Now this is your most athletic player on your squad playing arguably the hardest position in baseball. Here is another do it all type player when it comes to speed, batting average, scoring runs, defense and drawing walks. These 10 players can be described as must haves since the shortstop market, like the catcher market, is starting to become limited. So you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled at this position, and in particular, just every position because like myself, you’re trying to win your league. So here is the top 10 going into this year. For daily blog updates, including the top 10 3B’s scheduled to be released either tomorrow or Sunday, be sure to follow me on Twitter @ufblogg_lijoi. I’m in the process of getting a Facebook and a Linkedin as well. Not only that but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for next week as I predict the March Madness bracket region by region! Should be a fun couple of weeks for the blog, as here is your top 10 shortstops for the year.
10. Zack Cozart- Los Angeles Angels
2017: .297/.385/.548 24 HR 63 RBIs 80 R
One of the All Star selections that really flew under the radar, mostly because he played for the Reds, Cozart had a great breakout year in 2017. These stats here were achieved during a season where he hit the DL twice. He still managed to set career highs in runs scored and home runs. For the majority of the year there’s a good chance he’ll play more third base than shortstop due to Andrelton Simmons occupying that position. Even if he plays in a more pitcher friendly Angels stadium, Cozart should still be a solid pickup if he repeats last years numbers.
9. Didi Gregorius- New York Yankees
2017: .287/.318/.478 25 HR 87 RBIs 73 R
During the past couple of seasons, Gregorius has had a major power outburst and has been a key contribution to his team. Because of the constant improvement in his career and the fact that he is about to enter into his prime at age 28 makes him a top 10 fantasy option. That and he’s part of a rather strong Yankees team so expect his run total to rise at the very least.
8. Elvis Andrus- Texas Rangers
2017: .297/.337/.471 20 HR 88 RBIs 100 R
Last year, Andrus had an unexpected amount of home runs nearly doubling his total from last year. But that stat isn’t what truly makes Andrus effective. It’s his high batting average, his high volume of runs and his high amount of steals that you really want. There’s a good chance he’d be a steal if he’s still available after the 3rd or 4th round of your draft. He’ll get you at least a point a game which is not something a good team owner takes for granted.
7. Trevor Story- Colorado Rockies
2017: .239/.308/.457 24 HR 82 RBIs 68 R
Don’t let the average scare you too much. Story took part in an intense offseason workout program that helped him to improve on his approach at the plate. Besides the issues with his contact, he still ad a great year in terms of power. His manager Bud Black is also contemplating having him hitting 4th. Imagine Story with his power and his improved approach hitting behind Blackmon and Arenado. Scary I know.
6. Jean Segura- Seattle Mariners
2017: .300/.349/.427 11 HR 45 RBIs 80 R
Another purely batting average player that is going to give you at least 1 point a game. His previous year was riddled with injury and was somewhat of a downturn from his previous years. As long as he stays healthy you could consider Segura to not only be a steal but maybe one in the top 5, really can”t go wrong here.
5. Xander Bogaerts- Boston Red Sox
2017: .273/.343/.403 10 HR 62 RBIs 94 R
Obviously Xander’s numbers experienced a downturn from the previous year but something to keep in mind is that he was nursing a wrist injury from being hit by a pitch. His key is his strength when it comes to hitting and over the offseason he has worked upon being less passive at the plate. There’s a good chance he’ll bat leadoff this year so the runs will go up for sure considering J.D Martinez will bat close behind.
4. Corey Seager- Los Angeles Dodgers
2017: .295/.375/.479 22 HR 77 RBIs 85 R
Don’t take this star player for granted. He might have been overshadowed by Cody Bellinger last year and he may have nursed a back surgery going into the postseason but he is still a star studded player. Looking at these stats, I mean this was no sophomore slump from his 2016 Rookie of the Year season. He is also improving on getting more hard contact and draawing more walks which ends up scoring more points for you. Don’t feel like a fool if you draft him early, say the 3rd round. Seager is on a hot track that will only get better, of course if he stays healthy.
3. Trea Turner- Washington Nationals
2017: .284/.338/.451 11 HR 45 RBIs 75 R
As I’ve scrolled through fantasy draft ranking after fantasy draft ranking I see Turner’s name pop up quite a bit of times in the top 10 and some lists have him on the top 5. When you look at some shortstop rankings, Turner is projected to be #1. I understand the hype simply because he’s a hell of a player with a lot of potential. I mean those stats were accrued within 100 games last year. There’s only one thing that scares me and that is injuries. He dealt with a fractured right wrist last year and the fact that he steals often doesn’t bode well for a speedy recovery. Hopefully he can stay healthy throughout the year and prove me wrong because one thing is certain, with his speed and pop, is one of the most exciting players in the MLB.
2. Carlos Correa- Houston Astros
2017: .315/.391/.550 24 HR 84 RBIs 82 R
You know Correa had to suffer through injuries as well last year. During the second half of the year he suffered from a torn ligament in his left thumb. Correa only played 109 games last year but holy crap those stats are incredible. You have to realize if he even gets near those numbers, he’ll finish among the top 5 among shortstops. Before his injury, he was 8th in batting average and 10th in on base percentage. That’s not just out of shortstops, that’s out of the entire league! He’s also on the same team as Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman among other World Series Champions so in my opinion at least, drafting him with his incredibly great numbers is a no-brainer.
1. Francisco Lindor- Cleveland Indians
2017: .273/.337/.505 33 HR 89 RBIs 99 R
In a general sense, there was a power outbreak in the MLB. From Giancarlo Stanton on down you saw a lot of hitters improve on their launch angles so when they swung and made contact with the ball, they would force more fly balls. N one improved their home run swing last year quite like Lindor did. Francona is planning to put Lindor in the leadoff spot and thanks to his defense and speed, he is due to be the franchise player for the Cleveland Indians. He will be the best shortstop this year, I wouldn’t consider it shocking if he bats .300 and nabs 30 HR. The man is an animal and there’s a strong chance he’ll be gone by the first round. More homers and more hits along with stolen bases. Should be a career year for Lindor.