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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Prospects: Top 10 Shortstops

The shortstop position enjoyed some exciting MLB debuts in 2019, including Fernando Tatis Jr., Bo Bichette, and even Kevin Newman. These young players provided plenty of power and speed, among other benefits, and should continue to make their dynasty managers rub their hands with glee for years to come.

The shortstop position could continue to be a gold mine for fantasy managers over the next three or four years thanks to the players listed below. There are a few intriguing names that should receive regular gigs at the MLB level in 2019 (although some may be shifted to second base) and then there are another three or four high-ceiling players that are just beginning their pro careers but deserve serious attention in dynasty leagues.

Prior to this review of the shortstop position, we also ranked the Top 10 dynasty catchers, first basemen, and second basemen.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Top 10 Shortstop Prospects

1. Wander Franco, Rays, MLB ETA: 2020

Franco is easily the best offensive prospect in baseball and could reach the Majors in the summer of 2020 if the Rays think he can help their playoff chances. He arguably had a better age-18 season than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did, and Franco is a stronger overall hitter than Fernando Tatis Jr. was at the same point in his career. But the Rays' top prospect also does not possess the same present power that the other two phenoms had at the same age. Once he reaches the MLB level, Franco will produce elite on-base numbers, regularly threaten to hit .300 and likely produce 20 or more home runs in his prime — with double-digit steals also possible.

2. Gavin Lux, Dodgers, MLB ETA: 2020

Lux had one of the strongest offensive seasons in minor league baseball in 2019 while playing mostly shortstop and he forced his way into the Dodgers’ late-season plans at the keystone. He’s all but assured of a starting gig in 2020 and it currently looks like it will come at second base but he should play enough shortstop to be dual-eligible. Lux has shown that he can be an impact offensive player with his ability to hit for a solid average, produce 20 or more home runs and take a significant number of walks. Lux could also produce double-digit steals as a smart base runner with average speed.

3. Carter Kieboom, Nationals, MLB ETA: 2020

The World Series champion’s 25-man roster is in a state of flux as we head into the off-season. The club potentially has openings at both second base and third base which bodes well for Kieboom. The young infielder had an underwhelming MLB debut in 2019 but showed a lot of potential at Triple-A. He has 20-homer potential and has also shown the ability to hit for a strong average. He was constantly on base in the minors, thanks to his 68 walks in 109 games. That patience should help him score a lot of runs. The walks also increase his value in leagues that reward the free pass. Kieboom should end up with multi-position eligibility after playing second base, third base and shortstop in 2019.

4. Geraldo Perdomo, Diamondbacks, MLB ETA: 2022

Perdomo is the new kid on the block. His development in 2019 allowed the club to deal away another top shortstop prospect (the one-trick-pony Jazz Chisholm) for pitching help. This young shortstop doesn’t project to hit for much power but he has the speed to steal 20-30 bases, especially given his ability to get on base. Perdomo posted a BB-K of 70-67 as a 20-year-old in 116 A-ball games, and the advanced approach at such a young age, coupled with his excellent athleticism, hints at his future development into a plus hitter. He should eventually fill out enough to produce 10-12 home runs.

5. Marco Luciano, Giants, MLB ETA: 2023

To truly appreciate Luciano’s season, you have to remember that he was only 17 years old during the season. The teenager posted a BB-K rate of 32-45 in 47 short-season games. He also hit for both power and average — and has more room to add further muscle to his slender frame. You just don’t typically see legit teenaged prospects hitting double-digit home runs in the short-season rookie leagues. He has the current speed and athleticism to steal 15-20 bases if so motivated but he could lose that ability as he physically matures.

6. CJ Abrams, Padres, MLB ETA: 2023

For me, Abrams was the second-best player available in the 2019 amateur draft. He then played like it after turning pro, albeit for just 34 games. The Padres were so impressed with the young infielder that they actually promoted him all the way up to full-season A-ball as a teenager — although he only played two games there before getting hurt and missing the rest of the season. Abrams is ultra-athletic with plus-plus speed and showed more present power than expected with 23 extra-base hits in his pro debut. He also had more stolen bases (15) than strikeouts (14).

7. Bobby Witt Jr., Royals, MLB ETA: 2023

Will Jr. was selected second overall in the 2019 draft and came into pro ball with a lot of hype. He didn’t hit for much power in his pro debut — with just eight of his 43 hits going for extra bases — but his power output should eventually surpass 20 homers per season. He also has the speed to be a 20-20 (HR-SB) threat early in his career, although he will likely lose speed as he matures and fills out. The biggest concern with Witt Jr. is the swing-and-miss that was present in his game as an amateur, although he kept the strikeouts at a reasonable level during his debut.

8. Royce Lewis, Twins, MLB ETA: 2021

Lewis is coming off of a disappointing offensive season that saw him split the year between High-A and Double-A. The first-overall selection in the 2017 amateur draft had a massive spike in his strikeout rate without seeing any increased power output.The good news is that he’s only 20 years old but he hasn’t hit well in a year-and-a-half. There is some raw power here and the lanky athlete could eventually grow into 15-20 home runs while providing similar stolen base numbers. He played at multiple positions during the Arizona Fall League — second base, shortstop, third base and in the outfield. If he reaches the Majors and provides this kind of versatility then his fantasy value takes a pretty big spike — especially if he ever comes close to tapping into his offensive potential.

9. Nico Hoerner, Cubs, MLB ETA: 2020

Hoerner, a 2018 first-round draft pick, needed less than a full season to reach the Majors but his rapid rise was more out of necessity than outstanding minor league production. In a perfect world, the Cubs front office would likely prefer to have Hoerner spend a full season in Triple-A while relying on a collection of Javier Baez, David Bote, and maybe Addison Russell to cover the middle infield. The young infielder has a chance to be a solid performer for the Cubs although he may not have a true outstanding tool beyond his ability to hit for a high average. Hoerner projects for a .280-.300 average with 15 home runs and steals. The Cubs front office loves versatility so he should end up with multi-position eligibility, which would increase his fantasy value.

10. Jazz Chisholm, Marlins, MLB ETA: 2021

The Marlins paid a big price to acquire Chisholm when the organization flipped young pitch Zac Gallen to Arizona for him in July. The young shortstop has plus power — as witnessed by his 21 home runs in 112 Double-A games — but he also hit just .220 and struck out 147 times. He may only hit .220-.230, unless he learns to make adjustments, but he could also develop into a 20-20 (HR-SB) player which obviously intrigues Miami.

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