Draft or Pass: A Shortened Season Will Help Adalberto Mondesi Flourish in 2020

Injuries deterred the 24-year old speedster from a possible 70-80 steal season. SI Fantasy’s Ben Heisler expects a shortened season to play to Mondesi’s advantage.
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The still-to-be-determined start of the 2020 MLB season has added an interesting wrinkle to fantasy baseball draft prep. We here at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best information possible heading into your drafts in these unprecedented times.

Our "Draft or Pass" video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts, in many cases, because of the delayed start to the season. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?

Today's video focuses on Kansas City Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi.

Draft or Pass at current ADP: 44 (SS10)

In 2019, 12 shortstops finished with more than 20 home runs. Adalberto Mondesi was not one of them. His nine dingers placed him only ahead of Miguel Rojas of the Marlins, and Andrelton Simmons of the Angels for the lowest number of HRs for shortstops with at least 400 plate appearances.

But power production isn’t why Mondesi is an appealing candidate at shortstop for 2020, although it certainly could come as he continues to develop. It’s the speed, and the wheels turned last year to the tune of 43 stolen bases, second in all of baseball. Those numbers are remarkable, considering Mondesi played in just 102 games, collecting only 416 at-bats along the way.

So why take the risk with Mondesi if we can only expect stolen bases to be a constant? It’s because the upside is there when we start to look closer.

If we take Mondesi's 2019 season totals of 109 hits, 20 doubles, 10 triples, 9 home runs, 62 RBI, and 43 SBs and average them over a 162-game projected sample, the numbers would start shooting him up draft boards (173 hits, 32 doubles, 16 triples, 14 home runs, 98 RBI and 68 stolen bases).

Mondesi should also have added opportunities to score runs with the addition of Maikel Franco to the lineup and another year of development for Hunter Dozier with Jorge Soler.

Mondesi with improved power and patience at the plate could easily finish between SS7-SS10 this season. With the top eight projected shortstops landing anywhere from 8-32, Mondesi's opportunity at the top of the Royals lineup, especially in a down AL Central division, is encouraging to outperform his ADP. I have him ranked as my No. 9 SS in 2020.

READ MORE: 2020 Kansas City Royals Fantasy Team Preview