Fantasy Baseball Ranking: Shortstops

When I prepare for any fantasy draft, I always rank players into tiers. This way, you will have a better understanding while drafting of when there is a big drop-off in talent. Using this type of drafting strategy should lead to an increase in overall value for your team.

When compiling my rankings, I focus on a couple of major factors. First, I look at last year’s statistics. That is obviously a great place to start because it is the most recent data to project how a player might perform this year.

Then, I look into any circumstantial changes a player might have going into this year. For example, was this player traded? Did this trade lead to a new ballpark that may be more/less favorable to hitters/pitchers? Is this player surrounded by new players in the lineup? Is this player going into a contract year? Is this player injury-prone of currently injured? All of these questions can give you a better idea of who might have the biggest jump or drop from last year’s performance.

Next, I look into the player’s history. This is less important in my opinion than the first two steps of analysis because a lot can change in two or three years. What it does help me with is it shows me which players I can feel confident and safe in drafting due to a consistent run of seasons of similar statistics.

Finally, the last factor that I use in my rankings is the team that the player plays for. I mean this in a couple of different ways. I personally believe that first and foremost, fantasy sports is supposed to be enjoyable. So, if you are deciding between a few players who on paper have similar values, go ahead and be a homer and take your favorite team’s player ahead of the others. But more importantly, I look for teams that I believe will still be playing competitive baseball towards the end of the season. I have been burned many times by having my top player get a minor injury come fantasy playoff time, only to be rested for the remainder of the season due to their actual team not having any chance of making the real playoffs. If you are deciding between two players close in every other category, my advice is lean towards the player that you are confident will be in a playoff push towards the end of the year. This will give you the best chance of them playing competitive baseball when it matters most in your fantasy season.

Here are my Shortstop rankings going into this season:

  1. Manny Machado, Orioles
  2. Carlos Correa, Astros
  3. Corey Seager, Dodgers
  4. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
  5. Francisco Lindor, Indians
  6. Jean Segura, Mariners
  7. Jonathan Villar, Brewers
  8. Trevor Story, Rockies
  9. Aledmys Diaz, Cardinals
  10. Eduardo Nunez, Giants
  11. Addison Russell, Cubs
  12. Brad Miller, Rays
  13. Elvis Andrus, Rangers
  14. Troy Tulowitski, Blue Jays
  15. Didi Gregorius, Yankees
  16. Jose Peraza, Reds
  17. Dansby Swanson, Braves
  18. Brandon Crawford, Giants
  19. Javier Baez, Cubs
  20. Asdrubal Cabrera, Mets
  21. Orlando Arcia, Brewers
  22. Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
  23. Marcus Semien, Athletics
  24. Jedd Gyorko, Cardinals
  25. Tim Anderson, White Sox
  26. Alcides Escobar, Royals
  27. Zack Cozart, Reds
  28. Chris Owings, Diamondbacks
  29. Andrelton Simmons, Angels
  30. Danny Espinosa, Angels

Much like the catcher position, the shortstop position is not often a deep position for fantasy purposes. The reason for this is likely due to the defensive talent needed to play both positions, which leads to a decrease in the offensive talent available at them.

Manny Machado
Manny Machado is eligible at shortstop this season, making him the clear number one selection from the position group.

The shortstop position did get a substantial boost, however, with Machado becoming eligible. He, along with Correa and Seager, will be drafted in the late-first or early-second rounds, particularly because of the lack of depth at the position.

The next tier of players features five quality shortstops who can all be solid additions to your team. The issue is they all will likely have to be drafted in the 3rd or 4th rounds, which is earlier than many other players at different positions whose productivity will likely be higher than theirs. That is what happens when there is not much depth at a position.

Then, there are six capable players likely to be mid-late round picks, followed by a bunch of names of players who should be left for two shortstop leagues or bench depth.

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