We continue our series with the top 15 shortstops according to the various projection systems found online. We take five such systems and develop a composite projection Most of these projection systems produce fairly similar numbers, but tt can be hard to know which one to trust. Additionally, we note what we have noted before. We are only including players that are primarily shortstops. We acknowledge that some other players are eligible there and that will affect the abosolute rankings. Feel free to adjust accordingly.
Francisco Lindor–Cleveland Indians
Projection: .287/33 HR/107 Runs/93 RBI/21 SB
Some would put Alex Bregman here because he is eligible at third and short. Of course, that’s an explosive claim by itself these days with the recent scandal. Lindor’s Indians are not quite as deep as they were before, but Lindor contributes across the board. His ability to steal some bases separates him from the other top guys.
Trevor Story–Colorado Rockies
Projection: .279/36 HR/100 Runs/100 RBI/20 SB
Lindor and Story are as close as they come in terms of value. If you don’t get one, you will be just as good with the other. Story may not be the player that Lindor is, but it’s all about the numbers. Story has done nothing but produce since he’s come up.
Gleyber Torres–New York Yankees
Projection:.277/37 HR/92 Runs/103 RBI/7 SB
Torres was a beast in October and almost single-handedly took the Yankees to the World Series. A number of fantasy players have been burned because they read too mich into postseason performance. Players typically are who they are in the first six months. Torres is an exciting player, but doesn’t have the speed of Lindor or Story.
Xander Bogaerts–Boston Red Sox
Projection: .290/26 HR/96 Runs/97 RBI/7 SB
Bogaerts doesn’t have the awesome power or speed of the top three, but he just continues to hit. Even without Mookie Betts, the Red Sox have a lot of firepower. Plus, he has a longer track record than just about anyone else at the position. Still, he might be a considerable step below in the five categories.
Javier Baez–Chicago Cubs
Projection: .274/33 HR/90 Runs/100 RBI/14 SB
Sometimes you have to suspend disbelief. If you play in five category leagues you can almost universally forget about plate discipline. Baez is a free swinger with a huge hole in his game, but you can see here that you can’t necessarily see it in the basic numbers.
Trea Turner–Washington Nationals
Projection: .286/21 HR/100 Runs/73 RBI/41 SB
In back to back offseasons, the Nationals have lost Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon. Still, they have quite a bit of talent left over and Turner is one of the forgotten ones. Anyone capable of stealing 40 bases in the modern game is almost like a unicorn. The fact that he has 20 home run power is just a bonus.
Tim Anderson–Chicago White Sox
Projection: .275/21 HR/83 Runs/73 RBI/19 SB
If Anderson ever gets inducted into the Hall of Fame he’s going to have a problem. I don’t know how he will get to the podium because he sure won’t walk there. The defending AL batting champ has power and speed on his side. The projection computers are obviously predicting a step back based on poor plate discipline.
Fernando Tatis Jr.–San Diego Padres
Projection: .273/28 HR/88 Runs/79 RBI/22 SB
This seems awfully low to place someone with this much all-around talent. Before his injury last season, there was talk on our podcast and others about him being a borderline fantasy first rounder. The projections don’t seem to like him bearly as much, but I’m still bullish on him as long as he remains healthy.
Bo Bichette–Toronto Blue Jays
Projection: .276/21 HR/85 Runs/76 RBI/23 SB
The MLBtv subscription sucks when it comes to local blackouts, but is awesome because there are so many good young teams that will be fun to watch. The combination of Bichette, Vlad Guerrero Jr, and Cavan Biggio will be something to behold. If they can find one or two more core pieces to surround them with then they will become a contender in the AL East.
Marcus Semien–Oakland Athletics
Projection: .269/25 HR/96 Runs/80 RBI/11 SB
Under one theory of MVP voting, Semien was the MVP last season. Without him, the Athletics would not have gotten a wild card bid. Predicting a step back is a hard blow for A’s fans that know their team doesn’t have a tremendous margin for error. They need their good players to be at the top of their game. It will be interesting to see what happens with him long-term as he gets more expensive.
Jorge Polanco–Minnesota Twins
Projections: .280/19 HR/88 Runs/80 RBI/8 SB
Take a PED suspension and the specter of the juiced ball and it’s enough to cast serious doubts as to whether Polanco can continue his power that he has demonstrated the last couple of seasons. If he sees a reduction in power then he becomes a borderline starting quality fantasy shortstop.
Corey Seager–Los Angeles Dodgers
Projection: .279/22 HR/81 Runs/85 RBI/2 SB
Seager and Carlos Correa are very similar players in terms of fantasy value. If you could count on either one to play 150 games you would rank them in the top 10 at the position. The Dodgers have others that can play shortstop capably, so they may practice what NBA fans have lovingly called “load management” to keep him healthy throughout the season. That’s good news for Seager and bad news for fantasy owners.
Paul DeJong–St. Louis Cardinals
Projection: .251/29 HR/84 Runs/89 RBI/6 SB
When you get to this point in the draft you have to choose which flaws you are willing to live with. DeJong is consistent and producitive. He has almost as much power as the guys on top of the board. He just doesn’t hit for the same average as everyone else. So, do you want a flawed player who is durable or a good player that isn’t durable?
Carlos Correa–Houston Astros
Projection: .271/30 HR/84 Runs/98 RBI/3 SB
Correa is the other half of that same debate. If he is able to produce the numbers above it means the Astros will be very happy. He hasn’t been able to play more than 130 games in a season since 2016. If he is able to do that he is definitely a starting fantasy shortstop. He hasn’t been able to, so he might be better to take a flier on in the middle of the draft.
Didi Gregorius–Philadelphia Phillies
Projection: .265/25 HR/74 Runs/84 RBI/5 SB
Gregorius hopefully can stay healthy this season. The Phillies have added quite a bit of talent over the years and somehow it isn’t enough. If he can produce as he had before his injury then it’s difficult to see how the Phillies don’t finish above .500 this time around. Still, he’s not quite as good as the other guys at the position.
Author’s Note: Please check out “The Hall of Fame Index Part II” and my other books at Amazon.com. The digital version is avaialble for pre-order for 5.99 and the paperback version is availble now for 14.99.