thing for three weeks, though he did homer Sunday at Arizona. Perhaps the hamstring injury lingered longer than anyone recognized. This is not the week to sit him, as the Mets open with a four-game hitch in Colorado . . . I’m doing some pedigree chasing with Profar; remember, he wasn’t just a prospect, he was *the* prospect. His plate discipline is elite, and his .253 BABIP doesn’t jibe with his hard-hit rate. He’s pulling the ball more this year. I’m not giving up yet . . . Iglesias has figured out the base-stealing game, and the Tigers are letting him run liberally. His average is no longer a tax in today’s game; anything over .260 is likely to help you in many formats. I’d bump him into double-digits if the Tigers let him bat first or second; he’s almost always in the No. 8 slot. If only he walked a little more.

$6 Daniel Descalso
$6 Ben Zobrist
$6 Matt Duffy
$6 Addison Russell
$6 Marwin Gonzalez
$6 Starlin Castro
$6 Jose Peraza
$6 Willy Adames
$4 Ketel Marte
$4 Jordy Mercer
$4 Freddy Galvis
$4 Jose Pirela
$4 Yolmer Sanchez
$4 Cory Spangenberg
$4 Nick Ahmed
$4 Amed Rosario
$4 Yoan Moncada
$4 Eduardo Nunez
$4 Devon Travis

I still haven’t given up on Travis. He had a nifty 8-for-16 binge last week with a couple of homers, one off Max Scherzer. Travis is still just 27, has been hurt most of his MLB career. He had an OPS+ of 131 for his 62-game rookie season three years ago (62 games), then posted a 108 number the next year (100 is average). His career slash is playable — .285/.325/.453. I added him a few places, for cheap buy-ins, this week.

$3 Niko Goodrum
$3 Jedd Gyorko
$3 Joe Panik
$2 Ian Happ
$2 Alen Hanson
$2 Yairo Munoz
$2 Dansby Swanson
$2 Chad Pinder
$2 Jason Kipnis
$2 Adalberto Mondesi
$1 Ehire Adrianza
$1 Isiah Kiner-Falefa
$1 Charlie Culberson
$1 Kike Hernandez
$1 Johan Camargo
$1 Hernan Perez
$1 Rougned Odor
$1 Scott Kingery
$1 Logan Forsythe
$0 Wilmer Difo
$0 Miguel Rojas
$0 Joseph Wendle
$0 Brock Holt
$0 Adam Frazier
$0 Brad Miller
$0 Alcides Escobar
$0 Wilmer Flores
$0 J.P. Crawford

Odor still has options remaining. I don’t care what the contract says, a demotion might be the right play here.

The Injured and Unranked
Elvis Andrus (until he’s back, he’s not back)
Daniel Robertson
Zack Cozart
Robinson Cano
Paul DeJong
Dustin Pedroia

Follow the Yahoo fantasy baseball crew on Twitter: Andy BehrensDalton Del Don, and Scott Pianowski

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