Mid-Season Fantasy Baseball Prospect Rankings – Shortstop

(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

Today marks the fourth day of an 11 article special that is designed to help get you all caught up and informed on MLB prospects for your fantasy baseball leagues. I am a day late on my articles, but will work them into a revised schedule. My colleague Adam Garland and I are going to be releasing mid-season top prospect lists for every position and we will release our lists on the following schedule:

Top 30 Catchers
Top 30 1st Basemen
Top 30 2nd Basemen
Top 30 3rd Basemen
Top 30 Shortstops
Top 25 Outfielders
Top 50 Outfielders
Top 150 Overall Hitters
Top 150 Overall Pitchers
Adam’s Disagreements – July 23rd
Brennen’s Disagreements – July 24th

We have included a rough prime projection for each player as well as an estimated ETA. We tried not to include players that have cemented roles in the majors at the time of this writing, so guys like Juan Soto and Mike Soroka will not be included. Note that we place an emphasis on upside, namely power and speed guys, while also prioritizing closeness to the majors when the value is close. Feel free to ask questions or drop a comment, we are always happy to discuss! Without further ado, onto the list!

Rank Player Organization Level Age Projection ETA
1. Bo Bichette Toronto Blue Jays AA 20 .315 AVG / 10 HR / 20 SB 2019
2. Fernando Tatis Jr. San Diego Padres AA 19 .270 AVG / 25 HR / 20 SB 2019
3. Brendan Rodgers Colorado Rockies AA 21 .270 AVG / 25 HR / 8 SB 2019
4. Royce Lewis Minnesota Twins A 19 .300 AVG / 12 HR / 25 SB 2020
5. Carter Kieboom Washington Nationals AA 20 .280 AVG / 15 HR / 5 SB 2020
6. Garrett Hampson Colorado Rockies AAA 23 .295 AVG / 3 HR / 37 SB 2019
7. Kevin Maitan Los Angeles Angels R 18 .275 AVG / 30 HR / 1 SB 2022
8. Nick Madrigal Chicago White Sox A 21 .295 AVG / 12 HR / 18 SB 2020
9. Nick Gordon Minnesota Twins AA 22 .270 AVG / 9 HR / 10 SB 2018
10. Wander Javier Minnesota Twins R 19 .265 AVG / 12 HR / 15 SB 2021
11. Willy Adames Tampa Bay Rays MLB 22 .270 AVG / 10 HR / 10 SB (Now)
12. Jorge Mateo Oakland Athletics AAA 23 .270 AVG / 6 HR / 35 SB 2018
13. Cole Tucker Pittsburgh Pirates AA 22 .250 AVG / 3 HR / 30 SB 2019
14. Oneil Cruz Pittsburgh Pirates A 19 .255 AVG / 10 HR / 5 SB 2021
15. Lucius Fox Tampa Bay Rays A+ 21 .250 AVG / 2 HR / 11 SB 2019
16. Andres Gimenez New York Mets A+ 19 .255 AVG / 3 HR / 18 SB 2020
17. Taylor Walls Tampa Bay Rays A 21 .260 AVG / 3 HR / 14 SB 2020
18. Jordan Groshans Toronto Blue Jays R 18 .265 AVG / 23 HR / 9 SB 2022
19. Brice Turang Milwaukee Brewers 18 .280 AVG / 5 HR / 20 SB 2022
20. Delvin Perez St. Louis Cardinals A- 19 .250 AVG / 10 HR / 5 SB 2021
21. Mauricio Dubon Milwaukee Brewers AAA 23 .270 AVG / 5 HR / 15 SB 2018
22. Yu-Chen Chang Cleveland Indians AAA 22 .240 AVG / 15 HR / 8 SB 2018
23. Franklin Barreto Oakland Athletics AAA/MLB 22 .240 AVG / 13 HR / 10 SB 2018
24. Gavin Lux Los Angeles Dodgers A+ 20 .260 AVG / 5 HR / 15 SB 2020
25. Jeter Downs Cincinnati Reds A 19 .255 AVG / 10 HR / 15 SB 2021
26. C.J. Chatham Boston Red Sox A+ 23 .275 AVG / 5 HR / 3 SB 2020
27. Kevin Smith Toronto Blue Jays A+ 20 .265 AVG / 12 HR / 8 SB 2020
28. Xavier Edwards San Diego Padres R 18 .270 AVG / 3 HR / 20 SB 2022
29. Freudis Nova Houston Astros R 18 .275 AVG / 10 HR / 12 SB 2018
30. Ronny Mauricio New York Mets R 17 .275 AVG / 15 HR / 9 SB 2023

Editors NoteI seem to have forgotten Wander Franco – he would have been placed at #21.

Brennen’s Thoughts:

  • Bo Bichette versus Fernando Tatis Jr. is and will remain a hotly debated subject. I stand by what I wrote in the pre-season in that I have Bichette ahead of Tatis Jr. largely because of Bichette’s 70-grade hit tool (while still putting up serviceable steals and home runs). Bichette will struggle less and be able to at the very least hit efficiently while Tatis Jr. may struggle to do so at higher levels.
  • I had the opportunity to go to the Midwest Single-A All-Star game this season and wow is Royce Lewis electric. I have Brendan Rodgers ahead of Lewis for now, but by seasons end I think Lewis will be in the Bichette/Tatis Jr. conversation.
  • By virtue of the Colorado Rockies‘ questionable future infield shuffle, I have Garrett Hampson listed. Hampson has been one of the most prolific speedsters in the minors over the past two seasons while maintaining a batting average above .300 at each level. Tack on a few extra home runs in Coors and you’re looking at a fantasy stud muffin.
  • I suppose I am a bit stubborn to drop a player like Kevin Maitan. Maitan turned 18 in March and only started playing organized baseball again in June this season. With collective 250ish at-bats, it is too soon to call Maitan a bust, certainly, there is some prospect fatigue after Miguel Cabrera comparisons got thrown around early and while he still may not stick at shortstop, it is his designated position for now.
  • The Chicago White Sox will be trying Nick Madrigal out at shortstop now that he has officially signed with the team. Madrigal is regarded as the purest hitter in the draft and should move through the minors rapidly.
  • While Willy Adames is in the Majors, he hasn’t had a good run of it as the Tampa Bay Rays‘ everyday shortstop. He does not have enough at-bats to rid him of his rookie status, so for now he remains on this list. Adames should provide average home runs and steals with a batting average that is serviceable.
  • Delvin Perez is another bat with a high pedigree that saw his stock plummet, albeit Perez was because of PEDS. Perez was considered a top pick until the PED story broke a day before the 2016 draft, where he was still selected 23rd overall by the Cardinals. Perez only had 140 at-bats in 2017 and did not start playing until June this year – so his sample size is small. Perez is a lottery ticket, but a sneaky one given his pedigree and lack of playing time to-date.
  • I may be too harsh on Franklin Barreto, but since the middle of 2017, his game has fallen off of the rails. Where once he was thought to be a 15/15 lock with an above average batting average, Barreto has toiled between AAA and the MLB barely batting over .200 and sporting a horrendous 30%+ strikeout rate.
  • Even as I look at these rankings I think I put Xavier Edwards far too low. Edwards is a prep bat drafted 38th overall in 2018, in 96 plate appearances this past spring he stole 24 bases and batted over .400. His returns thus far in Rookie League ball for the Padres has been incredibly promising so far. Edwards is likely to make the biggest jump in this list if he keeps it up.
  • As a 17-year-old in Rookie ball, Ronny Mauricio has been remarkably consistent. He has yet to take a walk after 14 games, but Mauricio poses as an interesting lottery ticket.
Brennen Gorman

A lifetime Tigers fan (oh boy) getting ready to watch some good minor league baseball for the next few years. Liquor lawyer by trade, consumed by baseball statistics for pleasure? Yep. Seems about right.

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Comments


Eric

Having Barreto at 23 is really silly and lacks credibility (though you note your being harsh). Your colleague (Adam Garland) the other day has him as his 5th best 2B. The variance between the two positions isn’t that far. Recent updated rankings at Fangraphs, BA and Guru have him at 22, 23 and 51 OVERALL. A 23rd 2B ranking would have him out of the top 100, no? While I agree with you he strikes out a ton, if he can reduce is O strikes%, his power in the middle infield is unique. I can see experts not agreeing, but you are so far down on Barreto compared to everyone else, c’mon man. I’m sure you’re also not surprised with comments on Barreto

theKraken

I agree with you. Barretto at least has some offensive tools which puts him ahead of most of these guys for fantasy. They are likely mostly busts – no reason to bury a guy just beacuse he has reached MLB IMO.

Brennen Gorman

I absolutely went too low on Barreto as more of a statement regarding where I envision his future. I expected the shock, but the pedigree isn’t everything. Had Barreto been performing in Triple-A this year then there would be the argument that he could be a Quad-A/MLB player. The issues he is having in Triple-A are an exaggeration of his minor league career and I think are more indicative of his future. While he does have exceptional power and above average speed for middle infield, if he strikes out at around 30%, his value will always be limited. For the same reason I’m low on Yoan Moncada (from my pre-season rankings) I’m low on Barreto. What they will contribute in countable categories, will not make up for their lack of consistent contact.

theKraken

I think that 70 hit tool for Bichette will look laughable in a few years… probably now. Scouts were wrong about him as a prep and overreacted last year in a CYA. It was the only way they could justify the position that his swing wouldn’t work – which it probably won’t, but did in the low minors. I think he is a very exciting prospect, but I also think he is really risky – I go Tatis as he is the safer of the two to hit IMO. Both are nice specs with actual offensive upside as opposed to someone like Adames who… I am not sure what he projects to provide above quality streaming levels.

theKraken

I think Lewis ends up in CF. Most guys like him do as a plus runner without great instincts… as of last year at least and I doubt much has changed. On that note, Madrigal isn’t a SS is he? Most of these guys won’t be legit SS so ranking top of the defensive spectrum specs is always really weird. I think just focusing on bats is a good move because you just never know where they will end up. It is very common to end up overrating a guy based on where he will play defense and then the reality is that the bat doesn’t play at where he actually ends up. Personally I couldn’t bring myself to do positional rankings for this reason – I would maybe do corner/middle infield as its probably more accurate. I totally get the format though. Thanks for doing this – it is always fun to see other people line them up!

Brennen Gorman

Lewis could end up in the OF for no other reason than the Twins get a logjam in SS and he could make the transition, but I think he is a natural SS. The White Sox have announced they will be starting Madrigal at SS (at least for now). The way we at it, defensive matters for real life and whether a player will stick at a position, but for most of our readers – they want to know what these players will do for them in fantasy. Sticking on with offensive skills and rankings them accordingly is what we’re trying to provide. If they switch positions, then we’ll rerank them accordingly.

Dave Thomas

How is Nicky Lopez not on this list after the Fall League he had with the bat and especially the glove followed by the first half of the 2018 season?

Nukleball

I think you guys dropped Hampson’s projection in homers significantly – 10 to 3 I believe. Given what he has done the last few years I think you were more accurate the first time…

Nukleball

actually I just noticed you’ll be discussing differences in projections later on Would love to hear a conversation on him…

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