Justin Mason’s Shortstop Ranks: 1/24/2023

Now that football season is over, it is time to really prep for baseball drafts!

This year to improve my prep, I am doing full projections on every position which are reflected in my ranks. My ranks will be available here on FanGraphs and daily updates and full projections will be available on the Sleeper and the Bust Patreon once I have completed them.

Justin Mason’s Shortstop Ranks: 1/24/2023
Rank NAME TEAM LG ALLPOS
1 Trea Turner PHI NL SS
2 Fernando Tatis Jr. SD NL SS
3 Bo Bichette TOR AL SS
4 Bobby Witt Jr. KC AL 3B/SS
5 Francisco Lindor NYM NL SS
6 Dansby Swanson CHC NL SS
7 Oneil Cruz PIT NL SS
8 Wander Franco TB AL SS
9 Corey Seager TEX AL SS
10 Tim Anderson CHW AL SS
11 Tommy Edman STL NL 2B/SS
12 Willy Adames MIL NL SS
13 Amed Rosario CLE AL SS
14 Xander Bogaerts SD NL SS
15 Nico Hoerner CHC NL SS
16 Carlos Correa MIN NL SS
17 Javier Baez DET AL SS
18 Thairo Estrada SF NL 2B/SS
19 CJ Abrams WAS NL SS
20 Jeremy Pena HOU AL SS
21 Ha-Seong Kim SD NL 3B/SS
22 Bryson Stott PHI NL 2B/SS
23 Jorge Mateo BAL AL SS
24 Ezequiel Tovar COL NL SS
25 Luis Garcia WAS NL 2B/SS
26 Luis Urias MIL NL 2B/3B/SS
27 Elvis Andrus N/A N/A SS
28 Adalberto Mondesi KC AL SS
29 Kevin Newman CIN NL 2B/SS
30 Royce Lewis MIN AL SS
31 Brandon Crawford SF NL SS
32 Anthony Volpe NYY AL SS
33 Brice Turang MIL NL SS
34 Oswald Peraza NYY AL SS
35 Dylan Moore SEA AL SS/OF
36 Jose Iglesias N/A N/A SS
37 Mauricio Dubon HOU AL SS/OF
38 J.P. Crawford SEA AL SS
39 Miguel Rojas LAD NL SS
40 Kyle Farmer MIN AL 3B/SS
41 Nick Allen OAK AL 2B/SS
42 Joey Wendle MIA NL 2B/3B/SS
43 Isiah Kiner-Falefa NYY AL SS
44 Nick Ahmed ARI NL SS
45 Nicky Lopez KC AL 2B/3B/SS
46 David Fletcher LAA AL 2B/SS
47 Elly De La Cruz CIN NL SS
48 Edmundo Sosa PHI NL 3B/SS
49 Taylor Walls TB AL 2B/3B/SS
50 Geraldo Perdomo ARI NL SS
51 Alan Trejo COL NL SS
52 Danny Mendick NYM NL SS
53 Jordan Westburg BAL AL SS
54 Sergio Alcantara CHC NL 2B/3B/SS
55 Paul DeJong STL NL SS
Position eligibility is based on 20 games played in 2022.
Blue denotes the beginning of a tier.

 

Thoughts on Tier 1

Trea Turner has been a top tier pick for quite a while. Some people like to fade guys that get big deals because they expect regression, but I actually could see him running a little more on a Phillies team that stole the fifth most bases in 2022. Pretty easy top guy at the position and has a strong argument for him to be the top pick in most drafts. 

 

Thought on Tier 2

Tatis is a hard guy to rank for 2023. From a straight skill perspective, he is an elite player that probably should go in the first round of most drafts in spite of being suspended for the first 20 games and having real injury concerns. That being said, I think you really need to think about your league context before pulling the trigger on him. In shallower formats with IL spots, he makes a lot of sense because there is replacement value if he does get hurt again, but in deeper leagues or leagues with limited IL spots, there is a lot of risk attached. 

Bichette made a swing change halfway through the season that turned him back into a stud down the stretch. It also looks like the park change in Toronto could really benefit him with his power to center field. I don’t know if the 20+ stolen bases come back but he could benefit from the new rules like a lot of other guys. I think he has about as safe a floor as you can ask for and is a pretty great second rounder in 12 team leagues. 

Lindor probably should have been his own tier as I don’t think he quite belongs in Tier 2, but is above Tier 3. I worry the Mets lineup won’t be quite as good in 2023 and that his average is so BABIP dependent, but he contributes in all categories and allows you to go in a lot of different directions in terms of your roster construction. 

 

Thoughts on Tier 3

In spite of things I have said in the past, I actually really like Swanson as a player for fantasy this season. Again, people will fade him in the first season of a big contract, but I actually love the fit for him in Chicago. The Cubs stole the fourth most bases in baseball last season and they actually improved their team a bit aside from just adding Swanson. Leaving Atlanta is a step down in terms of lineup, but there no longer is a debate about whether Swanson will hit high in the lineup.  

I love Oneil Cruz, but man there is a big cost to draft him and I don’t know if I feel comfortable paying that price. There will be power and speed and if you like to devalue or even punt batting average, he can be a monster, but if you need batting average, he could be an anchor. I also worry if the Pirates end up trading Reynolds, Cruz will be left in a pretty empty lineup. 

Franco is a guy I faded last year because the prospect hype was too much, but now he is a bit of a value. If healthy, he should provide some speed and a ton of batting average and runs scored, but I also think there is some real power in there that is waiting to be untapped. It may not come this year, but it could. 

Corey Seager was actually amazing last year when you realize that he got extremely unlucky BABIP-wise. More importantly, he was healthy all season which is my biggest concern with him. I do still worry about his health long term, but on a per plate appearance basis, he’s a stud. 

 

Thoughts on Tier 4

I love Anderson, but he has struggled to stay on the field. He hasn’t played in more than 123 games since 2018 and while he offers five category production when healthy, it is really hard to project him for 600 plate appearances. 

Since leaving Tampa for Milwaukee, Adames has been a monster. There is plenty of power and a bit of speed. I do worry about the average being mediocre at best and the Brewers haven’t done much to improve the lineup around him, but I think he is a pretty safe bet for good production at his cost. 

Rosario is a compiler that makes good contact and has a good amount of speed. I don’t think there is another level for him, but he is very affordable if you miss out on other options. 

I am happy that Bogaerts got his money, but I don’t love the landing spot for him in terms of park and where he will likely hit  in the lineup. The floor is pretty safe, but with so many intriguing guys in the shortstop pool, I am unlikely to pay the price on his limited ceiling. 

I was pretty much ignoring Hoerner early in draft season as a boring compiler, but after talking with Sara Sanchez and doing some deep diving, I became a lot more interested. On top of being a nice speed source, the plate skills are elite with the fifth best zone contact and a 6.6% swinging strike rate. He should lead off for a pretty good lineup in Chicago. I like him a lot. 

 

Thoughts on Tier 5

I think it is interesting that Pena and Correa are both interesting guys with limited upside. I don’t really see another level for Pena in spite of a nice rookie season. Correa’s lack of speed and injury history is a reason I likely fade him for the most part in spite of a reduced price. 

Baez had a disaster season in 2022, but even with that, he still hit for some power and stole bases. He actually had the best zone contact since 2018 and the best strikeout rate of his career which is somewhat encouraging. With the Tigers moving in the outfield wall, maybe we see him get more of his previous power back as well. 

The fantasy community is quick to bury prospects when they disappoint in their initial call up and that is often a good time to buy on them. That is why I am very big on CJ Abrams. We know he has speed and he showed a pretty great hit tool in the minors and had a 88.7% zone contact after being traded to the Nationals. I think there is a chance for him to hit for a decent to good average and steal a bunch of bases while playing every day for the Nationals. 

 

Thoughts on Tier 6

I have been a Mateo fan for a long time and was finally rewarded in 2022 when he led the American League in stolen bases. He also wasn’t powerless which was a nice surprise. However, the plate skills are atrocious and I worry at some point that it will come back to haunt him. 

Ezequiel Tovar is a really intriguing player. I don’t think he has a carrying tool necessarily, but he should play every day in Colorado and he has a little bit of power and a little bit of speed which makes him very interesting.

 

Thoughts on the rest

Andrus should find a home somewhere, but until he does, I am reluctant to draft him. 

There is no bigger high risk/high reward play than Mondesi. He is finally cheap enough where it is smart to take the gamble on him because if he does play 100 games, he could be an absolute monster in fantasy. 

Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera are both interesting prospects, but I don’t know how many plate appearances they will realistically get which limits their upside for 2023. 

I felt a lot better about drafting Brice Turang before the Brewers brought in Brian Anderson. I don’t think Anderson is a long term blocker, but it might be enough for Milwaukee to not let Turang break camp with the team. 

I think Elly De La Cruz will be a really great fantasy asset at some point, but the Reds may not want to start his clock until next year. Same could be said for Westburg. 





Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as other periodic articles. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, and the owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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wgmcd
2 days ago

You accidentally (and understandably!) have Correa listed as an NL player.