MLB Is Loaded with Talent at Shortstop
When it comes to the infield, there isn't a position with more talent than shortstop.
Some of the best young talent in baseball is at shortstop, making it a very tough exercise to rank who is the best at the position. Myself, Matt Hanson, and Tyler Austin did our best to try and rank the best fantasy baseball options at shortstop, as we make our way around the diamond to fully prepare you for your fantasy baseball draft this year.
Cream of the crop
The son of the former major leaguer hasn't even played 150 regular season games, yet the 22-year-old is already considered the best shortstop in the game. Last year Tatis finished fourth in NL MVP voting, as he was the driving force that helped the Padres earn their first playoff appearance since 2006. In just 59 games in 2020, Tatis hammered 17 home runs and drove in 45 runs.
Just how good is Tatis? The Padres already locked up the talented shortstop for the next 14 years, making him one of the highest paid players in baseball. It's obvious that Tatis moves the needle, not only with his teammates, but with fans as well. If you have one of the first few picks in your fantasy baseball draft, Tatis should definitely be on your radar. The shortstop would be a great building block in trying to assemble a championship fantasy team.
If you are new to baseball, it might be a little surprising to see Francisco Lindor ranked this high among baseball shortstops. Last year was a down year for Lindor, as it became obvious that Lindor wasn't part of Cleveland's future plans, and the team was going to move him when they felt they were getting fair market value. The uncertainty with Lindor's future led to the shortstop hitting just .258 with eight homers in 60 games.
Expect Lindor to regain the form we saw from him in the four years prior, when he was one of the most exciting players in the game. Lindor hit 30 homers in at three straight years, and almost led Cleveland to a World Series title. With the Mets positioning themselves to be a factor in the NL East, Lindor should see a bump in his production, especially with Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and others surrounding him in the lineup.
With Nolan Arenado being traded to St. Louis, Trevor Story is now the big dog in Denver. How long Story will be with the Rockies remains to be seen, but until he is traded expect the shortstop to continue racking up the bases. Over the last three years, Story is averaging over two total bases per game.
It remains to be seen if Story is going to see his numbers dip a little since he has very little protection around him the lineup. At least Story will still get to utilize the thin air in Denver to help boost some of his production when he makes contact. A realistic goal for Story this year will be 70 extra base hits. Anything above that would be a bonus, and would have you in good position in your league if he is able to get more than that.
Turner might not have the power numbers of the first few shortstops on this list, but he more than makes up for it when it comes to stolen bases and runs. Turner swiped at least 30 bases in each of the first years prior to last year's shortened season. Even though Turner doesn't have as much power as some of the other top shortstops, he still led baseball in hits last year, recording 78 hits in 59 games.
As long as Turner can stay healthy, he'll be in line for a big season. While Turner did play all 162 games in 2018, and nearly every game last year, he was out for extended periods of time in 2017 and 2019. If Turner can stay healthy, he'll help you get a leg up in other categories early on while others might be focusing on those with bigger power numbers.
New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber TorresJim McIssac - Getty Images
If someone told you after the 2018 and 2019 seasons that Gleyber Torres was only the fifth-ranked shortstop in baseball, you would think they were crazy. In his first two years in the big leagues, Torres smashed 62 homers and drove in 167 runs. Last year saw Torres lose his stroke, smashing just three taters and only driving in 16 runs.
If there was ever a season for Torres to schedule, last year might have been the perfect year to do so since it was a shortened season. It's hard to imagine a talent like Torres continuing to struggle. As long as Torres and the rest of the Yankees stay healthy, the shortstop is going to be a crucial part of a New York lineup that can put up runs in a hurry at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
The rest of the top-10
The rest of the top-10 fantasy baseball shortstops are still ridiculously strong, and it's hard to go wrong with drafting any of them. Tim Anderson has one of the smoothest swings in the game. The White Sox shortstop has hit over ,320 in each of the last two seasons. Basically you can think of Anderson as Trea Turner with a better average but not quite as much speed.
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo BichetteTodd Kirkland - Getty Images
Bo Bichette may be known because of his father, but the Blue Jay has held his own so far in the majors. Even though Bichette has played in just 75 games in his major league career, the shortstop is a key part of a Toronto lineup that is loaded with young talent. Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are going to be a dangerous duo for years to come.
Aside from the 2018 season, where injuries limited Seager to just 26 games, Seager has been living up to the hype since winning Rookie of the Year in the National League in 2016. Last year might have been Seager's best season, as he blasted 15 home runs in just 52 games. With the Dodgers winning the World Series last year, expect even more from Seager and the rest of the boys in blue.
The Red Sox might be rebuilding, but one of their cornerstones now, and for the foreseeable future, is Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop hit 33 homers and 52 doubles in 2019. Even though the Boston lineup isn't quite what it used to be, Bogaerts should again approach those numbers if he avoid injury, which he has done a great job of so far in his career.
Kansas City Royals shortstop Aldalberto MondesiDaniel Shirey - Getty Images
Rounding out the top-10 is Adalberto Mondesi, who has speed for days. Every time Mondesi gets on base, he is a threat to steal. While a lot of the top-10 shortstops are guys with big power nujmbers, Mondesi could give your team a big edge in steals, which are becoming harder to find since stealing bases are becoming more of a lost art.