2019 Preseason Rankings: Top 10 Shortstops: How To Rank A Position Flush With Talent

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

As we’ve said with our other early rankings, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • We are still extremely early in the process so player movement, among other factors, will have an impact on these rankings as we get closer to the start of the season
  • Just because a player his ranked #3 doesn’t mean you should draft him in that spot. In most cases you shouldn’t have to, it just shows the potential value they hold
  • These rankings are based on our projections and expected production for 2019

There has certainly been an infusion of talent at shortstop in recent years.  Once seen as a defense first position, the position is suddenly flush with high upside talent.  That can clearly be seen not only in our current Top 10, but by looking at the names who fell just short.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how things currently look:

1. Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians
2. Trea Turner – Washington Nationals
3. Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies
4. Carlos Correa – Houston Astros
5. Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox
6. Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs
7. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros
8. Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees
9. Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers
10. Jurickson Profar – Texas RAngers

Thoughts:

  • The biggest “just miss” who is garnering significant hype is Adalberto Mondesi. There’s obviously a lot of risks given his approach (18.2% SwStr%, 37.1% O-Swing%) and he’s going to be highly prone to the shift (17.6% Oppo%).  There’s no questioning his speed, but if he’s going to hit .250 or lower how much is he going to be able to tap into it?
  • Surprised to see Alex Bregman outside of the Top 5? So were we, to an extent.  That speaks to the potential the position has, but we also can’t ignore the risk of a regression that Bregman faces.  We will take a much closer look at him in the coming weeks, though the key risk is in his average as he became extremely pull happy in the second half (52.3% Pull%), saw his Hard% tumble (28.1% and 23.3% over the final two months) and was struggling with popups.  Did the power surge get into his head?  It’s something to monitor, because if he’s swinging for the fences it’s possible that the numbers really tumble.
  • Xander Bogaerts will not be the fifth shortstop coming off the board, but don’t be surprised if he performs like one of the best at the position this season. He’s shown an improved approach over the past year and a half and the power is on the rise.  There’s obvious upside and he’s going to be a shortstop that’s well worth targeting in all formats.
  • Corey Seager is coming back from two injuries (Tommy John surgery and hip surgery), and while he’s expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training you have to wonder how long it will take him to get back up to speed. Don’t ignore that risk when figuring out how to rank him.
  • Yesterday we talked about Jurickson Profar and why a breakout appears imminent. To read that article click here.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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Make sure to check out all of our 2019 projections:

Player
Date Posted
Dylan Bundy10/22/18
Foltynewicz, Mike10/09/18
Gibson, Kyle10/29/18
Hoskins, Rhys10/16/18
Hosmer, Eric11/05/18
Wheeler, Zack10/02/18

6 comments

  1. bbboston says:

    RP:

    Love to hear your thoughts on Jorge Polanco.

    Last year he was a highly publicized breakout candidate, after a huge 2nd half 2017. Then after PED sentence, he does not recapture the power stroke immediately but seems to improve in the final weeks. Seems to me like he’ll be the leadoff hitter for the Twins and is a legit sleeper with nearly the same potential as Profar. Thoughts?

    • Bbboston says:

      Anyone?

    • A says:

      I don’t think he is on quite the same level. His hard contact is much softer.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m still doing my due dillegence on Polanco, but he does have a strong approach and uses the entire field. The question is going to be if he can grow in his power, even a little bit. If he does he’s going to explode, and at his age it’s a good gamble (though I’d still put him a step behind Profar)

  2. Sam says:

    I think people don’t realize how good Ketel Marte was in the 2nd half of 2018.

    Since June 1st, Ketel Marte has the following stats:

    285/365/512 with 13 homers, 19 doubles, and 5 stolen bases

    This comes along with a 14% strikeout rate (backed by 7.3 swinging strike, 83.7% contact, 28.4% Oswing) and a 39.4% hard hit rate, with 15.1% hr/fb.

    He’s been good against lefties this year and bad against righties, but if you look at his history he’s actually been the opposite in previous years which makes you wonder if he will put it all together next year.

    Thoughts?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I actually like Marte. Hee’s a little snippet (unedited) of what is going to be in the draft guide:

      “That shows exactly what he could be, and as a middle infielder who can get on base (10.7% walk rate in the second half) and has a little bit more upside in his speed there’s a lot to like. He’s the perfect player to fill out your squad with, because he could prove to make a significant difference at little cost.”

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