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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 50 Shortstops, #1-20

WELCOME BACK!!! Despite a scorching hot stove (I can’t believe the player you’re thinking of did or did not sign with the team you thought they would!), January and February can be some of the darkest months of the year (figuratively and literally). But fear not, restless readers. The Dynasty Guru is here to the rescue.

While you were celebrating the holidays and ushering in the New Year, our brave group of writers has been ranking, debating, re-ranking, re-debating, and re-re-ranking over 600 players for dynasty leagues. The fruits of our efforts will be filling January and February with the deepest, most thoroughly and painstakingly selected dynasty baseball rankings on the internet. We have top-50s, top-125s, top-200s, top-500s (of course!), and even ultra-deep prospect rankings. PLUS, this season we’re including a “Where They’d Rank” section, that outlines where we would put multi-positional guys if we ranked them at their secondary positions.

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2019 consensus rankings by looking at our 1-20 dynasty shortstops.

1) Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 3)

Since making his debut 4 seasons ago Lindor has continued to improve his home run total, going from 12 to 15 to 33 and finally 38 last season. Lindor’s hit tool was perhaps the best in the minors while he was a prospect and it showed immediately in the majors. Lindor then decided to sacrifice his average for power, which was obvious from his home run total. However, his hit tool is so good that “sacrificing” average to him is still hitting nearly .280 and clubbing almost 40 homers. Oh yeah, and he’s only 25. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

2) Manny Machado, FA, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 3 SS)

Doesn’t matter which position he’s playing Machado has been a lock for 30+ homers and a .300 average for the last 4 seasons. Hitting free agency at the ripe age of 26, Machado is a bet to continue mashing for many years to come. His launch angle is well above average and consistently in the mid teens, and his exit velocity was in the top 8% of the league last season. As long as keeps barrelling, and playing multiple positions, he’s one of the best fantasy assets in the game. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

3) Trea Turner, Washington Nationals, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 2)

The amount of super talented young shortstops in the game right now is literally just stupid, and Bae Turner is no exception. After back to back seasons of 40+ steals he’s a good bet to top 40 again and club 20+ homers. Despite his slight frame, Turner’s hard hit rate is actually 4% above the league average and he’s capable of pairing that with a double-digit launch angle which allows his power to play up some. There are few players with the upside of Turner in the league and yet shortstop is so loaded Turner actually *falls* a spot to 3rd this season. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

4) Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies, (Age:26, Previous Rank:13)

The biggest change appears to be his ability to better recognize offspeed pitches, but he swung and missed less often on all pitches. Story actually swung the bat a bit more than he did in previous years, but it was the amount of contact that he made that allowed him to soar into the top tier of shortstops. Story gets a lot of credit from analysts for lowering his strikeout rate, but let’s slow our roll a bit: the dude is still striking out 25% of the time, and we can’t pretend that that is good, because it’s not. It is just better than the 34% he was whiffing before. Another remarkable thing about Story is that he was able to increase his power! He raised his ISO from .219 to .276, and his exit velocity from 88.9 to 90.7 MPH. Increased contact and power led him to barrel 12% of his hits. That’s good for the top 6% in the league. Yowzers. All things seem pretty legit. Buy with confidence. (Patrick Magnus)

5) Carlos Correa, Houston Astros, (Age: 24, Previous Rank:1)

There is no doubting Correa’s talent. The dude is an absolute stud when he’s on the field, but he has an awful lot of trouble staying there. At the young age of 24, the last thing we should have are injury concerns. Yet over the past three years, Correa has missed 140 days. Missing that many days with that many injuries is going to cause most people to slap the injury-prone label on a player. The back injury from 2018 is the most concerning as you don’t enjoy hearing a young player say that he’s afraid to swing the bat. All the required skills are there for Correa to be a stud at shortstop for your dynasty league. However, I doubt very much that he’ll be ranked as the number one shortstop in our rankings come spring. The health issues for a third year in a row are enough to knock him down, and if he’s on your team make sure that you have a reliable bench option for the time he’ll miss. (Patrick Magnus)

6) Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 4)

You have to go pretty far down this list to find a youngin who doesn’t have above average exit velocity, launch angle, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate, and it’s not stopping here. Presumably past his back injury issues coming into the season, Seager got dealt a bad hand very early on needing season-ending Tommy John after just a month. Given his age and pedigree, it’s a safe assumption to expect Seager to return to full health in 2019 and continue to dominate the fantasy box score. I would say his injury history would keep him from stealing bases, but he doesn’t do that anyway so he should have his full arsenal ready to go. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

7) Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 7)

After playing through a wrist injury for the majority of 2017, a fully healthy Bogaerts lit the world on fire in 2018. He set career marks for exit velocity and launch angle (both above league average) and doubled his best barrel rate while increasing his hard-hit rate 10%! On top of that, walking at a double-digit rate makes Bogearts an OBP monster.  A consistent line of .290 25 homers and double-digit steals should be easily attainable for Bogaerts for the next several years. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

8) Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City Royals, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 28 2B)

The Mondesi hype train is a little wild right now, but it’s understandable as to why. At a baby age of 22 last season, Mondesi put up a pretty decent slash line of .276/.306/.498 and socked 14 homers in 75 games. There is plenty to like in his profile including an impressive 10% barrel rate. However, there are also some reasons to be cautious with the young shortstop. Mondesi strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk very much. Those are both things to watch especially in an OBP league, but he’s young enough he has the runway to rein it in and reach his potential. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

9) Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age:17, Previous Rank:NR)

The young shortstop came out with a bang in his first season in pro ball. The Rays are most certainly going to get their $3.825 million worth out of Franco. Franco posted a .351/.418/.587 slash-line, while walking 9.9% of the time, and striking out a mere 7%. Oh, and he did all this while being 3.3 years younger than the rest of his peers. He’s certainly ready for full-season ball next year, but don’t expect a Juan-Soto-like ascent to the majors from the 17-year-old. The Rays will take it slow with the youngster, and we probably won’t see him in the show until 2021-2022. He’ll be worth the wait. (Patrick Magnus)

10) Jean Segura, Philadelphia Phillies, (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 6)

It’s weird to think of a 29-year-old as old but in the landscape of shortstop it kind of is, which really shows how loaded the position is. Since his breakout season in Arizona, Segura has fallen back down to earth some taking two seasons to match his home run total from that year. Segura is very good at putting the bat on the ball and stealing a base, but outside of those silos he’s not helping very much. He does walk as much as he should and his power seems to be fading a bit, I’m not convinced he’ll reach double digits in 2019. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

11) Fernando Tatis Jr, San Diego Padres, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 14)

Currently, Tatis is lighting up the winter league with highlight after highlight and that’s really just been an extension of his 2018 season. In 88 games at Double-A, Tatis slashed .287/.355/.507 and matched 16 homers with 16 steals. He has the skills and hands to stick at the position and there isn’t anything blocking his way at the major league level its possible Tatis makes his debut in San Diego as soon as this season. I’m kind of running out of things to say about all the talent at the position on the way to the majors, but Tatis is just another in the line of potential five-category studs. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

12) Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 15)

The future is very bright in Toronto and that future might be here sooner rather than later. Playing the whole season at Double-A Bichette slashed .286/.343/.453 with 11 homers and 38 steals. There is a lot of similarities between Tatis and Bichette, in age, level and profile. Tatis will hit a few more homers and Bichette will steal a few more bags but they both will be five-tool fantasy monsters (Keaton O. DeRocher)

13) Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 17)

After joining the Yankees, Didi put more of a focus on pulling the ball in the lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium and to say it paid off would be an understatement. Every year with New York he’s set a new career mark in homers hitting nearly 30 last season and reaching double digits in steals for the first time. Despite his average taking a dip, Didi was able to increase his OBP and SLG. He was also able to improve his approach at the plate being more patient and setting a career mark in walk rate doubling his rate from 2017 and striking out a minimal 12% of the time. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

14) Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 30)

Oh look, another young super talented shortstop prospect, this is my shocked face. (Not a visual medium, I get it, to save you the confusion though I’m not shocked). Drafted by the Twins in the first round in 2017, Lewis was impressive in his debut and cranked it up about 5 notches last season. The power started to click and Lewis was able to crank 14 homers in 121 games. His slash line wasn’t too shabby either, posting a cool .292/.352/.451. Although 1 year younger than Bichette and Tatis, Lewis made sure people knew he could match their overall body of work tallying 28 steals along the way. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

15) Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 11)

Once the crown jewel of the shortstop prospects Rodgers took a bit of a step back last season upon finally reaching Triple-A. Facing more difficult competition, Rodgers’ average took a hit but his peripherals still held up. He was still able to post a .330 OBP and hit 17 homers while tallying 12 steals, eclipsing double-digit steals for the first time. I would say Rodgers makes his MLB debut this season but he’s very blocked at shortstop, and the Rockies are constantly mishandling their prospects so fat chance of that. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

16) Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox, (Age: 25: Previous Rank: 20)

Anderson has been a bit under the radar but posted some pretty interesting numbers last season. Anderson joined the club of 20/20 shortstops bombing 20 homers to pair with 24 steals. There is a time when that combo would have landed Anderson in the top ten considering his age but, have I mentioned shortstop is loaded? On the outside of the generic stat line, Anderson made some interesting, if probably insignificant, progress in his approach. He doubled his walk rate which is great, however, it doubled to 5% which is still very low. He dropped his strikeout rate 2% which is good, but it’s still sitting at 25% which is a lot. Keep an eye on him though, he might surprise us once again in 2019. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

17) Jurickson Profar, Oakland Athletics, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 33 2B)

Both myself and Patrick have talked about Profar at length as a guy we see as still on the rise. What was surprising is that last season was Profar’s first full season in the majors, 9 seasons after the Rangers signed him. In that full season though, Profar showed why once finally given playing he can shine on the baseball field. Now assuming he gets that in a crowded middle infield in Oakland he should continue to improve. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

18) Jose Peraza, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 35)

Once just a source of steals, Peraza is still basically just a source of steals. It’s easy to call his power surge last season a fluke, and I’m taking the easy way out and calling it a fluke. The tertiary numbers for Peraza are underwhelming, to say the least: his launch angle is an impressive 13º but he pairs that with a well below average exit velocity causing him to barrel a minuscule 2% of his contact. He’ll get you some average, but won’t get on base enough to make a difference in OBP leagues, but hey, he’s got steals. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

19) Amed Rosario, New York Mets, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 12)

For someone as crazy fast as Rosario is, he was surprisingly bad at stealing bases last season (a success rate of 69%) (nice) even though he was still able to swipe 24. Rosario peaked in the top 5 of overall prospect ranks prior to his debut with the Mets, and since has turned into essentially Jose Peraza with a worse average. Still only 23 though, there’s plenty of time for his pedigree to shine through and for Rosario to put together some monster season in New York. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

20) Willy Adames, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 24)

Adames has been lurking around on this list for a while now and finally made his MLB debut last season to some decent success. Like everyone nowadays his power played up at the major league level and he was able to launch 10 homers in 85 games with the Rays. Adames is a very solid option for your fantasy team, he’ll provide enough average and OBP to be relevant and as I mentioned his power is already playing up. He has the skills to post some 15/15 seasons and that’s enough to be a pretty interesting fantasy option. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

 

Where They’d Rank*

Alex Bregman- 2 behind Francisco Lindor
Javier Baez- 7, behind Carlos Correa
Gleyber Torres- 8, behind Xander Bogaerts

*ranked as though all were included in the list

The Author

Keaton O. DeRocher

Keaton O. DeRocher

Keaton O. DeRocher is an Industrial Engineer in Chicago and baseball contributor for The Dynasty Guru. Voice on Dynasty's Child podcast, lover of bat flips, brunch and Bombay Sapphire. His High School batting average was .179 and he lead the team in strikeouts. Follow him on Twitter @TheSpokenKeats

2 Comments

  1. Alex
    January 24, 2019 at 11:28 am — Reply

    Since Bregman qualifies as an SS in various leagues, where would you slot him here?

  2. Charlie
    January 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm — Reply

    Small complaint. You didn’t talk about mondesi’s speed. Less in tune people will think your ranking makes no sense with that stat line. (I use to articles to get the trades I want)

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