2020 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

The Dynasty Guru’s 2020 Top 50 Shortstops, #21-50

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2020 consensus rankings by looking at the 21-50 shortstops in dynasty leagues.

21) Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 27)

Polanco had his age-26 breakout season in 2019, with a batting average of .295, 22 home runs, 107 runs, 79 RBI, 40 doubles and a .356 on-base percentage hitting primarily out of the two-hole for the Twins. He did this in 153 games and 704 plate appearances while maintaining an 8.5% walk rate and a 16.5% strikeout rate, both in line with his career numbers. Nothing apparent sticks out as to why Polanco shouldn’t continue to improve his numbers and possibly even add more steals, as he has a few double-digit steal seasons in his past. His 22 home runs were a career-high but the 40 doubles show his power is real. While he played 133 games his first full season of 2017, Polanco only appeared in 77 in 2018, as in late March he received an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Polanco also signed a five-year extension in February 2018, so he should be the Twins shortstop for the foreseeable future. Polanco did have ankle surgery in November, which has a six week or so recovery time, so he should be fine by Spring Training, just something to monitor. (Phil Barrington)

22) Luis Urias, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 19 as a Second Baseman)

Acquired by Milwaukee along with Eric Lauer for Trent Grisham and Zach Davies back in late November, Urias is now the starting shortstop for the Brewers. While not as good of a defender as incumbent Orlando Arcia, he is a much better hitter and should bat toward the bottom of the order which should alleviate some pressure on him to produce. Urias is a contact guy with no power, although the 19 home runs he hit at Triple-A in 2019 would beg to differ; many (including yours truly) chalk that up to the homer-happy Pacific Coast League. At the lower minors he had a strikeout rate consistently under 9% that more than doubled once he reached Triple-A though his walk rate throughout his minor league career has been around 10%. It is quite possible the strikeout rate at the major league level will be below 20%, it just may take a couple of seasons to get there.

Urias did not show well in his limited time with the Padres last season however there were signs in September that makes one hopeful for the future. In 23 games with 89 plate appearances, he hit two home runs, four doubles, and a .300 average. Urias still has time on his side and there are not many better stadiums to develop power than Miller Park. (Phil Barrington)

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

Adames’ solid defense should ensure his spot in the lineup while his bat catches up. A former top prospect for the Rays, Adames had a solid, if unspectacular, first full season in the bigs in 2019, hitting 20 home runs, four steals and 25 doubles with 69 runs scored and a .254 average. He had a walk rate of 7.9% and a strikeout rate of 26.2% in 2019; both of those should improve to his minor league percentages of 12% and 24%. He also showed the most power of any season, though with the juiced ball we should be hesitant on expecting more than the 20 home runs he hit in 2019. Adames has three minor league seasons of double-digit steals so some more of those are possible as well. Last year we said “he has the skills to post some 15/15 seasons” and he has already surpassed the home run total, now to get those steals. (Phil Barrington)

24) Paul DeJong, St Louis Cardinals (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 23)

One of the smartest guys in the majors, DeJong would’ve attended medical school had the whole baseball thing not worked out. Drafted out of Illinois State back in 2015, DeJong worked his way onto the major league roster in less than three seasons, making his debut in May 2017. He has improved his walk rate from 4.7% his rookie year to 7.3% in 2018 and 9.3% last season, and the same with his strikeout percentage: 28.0% in ’17, 25.1% in ’18, 22.4% in ’19. If both those trends continue his batting average should move into respectability. Batting average is where he is bringing negative value to a fantasy roster, hitting .233 in 2019 and .241 in 2018. To be fair, that 2019 average is caused by a horrible .259 BABIP, so expect it to rise in 2020. If DeJong can get his average to .260-ish he’ll provide value across the board, chipping in about ten steals with good counting stats and about 30 home runs. At his age DeJong is entering the typical power prime, so more home runs are very possible. This ranking provides excellent value, especially in Dynasty leagues. (Phil Barrington)

25) Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 33)

The 2018 first-round pick did not even spend a full season in the minors before making his major league debut on September 9th of last year. The promotion was need-based as the Cubs suffered injuries to their middle infielders late last season, but Hoerner did not disappoint, hitting three home runs with a .282 batting average in 82 plate appearances. Hoerner has a top hit tool, shown by a strikeout percentage of about 10% in his limited career stats and going into the draft his discerning eye was one of his best features. Hoerner is a shortstop by trade but Javier Baez is entrenched at that position for the Cubs so playing second base is most likely in his future. A Long-term projection of a 15 home run, 15 steal player with a .300-plus batting average in a good lineup for counting stats plays in fantasy. It might not happen in 2020 as the Cubs have multiple options at second base (David Bote, Robel Garcia, Ian Happ, maybe Ben Zobrist) and they may want Hoerner to get more at-bats at Triple-A. In any case, he is the Cubs second baseman of the future and should be treated as such for Dynasty leagues. (Phil Barrington)

26) Didi Gregorius, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 13)

Gregorius signed with the Phillies this offseason on a one-year deal, most likely pushing the #30 player on this list, Jean Segura, to second base. Tommy John surgery ended his 2018 season and took up half of 2019; when Gregorius did return he did what he normally does, hit for power, albeit with a .237 BABIP (I actually checked multiple websites to make sure that was correct) and a .238 batting average. In 2019 over 344 plate appearances he hit 16 home runs, 14 doubles, with 47 runs scored and 61 RBI. Without a spring training and coming off of injury those stats were leaning toward best-case scenario (well, except that BABIP). Full health, a normalized BABIP, a contract year, and hitting in the middle of a good lineup Gregorius should provide excellent value at this spot. (Phil Barrington)

27) Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 30)

Swanson turns 26 in a month and while he’s made incremental improvements in his four big-league seasons, it is pretty safe to say he will not live up to his top overall draft pick status. While hitting in the bottom third of the order in 2018, Swanson moved up in mid-May 2019 to the two-hole, leading to more opportunities to compile Runs. In the first half of 2019 he hit 17 home runs with a .270 average which had him poised for his best season as a big leaguer. However a heel injury in late July that kept him out a month sent him back to the bottom third of the order and he never appeared fully recovered as he hit zero home runs with a .204 batting average the rest of the season. If Swanson doesn’t get hurt and he finishes with 30 home runs and a .270 average he’s top 15 on this list. Best case: Swanson picks up 2020 where he left off 2019 prior to his injury and solidifies himself as a top-15 shortstop. Worst case: while not great defensively and a much better hitter against lefties, a platoon could be in Swanson’s future. (Phil Barrington)

28) Jeter Downs, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 47 as a Second Baseman)

The Columbian native was originally drafted by the Reds back in 2017 and traded to the Dodgers as part of the Yasiel Puig deal. Downs spent most of 2019 at Class-A+ Rancho Cucamonga before being promoted for 12 games to Double-A Tulsa. He’s showed good power and speed in the minors thus far, with 13 home runs and 37 steals in 2018 and 24 home runs and 24 steals in 2019. His walk rate in the minors of 11.0% and a strikeout rate of 19.1% are solid for a 21-year old and both are trending in the right direction. The Dodgers have long-term starters at both middle infield positions so a change of position or trade may be the way Downs gets to the majors sooner. A prospect that could climb this list if his stats keep trending the way they have been. Triple-A is a possibility this season and a call to the majors in 2021 seems likely. (Phil Barrington)

29) Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 47)

Oneil the Unicorn is a giant beanpole, registering at 6-foot-7, 175 pounds and the biggest shortstop in the minors. While that size likely puts him at one of the corners for the future the Pirates have been playing him exclusively at shortstop since 2018. He cut his errors from 33 in 2018 to 16 in 2019 and while errors don’t count in fantasy how he gets to the majors does. Promoted to Double-A from Single-A+ in late July last season, Cruz is slowly working his way up through the system. Expect a possible promotion to Triple-A toward the end of 2020 but don’t be shocked if he spends all season in Double-A. The 80-grade raw power has yet to show itself in the minors, where his 2018 home run total of 14 is the most he has hit in any minor league season thus far. Use this to your advantage if trying to acquire Cruz. Patience is required but can pay off big time as he should arrive in the majors in 2022. (Phil Barrington)

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

From #6 in 2017 to #10 last year to #30 this year, and he’s turning 30 next season? Segura needs a big bounceback or he’s not making the 2021 list. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at Segura’s 2019: 144 games played, 618 plate appearances, 79 runs, 12 home runs, 10 steals, and a .280 average. Fine for real baseball but not for fantasy. Segura might have even hurt your team even more since he was never placed on the IL and his name value made adding an unknown or dropping him even more difficult. The 2019 Phillies lineup was supposed to be better though Segura hitting in the two-hole did not help matters. This season he should be hitting in the bottom third, thus lowering his counting stats however a minor bounce back to a .300 average and 15 home runs and 15 steals is very doable for 2020. Just note that as he approaches age 30 his dynasty value may dip and his owners should see what trade options are out there especially if he starts out hot. (Phil Barrington)

31) Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 25)

Elvis Andrus had a tale of two halves in 2019. In the first half, he hit .309 with seven homers, 43 RBIs, and 46 runs scored. After the All-Star break, however, he returned to hit .240 the rest of the way. The one constant? His speed – stealing 31 bases during the season, likely due to new management in Texas. The good thing is that Andrus’s underlying skills didn’t really change throughout the season. Historically, he has been counted on for plus speed and average with decent pop, and there is no reason to think that will change in 2020. Ranked this low, there is definite value to be gained if you find yourself in need of a decent shortstop with a few more good years possible. (Steven D. Jaeger)

32) Noelvi Marte, Seattle Mariners (Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR)

Noelvi Marte had a fantastic pro debut in 2019. He finished the season in the Dominican Summer League hitting .307/.371/.508, and added 9 homers, 18 doubles and four triples, with 54 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 264 at-bats. He projects to contribute impact speed and loft power. He has been forecast to become a top-five prospect with five-tool upside, and career peak projections indicate the talent for a .270 season with 25 to 30 homers one day. They may happen as a third-baseman. Despite his youth, this may be the last opportunity for dynasty league players to snag Marte at a reasonable price. Wait at your own risk. (Steven D. Jaeger)

33) Ronny Mauricio, New York Mets (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

Ronny Mauricio exhibits a conflict between scouting reports and his stat sheets. The Mets obviously believe in the switch-hitter, signing him in 2017 to a record-breaking $2.1 million signing bonus. Scouts say he produces quality at-bats, strikes out infrequently and will make decent contact, with huge power potential. According to reports, he has all the tools to develop into a superstar one day. With that said, his stat sheet so far shows a player who may struggle to ever get called up to the majors. Thankfully, there is time, as Mauricio is only 19 entering the 2020 season. Dynasty team owners should monitor him to see whether the scouts or his to-date stats prove to be correct. (Steven D. Jaeger)

34) Jazz Chisholm, Miami Marlins (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 44)

Jazz Chisholm spent 2019 in Double-A. At first, he showed off his power skills and did little else. He hit .204/.306/.429 with 18 homers and 13 stolen bases in 315 at-bats in Jackson. Then, he hit an improved .284/.383/.494, but saw his power and speed erode with only 3 homers and 3 stolen bases in 81 at-bats for Jacksonville. Overall, he rates with plus raw power to all fields and above-average speed ability. He does have a tendency to strike out. Peak projections have him hitting 30+ homers with double-digit steals in a season. But with power available all around the shortstop position, dynasty leaguers should monitor his progress to see if he can figure it all out and offer the complete package. (Steven D. Jaeger)

35) Kevin Newman, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)

Was 2019 Kevin Newman’s breakout season? He finished the season hitting a stellar .302 with 12 homers, 64 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. Even if the skills say there isn’t much room for improvement, that’s not a bad baseline, especially if Newman acts as the backup at any of your dynasty teams’ middle infield positions. The biggest downer on Newman is that he will be hitting atop the Pirates lineup, meaning opportunities for team reliant stats (RBIs, Runs, etc), may be limited. (Steven D. Jaeger)

36) Jordan Groshans, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 45)

A foot injury cost Jordan Groshans his 2019 season, allowing him only 96 plate appearances in Low-A before his season ended. But Groshans made the most of that time, hitting .337/.427/.482. He has middle-of-the-order potential with power to all fields. He makes consistent hard contact and is projected to develop into a line-drive hitter. Comparisons have been made to David Wright. Projections are he will develop into a five-category contributor and end up as a future third baseman. Many also project that he will be an All-Star. Oh, and don’t forget he will be in a lineup with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. Still likely two or more years away, but a name dynasty leaguers need to follow. (Steven D. Jaeger)

37) Tyler Freeman, Cleveland Indians (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR )

Tyler Freeman is primarily a contact hitter with above-average plate discipline. In fact, in 2019, he used his whole body to make contact, being hit by a pitch 24 times while only walking 26! To date, he has hit at all levels, posting the following stat-lines: 2018: .352/.405/.511 with 29 doubles; 2019: .292/.382/.424, and then after being promoted to High-A, improved his average to .317 with a strikeout rate in the single digits. He has yet to develop much power, but at only 20 years old, that could still arrive. Even if it doesn’t, there is much for dynasty league owners to like here.  (Steven D. Jaeger)

38) Orelvis Martinez, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR)

The Blue Jays are stacked with young talent, and Orelvis Martinez continues to build that resume. He possesses double-plus raw power with batting average potential as well. He will likely move off of shortstop to third base. Last year, he hit .273/.350/.545 with seven home runs, while walking 8.6% of the time. He projects to have 30-plus homer power, and based on his tools, he is a must-own in dynasty leagues. (Steven D. Jaeger)

39) Robert Puason, Oakland Athletics (Age: 17, Previous Rank: NR)

Robert Puason is only 17 years old, but he is already being touted as a five-tool talent. Career peak projections estimate he will hit around .275 with 20-25 homers and 25 steals, with the possibility for more. He will certainly hit bumps in the road, and while he doesn’t have huge raw power abilities, he will offer the potential of an impact bat with plus speed. He also projects as a long-term shortstop, unlike others on this list. While he is still likely four or five seasons away, many believe he could be an all-around contributor on the diamond and for dynasty owners. (Steven D. Jaeger)

40) Geraldo Perdomo, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

Geraldo Perdomo has plus contact skills and hits to all fields with plus speed once on the bases. However, so far, his power has been non-existent. His understanding of the strike zone is advanced. Last season, he walked as many times as he struck out in Low-Am and then walked more than he struck out in High-A. He also stole 26 bases. He projects as a future top shortstop. The only question for dynasty leaguers is how high he might rise. If he is able to develop a power game, the sky is the limit. (Steven D. Jaeger)

41) Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 24)

Most of what makes Simmons valuable in the real world is his stunning display of leather night in and night out. That, however, does not make him the most valuable fantasy asset. Entering his age-30 season he has a slash line of .268/.316/.380 and that should say all that is needed. There also may be questions about the consistent playing time he’s enjoyed for the last several years with the addition of Anthony Rendon potentially misplacing the up-and-coming David Fletcher. Overall, Simmons isn’t a first option at the position. But he should get plenty of playing time to grab some stats in a pinch for teams that want to compete in the immediate future. While Simmons goes home to a myriad of trophies that explain his defensive prowess, there is not much offense to bring home fantasy trophies. (Trevor Hooth)

42) Andres Gimenez, New York Mets (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 26)

The Mets signed Gimenez in 2015 and he has grown into one of the better prospects in their farm system. His hit tool is what stands out most from a fantasy perspective. He covers the plate well and put bat on ball, but without much power. Defensively he can find a home and be able to stick there, even if it isn’t as a shortstop. That’s a good thing considering there isn’t a clear path to playing time with Ahmed Rosario taking up the innings in New York. His defense gives him a floor in the majors, it’s just going to be a matter of how the hit tool comes around against big-league pitching. (Trevor Hooth)

43) Luis Garcia, Washington Nationals (Age: 19, Previous Rank: 32)

Garcia is another guy whose hit tool will be his carrying tool as a fantasy asset. As a player, his plus arm will allow him to profile as a shortstop long term through his development. His speed is above average and he is smart on the bases, so that should result in some steals, but not a crazy amount that could define his value. He’s got below-average power now, but at 19 years old he stands 6’2”, 190 lbs so maybe a chance for a little more. Seen as a top 100 prospects on some lists, there is a decent amount of value as he progresses, though he’s already made it as high as Double A. (Trevor Hooth)

44) Niko Goodrum, Detroit Tigers (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 46 at 2b)

Detroit has been thin with depth in the past, so Goodum got a chance to prove he can play at the MLB level, and he ran with that chance. Since becoming a regular in the Tiger lineup he’s been at least worth 1 fWAR. He’s got the athleticism to put up at least 10 homers and 10 steals in a season, so in deeper leagues he carries value. He’s worth watching this season too because there are new players around him in the lineup like CJ Cron and Jonathan Schoop. Strikeout rates are high, but he gets the job done, and owners know that when he gets on a hot streak he can win you a week almost by himself. (Trevor Hooth)

45) Greg Jones, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)

Anyone in search of help with stolen bases should be pointing their eyes towards Jones. There are some evaluators who give him 80-grade speed, but there isn’t a single person who doubts he has plus plus wheels. After being the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 draft he swiped 19 bases in only 48 games. The deal here is that if he can’t get on base, he won’t carry much value. His power is below average and right now so is the hit tool. A refined approach might help that, but his speed is undoubtedly the real deal. We just have to hope the bat comes around. (Trevor Hooth)

46) Brayan Rocchio, Cleveland Indians (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

The Indians have a loaded group of young infielders and Rocchio is one of them. The switch-hitting 19-year-old pairs an above-average hit tool with plus speed. He’s only listed at 5’10”, 150 pounds, so there is plenty of room to grow into his body and mature. The threat of stolen bases with him will be helpful considering his reported aggression on the bases. The hope is that as he matures he can develop some ability to find gaps, but his plus speed will be his carrying value. He’s not a bad stash option based on what he can become during physical development. (Trevor Hooth)

47) Jorge Mateo, Oakland Athletics (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 41)

At one time Mateo soared among the top prospects in baseball. He hasn’t lost his prospect status, but he’s falling down the ranks because it seems like he’s been knocking on the door of the MLB for a few years now. He had a near 20/20 season in Triple-A, missing it by only one homer. There is the potential power and speed combination, but it’s mostly going to be speed moving forward. Should Mateo put it all together he could be a really nice value if picked up prior to the 2020 season starting, he’s only 24 years old. (Trevor Hooth)

48) Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 30, Previous Rank: NR)

Ahmed will turn 30 prior to the 2020 season, so he isn’t an investment for the future. However, he has played over 150 games in each of the last two seasons with an average fWAR a little over two. He hit 19 homers last year and generally steals less than 10 bases a year. The question for Ahmed isn’t if he will produce, but it’s more of what he can add. There’s no true stat he will excel at, but he should find ways to contribute in a small way on injury-plagued rosters. As long as he performs, he should get playing time. (Trevor Hooth)

49) Cole Tucker, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

The good news on Tucker is that he debuted in 2019, so he could add value immediately. The bad news is that there is still some work to be done in his game. He’s a 23-year-old switch-hitter who will be able to steal bases if he can get on base. That is a theme here in the bottom tier of the rankings. Tucker’s hit tool has flashed in the minors, he will just need to get it to translate into the big league level and he will be okay. It’s worth noting, however, that the Pirates do have some depth at the position. (Trevor Hooth)

50) Brice Turang, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

Turang is one of the most severely underrated players for a fringe top 100 prospect and it’s because he’s got no tools that appear to project as plus except maybe his run tool. That said, he’s got a good ability to get bat to ball. If he can maintain a good approach then his hit tool will play up enough to add value from a fantasy aspect. There’s a really good chance his stock continues to climb, and his shares would only become more valuable if that happens. His floor might be more of a selling point than his ceiling. There are some young shortstops in Orlando Arcia and Luis Urias, but Turang is still a couple of years away from big-league relevancy. (Trevor Hooth)

The Author

Phil Barrington

Phil Barrington

Fantasy player since 1999, specializing in OPS leagues. Accountant by day, fantasy writer by night. Spreadsheets are life.

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