Top 10 Shortstops for 2018

Top 10 Shortstops for 2018

This is the fifth entry of my eight part position preview for the 2018 fantasy baseball season.

Here are my top ten shortstops in standard roto and points league scoring systems for the upcoming year:

Rank Rotisserie Points
10 Paul DeJong (Cardinals) Jorge Polanco (Twins)
9 Elvis Andrus (Rangers) Trevor Story (Rockies)
8 Javier Baez (Cubs) Elvis Andrus (Rangers)
7 Corey Seager (Dodgers) Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
6 Trevor Story (Rockies) Corey Seager (Dodgers)
5 Alex Bregman (Astros) Alex Bregman (Astros)
4 Francisco Lindor (Indians) Trea Turner (Nationals)
3 Carlos Correa (Astros) Francisco Lindor (Indians)
2 Manny Machado* (Orioles) Carlos Correa (Astros)
1 Trea Turner (Nationals) Manny Machado* (Orioles)

Shortstop is the primary position for the Cardinals’ Paul DeJong, who I wrote about in the second base preview.

Jorge Polanco projects to play 153 games in 2018, which would be the largest workload the 24 year old Minnesota infielder has ever had in the majors if it comes to fruition. He projects to be a solid player all around, with a .274 average, 16 HR, 77 RBI and 14 stolen bases. His eighteenth round ADP makes him a great value in all formats.

Elvis Andrus is entering his tenth season as the Rangers primary shortstop in 2018. He’s coming off of a career year in 2017, where he hit 20 home runs despite never hitting more than 8 in a season before that. The 2018 models see him as a .280 hitter with 12 home runs and 67 RBIs this year.

Trevor Story was a bit of a fantasy sensation in 2016, as he hit for a .272 average and 27 home runs in 97 games. He had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2017, hitting just .239 for the year. The 2018 models expect him to split the difference, and wind up with a .252 average, 29 HR and 92 RBI. His high strikeout rate knocks his ranking down a few spots in points, where each strikeout counts negatively.

Javier Baez also strikes out at an extremely high rate, which knocks him all the way to 16th at the position in points leagues. In 5×5 roto, the 25 year old Cub infielder will be a solid contributor in all categories if he continues to earn consistent playing time.

Corey Seager turns 24 in late April, and projects to remain the elite player he has been since his first full season in the majors back in 2016. He comes in one spot lower in rotisserie because of his lack of stolen base potential.

Xander Bogaerts is the number 12 shortstop in roto, yet he jumps to sixth in points formats on the back of his ability to hit singles and doubles with tremendous consistency. Bogaerts is an east coast player who gets drafted way ahead of his anticipated value in 5×5 roto, but is worth adding in points formats.

Houston third baseman Alex Bregman logged enough starts at short in 2017 while filling in for an injured Carlos Correa to earn positional eligibility for the 2018 season. The models have peg him as a .276 hitter, with 23 home runs, 84 RBI and 13 stolen bases this year, which would make Bregman a solid all around player. He projects to be a better value at short than third base, although he does come in the top ten at both positions.

Francisco Lindor hit a career high 33 home runs (this is a theme for the 2017 season for a lot of players, by the way) last season, but his batting average paid the price, as he hit .273 after hitting over .300 in 2015 and 2016. The projection models expect him to be more like the hitter he was before 2017, with a higher average and a slightly lower home run total.

Trea Turner missed a lot of time in 2017 with a broken wrist, playing in just 98 games. While number four in points leagues, he projects to be the number one shortstop in 5×5 roto because he is an elite base stealer. He stole 46 bases despite only playing a little over half the 2017 season. Expect Turner to offer the same upside in 2018, but it will cost a first round pick to acquire.

Carlos Correa enters the year as the best shortstop in points and the second best in 5×5 roto, but that will change by the end of the first week as Manny Machado gains positional eligibility. Machado has been named the Orioles’ primary shortstop for 2018 by Buck Showalter, and immediately becomes a top option at the position once eligible. Both Correa and Machado will cost second round picks to acquire this year.