Last year eight players hit 30 home runs or more at shortstop. The best player at the position was Trevor Story (.294 with 111 runs, 35 home runs, 85 RBI, and 23 steals) by SIscore (+7.75). Alex Bregman (.296 with 122 runs, 41 home runs, 112 RBI, and five steals) ranked second at short and third at third base.
Seven players scored over 100 runs, and two players delivered over 100 RBI.
In 2018, four shortstops had 100 runs or more, and five players drove in over 100 runs. Five batters had over 30 home runs.
Here’s a grid showing the final stats for 2019 for the top 12 players at each position and their value ranked by SIscore:
Last year the average of the top 12 shortstops hit .293 with 91 runs, 23 home runs, 75 RBI, and 20 stolen bases over 550 at-bats. The shortstop position ranked fifth in overall hitter value.
For comparison, here are the projections (3/10) for the top 12 shortstops at Sports Illustrated ranked by SIscore:
The stats highlighted by the yellow line show the average projections (.284 with 96 runs, 28 home runs, 86 RBI, and 28 steals over 582 at-bats) for the top 12 shortstops in 2020.
Here’s a look at the top 12 shortstops by 2020 ADP (From March 1st through March 10th):
A fantasy owner could make a case for every one of the top 12 shortstops based on skill set and price point.
Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, and Javier Baez all fit into the stud category with the ability to hit over 30 home runs and add 20 or more steals. Baez looks to be the best value of the three based on his ADP (34), which has been trending up. Story and Baez may fall short of being assets in batting average due to their high strikeout rates. Both players do hit for a high average when they put the ball in play.
Fernando Tatis has the talent to match the big three studs in power and speed, and he could push the bar to a 40/40 level with a healthy season. Last year he had the highest contact batting average in the majors, which suggests a pullback in batting average in 2020.
Trea Turner, Adalberto Mondesi, and Jonathan Villar offer the highest floor and ceiling in steals.
Mondesi does come with risk due to offseason shoulder surgery. Fantasy owner have been willing to pay full price for him over the winter. I would proceed with caution here.
Villar gained about four draft spots over the last week or so. His speed is intriguing, but the downgrade in offense to Miami should lead to a drop off in runs, home runs, and RBI.
The best of three base stealers is Trea Turner. His skill set is unique while setting a high floor in steals. Turner should add value in runs and batting average while being capable of 20-plus home runs. Fantasy owners still haven’t seen the best of him.
Xander Bogaerts proved to be a great value last year with the talent to be productive going forward. He can’t match the top seven shortstops in steals, which leaves him a notch below in overall value. The loss of Mookie Betts does hurt the Red Sox scoring ability. Bogaerts has been battling a minor ankle issue this spring, leading to a slight slide in his ADP (46).
The player that offers the most intrigue at short this year is Bo Bichette. I don’t view him a blazer on the basepaths, but he should make a run at 30-plus steals. His power came quicker than expected in his rookie season while owning the foundation skill set to hit for a high batting average. With a healthy season, 100-plus runs should be a given. Over the last few days, fantasy owners have fought for him the most in drafts based on the movement of his ADP (+10.2 spots).
Last year I was all over Tim Anderson as a value at shortstop. He lived up to expectation thanks to a massive push in batting average. His overall counting stats fell short due to some missed time. Anderson has the game to deliver 25 home runs with 30 steals, and the White Sox intend on giving him a chance to hit second in 2020. Look for regression batting average while still being undervalued based on his ADP (82).
Marcus Siemen had a breakout season last year, helping him to the fifth-highest ranking at shortstop by SIscore (+5.36). The A’s will bat him at the top of the lineup, and his game did have growth. His only strike is his value in stolen bases.
When doing the projection for 2020, I really thought that Carlos Correa would be a great value on draft day. He has immense talent while batting in the middle of a high scoring offense. I had to price in some injury time based on his recent resume, plus speed is no longer a part of his pregame ranking equation. Correa certainly could hit over 40 home runs if he finds his power rhythm, and his batting average could end up being a significant asset. I’ve lost a ton of money on him, and I sense I’ll have a shortstop in my back pocket before his ADP. With that said, Correa has the talent to be a top ten player in baseball.
Amed Rosario played well last year, which was helped by volume of at-bats. If the Mets said they would hit him first or second in the batting order, his ADP would climb a couple of rounds. A nice balanced player that works for the right team structure.
Last year Elvis Andrus looked like a lost cause at times in power (only four home runs and 42 RBI over 416 at-bats from May 14th and September 20th). He held value thanks to stealing 31 bags. His swing path still delivers too many ground balls, and the Rangers' new ballpark doesn’t look like an upgrade in home runs.
Corey Seager was my breakout hitter this year. I expect a massive push in batting average with a run at a 100/30/100 type season. I love his swing, and his early major league resume supports a much higher value in drafts.
There is a lot to like about Jorge Polanco to a major league team, but he is a tougher piece to the puzzle in the fantasy market. His power developed last year while owning a foundation to help in batting average. I’d like to see more steals to improve his overall fantasy value. If the shoe fits, the Twins will hit him in a favorable bat of the batting order.
The sneakiest shortstop option for me in 2020 is Paul DeJong. His resume suggests batting average risk, but he did improve his approach last year. This year I would draft him the idea of pushing to a neutral batting average (.270) with the talent to smash 40 home runs with some supporting speed.
I know I’ll never own Willy Adames in 2020 based on my weakness for many other shortstops on this list, but he looks poised to make a jump in power with enough speed to steal double-digit bases. If Tampa moved him to a higher slot in the batting order, his value would grow as well in runs and RBI.
ADP Analysis Series
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