2021 MLB Rankings: 30 days of MLB rankings! In this series, we will be ranking every projected starting player for the 2021 season at each in position, each in three parts. On day nine of this series, we’ll look at the bottom 10 shortstops in MLB.
Check out the previous rankings from this 2021 MLB Rankings series:
2021 MLB Rankings: 20-16
20. Willi Castro, Detroit Tigers 2020: NR
2020: 36 games, .349/.381/.550 splits, .932 OPS, 6 Home Runs, 24 RBIs
A player who flew under the radar in 2020, Willi Castro finished fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Castro flashed a ton of potential, hitting for an OPS well over .900 while showing a ton of power at the plate. With only 66 career games under his belt, I can’t rank him much higher, but Willi Castro has a very bright future.
19. Jose Iglesias, Los Angeles Angels 2020: 22
2020: 39 games, .373/.400/.556 splits, .956 OPS, 3 Home Runs, 24 RBIs
In the shortened season, Jose Iglesias had the best offensive year of his career in 2020, posting career-highs across the board among his splits. Looking at the course of his career, it’s evident that this is not sustainable over a full season. However, if Iglesias can be even half as good as he was in 2020 at the plate, then it will go a long way since he’s an elite defender.
18. Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks 2020: 16
2020: 57 games, .266/.327/.402 splits, .729 OPS, 5 Home Runs, 29 RBIs
With seven MLB seasons under his belt, it’s entirely clear exactly what Nick Ahmed is as a player. Offensively, Ahmed has decent power and won’t kill you at the plate, but he’s nothing special either. Defensively, he’s one of the best in the league as he won Gold Glove awards in both 2018 and 2019.
17. Andrelton Simmons, Minnesota Twins 2020: 14
2020: 30 games, .297/.346/.356 splits, .702 OPS, 0 Home Runs, 10 RBIs
Andrelton Simmons was having the worst year of his career in 2020, before opting out due to mental health reasons. Now in Minnesota, Simmons will be the Twins’ everyday shortstop in 2020. At the plate, he’s nothing special but will still hit for a decent average. Simmons is one of the best defensive shortstops of all-time, with four Gold Glove awards since 2013.
16. Willy Adames, Tampa Bay Rays 2020: 20
2020: 54 games, .259/.332/.481 splits, .813 OPS, 8 Home Runs, 23 RBIs
At age 24, Willy Adames had an excellent year in 2020 as he helped lead the Rays to the World Series. Adames makes decent contact as he hit 24 extra-base hits last season, but he needs to limit his strikeouts. Defensively, Adames is well above-average, having posted an Rdrs of 13 in 2019. He has a chance to break out and become a top-ten shortstop in 2021.
2021 MLB Rankings: 15-11
15. Paul DeJong, St.Louis Cardinals 2020: 15
2020: 45 games, .250/.322/.349 splits, .671 OPS, 3 Home Runs, 25 RBIs
After having a breakout year in 2019, Paul DeJong struggled to replicate that success in 2020 as his numbers dropped significantly. If he plays to his full potential, DeJong has a ton of power and could hit 30+ home runs in a season but needs to become more consistent. Defensively, he was league-average in 2020, posting an Rdrs of 0.
14. Didi Gregorius, Philadelphia Phillies 2020: 18
2020: 60 games, .284/.339/.488 splits, .827 OPS, 10 Home Runs, 40 RBIs
In his first year with Philadelphia, Didi Gregorius had an excellent season as he hit ten home runs and recorded 40 RBIs. While he needs to learn to draw more walks, Gregorius fits a need for the Phillies and slides into their lineup nicely. Defensively, he’s a bit below league-average, having posted an Rdrs of -2 in 2020.
13. Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City Royals 2020: 12
2020: 59 games, .256/.294/.416 splits, .710 OPS, 6 Home Runs, 22 RBIs
Heading into his age 25 season, Adalberto Mondesi has an extremely bright future with the Royals. While he has decent power and contact, his speed is his best attribute. Stealing 24 bases in 2020, Mondesi led the league in the category as he’s arguably the fastest player in baseball. While he needs to become more consistent, he certainly has the potential to become a top-ten shortstop.
12. Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves 2020: 12
2020: 60 games, .274/.345/.464 splits, .809 OPS, 10 Home Runs, 35 RBIs
The former first overall pick, Dansby Swanson finally lived up to his potential at age 26 in 2020. Swanson has a ton of power but needs to be able to find consistency over a whole season while staying healthy. Defensively, he’s one of the best in the league, having posted an Rdrs of 10 in 2020. At age 27, Swanson could be in line for a true breakout season.
11. Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees 2020: 6
2020: 42 games, .243/.356/.368 splits, .724 OPS, 3 Home Runs, 16 RBIs
After a breakout year in 2019, Gleyber Torres failed to replicate that success in 2020. Regardless, he still has a ton of power, and the shortened season was likely just a minor bump in the road for Torres. He’s a defensively liability, especially at shortstop, which is a huge reason why he didn’t crack the top ten. However, Torres is only 24 and should continue to improve.
Come back tomorrow for the next edition of the 2021 MLB Rankings featuring the top shortstops in MLB.
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