We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2018 rankings. In addition to the rankings, we will pose a number of questions to our panel covering topics such as reaches and targets, players to avoid and late round impact players.
Taking part in our rankings will be Kevin Jebens, Jim Finch, Kenny Garvey, Josh Coleman, Dan Marcus, Mike Sheehan and Mike (the cop) Levin. Our seven “experts” each ranked their top 30 shortstops for the 2018 season.
Players marked N/R were not ranked inside the top 30 by that particular person. We used a 10 games started minimum requirement for eligibility, so if you don’t see someone, they either do not qualify or were not worthy (or everyone missed him — it happens).
If you feel we overlooked someone or would like to debate a player’s ranking, feel free to do so in the comment section below.
|Rank||Player||Team||Jim||Kevin||Josh||Mike L||Mike S||Kenny||Dan|
|8||Xander Bogaerts||Red Sox||6||12||8||13||8||6||7|
|21||Eduardo Nunez||Free Agent||30||11||N/R||12||11||27||13|
|26||Tim Anderson||White Sox||24||24||23||26||N/R||22||18|
|Honorable Mentions: Glyber Torres, J.P. Crawford (3 of 7), Yangervis Solarte (2 of 7), Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Ketel Marte, Aledmys Diaz, Brendan Rodgers, Eduardo Escobar, Alcides Escobar (1 of 7)|
Shortstop you will reach for if you don’t land Turner, Correa or Seager in round 1?
Kevin: Bregman is a nice second-tier option. I even like DeJong for power, or Nunez for a stolen base source.
Jim: Like first base, I don’t feel comfortable going into the season without a strong option at short. Francisco Lindor in round two is a smart target. After that, I like Alex Bregman (if he qualifies at SS on your site) and Javier Baez. Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius are my fallback options.
Kenny: The easy choice here would be Lindor, considering I have him ranked ahead of Seager, but that’s not really a reach. I’d be willing to reach for a guy like Bregman or Gregorius. Both guys have a nice ceiling (Bregman’s higher) and have packed lineups surrounding them. I expect each guy to have a monster year.
Dan: Jean Segura posted top-10 numbers even with the missed time. His numbers should be even better with a full season of at bats.
Josh: I love the talent at the top of the rankings, but the pricing absolutely stinks. Unless Lindor would fall to me, in the late second or early third, I’ll be more comfortable living in the 10-20 range of the position. When we look back at this position in October, this will be the position where preseason rankings will be accompanied with laughter.
Mike S: If I miss on the first five or so guys, then I will likely target Trevor Story. I love Bregman as well, but I’ve seen him drafted in the first three to five rounds in expert leagues and mocks, so it will be Story for me if that’s the price. I know Story was a bust last year. but I’m still intrigued by the potential of Coors and what he showed in 2016 and the second half of 2017.
Which shortstop do you plan on avoiding in the draft?
Kevin: I never pay the price it’d cost to get Bogaerts. The BA floor is helpful in this era, but few home runs and walks really hurts his value in my book. It’s like another Pedroia or LeMahieu: they have value, but it’s not sexy.
Jim: I am not avoiding Elvis Andrus, but I do think he will be incredibly overvalued this season. I can guarantee you that Troy Tulowitzki will not be on any of my teams, and I have no use for Trevor Story and his all-or-nothing ways.
Kenny: I’m going to steer clear of Zack Cozart this year. His 2017 was the definition of a career year, and I don’t see anyway he repeats that in Anaheim. Being on a new team, new league, new division, and probably new position means a lot of unfamiliarity. 2018 could start out rather rough.
Dan: High strikeouts, low walks, and a lucky BABIP could cap production for Paul DeJong. Struggles could land him back in the minors early.
Josh: I fully understand the need for SB in this game, yet I still find myself hesitant to pay the premium for it. I want a five-category star or elite production in four categories, and Trea Turner just doesn’t provide that. Turner is essentially Dee Gordon with 12 more HR. With 25 HR production prevalent on waivers everywhere, I just don’t see the disparity in ADP being warranted.
Mike S: I’m probably going to avoid Andrus. No reason other than he just had a career year. I always used to like him because he was cheap. I think he’ll be fine, but I am unlikely to agree with the cost after his best year ever.
Who is your top MI target once your SS slot is filled?
Kevin: Simmons may have finally put it all together, but many don’t buy into him. He may regress a bit, but .275, 10 HR, 15 SB has value. I may also reach for Amed Rosario if I have a solid SS already — big upside that may produce immediately.
Jim: My fallback options from question one (Segura and Gregorius) are my top targets if I fill my shortstop position early. Shortstop thins out rather quickly outside the top-10 or so, and it may be smarter to look to second base for middle infield.
Kenny: After SS is filled, assuming my 2B is filled also, I’d likely look to a multi-eligible player such as Marwin Gonazlez or DeJong. Someone who fills one roster spot while also backing up multiple position locations.
Dan: Chris Owings and Jorge Polanco. Both have a nice power/speed mix I’m willing to gamble on and possibly improve upon.
Josh: Heading into the season, I feel the 2B pool is much deeper than what SS has to offer. This will lead to more 2B options filling those MI spots initially. That script could change quickly should higher upside players emerge. Russell, Arcia, and Rosario have the prospect pedigree. Could Tim Anderson or Marcus Semien push 20/20? Ketel Marte, Dansby Swanson, and Alyedmys Diaz all had a much brighter outlook this time last year; is there a rebound to be had?
Mike S: I’ll say Cozart. I feel like most people don’t buy his breakout last year and are also worried about the move to a much worse park. I doubt the ISO will be above .200 again, but there was an obvious shift in approach, and the Angels lineup is looking pretty good. I’m happy to slot him in at MI.
Late round pick that could make an impact?
Kevin: JP Crawford has left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, but he’s capable of reaching 10+ in home runs and steals, and he was a top prospect. If he comes cheap, he’s worth a flier.
Jim: Pure speculation here, but maybe throw a dart at some youngsters (Amed Rosario, JP Crawford), or maybe bet on a bounce back by Marcus Semien. Odds are the real impact players will be guys plucked off waivers in the early months so keep your eyes open early.
Kenny: Both Tim Anderson and Tim Beckham could have nice 2018 campaigns. Anderson dealt with a lot of off-the-field issues last year, but those appear to be behind him. After getting dealt to Baltimore, Beckham put up similar, if not better, numbers in 37 fewer games than he did in Tampa (with 50 points higher in average.) I like that trend from Beckham heading into this year.
Dan: I’m doubling down on my top MI targets above, Owings and Polanco.
Josh: I’m not sure Orlando Arcia has Top 50 upside, but 20/20 could certainly be obtained. Ketel Marte is ignored in 12 team formats, but I’m still a believer. If you’re really slumming, I’m sure Tulo and Travis will see to it Alyedmys Diaz will find his way into 450 AB somehow.
Mike S: The fantasy community (myself included) soured on J.P. Crawford because he was a glove oriented prospect. Last year he popped 15 HRs at AAA. He didn’t bring the pop up to MLB in his first 87 PAs, but Crawford did have an incredible 18.4% BB rate. That’s not someone who’s overwhelmed to me, and it’s worth remembering Francisco Lindor and Trea Turner were once “light hitting” SS prospects.