Ladies and Gentlemen: 30 days, 30 MLB position rankings. Nine positions and the top starting pitcher ranked from each team in three parts each. Each player on the list is based on who the projected starter is for a team for the 2020 season by position. On day fifteen of this series, we’ll look at the MLB’s top ten shortstops.
Check out my previous rankings from this series:
Catchers 30-21 | Catchers 20-11 | Catchers 10-1 | First Base 30-21 | First Basemen 20-11 | First Basemen 10-1 | Second Basemen 30-21 | Second Basemen 20-11 | Second Basemen 10-1 | Third Basemen 30-21 | Third Basemen 20-11 | Third Basemen 10-1 | Shortstop 30-21 | Shortstops 20-11
10. Paul DeJong, St.Louis Cardinals
2019: 159 games, .233/.318/.444 splits, .762 OPS, 30 Home Runs, 78 RBIs
At age 25, Paul DeJong earned the first all-star nod of his career, and he put up his best numbers across the board. While he hits for a lower average, he has a lot of power at the plate and smashed 30 homers. However, his defense is the reason he cracks this top ten. DeJong is one of the best defenders in MLB at short as he only made seven errors in 157 games started there in 2019.
9. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
2019: 75 games, .279/.358/.568 splits, .926 OPS, 21 Home Runs, 59 RBIs
Carlos Correa had an injury-plagued year in 2019, which causes him to fall to ninth on this ranking. Despite missing over half of the season, Correa still hit 21 home runs, while recording an OPS+ of 137. After earning his first all-star nod in 2017, Correa hasn’t performed as well as fans would have liked these past two seasons. It will be interesting to see if he can turn it back around in 2020.
8. Trea Turner, Washington Nationals
2019: 122 games, .298/.353/.497 splits, .850 OPS, 19 Home Runs, 57 RBIs
Nationals speedster, Trea Turner, battled injuries to put up the best numbers of his career in 2019. While Turner hits for a high average and has some power, his best ability is his base-running. Turner stole 35 bases last season, to go along with 43 in 2018 and 46 in 2017. The reason he isn’t higher on the list is that his defense is no better than league-average.
7. Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres
2019: 84 games, .317/.379/.590 splits, .969 OPS, 22 Home Runs, 53 RBIs
Before suffering a season-ending injury, Fernando Tatis Jr. was having one of the best rookie seasons that fans have seen. He’s a beast at the plate as his OPS was well over .900, while he hit 22 home runs in just 84 games. Defensively, he’s still a work in progress as he committed 18 errors last year. Incredibly, he’s only 21 years old, and Tatis should be a star in a few seasons.
6. Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
2019: 144 games, .278/.337/.535 splits, .871 OPS, 38 Home Runs, 90 RBIs
At age 22, Gleyber Torres made his second all-star appearance last season as he improved upon his stellar rookie campaign. Torres has a lot of power in his bat as he smashed 38 home runs last year. However, he needs to work on limiting his strikeouts. In the field, he is just below league-average while playing shortstop, but has plenty of room for improvement.
5. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
2019: 155 games, .309/.384/.555 splits, .939 OPS, 33 Home Runs, 117 RBIs
At age 26, the Red Sox’ Aruban star had the best year of his career as he earned his second all-star nod. Previously seen as a contact-hitter, Bogaerts completely dropped that label as he hit 33 home runs last year and knocked in 117 runs. However, Bogaerts needs to improve in the field. At shortstop, Bogaerts posted an Rdrs of -14 in 2019, well below league-average.
4. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
2019: 138 games, .281/.316/.531 splits, .847 OPS, 29 Home Runs, 85 RBIs
After having a breakout year in 2018, Baez finished second in the MVP voting. While he still earned an all-star nod in 2019, he didn’t play at that same elite level. His biggest weakness is that he doesn’t draw enough walks, despite putting up high strikeout numbers. With his glove, Baez is one of the best in MLB as he recorded an Rdrs of 26 at shortstop last season.
3. Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics
2019: 162 games, .285/.369/.522 splits, .892 OPS, 33 Home Runs, 92 RBIs
At age 28, Marcus Semien had a breakout season that fans couldn’t have seen coming, as he finished third in the AL MVP voting. Semien does a great job at staying on the field while also providing a lot of power at the plate. Practically all of his offensive numbers were career-highs in 2019. After leading MLB in errors in 2015, Semien has improved greatly in the field and is now well above league-average as a defender.
2. Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
2019: 145 games, .294/.363/.554 splits, .917 OPS, 35 Home Runs, 85 RBIs
After earning his first all-star nod in 2018, Trevor Story built on that success last year. At the plate, he hit just below .300 while smashing 35 home runs. He’s very fast on the base paths as he stole 23 bases in 2019, and 27 in 2018. If it weren’t for the year put together by Nick Ahmed, Trevor Story may have earned a gold glove last season. If he can build upon last year’s numbers, Story may be able to earn that top spot down the road.
1. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
2019: 143 games, .284/.335/.518 splits, .854 OPS, 32 Home Runs, 74 RBIs
While Story, Semien, and Baez all have cases, Francisco Lindor was easily selected as MLB’s top shortstop. At the plate, Lindor swings a great bat as he booted 32 home runs last season while driving in 74 runners as Cleveland’s leadoff hitter. In the field, he’s arguably the best defender at shortstop in MLB as he earned his second career gold glove last year. Heading into his age 26 seasons, Lindor should only continue to improve as he enters the prime of his career.
Come back tomorrow to check out the first part of my left field ranking!
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