Shortstop might be the deepest position on the infield in fantasy baseball. This is definitely unique in history as it is usually the weakest offensive position on the diamond. So, looking back at the draft may not be quite as important as there isn’t as much separation between the top spot and the twelfth spot. As we have seen with the other positions, there are always one or two guys that were not taken on draft day that find themselves as fantasy regulars. There is still some time for fantasy players to adjust their rosters before the fantasy playoffs.
- Francisco Lindor—Cleveland Indians (Preseason #6)
(.310, 14 HR, 81 Runs, 63 RBI, 38 BB, 15 SB)
When players are as close as these shortstops are, you get wildly different opinions about who should be on top of the list. Lindor fits here because he fills out the stat sheet across the board. Technically speaking, he may be below some other shortstops in pure production, but one of the things you learn when playing fantasy is that WAR doesn’t necessarily drive the train.
- Xander Bogearts—Boston Red Sox (Preseason #3)
(.311, 14 HR, 86 Runs, 69 RBI, 39 BB, 13 SB)
You can throw a Kleenex over the production of these two players. I would be inclined to go with Bogearts over Lindor, but he has also been banged up lately. No matter, he is on pace to score well over 100 runs and drive in 90 or more RBI. The fact that he adds a little speed on the side kicks him to the second spot.
- Carlos Correa—Houston Astros (Preseason #2)
(.271, 18 HR, 59 Runs, 83 RBI, 61 BB, 10 SB)
In one of my leagues, someone took him number one overall. That was patently ridiculous, but the expectations were through the roof. He is on pace to drive in well over 100 RBI, so it hasn’t been a horrible season, but outside of the walks he hasn’t done a whole lot that he didn’t do last season.
- Trevor Story—Colorado Rockies (Preseason #17)
(.272, 27 HR, 67 Runs, 72 RBI, 35 BB, 8 SB)
Story came out of nowhere to have the best April for any rookie in baseball. Since then he has been a bit ordinary and is currently on the disabled list. So, he is probably a guy you should deal if you have and avoid if you don’t. Still, he will be an interesting name to watch in the future. His ceiling will be debated by fantasy experts in the offseason.
- Jonathan Villar—Milwaukee Brewers (Preseason #25)
(.298, 10 HR, 66 Runs, 43 RBI, 62 BB, 47 SB)
Villar is the one guy that came out nowhere this season. He had opportunities in Houston to stick, but never did. Milwaukee was in rebuilding mode and able to be patient with all of their players. Villar rewarded their patience. He also has played at third base, so he will be eligible at both positions next season. The big time speed might make him more valuable than this spot.
- Corey Seager—Los Angeles Dodgers (Preseason #5)
(..313, 21 HR, 79 Runs, 57 RBI, 40 BB, 1 SB)
For many of you, this ranking is bogus. I appreciate the sentiment. The problem for Seager is that he doesn’t bring any speed to the table. Of course, depending on the needs of your team, that might be an overrated aspect of the game. He also doesn’t have as much patience as some of the guys above him.
- Aledyms Diaz—St. Louis Cardinals (Preseason #30)
(.312, 14 HR, 64 Runs, 57 RBI, 34 BB, 4 SB)
Another guy comes out of nowhere. Eventually we come to expect this from the Cardinals. They seem to come up with guys that can fill holes that no one has ever heard of. Eventually, you can succeed on your waiver wire simply from studying the Cardinals in Spring Training. With their infield depth, it will be interesting to see what happens next season.
- Brandon Crawford—San Francisco Giants (Preseason #8)
(.275, 11 HR, 51 Runs, 74 RBI, 43 BB, 4 SB)
A scant two seasons ago, Crawford was seen as a good glove guy that might chip in the occasional home run. Now, he has turned in two consecutive strong seasons and is clearly a legitimate fantasy regular. The runs aren’t there primarily because there hasn’t been a ton of offense in the Giants lineup this season.
- Brad Miller—Tampa Bay Rays (Preseason #28)
(.266, 25 HR, 58 Runs, 57 RBI, 32 BB, 6 SB)
This is three of the top nine shortstops that went undrafted on draft day. Miller is a mixed bag. Obviously the power is there and he has positional flexibility as well. That being said, he is flawed fantasy player because he doesn’t get on base often enough and he plays on a bad offensive team.
- Elvis Andrus—Texas Rangers (Preseason #10)
(.293, 4 HR, 52 Runs, 52 RBI, 35 BB, 16 SB)
He doesn’t do anything overwhelming, but he plays nearly every day and he steals enough bases to be somewhat valuable. He has continually slipped the past couple of seasons and just might slip out of the top twelve coming into next season. Even still, he is worth a draft pick even as a reserve.
- Marcus Semien—Oakland Athletics (Preseason #14)
(.240, 23 HR, 57 Runs, 55 RBI, 39 BB, 9 SB)
Semien and Miller are very similar players. They are flawed offensive players that bring some exciting production to the table as well. You have to take the good with the bad, but if you punt shortstops on draft day you can do a lot worse than Semien. If the Athletics get better as a team he could sneak into the top ten.
- Addison Russell—Chicago Cubs (Preseason #9)
(.246, 15 HR, 49 Runs, 76 RBI, 45 BB, 4 SB)
Russell is similar to Miller and Semien, but he plays for a much better team, so his future ranking will likely be considerably better. The question with him will be whether he will ever hit for average. He seemingly can do everything else on the diamond. He could vault into the top five if he even could get up to .280.