2022 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2022 TOP 50 DYNASTY LEAGUE SHORTSTOPS, #31-50

Continuing with TDG’s consensus rankings with Shortstops ranked #31 through #50.  Read on!

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31) Bryson Stott, Philadelphia Phillies, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 47)

Peak MLB projection: 110 wRC+ .262/.354/.441 22 HR/600 7 SB/600 12.1 BB% 23.7 K%

Author note: my write-ups for prospects and young players without a long MLB track record rely heavily upon my peak MLB projections, which are based on peak major league equivalencies that convert minor league performances at different ages to their peak equivalent MLB performances. To preserve information and make it easier to differentiate between players, I reference the regression-free projections in this article, with an eye toward seeing how they align with popular scouting reports (the projections are housed on a google sheet, which is housed on statlinescouting.com).

Bryson Stott is nearly ready to start his reign as the Phillies starting shortstop after cruising through three levels of the minors in 2021, ending the year in Triple-A. Steamer already has him as Philadelphia’s best overall SS ahead of Didi Gregorius from a WAR perspective, so expecting substantial playing time in 2022 is not farfetched. In any case, Gregorius is a free agent in 2023—the latest you can expect to see Stott playing every day. The 2019 1st round pick may be lacking in super stud upside, but he offers a well-rounded offensive profile that should keep fantasy GMs content for the long haul. (Jordan Rosenblum)

32) Jose Barrero, Cincinnati Reds, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 33)

Peak MLB projection: 96 wRC+ .243/.309/.414 20 HR/600 12 SB/600 6.5 BB% 23.9 K%

Jose Barrero continues to rate much better on real life than fantasy lists thanks to his glove and position. At 24, he should be about MLB ready and he only has Kyle Farmer standing in his way for serious playing time. While aggressiveness at the plate, average contact skills, and more good than great power and speed suggest he’s unlikely to ever be a major fantasy difference maker, he should eventually settle in as a reliable backend SS option. (Jordan Rosenblum)

33) Tyler Freeman, Cleveland Guardians, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 26)

Peak MLB projection: 112 wRC+ .277/.335/.408 10 HR/600 12 SB/600 4.6 BB% 10.4 K%

Tyler Freeman offers a bit of pop and speed, and his hyper-aggressive, low walk, high contact profile, should support a solid batting average. Taken together, it’s a package that makes him an intriguing option for your dynasty shortstop of the future. He’ll have to untap more of that 45 future raw power grade (from FanGraphs) to raise his ceiling above my projection for him—something we have seen many high contact bats do over the years as they age. He’s likely to start the year in Triple-A and should debut for the Guardians at some point in 2022. (Jordan Rosenblum)

34) Reginald Preciado, Chicago Cubs, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

Peak MLB projection: 108 wRC+ .271/.318/.412 13 HR/600 11 SB/600 6.2 BB% 19.9 K% .323 BABIP

Reginald Preciado had an exciting professional debut in the CPX, beginning to justify the buzz around him generated by co-headlining the Yu Darvish deal. He didn’t walk a ton, but he showed solid contact skills and smacked the ball when he put it in play to the tune of a .423 BABIP. His homework for 2022 is to turn some of that BABIP into over-the-fence power, which future power grades suggest he will. I project him as an above average bat, but it’s based on a very limited sample of data, just 154 plate appearances, so he has plenty of room to grow—or flame out. A high variance pick for your future infield, with the highest upside of anyone ranked in the 31 to 40 range. (Jordan Rosenblum)

35) J.P. Crawford, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 41)

Peak MLB projection: 101 wRC+ .249/.335/.363 10 HR/600 7 SB/600 10.4 BB% 18.2 K%

For some reason, I can’t stop wishcasting on J.P. Crawford’s solid BB% and K% skills, despite his 1,540 PA track record of underwhelming fantasy performance. Regardless of his fantasy performance, he remains a strong asset for Seattle, where his defense should keep him in the lineup for the foreseeable future—he had 3.1 WAR in 2021 and projects for another 3 in 2022 (Steamer). He doesn’t run much, though, nor does he offer a ton of pop, so it’s tough to project more than 10 SB or 15 HR, which makes him a fine injury fill-in in medium-depth leagues, or backend starter in 30-teamers. Given his youth, though, a late 20s power surge would not be terribly surprising, perhaps only moderately more surprising than one of the “surprise” cameos in Spider-Man: No Way Home. (Jordan Rosenblum)

36) Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 48)

Peak MLB projection: 96 wRC+ .230/.319/.449 27 HR/600 10 SB/600 11 BB% 28.2 K%

Gunnar Henderson strikes out a ton but has also hit for plenty of power throughout his minor league career—likely enough to make him an above average offensive piece despite the Ks. My projection here is weighed down by a low projected BABIP—I would bet on BABIP regression as he progressed up the minor league ladder and take the over on this line. High Ks put a soft cap on his upside, but he should offer good pop and solid speed on the left side of the infield in Baltimore, probably debuting sometime in 2023. (Jordan Rosenblum)

37) Liover Peguero, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 42)

93 wRC+ .239/.303/.378 17 HR/600 19 SB/600 8 BB% 21.4 K%

In 2021, Liover Peguero showcased a tantalizing blend of speed and growing power, driving my 17 HR 19 SB projection for him. Further, he has solid patience and contact skills, and he reached High-A at the ripe young age of 20. Given his age relative to level, fantasy friendly game, and scouting enthusiasm regarding his bat, he has room for considerable growth—both in terms of my peak projection for him, and in terms of next year’s edition of our list. (Jordan Rosenblum)

38) Nicky Lopez, Kansas City Royals, (Age: 27, Previous Rank: NR)

Peak MLB projection: 93 wRC+ .260/.333/.339 5 HR/600 16 SB/600 9.2 BB% 12.7 K%

Nicky Lopez made his fantasy parents proud in 2021, racking up runs and stolen bases starting every day in Kansas City. He has very little power, but strong plate discipline and contact skills. His appeal as a backend fantasy option depends considerably on whether he maintains his newfound stolen base aggressiveness moving forward (22 SB in 2021, 1 SB in ~600 PA across 2019 and 2020), and on whether he can hit enough to hold off serious competition for playing time from his KC teammates. (Jordan Rosenblum)

39) Jeremy Peña, Houston Astros, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

Peak MLB projection: 102 wRC+ .247/.325/.415 22 HR/600 13 SB/600 8.1 BB% 23.2 K%

With Carlos Correa gone, Jeremy Pena is currently generating industry buzz as RosterResource’s projected opening day starting shortstop for the Astros. Don’t let Pena’s early placement on real life top 100 lists fool you, though, as that is more a product of his defensive abilities than an indication of future fantasy building block potential. Notwithstanding, he has solid speed and pop, and should be a more than fine low-end option to round out your fantasy roster. (Jordan Rosenblum)

40) Ronny Mauricio, New York Mets, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 27)

Peak MLB projection: 80 wRC+ .224/.274/.372 19 HR/600 7 SB/600 6 BB% 19.7 K%

Ronny Mauricio continues to be one of the players with the biggest gap between performance and scouting reports. Scouts continue to praise his tools, highlighting a balance of hit, power, speed, and defense, but the minor league numbers have not kept up pace. Eventually, he’ll have to start performing to back up the tools, as fantasy players have already begun to lose patience (he ranked 27th in last year’s SS rankings). There is some room for optimism, though, as he has shown decent pop and solid contact abilities. Adding power in 2022 would go a long way in closing the gap between his performance and the scouting hype. (Jordan Rosenblum)

41) Jeter Downs, Boston Red Sox (Age: 23, Previous Rank: #11 2B)

It’s hard to find a prospect who had a more perplexing 2021 than Jeter Downs. 14 HRs and 18 SBs in 99 games in his first bout at Triple-A, after essentially skipping the Double-A level (12 games) isn’t bad at all! Well, not so much. Downs slashed .190/.272/.333 and struck out 32.3% of the time, after arriving at the level never having struck out more than 20% of the time at any level. Reports had Downs lost at the plate at times, struggling mightily with off-speed stuff. In a stretch of 33 games from July 13 to August 24th, Downs hit .088 with 49 strikeouts in 113 at-bats. He went out to the Arizona Fall League to get some additional reps and came out blazing, homering in three straight games during the first week, ending up with five total on the campaign. He hit .228 in 16 games in Arizona but with an impressive 14 walks. More likely to slot in at second base long-term, when he’s going right Downs has a power/speed combination that should be attractive to fantasy and real-life teams. Downs is only 23 and will get a chance to repeat the level this year and hopefully is more prepared to do so. (Bob Osgood)

 

42) Andres Gimenez, Cleveland Guardians (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 31)

It’s an important reminder to check the ages of young MLB players who have lost their prospect eligibility. Luis Garcia of the Nationals exhausted such status at age-20 and no longer showed up on “prospect lists”. Andres Gimenez is another example who was a rookie at 21 and, despite a 52-game demotion, played the majority of his 2021 season at 22-years-old at the big-league level. When Gimenez was sent down in mid-May, he was slashing just .179/.226/.308. After being recalled on August 8th, he hit .246 in 39 games while chipping in three homers and seven steals. Gimenez is a great defensive middle infielder, eligible at second and short, who has finished in the top-7 percentile in sprint speed both seasons and could easily steal 20 bases over the course of a full season. The at-bats should be there on a shaky Guardians Starting Nine. Gimenez could be a post-hype prospect worth looking into. (Bob Osgood)

 

43) Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 22)

The last time we saw the 2017 first overall pick playing baseball, Lewis was being named the MVP of the 2019 Arizona Fall League. We’ve since seen two full seasons missed: one from a pandemic and one from a torn ACL. Still, this rank feels very reactionary for a super-athletic talent with power, speed, and great makeup who was challenged by the Twins organization to a High-A/Double-A assignment at the age of 20 in 2019. It will be interesting to see how Lewis’s speed is affected by the knee injury but he was a 70-grade prior to that. Lewis is one of the top five prospects that I want to see in 2022 and is going way too late in startup dynasty drafts this offseason. If you want to read more about Lewis, check out the spotlight that Joe Drake did for our site a year ago. (Bob Osgood)

44) Cristian Hernandez, Chicago Cubs, (Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR)

He’s a ways away, having just turned 18-years-old but if you can stash and wait for a prospect, there are few better to do so with than Cristian Hernandez. Signed for $3-million by the Cubs last winter, Hernandez has all-fields hit and power potential who may or may not stay on the shortstop. In his first action the Dominican Summer League, Hernandez showed his 55-speed by stealing 21 bags in 47 games and walking 15.7% of the time against a 20.4% K-rate. Hopefully, we can get a look at Hernandez in low-A ball Stateside this upcoming season. (Bob Osgood)

 

45) Isiah Kiner-Falefa, (Age: 27, Previous Rank: #32 at 3B)

Kiner-Falefa played almost every game in 2021, as a rather unlikely 20 steal contributor and hitting .271 in 158 games. Every one of his appearances, however, occurred at shortstop and the Rangers just gave a boat load of money to a couple of shortstops. With Corey Seager and Marcus Semien in town, it’s hard to see IKF getting much time up the middle. The catcher eligibility days seem to be long gone, and even third base is risky with top prospect Josh Jung likely to be up early in the season. Kiner-Falefa doesn’t hit the ball hard (at all) but he does not whiff often. The 13.3% K-rate is in the top-five percentile and his versatility will probably find him in the lineup more than one would think. He is 27-years-old and got almost 700 plate appearances last year, so it would be hard to fathom him losing more than half of that. Kiner-Falefa may be a nice target for deep leagues or daily leagues, who is shortstop eligible and likely to pick up third base eligibility early in the season, a position he played most of 2020 at. (Bob Osgood)

 

46) Wilman Diaz, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR)

The Dodgers made a significant investment in Diaz, signing him for nearly $2.7M entering 2021. His statline doesn’t stand out in the 27 games he played in the Dominican Summer League but Diaz arrived late due to Visa issues, and hit just .235 in 85 at-bats with one home run. His Fall Instructs were reportedly much improved and the 18-year-old should be given the benefit of the doubt entering his first full season in the States. His profile is well-rounded, grading out in the 50-60 range for all tools, and has the range, hands, and arm to stay at shortstop long-term. He did steal eight bases in the short DSL stint and the speed grades out at 60 by most accounts. Play the long game with Diaz if you can. (Bob Osgood)

 

47) Jordan Westburg, Baltimore Orioles, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: #38 at 2B)

If you’re looking for a quick mover with a high floor, Westburg could be your guy. After picking him with the 30th pick in 2020, losing a minor league season, the Orioles moved Westburg through three levels in 2021. Low A wasn’t a challenge (.366/.484/.592), High-A also went well (.286/.389/.469 with 8 HR and 9 SB), but the 30 games in Double-A dropped down to a .232 average. Westburg actually improved his K% at each level and walked at least 10% at each. Westburg is another prospect who grades out 50-60 across the board with defense and speed providing a safe floor, along with versatility as he can play both shortstop and third base. The 23-year-old has a shot at the Bigs in 2022 and should be a factor in the wave of Orioles prospects that are looming. (Bob Osgood)

 

48) Vaughn Grissom, Atlanta Braves, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)

The 11th rounder who signed over-slot with the Braves, Grissom shows great contact skills with some power. A nice .311 BA and .402 OBP in 75 Low-A games, with only 14.9% K-rate got him a late season promotion to High-A. Albeit in 12 games, Grissom hit .378 with 11 walks to 5 Ks. Grissom may not have the range for shortstop and is likely to end up at third or second base. He made a quick rise up the Braves prospect rankings in 2021 and is a nice late flier in once-a-year first year player drafts this offseason, specifically those that reward for OBP. (Bob Osgood)

 

49) Masyn Winn, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

The two-way Shortstop/RHP, Winn held his own at Low-A at the plate before struggling at High-A with a .209/.240/.304 in 36 games. He did steal an eye-popping 32 bases in 97 games combined, however, grabbing 16 bags at each level. The appeal with Winn is the arm. Baseball America throws an 80 grade on his arm at shortstop and a 70 on his fastball on the mound. Winn only threw one inning in 2021 but will likely throw a lot more this year. Winn is not in our top-200 upcoming pitcher rankings so a shoutout at shortstop makes sense, but the fear is that Winn goes the pitching route and ends up as a bullpen arm, greatly limiting his fantasy value. (Bob Osgood)

 

50) Greg Jones, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 45)

There’s a ton of speed and athleticism here but it remains to be seen if the hit tool will play. Jones is a high-risk, high-upside prospect who is a highlight reel shortstop and grabbed an amazing 34 bags along with 14 homers in 72 games at High-A and Double-A this year. Unfortunately, his strikeout rate was over 30% combined. The 24-year-old is unlikely to stay at short if he remains in the Rays organization due to the Wander Problem. Injuries and hit tool will decide his ceiling but Jones is certainly worth stashing to find out. (Bob Osgood)

The Author

Jordan Rosenblum

Jordan Rosenblum

Jordan is an American living in Finland. In addition to writing for The Dynasty Guru, he's a doctoral candidate at Åbo Akademi researching explanations of income inequality, and a Workforce Strategist at OnWork Oy. His favorite baseball area is quantitative analysis of prospects.

Fun fact about Finland: they play pesäpallo here, which is like a soft-toss version of American baseball, except home runs are somehow outs.

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