(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
2018 End of the Season Positional Dynasty Rankings
The season may have ended, but dynasty baseball never stops.
|Top 25 Catchers||Top 60 Outfielders|
|Top 30 First Basemen||Top 90 Outfielders|
|Top 30 Second Basemen||Top 30 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Shortstops||Top 60 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Third Basemen||Top 90 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Outfielders||Top 50 Relief Pitchers|
The Top 30 Shortstops
- Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Trevor Story each had their own justifications for #1 overall shortstop – Lindor took the top on this list from his year-to-year consistency. Lindor added to his 2017 breakout where he began sacrificing some batting average for an additional 15 home runs. A 14% strikeout rate and 9% walk rate demonstrate a week-to-week consistency that Baez and Story lack with their overly aggressive approaches.
- Trea Turner could slide around Tier One as he distinguishes himself through his moderate power and superior speed whereas the other players the inverse is true. 2018 was Turner’s first full season in the Majors and although he ran less, he showed that he will be a five-tool threat for years to come.
- As a team, Houston stole significantly fewer bases in 2018 than it did in 2017 despite a nearly identical roster composition. Alex Bregman stole seven fewer bases as a result, but maintained a mid .280s batting average and increased his home run production to 31. Carlos Correa has only played one full season in his career (missing significant time in each of the last two seasons) and Bregman is first in line to fill in at shortstop when Correa is on the disabled list. Odds are good that Bregman retains shortstop eligibility for the next several years.
- Carlos Correa dips in this list as although he offers a similar power ceiling to the above players, his lack of stolen base production makes him less valuable than the five-tool players in Tier One. Correa flashed speed earlier in his career and could well come back in 2019 with 10+ stolen bases – but until then he remains a step behind.
- Gleyber Torres will likely play at shortstop quite a bit moving forward and potentially permanently if New York decides to part ways with Didi Gregorius after his contract expires (or if the team non-tenders him). Torres is cut from a similar cloth to Correa and has plenty of room to grow in 2019 now a year removed from Tommy John surgery. Torres is better utilized at second base given the glut of talent at shortstop.
- Didi Gregorius’ monthly splits were great in all but one month, leading to an only above average line in 2018. Gregorius hit at or near .300 in every month except May when he hit .149. Gregorius will miss most if not all of the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery and may not be back in New York, which could ding his value. Until more comes out, Gregorius’ success was very much a continuation of his success in 2017.
- I stand by Bo Bichette carrying more value than Fernando Tatis Jr. While Tatis Jr. has a higher ceiling than Bichette, Tatis Jr. carries significantly more risk. Bichette may not have had the same level of success he had in 2017, after spending a full year in Double-A, Bichette stands ready to move onto Triple-A after hitting 11 home runs, 32 stolen bases, and slashing .286/.343/.453. Notably, Bichette carried over a 17% strikeout rate and 8% walk rate. On the other hand, Tatis Jr. after a year in Double-A hit 16 home runs and stole 16 bases while slashing .286/.355/.507. It took a .370 BABIP to support those numbers, which is not unusual given his speed, but his 27% strikeout rate gives pause that he will not be able to adequately hit higher levels of pitching.
- Close behind Bichette and Tatis Jr. is Royce Lewis and budding star Wander Franco who both could continue to rise drastically after 2019. Both have exceedingly advanced approaches given their age and should have little difficulty climbing the minor league ladder.
- Brendan Rodgers is fifth on the list of elite shortstop prospects and only comes in slightly below the above four, but Adalberto Mondesi’s late breakout has him edging up the list. Mondesi stole 32 bases in only 75 games in 2018 and is tracking to be the next speedster. I worry about his .306 OBP and 26% strikeout rate inhibiting his future success in that regard.
- Jean Segura was the hardest player to place on this list. He is more than serviceable with a consistent .300 batting average, 10+ home runs, and 20+ steals – and he’s only 28 years old. A placement at #19 is a testament of the depth of shortstop now and in the future. Segura should absolutely be rostered, but his lack of RBI production will keep him down a peg.
- I think I am too low on Jonathan Villar in Baltimore. Had Villar played in Baltimore all season he could have been on pace for 60 steals, having stolen 21 bases in just 209 at-bats after getting traded in July. Villar has two years left of arbitration and although Baltimore will be a terrible team in that span, Villar should be at the top of the order with opportunity. Like Segura, he falls low on the shortstop rankings due to the depth of talent.
- Likely the result of his broken elbow, Elvis Andrus had a discouraging 2018. Andrus is also the oldest player on this list at 30 years old and as a player that relies on speed, will see his value start to slip. Andrus ended at #22 not due to his own lack of production, but because despite a likely 10/20 season in 2019, the above players are too young and too talented. I see Andrus and Jean Segura similarly, with the edge to Segura.
- Amed Rosario showed signs of life in the final stretch of the year after hitting .246 in the first half with only four home runs and six stolen bases (five caught). Rosario should have so-so power and will need to be a more efficient stealer (caught on 31% of attempts). Rosario is only 22 years old and has plenty of room to grow. Given his August & September, he is trending back into the bottom of Tier Two if those corrections stick.
- Jurickson Profar is still only 25 years old and for the first time since his first real look at the MLB in 2013, had a productive year. Profar played at shortstop more than any other position, but has been utilized as a utility man. Profar’s July and August gave way to most of his seasonal value, which is why is #30 rank builds in the annual disappointment – but there may be more to come in 2019, development is not always linear.