When I started playing fantasy baseball nearly a decade and a half ago, the shortstop position had long been a weak spot in fantasy lineups. Shortstop is the most important defensive position on the infield and typically, organizations are willing to lose a little with the bat as long as they get the elite level glove play from this spot. However, times have changed. After rummaging through the player pool, I found that there were some great options and even starter caliber players after 15 deep. While some of that may be attributed to the increasing number of teams that utilize a player’s flexibility defensively to get him in the lineup, but I also think its due to the amount of information available to the players. Hitters who were previously known as average hitters have now learned how to maximize their abilities by adjusting their approach and launch angles. OK, enough rambling Max. Let’s get to the shortstop rankings for 2019. I’ll continue with some more ramblings below as I discuss each tier. You can check out the rest of my rankings here.
Rankings Updated 3/13/19.
Shortstop Rankings for 2019
|27||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||TOR||2B/SS||5|
|39||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SD||SS||6|
Tier 1 is led by Francisco Lindor and I love him. All three of these guys are first-round talents and unsurprisingly, all will be drafted in the first round. All contribute in five categories. Both Turner & Lindor are no doubt, top 10 options but I’d hold off on Machado until 11-15 overall until I see where he signs. You don’t need any more information on these guys, they are great!
This tier is an interesting group. The oldest player in tier two is Trevor Story at 27. Believe it or not, none of these guys had ADPs inside of 40 last year. Bregman was the highest just inside of 45 overall but if you listened to me, you would have grabbed him inside the top 30. In 2019 however, Bregman’s off-season elbow has me concerned. That’s why I’ve dropped Bregman below Story plus I believe he may have maximized his power in 2018 and he’s started running less. I love the profile and Breggy has a super-high floor with a great lineup around him. That being said, Story’s a little bit volatile but absolutely has more power/speed potential than Bregman. Baez is similar to Story with his ceiling but has even more risk. I can imagine a repeat for Story, I just can’t see it for Baez. With playing time every day, Baez could still manage 25 homers with 15+ steals but hitting .290 again? No way. Finally, Bogaerts. I’ve expressed my thoughts about Bogaerts for 2019. Essentially, I feel you can get similar value with Bogaerts compared to Bregman but about 30 picks later.
Tier 3 has a massive drop off from tier two; there’s almost a full tier between Bogaerts and Mondesi who is just inside the top 60 for me. Mondesi has been a lightning rod this off-season and I understand that he has second-round upside but also could completely flop. So, that’s why he’s in this tier. Villar bookends the tier as he is the safer version of Mondesi without quite the upside or the hype. I will not be owning Correa or Torres this year because Correa has failed to stay healthy in three of the last four years and Torres is getting too much rookie hype inflating his value. Segura is priced just about right around 65-75 overall and he gets a park and lineup upgrade with the Phillies. If Harper signs there, watch out!
Tier 4 is a group of players that I love. Many of them are going well outside the top 200 overall but could have top 150 value. Peraza is similar to Segura but with less power and without the prime spot in the lineup. I’m not touching Seager, he may not be ready for Opening Day and I think his numbers take a dip this year. I’ll jump back in if the price continues to drop in 2020. If I miss out on one of the top seven shortstops, I’m looking to get Andrus (159), Rosario (146), Polanco (234), or Marte (270). Marte is my favorite and he’s going to gain OF eligibility. Each of the top seven shortstops are going in the first three rounds and I’m likely getting one SP and two hitters, so it’s far from a guarantee that I grab one. This tier is starting to look better and better.
Tier 5 does not excite me. Profar is valuable because he’s eligible everywhere but I see a decrease in production with the move to Oakland. The rest of these players are all solid and have value in between two and three categories. They are perfect for your MI slot in 12-15 team leagues. If I had to pick two, I’d go with Hampson and DeJong. Hampson has speed for days but its anybody’s guess how much time he will get because the Rockies hate their young players. DeJong is steady and after a disastrous first half, he rounded into form and improved his plate discipline. Hampson is a wide-awake sleeper so you won’t be able to get him on the cheap.
Tier 6 has a few gems but mostly due to multi-position eligibility. Marwin likely jumps a tier if he hooks on somewhere can get regular at-bats, but until then, he’s stuck at the top of this tier. The players that excite me in this tier include Willy Adames and Scott Kingery. Hernan Perez, Niko Goodrum, and even Kike Hernandez are interesting because of their multi-position eligibility and should see playing time at least 4-5 games a week. If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention Schoop, here’s why.
Tier 7 is a deep one. Fernando Tatis Jr. has the potential to be a monster but the Padres likely won’t be competing this year unless the rumors of Harper going there are true! I know they are making moves, but let’s face it, by the All-Star break, they will likely be out of it. In that case, the Padres won’t rush the 20-year-old, so he’s at best, an August call up with the possibility of a September cup of coffee. Brendan Rodgers is the other top prospect in this group. However, based on information from prospect experts more intelligent than I am, Rodgers is not ready for the big leagues. His plate discipline is terrible and his numbers have been inflated due to the hitter-friendly parks and inferior competition. Besides, he’s completely blocked, I like Hampson over Rodgers for now and the near future. The last two I want to touch on are Orlando Arcia and Aledmys Diaz. Arcia has elite defensive skills and should play nearly every day. Hitting eighth in an NL lineup isn’t great but he has double-digit power and speed combo and he’s done it before. Diaz is an injury away from being the new Marwin Gonzalez for the Astros. He unlocked some power last year with 19 homers and could be valuable if there’s an injury on the infield.