Top Five 2014 Fantasy Baseball Impact Prospects: Shortstop
The shortstop position has a lot of great prospects to look at. There are a few however, that should have more of an impact in 2014 fantasy baseball than others. The five shortstops listed here are either going to be there on Opening Day or by the All-Star break at the latest. This leaves out guys like Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros, who didn't make the cut strictly because there is little chance he gets to Houston this season. So with that in mind, here are the top five shortstop prospects sure to make an impact in 2014 fantasy baseball.
Xander Bogaerts - Boston Red Sox
Bogaerts is going to be in the Boston lineup on Opening Day, without any doubt, with shortstop being his likely position. He hit .250 in 44 at-bats last season during a late season call-up and .296 in the playoffs. While those numbers aren’t anything special, Bogaerts is a great player who must be drafted in every format this season. He should get 500-600 at-bats while hitting around .275 with 10 HR and 60-70 RBI. This is one of the few rookies who deserve to be picked before the last rounds of the draft.
Javier Baez - Chicago Cubs
There are decisions that will need to be made in Chicago at some point this season if Baez continues to impress in the minors. He hit .282 with 37 home runs and 111 RBI last season in high-A and Double-A action along with 20 SB. There isn’t much more that Baez can do to show he belongs, especially on a rebuilding team. He should find his way to Wrigley sooner rather than later and when he gets there, expect him to shine at whatever position he plays. Baez is someone that needs to be drafted in the final rounds of the draft.
Francisco Lindor - Cleveland Indians
Lindor is just 20 years old and only played 21 games in Double-A last season, but there is simply so much talent there that Cleveland may need to explore the idea of bringing Lindor up this season. Last year he hit .303 at high-A and Double-A with 25 SB. He also walked more than he struck out, which is a very positive that can’t be ignored. If the Indians can’t reproduce what they did last season, there is a strong possibility that Lindor finds his way to Progressive Field. Changes would need to be made on the infield though. He's someone that all fantasy owners must pay very close attention to.
Chris Owings - Arizona Diamondbacks
Many pundits may believe that Arizona is set at shortstop with Didi Gregorius. That is likely not the case, however, and Owings is pushing hard to get into the starting lineup. He hit .291 in 55 at-bats last season for the Diamondbacks while playing both short and second base. It is possible that he plays more at second than short to start with but in the end, he is going to end up as the D'Backs' shortstop. He hits for a high average and brings some power as well. Fantasy owners need to see how spring training goes to decide whether or not to draft Owings.
Addison Russell - Oakland Athletics
There is no disputing that Russell is going to have a hard time breaking camp with Oakland, especially with Jed Lowrie entrenched at shortstop, but this is a situation where a position shift could happen to get him into the lineup. He hit .269 with 17 HR and 60 RBI last season to go with 21 SB. Lowrie did play some second base last season so the door is open for Russell to take the shortstop position. He may not be on the big league roster until the second half of the season, but his progress and what the Athletics do with their lineup are things worth watching.