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Top 10 Shortstops - Dynasty Prospects Rankings

The shortstop position is a bountiful one for fantasy players. In a 12-team league, most fantasy managers should have the opportunity to be happy with their starter at the position thanks to the depth and variety of skills available.

In 2019, 16 shortstops that had at least 350 plate appearances produced a 100 wRC+ or better. Eight players met or surpassed the 120 wRC+ mark. Fourteen players slugged 20 or more home runs while six added 20 or more stolen bases. In the pandemic-shortened 2020, another 16 shortstops hit the 100 wRC+ plateau with eight meeting or exceeding 120 wRC+. Power continued to flow with 16 players trending for 20 homers or more, and seven players were on pace for 20+ steals.   

Today, we’re looking at the top up-and-coming shortstops in Major League Baseball with a review of the Top 15 shortstop prospects. As we’ve seen above, the shortstop position is deep at the MLB level but there is also impressive depth in the minor leagues. Previously, we looked at the other infield positions: Catcher, First Base, Second Base, and Third Base.

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!

 

Tier 1

1. Wander Franco, Rays (TOP 250 Rank: 2)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Average, OBP, Speed, Power
Roadblock: Willy Adames (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2021

Need to Know: Franco maintains the top spot among the shortstop prospects. Despite the lost year in 2020 and with just 175 pro games under his belt, he remains close to MLB-ready. He’s a plus-plus hitter with an amazing eye. He also has enough speed to steal 15-20 bases a year although his base running needs work. Franco, 20, makes contact with ease but he still offers a patient approach. He has a career BB-K of 83-54. The least developed tool on the Rays’ prospect is the power. He can clear the fence thanks to his electric bat speed but he still has some physical maturing to do. Franco also hits too many ground balls and needs to add loft to his swing after posting a ground-ball rate of 48% in 2019.

2. Marco Luciano, Giants (TOP 250 Rank: 3)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Power, OBP
Roadblock: Brandon Crawford (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2023

Need to Know: Luciano is another good, young hitter from the Dominican Republic. Close to a year younger than Franco, the Giants’ prospect is likely about two years behind in his development. Luciano is loaded with power and it’s more developed than a lot of hitters at the same age thanks to his quick bat and maturing body. He hit more than .300 during his debut but he may not produce a huge batting average in the Majors. He showed a strong tendency to pull the ball during the 2019 season in rookie ball and he was aided by a .378 BABIP. He also hits more balls on the ground than you’d like but he has lots of time to make that adjustment. Luciano will likely have to move off shortstop but his strong arm could help him succeed at third base.

3. Bobby Witt Jr., Royals (TOP 250 Rank: 23)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Power, Speed
Roadblock: Adalberto Mondesi (Threat Level: MEDIUM)
ETA: 2022

Need to Know: Witt Jr. has athleticism and pedigree, which helped him become the second-overall selection in the 2019 draft. He has the makings of a 20-20 (HR-SB) hitter that will play above-average defense. The big unknown with Witt Jr. is how well his hit tool will develop — especially with the absence of competitive games in 2020. He has noticeable swing-and-miss to his game although he handled rookie ball in 2019 better than I thought he would which was encouraging. With excellent makeup, his floor appears to sit somewhere in the range of a batting average of .250-.260 with the power-speed mix.

4. CJ Abrams, Padres  (TOP 250 Rank: 25)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Speed, Average
Roadblock: Fernando Tatis Jr. (Threat Level: HIGH)
ETA: 2023

Need to Know: Abrams is one of the fastest players in baseball and could eventually offer 40+ stolen bases at the MLB level. The sixth-overall selection in the 2019 draft, the athletic infielder got off to a fast start to his pro career with a .400 batting average in rookie ball. He makes a lot of contact (9% strikeout rate in rookie ball) but he may need to be a little more selective as he moves up the ladder. Abrams showed unexpected pop in his bat during his debut with 23 of his 57 hits going for extra bases but it remains to be seen how much over-the-fence pop he’ll generate. Because of his speed, there is value in having him hit balls on the ground because of his ability to beat out infield singles with ease. As he matures and slows down on the bases, he’ll want to put more focus on adding loft to his swing.

5. Jordan Groshans, Blue Jays (TOP 250 Rank: 31)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Average, Power, OBP
Roadblock: Bo Bichette (Threat Level: HIGH)
ETA: 2022

Need to Know: The Blue Jays are in a good place with the next two shortstop prospects on the list. Groshans really needs a strong 2021 season to make up for lost time after missing most of 2019 due to a foot injury and 2020 due to the pandemic. He spent last year at the alternate training site and showed improved power to go with a natural feel for hitting. Groshan is also known for being driven, confident and mature. Defensively, he could stick at shortstop as a fringe-average defender with a strong arm or move to third base.

6. Orelvis Martinez, Blue Jays (TOP 250 Rank: 34)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Power, Average, OBP
Roadblock: Bo Bichette (Threat Level: HIGH)
ETA: 2023

Need to Know: This could be the year that Martinez really explodes with the bat. He’s a little more advanced than Noelvi Marte and has had success in North America. He slugged seven home runs with 20 of his 39 hits going for extra bases in 40 games in 2019. And with an 18% strikeout rate, he makes more contact than the average power-hitter — especially considering he was just 17 at the time. As long as he didn’t lose anything during the minor-league layoff, Martinez has a chance to be special — even if he has to move to third base.

7. Geraldo Perdomo, Diamondbacks (TOP 250 Rank: 47)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Speed, Average, OBP
Roadblock: Nick Ahmed (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2021

Need to Know: Perdomo has been on my radar for a couple of years now. He made Jazz Chisholm expendable which allowed the Diamondbacks to acquire Zac Gallen from Miami (a steal of a deal for Arizona). He doesn’t have the same power as the other young shortstop but he’s a natural hitter with a good eye who should eventually grow into double-digit power. He has the speed to steal 15-20 bases and should have a strong on-base presence making him a well-rounded offensive threat.

 

Tier 2

8. Jose Garcia, Reds (TOP 250 Rank: 48)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Power, Speed
Roadblock: Kyle Farmer (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2021

Need to Know: Garcia looked poised for a breakout 2020 before the pandemic shut things down and pushed him to the unconventional alternate training site setting. He received a small taste of big-league action but struggled to make consistent contact with a 38% strikeout rate. When he made contact, though, he showed a better-than-average 37% hard-hit rate. If Garcia can continue to improve his launch angle, he has the raw power and bat speed to hit 20+ home runs. He also has the speed to swipe 20 bases.

9. Oneil Cruz, Pirates (TOP 250 Rank: 50)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Power, OBP
Roadblock: Kevin Newman (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2022

Need to Know: I was tempted to knock Cruz down further due to concerns over his maturity/makeup which have persisted without improvement. However, the Pirates shortstop is loaded with raw potential and — at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds — his raw power is off-the-charts. He also has good speed for his size and could surprise with double-digit steals until he slows down. The big question for Cruz is: How much contact will he make? He has long arms and noticeable holes in his swing so he may never do much better than a .250-.260 batting average but he’s also shown some patience, which will improve his on-base presence.    

10. Noelvi Marte, Mariners (TOP 250 Rank: 56)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Average, Power
Roadblock: J.P. Crawford (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2023

Need to Know: In a year’s time this ranking could look low given Marte’s impressive raw ability. However, he hasn’t played above the Dominican Summer League and missed a year of development at a time when regularly playing in competitive games was important for his development. On the plus side, he was able to attend the Mariners’ alternate training site. If everything clicks, Marte has the potential to develop a plus bat with plus power.

 

Tier 3

11. Brice Turang, Brewers (TOP 250 Rank: 81)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Average, Speed
Roadblock: Orlando Arcia (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2022

Need to Know: Turang isn’t the most flashy prospect and we don’t hear much about him because he’s in the Brewers system rather than the Yankees or Cubs however he may very well turn into a solid fantasy contributor. A former first-round pick out of high school in 2018, he’s still just 21 years old and looks like a plus hitter. On top of that attribute, Turang has the speed to steal 20-30 bases a season. He’s not overly physical but he’s apparently gotten strong since the pandemic layoff. He originally looked like a 30-double, five-to-10 home run player but more over-the-fence pop makes him increasingly interesting.

12. Jazz Chisholm, Marlins (TOP 250 Rank: 82)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Power, Speed
Roadblock: Miguel Rojas (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2021

Need to Know: I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest Chisholm fan. I don’t generally gravitate to the grip-and-rip slugger types that sacrifice other aspects of the game to hit home runs. The Marlins shortstop has plus raw power but he sacrifices contact and struck out at a 30% clip during his brief MLB call-up. If the new-found patience he showed in 2019 is for real, then he gains a little value — and I’ll have to rethink my opinion of him — because it will give him more opportunities to use his speed. He has 20-20 (HR-SB) potential but may only hit .230-.250.

13. Andres Gimenez (TOP 250 Rank: 91)

Key Fantasy Skill(s): Average, Speed

Roadblock: Amed Rosario (Threat Level: LOW)

ETA: 2021

Need to Know: Acquired from the Mets in the Francisco Lindor deal, Gimenez doesn’t appear to have the same offensive upside. He looks at his best when he focuses on making hard contact into the outfield gaps rather than muscling up to hit a home run. In time, he should also offer a strong batting average and has the speed to steal 30 bases. He should have no issues sticking at shortstop.

14. Royce Lewis (TOP 250 Rank: 101)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Speed, Power
Roadblock: Andrelton Simmons (Threat Level: LOW)
ETA: 2022

Need to Know: Lewis’ season ended before it began thanks to a nasty knee injury. It’s unfortunate because the former first-overall pick needed a strong season to get back on track. He has long shown tantalizing skills and athleticism but hasn’t put it all together at the upper levels of the minors. If we’re looking for a silver lining, Lewis has great makeup, which should help him succeed through rehab and come back strong. But the lost development time hurts — especially after the truncated 2020 season.

15. Ronny Mauricio, Mets (TOP 250 Rank: 106)
Key Fantasy Skill(s): Average
Roadblock: Francisco Lindor (Threat Level: HIGH)
ETA: 2023

Need to Know: Mauricio is a raw but talented young shortstop that may end up more valuable in real life than in fantasy baseball due to his strong defensive skills at shortstop. The Mets prospect has good size at 6-foot-3 and a quick bat but he still has a lot of physical maturing to do before he starts tapping into his full potential with the bat.

 

Just Missed

Three names to watch: Oswald Peraza (Yankees), Gunnar Henderson (Orioles), Miguel Hiraldo (Blue Jays)

Peraza is one player you’ll see more highly-regarded elsewhere than you will here. I’ve watched Peraza hit a few times and have always come away disappointed. But perhaps I’ve just seen him on the wrong days. Some prospect analysts feel he could develop into an impact player because of his speed and strong exit velocities. After the long layoff (He was not at the Yankees alternate training site), he’ll need to get back on track and show more consistency in his at-bats.

Henderson was an intriguing, projectable infielder in the 2019 draft who was selected with the first pick of the second round. If he can continue to add muscle to his 6-foot-3 frame, the Orioles prospect could eventually hit 20+ home runs to go with a .270-.280 average and solid defense at the shortstop position.

Hiraldo is the third Blue Jays prospect to be mentioned in this piece but, like the other two, there are no guarantees that he’ll be able to stick at the position. Even if he has to move to third base or second base, the young Dominican should hit for power. Still just 20, he posted a .181 ISO rate in rookie ball two years ago while showing excellent contact skills as seen by his 14% strikeout rate. However, he makes too much contact at times and is overly-aggressive on pitcher’s pitches, and needs to wait back for better offerings to drive.



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Jonathan Taylor is on the heels of one of the best fantasy seasons we have ever seen from a running back. If it weren't for Cooper Kupp's record-breaking season, Taylor would have been the number one overall player in all fantasy football. From efficiency to touchdowns to his utilization in the passing game, everyone is... Read More


carson wentz fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Is Carson Wentz Healthy? Is Wentz Worth Drafting for Fantasy Football?

The NFL season opener is getting closer and closer, which means that fantasy managers everywhere have difficult decisions to make. Some of the most crucial things fantasy players need to stay informed about are injury statuses. With every week being important in fantasy football, having the most up-to-date information on these matters is essential. One... Read More


Dallas Goedert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

2022 Fantasy Football Tight End Sleepers - Draft Targets and Avoids

Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller identifies fantasy football tight end draft sleepers, values, targets, and avoids for your 2022 fantasy football drafts. He breaks down and compares the ADPs of several tight ends (TEs) to help prepare you for your fantasy football drafts. Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM... Read More


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3 Overvalued Running Backs for Fantasy Football: Potential Busts In 2022

I don't fade players, I fade average draft positions (ADPs). For one reason or another, whether it's past performance or injury history, some guys get drafted too high or too low. In this article, we'll take a look at three overvalued fantasy football running backs that are potential busts in 2022. Now, that doesn't mean... Read More


Darren Waller - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Injury Report for QBs/TEs: Preseason Updates on Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, Zach Wilson, Darren Waller, Zach Ertz

Below you will find our updated fantasy football injuries report for quarterbacks and tight ends in the 2022 NFL preseason as of Wednesday August 17th. The injury statuses for various NFL QBs and TEs are up in the air during training camp, including Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, Zach Wilson, Darren Waller and Zach Ertz. Being... Read More


amon-ra st. brown fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Competitive NFL Receiving Corps to Avoid in 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts

There is fantasy value on every NFL team. I can't name a single team where I would fade the whole team no matter what. But there are teams that are trickier than others to figure out. Maybe it's because there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Maybe it's because those cooks aren't very good... Read More


Zach Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News

Five Fantasy Football Sleepers Who'll Stay Asleep in 2022

Every year you hear about a multitude of fantasy football sleepers. And every year a bunch of those guys go on to do virtually nothing. By Week 5, you're looking to the waiver wire. So today, we're going to be identifying five potential sleepers this season who are going to miss the mark. Guys who... Read More


saquon barkley fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Saquon Barkley: RB1 for Fantasy Football, Or Overvalued Draft Pick?

Saquon Barkley is a player that the fantasy football industry is divided on as we head into the 2022 season. On one hand, there are those who will be completely avoiding him because of the past two seasons. However, there are some that still believe in the ability of one of the greatest running back... Read More


trey lance fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Fantasy Football Matchups Analysis and Players To Monitor - NFL Preseason Week 2

Welcome to the NFL preseason Week 2 edition of our fantasy football matchups and Start Em, Sit Em column. We hope everyone had a great offseason and is enjoying watching preseason NFL football, the appetizer before the main course. Week 1 of the preseason is now complete and Week 2 is about to begin. I'll... Read More


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