2018 Prospect Rankings: Shortstop

Back by popular demand, Paul Hartman and Andy Germani return to bring you their prospect rankings for the 2018 season. In addition to the rankings, we pose a number of questions to each of our “experts” to give you an idea on who they are targeting and avoiding. While these rankings are primarily for those of you in keeper and dynasty leagues, some of the players could make a potential impact in 2018.

Note that players marked N/R were not ranked by that particular person. Players are also ranked using their primary position, so those that played multiple positions will not be duplicated elsewhere in our rankings.

Rank Player Team Age ETA Andy Paul
1 Fernando Tatis Jr Padres  19 2019 2 2
T2 Brendan Rodgers Rockies  21 2019 1 4
T2 Gleyber Torres Yankees  21 2018 4 1
4 Bo Bichette Blue Jays  20 2020 3 3
5 Royce Lewis Twins  18 2021 5 5
6 Jorge Mateo Athletics  22 2019 9 7
7 Wander Franco Rays  17 2022 6 10
T8 Wander Javier Twins  19 2021 8 11
T8 J.P. Crawford Phillies  23 2017 10 8
T8 Willy Adames Rays  22 2018 12 6
11 Nick Gordon Twins  22 2019 11 9
12 Gabriel Arias Padres  18 2021 7 14
13 Freudis Nova Astros  18 2021 14 12
14 Yasel Antuna Nationals  18 2021 13 15
15 Carter Keiboom Nationals  20 2020 18 13
16 Andres Gimenez Mets  19 2020 16 16
T17 Kevin Merrell Athletics  22 2020 20 18
T17 Isaac Paredes Tigers  19 2020 21 17
19 Cole Tucker Pirates  21 2019 19 21
20 Danny Diaz Red Sox  17 2022 17 24
21 Delvin Perez Cardinals  19 2021 15 29
22 Luis Almanzar Padres  18 2021 26 20
23 Jeter Downs Reds  19 2021 22 25
24 Richard Urena Blue Jays 22 2019 29 19
25 Jasrado Chisholm Diamondbacks  20 2020 23 26
26 Ronny Rojas Yankees  16 2022 N/R 22
27 Chris Seise Rangers  19 2021 N/R 23
28 Arquimedes Gamboa Phillies  20 2020 24 N/R
29 Ramon Urias Cardinals  23 2018 25 N/R
T30 Gregory Guerrero Mets  19 2021 27 N/R
T30 Lucius Fox Rays  20 2020 N/R 27

HONORABLE MENTIONS

 T32 Anderson Alexander Tejeda Rangers  19 2020 28 N/R
 T32 Logan Warmoth Blue Jays  22 2020 N/R 28
34 Gavin Lux Dodgers  20 2020 30 30




Who is your favorite prospect to break out in 2018?

Andy: I think Gabriel Arias is about to jump onto the scene. He played in full season ball last year as a 17-year-old, and even if it was just 16 games, it’s still impressive. The power could easily come, and I think his bat will produce more than enough to play short. This might be one of those last chance moments on a prospect.

Paul: This is a tough question simply because of the sheer volume of players I am looking to break out this year. I like Wander Javier and Wander Franco, as well as Gabriel Arias, Yasel Antuna, and Isaac Paredes. If I had to choose just one guy though, it would be Freudis Nova of the Houston Astros. Nova has got power and speed, and he may even hit for average, all while sticking on the left side of the infield. He’s just 18 years old, so the breakout may not come until 2019, but I’m all-in on perhaps the best hitter of the 2016 international crop. 

What prospect (if any) could make a surprising contribution to fantasy teams in 2018?

Andy: There are only a couple of options to really have an impact this season. I am a known Gleyber Torres hater, but Paul took the guy I was going to pick, Crawford, whom I am also not super high on. Torres should spend a large part of the season in the majors, but I think someone is going to pay up for him, and it definitely won’t be me. He has a nice hit tool, but I still am not a believer in the power.

Paul: I prefer Gleyber Torres (by a mile) and Willy Adames, but I am going with J.P. Crawford of the Philadelphia Phillies. While everyone is clamoring for his future double-play partner, I suspect Crawford is ready to get everyday big league at-bats in 2018. He struggled in his debut last year, hitting just .214/.356/.300, but he still managed to walk at an 18% clip. In AAA, he had an excellent 14% BB rate while just striking out 17% of the time. He’s a whiz defensively, has a little speed, and could grow into 15 home run power. I like him and don’t think there’s another shortstop on this list who gets as many opportunities next season. 

What lesser-known prospect should fantasy owners put on their radars now?

Andy: Danny Diaz was a 2017 international signee, so there isn’t much to really get excited about other than what scouts can tell us. I get excited when people say a 17-year-old shortstop has power already and the ability to be a middle of the order bat. He probably doesn’t end up staying at short if he really does keep the power going and become a middle of the order bat, but that is fine with me.

Paul: There are a lot of great shortstops from the 2017 international class, but my favorite deep sleeper in Ronny Rojas of the Yankees. He’s just 16 years old, so there’s no need to look at him unless your league rosters over 300-350 prospects. He has some solid tools already, but it’s his ability to make hard contact from both sides of the plate that stands out for me. He’s got a little speed and should grow into solid power. It’s all projection here, but that’s the kind of guy we like to highlight here. 

What prospect can you see slipping down the rankings fantasy owners may want to trade/avoid?

Andy: My two answers will be off the list by default, exceeding rookie limits, but I really don’t want to make what I feel like is an overpay for J.P. Crawford or Gleyber Torres. Power numbers tend to spike when players jump from the minors to majors, but still, neither of these guys have power that excites me. I don’t think either is really a difference maker in the steals department either. I would be doing everything in my power to sell. It should be a really easy sell to 99 percent of fantasy owners too.

Paul: I am so enamored by all of these guys that I have a hard time projecting doom for any of them. To be fair, the majority of this group is extremely young, and we could see any number of them fail. But most are young enough that a bad season won’t discourage me an awful lot. 

*****

2018 Prospect Rankings
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseOutfieldStarting Pitcher – Top 100

 

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Paul Hartman

Written by 

Fantasy Baseball player since 1987. Creator of Fantasy Assembly, yet just fortunate enough to be a part of it.

2 thoughts on “2018 Prospect Rankings: Shortstop”

  1. How far off were Jose Isreal Garcia (Reds), Garrett Hampson (Rockies- probably ends up at second) and Ryan Vilade (Rockies)?

    1. Hi, sorry I just saw this.

      Vilade we put at 3B instead of short. He would have been like 6th for me in these ranks. Garcia got the big bonus but I just didnt read enough on him yet that excited me enough to put him on here. International guys are hard to rank because it just depends on what scouting reports you find and trust, and I didnt find enough on him to feel comfortable enough to rank him. Hampson I think in the long run is no more than a utility infielder and those types I dont rank unless they are basically in the majors and even then they arent a lock.

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