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Rest of Season Shortstop Rankings (May Update)


The calendar's turned to May and we're whipping it around the horn for a Rest-of-Season update of our mixed rankings analysis. RotoBaller writers Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Bill Dubiel and Scott Engel want you to crush the competition and know that rankings can't end on draft day. Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for the latest and greatest ranks at any time.

Believe it or not, but there are 14 shortstops within the top-100 overall players per Yahoo’s 5x5 scoring ranks. That doesn’t include the injured Fernando Tatis Jr., who sits at 104 as of May 8 and would’ve qualified had he not gotten hurt. The top of this position is rich, but the dropoff can leave snakebitten owners scrambling for help.

Without any more delay, let's break down the 2019 shortstop rest-of-season rankings for May.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Shortstop Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (May)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Ranking Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill Scott
1 1 Trevor Story SS 5 8 10 12
2 1 Alex Bregman 3B/SS 13 12 13 8
3 1 Francisco Lindor SS 17 16 12 14
4 1 Javier Baez 2B/SS/3B 23 13 28 9
5 1 Manny Machado 3B/SS 33 23 15 22
6 2 Adalberto Mondesi 2B/SS 27 39 37 38
7 2 Carlos Correa SS 55 37 46 39
8 2 Xander Bogaerts SS 46 40 52 45
9 2 Trea Turner SS 30 51 44 67
10 3 Tim Anderson SS 80 56 71 44
11 3 Jean Segura SS 85 92 59 79
12 3 Gleyber Torres 2B/SS 92 53 74 96
13 4 Corey Seager SS 150 61 87 92
14 4 Jonathan Villar 2B/SS 112 125 100 101
15 4 Jorge Polanco SS 99 95 140 126
16 4 Elvis Andrus SS 81 159 130 144
17 4 Paul DeJong SS 111 123 181 124
18 4 Fernando Tatis SS 108 151 151 132
19 5 Ketel Marte SS 145 195 184 115
20 5 Andrelton Simmons SS 167 160 180 210
21 5 Jose Peraza 2B/SS 199 172 107 243
22 5 Marcus Semien SS 165 184 215 196
23 5 Tim Beckham SS/3B 174 165 206 246
24 5 Asdrubal Cabrera SS/2B/3B 186 255 191 182
25 6 Amed Rosario SS 238 243 195 185
26 6 Kike Hernandez 2B/SS/OF 205 193 232 272
27 6 Eduardo Escobar SS/3B 178 213 350 195
28 6 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 248 242 255 202
29 7 Dansby Swanson SS 181 257 409 203
30 7 Jurickson Profar SS/3B/1B/2B 275 301 225 264
31 7 Freddy Galvis SS 322 304 259 298
32 7 Carter Kieboom SS 460 308 241 183
33 7 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF 294 352 292 #N/A
34 7 Willy Adames SS 375 318 355 274
35 7 Cole Tucker SS 355 310 #N/A #N/A
36 8 Garrett Hampson 2B/SS 426 339 248 #N/A
37 8 Jose Iglesias SS #N/A #N/A 341 #N/A
38 8 Eric Sogard 2B/SS 361 #N/A #N/A #N/A
39 8 Joey Wendle 2B/3B/SS/OF 400 424 278 #N/A
40 8 Scott Kingery SS/3B/OF 391 390 322 #N/A
41 8 Didi Gregorius SS 379 400 332 #N/A
42 8 Ronny Rodriguez 1B/2B/3B/SS 374 #N/A #N/A #N/A
43 8 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/SS/OF 408 463 279 #N/A
44 8 Troy Tulowitzki SS #N/A #N/A 388 #N/A
45 8 J.P. Crawford SS #N/A #N/A 396 #N/A
46 8 Nicky Lopez SS 405 #N/A #N/A #N/A
47 8 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 2B/SS #N/A 468 348 #N/A
48 8 Brandon Crawford SS 442 412 378 #N/A
49 8 Orlando Arcia SS 435 422 377 #N/A
50 8 Johan Camargo 2B/3B/SS 351 494 406 #N/A
51 8 Chad Pinder SS/2B/OF 330 466 463 #N/A
52 8 Nick Ahmed SS 369 486 438 #N/A
53 8 Addison Russell SS #N/A 389 486 #N/A
54 8 Franklin Barreto SS #N/A #N/A 443 #N/A
55 9 Hernan Perez 2B/3B/OF/SS #N/A 501 #N/A #N/A
56 9 Zack Cozart SS/2B/3B #N/A #N/A 502 #N/A
57 9 Daniel Robertson SS 450 #N/A 563 #N/A
58 9 Brendan Rodgers SS #N/A #N/A 509 #N/A
59 9 Matt Duffy SS/3B #N/A #N/A 542 #N/A
60 9 Tyler Saladino 2B/SS #N/A #N/A 570 #N/A
61 9 Yairo Munoz 2B/3B/SS/OF #N/A #N/A 573 #N/A

Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

Tier One

I would like to applaud the homies for making Trevor Story the No. 1 shortstop right now, as his immense power and top speed gets to call Coors Field home. That unfair advantage is your gain, and it also helps my scary portfolio of Story rookie and autographed baseball cards. Expected stat metrics don’t know how to deal with Coors hitters, but Story’s hard-hit rate resides in the 96th percentile of hitters with a Sprint Speed in the 98th percentile. These raw, beastly metrics getting to flex on the Rocky Mountain stage makes for quite the show.

Can you tell that I’m discouraged by Manny Machado? His first season in San Diego has started with an icy .237/.316/.432 slash and a spike in whiffs. I know swing big, miss big is en vogue this season, and his 19.5% HR/FB rate would be a career-best mark, but the 22.6% strikeout rate is way up from 2018’s 14.7% clip. Still just 26 years old, the slugger should notch his fifth-straight 30-homer campaign with ease in ‘19, but his average will continue to suffer if his contact rates don’t rebound.

Tier Two

Mondesi was a polarizing figure come draft season, with folks afraid to have another Jonathan Villar-style flash-in-the-pan flop on their hands in the early rounds. But those who paid the price are sitting on flush profits through the first month of play, as the upper half of KC’s lineup has been surprisingly productive. The emergence of Hunter Dozier and sustained efforts of Whit Merrifield have allowed Mondesi to maximize his predictably-low .309 OBP into 23 runs, 33 RBI, five homers and 10 steals across 166 PAs.

And just when everyone had started to cool on Carlos Correa reclaiming his productivity, he’s come out firing in 2019. Houston’s stellar lineup helps maximize plate appearances for those who can stay healthy, so let’s hope that back holds up throughout the season. No matter how you slice it, the early .297/.355/.586 slash with nine homers through 141 PAs is gravy.

I’m not here to debate injured players’ stock, but if I could get Trea Turner -- who’s doing some light hitting drills and is reportedly two weeks away from returning -- for Machado -- who isn’t running much or lighting the world on fire with his bat -- then I’d do it.

Tier Three

We’ve seen surges out of Tim Anderson before and we have to ask ourselves what expectations are reasonable. He plays in a hitter’s park and the wheels won’t regress, though we know the whiffs come in waves and have seen him look absolutely lost at the dish for long stretches. With a career walk rate that requires a microscope to see, he needs to hit to get on base and use his speed, so the floor is harshly low. With six hits (no homers) over his last nine games, Anderson has batted seventh in the ChiSox's last three contests and antsy fantasy owners may feel like they've already teetered over a cliff. His sell-high window may have turned into a buy-low one depending on panic levels.

 

Rankings Analysis - Middle Tiers

Tier Four

Look at me, dragging Corey Seager down into the depths! I wasn’t a fan of his heading into draft day and I think he’d be sitting in tier five if his name wasn’t Corey Seager. To be clear, he’s better than his current performance, but he’s coming off of Tommy John surgery his pop simply isn’t there. His 91.6 mph average exit velocity on line drives and fly balls -- a key power indicator -- is ranked 207th out of 291 hitters with at least 40 batted-ball events on the season.

That said, his 43.8% fly-ball rate is over 10 percentage points higher than any previous seasonal mark, which results in a lower BABIP and crummy .234 average thus far. Fly balls are good when you’re putting a charge into it, but he’s doing the opposite. The swing just seems off, and with no speed to fall back on (he hasn’t attempted a steal yet in ‘19 and didn’t in 26 games in ‘18 either) then I can’t rank him near my top-100 players.

I would happily take any of the other shortstops in this tier over Seager. Villar, Polanco, Andrus, DeJong and Tatis Jr. all bring pop and speed to the table. Yes, even DeJong, who has swiped three bases through 161 PAs so far after logging two steals over 933 PAs from 2017-18.

Tier Five

Here we find two upstart bats in Ketel Marte and Tim Beckham, as well as “boring veterans” in Andrelton Simmons, Marcus Semien and Asdrubal Cabrera.

But you’re probably most curious and worried about Jose Peraza. I don’t blame you, as his 16.3% hard-hit rate and 2.6% walk rate are in the bottom 2% of the league. Much like Billy Hamilton before him, Peraza has hurt himself by increasing his launch angle. Sitting at 18 degrees as of May 8, the speedster has minimized his opportunities to flash the wheels with a 48.8% fly-ball rate (35.1% career). He’ll never have the power to make that work, so even in this day of uppercut swings, Peraza must regain a level cut.

Tier Six

This is a smaller tier before giving way to the fliers, but Rosario, Hernandez, Escobar and Goodrum each have a claim to standing above the rest. Rosario had a blistering second half last season and has harangued the BABIP gods with a 10-percentage-point increase in hard-hit rate to fuel a .375 BABIP and .279/.315/.412 opening slash to 2019. Hopefully, he starts running more (four-of-six on steal attempts in 143 PAs) and stays aligned with (or eclipses) 2018’s 10 HR/25 SB pace.

Hernandez bashed his seventh home run of the season on May 8, which is one-third of the 21 dingers he hit in ‘18 on a swifter pace. Escobar is laughing at Arizona’s humidor with a hot start of his own. Goodrum started hot and has cooled significantly, but is still Detroit’s regular cleanup hitter.

 

Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Tier Seven

As you can see, I believe Dansby Swanson has earned his spot in a higher tier. As of May 8, Swanson is ranked 72nd per 5x5 scoring with 18 runs, six homers, 25 RBI, three steals and a .264 average. Still just 25 years old, Swanson has graduated to hitting in the two- and six-holes for a stout Atlanta lineup -- hence the generous counting stats. Out of 317 hitters with at least 50 PAs, Swanson’s xwOBA of .379 ranks 53rd and his average exit velocity has climbed a full five ticks from 2018. With 20 homers and double-digit steals possible, I’m fine calling Dansby a startable MI-slot bat in 12-teamers.

Speaking of prospects who need some additional seasoning, Carter Kieboom and Cole Tucker appear overmatched and Kieboom has already been demoted to Triple-A. As long as Tucker is in the bigs then I’ll rank him around the 350-400 range due to his speed tools. It isn’t like Erik Gonzalez will push for the job back once he’s healthy.

Other disappointing youngsters are Jurickson Profar and Willy Adames, but again, the promise of what could be keeps them higher up than their performance warrants.

Tier Eight & Nine

Loki summed up this group here quite nicely in stating, “You must be truly desperate to come to me for help.” While panhandling for gold specks down here requires effort, there are some current hot streaks that make the long nights worth it. My current favorite is Detroit’s Ronny Rodriguez, an extremely versatile age-27 infielder slashing .340/.379/.717 with three homers, a steal and 22 R+RBI in 58 PAs. He hit 17 homers with 15 steals and a .291 average in 117 Triple-A games in ‘17 and hit .338 with 9 HR/10 SB in 63 Triple-A games last year. Let’s see if he can finally translate that to the bigs here.

An under-the-radar stash that could pay off is Kansas City’s Nicky Lopez, who has a .340/.429/.456 slash with two homers and eight steals over 119 Triple-A PAs. He hasn’t posted a swinging-strike rate higher than 6.3% at any level since 2016 and has 15 walks to just four strikeouts so far in ‘19. Meanwhile, Chris Owings is somehow still in the KC’s starting lineup despite the .143/.213/.250 triple slash and a 34.4% strikeout rate. Owings not panning out and fantasy owners need to be ready for the next phase.

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