We continue our prospect rankings with a look at the future of the shortstop position. As he will be throughout this series, Andy Germani joins me to rank the top shortstop prospects for 2016. Our rankings will be consolidated to give you our final site rankings, but you can see where Andy and I ranked them in the table as well. These are fantasy rankings, and I remind you that Andy and I are not scouts, just simply heavy followers of baseball prospects. We hope you enjoy the rankings!
|5||Tim Anderson||White Sox||22||2016||8||3|
|T23||Richard Urena||Blue Jays||19||2018||25||20|
The following players received one vote: Daniel Robertson, Rays (Andy 24), Drew Jackson, Mariners (Paul 24)
Who is your favorite shortstop prospect to break out in 2016?
Andy: He didn’t play at all last season in the minors so he is definitely a candidate to breakout. Lucius Fox has great speed and a solid switch hitting bat. In terms of what we could be looking at next season in terms of fantasy, I think we could be looking at another Ozhaino Albies type with a little lower average. At this time next year when a lot of the shortstop prospects ahead of him have made their MLB debut, Fox should be jumping up a handful of spots and possibly into the back end of a top-100 list as only a 19-year-old.
Paul: Yairo Munoz had a rough start to 2015, hitting just .236/.278/.363 before being promoted to fill in for Franklin Barreto at the end of July. In High A, at 20 years old, Munoz played 39 games hitting .320/.372/.480. He has some power in his bat, and he did very well with just a 12.1% K rate in High A. I’m cheating a little because Munoz will likely end up in the California league next year, helping pad his numbers, but I like this toolsy shortstop to take it up another level again next year.
What prospect could make a surprising contribution to fantasy teams in 2016?
Andy: I would be really surprised if Trevor Story didn’t get the call and a real chance to play and produce this year. He is shaping up to be a really nice 20/20 player, and playing in Colorado is a nice extra boost. The lineup around him should help provide some nice RBI or run totals as well. He can play second or short opening up a lot of different scenarios that will lead to him getting playing time.
Paul: I’m not sure it’ll come as a big surprise, but I’m expecting big things from Tim Anderson of the White Sox. With Tyler Saladino and Carlos Sanchez manning shortstop on the South Side, it’s only a matter of time until Anderson gets the call. Anderson has a ton of speed, but also some pop which could make him a top fantasy option down the road. I’m not expecting huge numbers right out of the gate, but it wouldn’t surprise me either.
What lesser-known prospect should fantasy owners put on their radars now?
Andy: Isan Diaz will only be 19 when the season opens up, but I like the future potential he has. Last season he hit 13 homers and 25 doubles to go with a .360 average. It only came in the rookie league, but they are still eye opening numbers nonetheless. Diaz is a player that you want to grab in deeper leagues before he has success at higher levels.
Paul: Andy stole my guy again (really, every week Andy?), so I’m going with Ruddy Giron of the Padres. At 18-years-old, Giron hit .285/.335/.407 with 9 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Giron joins Javier Guerra as two of the team’s best prospects, both as shortstops and both ready for High A next year. While no one is sleeping on Guerra, I don’t think Giron is far behind at all as far as becoming a potential impact middle infield bat down the road.
What prospect would it not surprise you if he fell significantly in the next year?
Andy: Raul Mondesi Jr. worries me in the sense of a fantasy baseball asset. There isn’t a lot of power there, and while the steals are solid they aren’t near the level of a lot of the other prospects at the position. Toss in a bad average and a really scary career strikeout per walk rate of 4.2. A lot of the hype around him is his elite fielding ability, and shortstop is one of the few places where teams still care about the glove as much (or more) than the bat. That should mean Mondesi gets a good shot at a nice MLB career, but I can’t see him being a difference maker in the sense of a fantasy roster.
Paul: I have a hard time imagining any of these players falling next year, but if I had to pick one I’m going to choose Javier Guerra. I think Giron ends up with a better offensive profile, though he’ll likely be the one moved off of shortstop for the slick fielding Guerra. Guerra has nice power, but his K rate is high at 23.5% and he struggled mightily against LHP last year. Don’t get me wrong here; I really like Guerra’s bat. It’s a stretch for me predicting a fall for any of these 25 who I ranked above so many other deserving shortstop prospects.
Come back next week when we will publish our Top 25 Outfield Prospects.
Still need more rankings? Head on over to Fantasy Rundown, where Goose has compiled Prospect Rankings from all the top sites on the web along with rankings for the 2016 season and the best baseball links available.