2023 Dynasty Baseball Rankings

THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2023 TOP 50 DYNASTY LEAGUE SHORTSTOPS, #1-10

Continuing with our highlights of the league’s top shortstops, as judged by our collection of industry experts, below are the TOP 10!!!!

 

1. Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 1)

Can you believe that at just 24 years old Fernando Tatis Jr. has already had 1,036 plate appearances and he didn’t get a single one last year? How about that? Even with the injury concerns our panel still named him the number 1 overall shortstop! I believe ladies and gentlemen, I believe! He’s already got nicknames such as Bebo and El Nino but how about Professor Padre or the Flyin Friar! (it’s a work in progress) With a career slash-line of .292/.369/.596, you can call him whatever you like. 2021 was the big year for Tatis, where he swatted 42 home runs and brought 97 people across home plate. He also added 25 stolen bags to go along with his .282 average. There are some concerns however; the strikeouts were a touch high at 28 percent in 2021 and he plays with his hair on fire. Look no further than him swinging so hard he blew his shoulder out. All of this is what makes him one heck of a player to watch. Don’t slow down kid, we love this stuff.  He does still owe 20 games of an 80-game suspension for PED which makes him eligible to return for the season opener in Arizona.  As long as the surgeries to his shoulder and wrist did their jobs, we will have another year with Fernando sitting at the top of fantasy superstars. (Brian Shanks)

2. Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 2)

Trea Turner was drafted in the 1st round out of North Carolina State University, #13 overall in 2014, and has done nothing but show off baseball brilliance since his call up in 2015. A career .302 hitter in 3,424 at bats, Turner matches power with speed on a yearly basis. The power numbers have popped the last 2 years, 28 and 21 home runs respectively, and the stolen bases are even better with 32 and 27. The 2022 offseason saw Turner choose the Philadelphia Phillies as his next destination after playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals. The Phillies Shelled out an 11-year contract worth $300 million dollars. One of the biggest reasons he and his family chose the Phillies was his wife grew up in New Jersey, that and $300 MILLIONS DOLLARS! This will presumably take us to the end of Turner’s career as he will be 40 before it expires. The Phillies are going to have one heck of a potent offense with the likes of Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto, and Bryce Harper (once he returns) surrounding Turner while developing players Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, and Bryson Stott bring up the lower parts of the batting order. A bounce-back year from Nicholas Castellanos and Rhys Hoskins’ continued success could have the Phillies in great shape for 2023. (Brian Shanks)

3. Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 6)

Standing at 6’1 and weighing in around 200 lbs., Bobby Witt Jr. was drafted in the 2019 drafted, round 1 and 2nd overall out of Colleyville Heritage, Colleyville, Texas. The doubters were out in full force during the 2019 season where Bobby played the full season at rookie ball to the tune of .262/.317/.354 in 164 at bats. Not exactly the ground-breaking stats that most were expecting of this baseball savant. Not to worry because he came back to baseball in 2021 blaring Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes (this did not happen). In 497 at bats between Double and Triple-A he batted .290/.361/.575 with 33 home runs and 29 stolen bases. He continued his success with a callup to the big club, while with the Kansas City Royals in 2022 his slash line was an impressive .254/.294/.428 in 591 at bats, adding 20 bombs and 30 stolen bases.  If not for a certain Seattle Mariner, Bobby Witt Jr. would’ve brought more hardware home in 2022 for the ol’ bookshelf. Coming into his sophomore season look for added brilliance and wait for the top to be blown off as he becomes a stalwart for a developing Kansas City ball club. (Brian Shanks)

4. Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 3)

Here is a secret, Bo Bichette is really good at hitting a baseball. A career .321 hitter in the minors with 1,302 at bats, Bo only lasted three and a half seasons in the minors before getting the call to the big leagues. Once arriving in Toronto, he showed much of the same acumen that made him a top prospect. In 2021 and 2022 he led the major leagues in hits at 23 and 24 years old!   Rocking a clean .297/.340/.491 career slash line in, already, 1,611 at bats, Bo has shown that he can clean the base paths off with 69 home runs. When he isn’t hitting home runs, he uses his high average and on-base percentage to swipe 46 bases in his career as well. I can’t say enough about what he has been doing in the majors at such a young age and I can only see that he is going to get better. One heck of a consolation prize if you can pick Bichette as your 4th best shortstop, but there is real star-power up and down this list. As for a forecast, look for him to continue his torrid start with 25 homers, 20 stolen bases and sniffing a .300 average. Yes, please. (Brian Shanks)

5. Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 4)

This is a nuclear bomb just waiting to explode. Here is another secret, Wander Franco is amazing at hitting a baseball. A career .334 hitter in the minors, Wander hasn’t shown the crazy counting stats yet as he only had 27 homeruns and 27 stolen bases. But he owns one of the craziest minor league lines I’ve ever seen, 858 at bats, 101 walks, and only 80 strikeouts. That is absolutely dominating the strike zone. All of this is happening while being one of the youngest, if not the youngest player at every level he has played in. At just 20 years old he made his major league debut in 2021 and it has been much of the same, holding a solid major league slash line of .282/.337/.439 in 595 at bats. The only thing holding him back from challenging Bichette in leading the majors in hits has been injuries. Whether it was a pulled muscle, shoulder soreness, bicep inflammation or a broken right wrist hamate bone, Wander just couldn’t stay healthy in what would have been his first full season of major league ball. While I hate soft tissue injuries because they seem to continuously plague players and always seem to come back, I am not backing off this stance. Wander Franco will be our number 1 overall player in a few years. Take it to the bank. (Brian Shanks)

6. Francisco Lindor, New York Mets (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 11)

There’s something to be said for being able to stay on the field consistently, all season long. Lindor eclipsed over 700 plate appearances last year, and besides the shortened ’20 season has never dipped below 500 plate appearances over a full season. Still at 29 years old, Lindor is entering his eighth season in the big leagues and has been a stalwart in the lineup pretty much from the get-go. Last year was no different. He may not be as valuable as he once was as he’s slowed down the steals a bit but he’ll still chip in 15 to 20 this year, which is nothing to sneeze at. No one is quite sure yet how the new pickoff rules and larger bases will affect stealing. Lindor will continue to hit in the middle of a very potent lineup and most likely continue to be a fantasy force and contribute in all five categories. (Ryan Epperson)

7. Corey Seager, Texas Rangers (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 8)

Seager found his power last year as he hit a career high 33 homeruns in his new park environment. If you look at his slash line you may think he was selling out for power as he finished the year at .245/.317/.455, but if you dig a tad bit deeper, you will find that his expected batting average (or xBA) was all the way up at .283 This is more in line with his previous averages and you can expect it to regress closer to the mean this year. Steamer has his line at .271/.346/.477 this year expecting more of those hits to fall in, and I expect most other projection systems will agree. If he stays healthy, he has a chance to touch 30 dingers again and continue to be a four-category contributor. (Ryan Epperson)

8. Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 5)

Bumping the #1 ranked shortstop to the outfield, Bogaerts signed a massive deal in December hitching his horse to one of the most potent lineups in the Padres for the next 11 years. He figures to hit in the top 5 of a lineup that features Tatis, Soto, and Machado, which is just an incredible sentence to type out. His rate stats should see quite a boost with all the new talent around him. What’s great about Bogaerts is you pretty much know what you are going to get, an OPS that hasn’t dipped below .830 since 2017 buoyed by a high on base percentage. I’m willing to look past the power outage last year as who the heck knows what kind of baseball was being given to the Red Sox. I feel confident he can get back up to around 20 homeruns with a nice bump in his RBI and Run opportunities. (Ryan Epperson)

9. Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 7)

Ok, *deep breaths* as of this writing; Correa still has not finalized a deal with the Mets over his physical. Everything I have read still believes that he will be a Met come Opening Day, just maybe not with the number of years they originally agreed to. I don’t want fantasy players (and particularly dynasty players that are reading this) to be worried about this physical, however. The Mets are not particularly concerned about the next three to five years of play from Correa, but what comes after that. So, assuming he is a Met, he will be in a much better lineup than last year, which should afford more opportunities for the rate stats to improve, and Steamer agrees with this seeing a projected increase of about 15 runs and 15 RBI. Correa is in his prime currently and there’s nothing in the underlying stats saying his level of play should be dropping off any time soon barring injury, which is always the case with Correa. (Ryan Epperson)

10. Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 13)

When I found out I was going to be able to write about Cruz for this I was like a kid on Christmas morning opening up a brand-new N64. Foremost, as a baseball fan I am enamored with Cruz while also being a Pirates fan (unfortunately). We have all seen the highlights of Cruz effortlessly flicking down and away pitches over the outfield walls seemingly with ease. His Baseball Savant page is pure Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he hits the ball hard (the hardest hit ball in the Statcast era belongs to Cruz), strikes out a ton and can run like a gazelle. He finished the season on a hot note slashing .288/.359/.525 with six home runs and five stolen bases during September/October. He cut down his chase rate every month and has shown better pitch recognition as the season went on as well.  The Mr. Hyde side of Cruz is that he still swings way too much at balls outside the zone and he’ll probably always have a hole in swing because of his long lever. He will most likely continue hitting at the top of the lineup for the Pirates against right handers and able to stay at short for the foreseeable future as he’s not a liability at the position and Peguero is probably still a year or two away from cementing a spot in the Bucs lineup. The lineup around him should theoretically be better this year and Steamer is projecting his slash line at .249/.319/.471, with 27 home runs and 18 stolen bases. I’m the highest on Cruz out of all the rankers and could see (hope?) him being ranked in the top 3 next year if he continues improving his pitch recognition. (Ryan Epperson)

 

The Author

Brian Shanks

Brian Shanks

Just a normal everyday dewd trying to compile as much information I can get. If I pass along one piece of information you didn't know about than I have done my daily duty.

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