Rapin's Rankings - Shortstop: Manny Machado has a new home
With each position I like to give a brief rundown of what my strategy is towards it. The main thing you need to know about shortstop this year is that it is one of, if not the deepest position, in fantasy baseball.
I discussed previously how second base is rather shallow in my opinion this year, so if you combine that with how deep shortstop is, I am definitely looking to fill my middle infield spot with a quality short in the later rounds. To give you an idea, right now a guy like Jorge Polanco is going as the 21st shortstop off the board in the National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC) with an average draft position of 215 over the last month. This guy has the potential to hit .280 with 15 homers and 15 steals. That gives you an idea of how deep it is this year.
I do want to clarify that this doesn't mean you should necessarily ignore of the players from my top couple of tiers, however. What this means is that you don't need to reach in order to draft one, and if you get a good value on a top tier option, you should take advantage of it. With that being said, I would feel really good if I had any of the players listed below in my top three tiers as my starting shortstop in 2019.
Let me know what your thoughts are on my rankings. You can find me on Twitter @fantasygeek37
1. Trea Turner, Nationals
2. Alex Bregman, Astros
3. Francisco Lindor, Indians
4. Trevor Story, Rockies
5. Manny Machado, Padres
6. Javier Baez, Cubs
- Nationals Manager Davey Martinez has stated that if they can get Trea Turner 75-80 stolen base attempts this season, "we'll be in great shape." Last year Turner had 52 attempted stolen bases.
- Last season, Alex Bregman finished first among qualified shortstops with an on base percentage of .394, he was second best in strikeout percentage (12.1%), and third in walk rate (13.6%).
- Per Fangraphs player writeups, Trevor Story was fifth in Major League Baseball in slugging percentage and his .270 ISO was seventh, which led him to hit a career high 37 home runs in 2018.
- Manny Machado played for the Orioles and Dodgers last season, and per ESPN Ballpark Factors, Camden Yards was ninth in home run factor and Dodger Stadium was 11th. He has now moved to Petco Park in San Diego where they were 16th in home run factor in 2018.
7. Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
8. Adalberto Mondesi, Royals
9. Carlos Correa, Astros
- Despite missing 26 games last year, Xander Bogaerts led all shortstops with 45 doubles and was fourth in runs batted in.
- Last season, Adalberto Mondesi hit .276, slugged 14 home runs and stole 32 stolen bases. Per Roster Resource, he is expected to hit leadoff for the Royals in 2019. Last year he hit ninth in the lineup in 29 games, hit second 25 games, and eighth for eight games.
- Over the last two seasons, Carlos Correa missed 105 games with hand, thumb, toe, side, and back injuries. Per Fangraphs, before his back injury in particular, in 315 plate appearances, Correa hit .268/.353 and hit 13 home runs. After the back injury, in 153 plate appearances, Correa hit .180/.261 and hit only two home runs.
10. Jean Segura, Phillies
11. Corey Seager, Dodgers
12. Gleyber Torres, Yankees
13. Jose Peraza, Reds
- Corey Seager had Tommy John surgery last year and battled back issues in 2017. Before his health problems, he was a .300+ hitter who hit 26 home runs with 106 runs. If Seager shows healthy this spring, he could be a bargain on fantasy draft day.
- Gleyber Torres' season was a tale of two halves. In the first half, he hit .294 with 15 homers and in the second half, he hit .249 with nine home runs.
14. Jurickson Profar, Athletics
15. Tim Anderson, White Sox
16. Garrett Hampson, Rockies
17. Paul DeJong, Cardinals
18. Jorge Polanco, Twins
19. Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
20. Eduardo Escobar, Diamondbacks
21. Amed Rosario, Mets
- Throughout his three year career in the Minors and Majors, Garrett Hampson has averaged over 41 steals per season.
- Jorge Polanco missed half of last season due to a PED suspension. In the 77 games after he returned, he hit .288 with six home runs and seven stolen bases.
- Last year, Ketel Marte moved around the Diamondbacks lineup. He hit sixth in the batting order in 57 games, seventh in 27 games, second in 27 games, fifth in 17 games and ninth in 15 games. He is projected to be hitting leadoff this season which should give him more at bats and a better opportunity to score runs and steal bases. He is also projected to play center field for the D'Backs, giving him outfiled eligibility shortly into the season.
- Among shortstops with at least 300 plate appearances, Amed Rosario was 30th at the position with a .295 on base percentage. He also led off for the Mets in 58 games last year, but is now projected to move down to eighth in the lineup in 2019.
22. Elvis Andrus, Rangers
23. Asdrubal Cabrera, Rangers
24. Chris Taylor, Dodgers
25. Andrelton Simmons, Angels
- Elvis Andrus battled elbow issues last season and only hit six home runs with five steals in 97 games. This followed his breakout season in 2017 where he hit 20 home runs with 25 stolen bases.
- Among all qualified shortstops, Chris Taylor was worst at the position, striking out 178 times.