Shortstops aren’t as deep as they have been in the past, but there are some intriguing new names that could burst on the scene this year. Those names almost certainly didn’t make our last list. You have to put up at least a couple of seasons worth of performance to make those list.
So, we move to projection numbers. We use Steamer because everyone has a Steamer projection and they are about as good as any other. That is to say that they are a decent predictor. We use them to make sure we account for younger players and for where a player is going. Sometimes they are off and we acknowledge that. The best thing to do is combine the past three seasons with future projections.
Francisco Lindor– Cleveland Indians
Projection: .286, 30 HR, 103 Runs, 90 RBI, 20 SB, 62 BB
Lindor has elevated himself to a fantasy first rounder. He came up as a good offensive player and a great fielder. Now, he is a great hitter and great fielder. With all of the big time contracts people are throwing around it makes you wonder how much he would be worth on the open market.
Manny Machado– Free Agent
Projection: .288, 32 HR, 87 Runs, 94 RBI, 8 SB, 57 BB
Machado doesn’t know what position he is going to play much less where he is going. He could wind up at third or at short. He probably is a better baseball value at third because of the Gold Glove defense, but obviously short it a better fantasy value play.
Trevor Story— Colorado Rockies
Projection: .271, 30 HR, 84 Runs, 95 RBI, 18 SB, 49 BB
With Daniel Murphy in tow, the Rockies offense stands as one of the more underrated offenses in the NL at any elevation. Story is heavy on the strikeouts, so you have to make sure you study up on your format before making your final rankings list.
Trea Turner– Washington Nationals
Projection: .287, 17 HR, 92 Runs, 66 RBI, 39 SB, 53 BB
Turner finally has tuened in a healthy season last year and delivered on the promise he showed back in 2016. He led the NL in steals last year as as much as people love steals he ought to shoot up the rankings.
Xander Bogaerts– Boston Red Sox
Projection: .286, 19 HR, 80 Runs, 82 RBI, 9 SB, 54 BB
Bogaerts will be a free agent after the season. Like Machado, he will enter free agency at age 26. Will he fetch 150 million? 200 million? A lot of it depends on what he does this season. So, is he a guy that rises to the occasion or he is a guy that shrinks under pressure.
Corey Seager– Los Angeles Dodgers
Projection: .284, 23 HR, 90 Runs, 74 RBI, 4 SB, 61 BB
People put way too much credence in what happened last year. With all of the big names around him in the rankings it is easy to forget about Seager. He is one of the best young shortstops in the game and he will show it again this season.
Javier Baez– Chicago Cubs
Projection: .269, 28 HR, 78 Runs, 93 RBI, 16 SB, 32 BB
Baez was the runner up in the MVP race last season. If you are playing in a standard 5×5 format he immediately jumps into the top five. He is a few extra walks away from superstardom. He will also play plenty of second base, so he is also eligible there.
Carlos Correa– Houston Astros
Projection: .265, 22 HR, 74 Runs, 78 RBI, 4 SB, 64 BB
Take someone six foot four and give them back trouble and its enough to scare anyone off. He is a talented as anyone above him on this list. If you could bank on 600 healthy plate appearances you can bank on him being top five.
Jorge Polanco– Minnesota Twins
Projection: .272, 14 HR, 79 Runs, 64 RBI, 15 SB, 48 BB
The Twins are a fascinating team moving forward. In many ways, they may be a model for the future. They keep adding guys to one or two year deals. When they don’t work out they just go in another direction. Polanco got busted for PEDs, but he came back and produced like he had before.
Jean Segura– Philadelphia Phillies
Projection: .284, 13 HR, 74 Runs, 60 RBI, 19 SB, 34 BB
Much like Baez, he moves up the list if you are playing in a standard 5×5 league. If you prefer a few extra steals you might even elevate him above Polanco now. After all, these numbers are just a guess.
Marcus Semien– Oakland Athletics
Projection: .251, 18 HR, 70 Runs, 67 RBI, 12 SB, 53 BB
Semien is one of those guys that gives you a little bit of everything. If you decide to punt shortstop on draft day you could do a whole lot worse.
Adalberto Mondesi– Kansas City Royals
Projection: .253, 22 HR, 76 Runs, 73 RBI, 43 SB, 31
How do we even begin to handicap this? He came up after multiple cups of coffee and finally produced a .276/.306/.498 slash line with 32 steals in almost half a season’s worth of at bats. The batted ball data and plate discipline issues point to regression. How much regression is the key question.
Jose Peraza– Cincinnati Reds
Projection: .281, 11 HR, 69 Runs, 61 RBI, 21 SB, 29 BB
Peraza put up 14 HR and 23 stolen bases last season. For now, he has the Reds shortstop job. Nick Senzel looks like the shortstop of the future, but they will give him a shot at center field next season. Ten plus home runs and 20 plus stolen bases is nice to have on a fantasy bench.
Lourdes Gurriel– Toronto Blue Jays
Projection: .266, 19 HR, 72 Runs, 65 RBI, 7 SB, 24 BB
There was one magical day last summer where Yuli and Lourdes both hit two home runs on the same day. The Blue Jays brought in Freddy Galvis to be his caddy, but I can’t imagine why they would want to waste at bats on him.
Andrelton Simmons– Los Angeles Angels
Projection: .277, 11 HR, 65 Runs, 63 RBI, 10 SB, 39 BB
Much like Matt Chapman in the last article, Simmons is one of those guys that you wished there would be a fantasy category for defensive runs saved. He is basically this generation’s Ozzie Smith. He’s solid offensively, but that plays up big time with his defense in real baseball. In fake baseball not so much.
Tim Anderson– Chicago White Sox
Projection: .252, 16 HR, 62 Runs, 64 RBI, 20 SB, 25 BB
Anderson has been up a couple of seasons and we know his modus operandi. He will hit the occasional dinger and steal the occasional base. That’s good. He won’t draw walks. That’s bad. There’s a reason the White Sox have been sniffing around Machado.
Paul Dejong– St. Louis Cardinals
Projection: .254, 22 HR, 62 Runs, 73 RBI, 2 SB, 24 BB
Where the Cardinals hit Dejong could make a lot of difference. If they put him in the lineup near Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt the lack of patience may not kill him. The smart play would be to put him down in the order though.
Willy Adames– Tampa Bay Rays
Projection: .248, 13 HR, 61 Runs, 59 RBI, 10 SB, 56 BB
The third of our young shortstops also came up last year and looks to be the Rays regular shortstop next season. They can mix and match guys with the best of them, so we aren’t as confident that he will get a full complement of at bats.
Brandon Crawford– San Francisco Giants
Projection: .255, 13 HR, 54 Runs, 60 RBI, 5 SB, 47 BB
I’ve always liked Crawford. He doesn’t do anything really well, but he doesn’t have any major weaknesses either. He is a testament to the value of an average player. Sure, average doesn’t sound good until you’ve experienced replacement level performance.
Elvis Andrus– Texas Rangers
Projection: .266, 9 HR, 58 Runs, 55 RBI, 11 SB, 37
Andrus had a huge 2017 season and then he spent a good portion of 2018 on the shelf. 2017 may have been a mirage. The numbers above represent what he has done for much of his career. Of course, he doesn’t have the speed he once did and that is while he has tumbled down the list.