31 Jan 2020 Fantasy Baseball: SS Rankings
I have caved to the pressure. I foolishly thought I could just provide a list of players in the order I have them ranked, and it would be enough to be helpful for some, if not all. But your voices and criticism were loud, and they were heard. It is for this I repent, and humbly ask for your forgiveness. Welcome to my 2020 Fantasy Baseball: SS Rankings. I have added blurbs for this list of Shortstops, and will go back and add them for the other positions as well. Additionally, I will take into account players eligibility and rank those qualified in the positions that apply.
What you have below is the 2020 Fantasy Baseball: SS Rankings Top 25. For context, I play all formats but my preference is for Points leagues. Does that mean these are weighted for Points vs Roto, no. At least I do not see it that way. You know the format, I do not. These are who I would be drafting ahead of the next guy, and I tier them in twelves, as in 1-12 is your starter. I am also a Dynasty enthusiast with deep roots in the prospect game. My main components in these rankings is prior year performance + weighted run projection + age + my own gut instincts. I am a firm believer of the age 27-32 window as well.
Don’t forget to check out the Turn Two Podcast for even more Fantasy Baseball content, like this episode covering the SS position with guest Max Freeze. Once again, these are just based off projected depth charts, utilizing CBS and Roster Resource.
1. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland
Few have achieved the success and consistency Lindor has demonstrated over the last four years. He contributes to every category, plays almost every game, and now has proven he can and will play hurt as well – and be successful. 2019 felt very anonymous, and there should be a big chip on his shoulder.
2. Trevor Story, Colorado
I still have a tough time with the realization that Story is close to a being .300 hitter. He is really good, and could easily be your number one at the position. My preference is Lindor, but there is no shame if your’s is Story. It’s razor thin, and I would default to your personal preference to distinguish between the two.
3. Javier Baez, Chicago (N)
It works. He’s made it work. The profile of low walks and high strikeouts will make you cringe and think the floor can come out from under you at any time, but he has proven to be unique and can sustain this. We are talking about an MVP type of talent just entering his prime. He is being severely forgotten and disrespected by current ADP measures, and will remind many of how good he is this season.
4. Alex Bregman, Houston
People want to point to the sign stealing scandal as a reason to punish his fantasy outlook. However, the data we have relates to the 2017 season, and his 2019 was stellar. Also factor in his home/road splits, and he has been even better outside of Minute Maid Park. The plate discipline is elite, the power is legit, and there is truly nothing that would indicate to me he will regress from last year.
5. Trea Turner, Washington
It’s hard to talk bad against Turner, because he drips athleticism, but the Philanthropist as I call him has yet to put it all together. He is in line to drop down in the order to third, which would lean towards more run production, but is the power truly going to stick out enough to say he should be any higher than this spot in the rankings? I think he is above average for sure, but the elite level we dream of is to me more in name value to date.
6. Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City
The rehab from shoulder surgery is enough to cause concern. And the plate discipline of a seemingly hack it til you whack it approach is daunting. But he somehow manages to make it work for him. He has truly elite speed, and Kansas City is going to let him run wild again. For that, he can single handedly win you a category, while not killing you elsewhere. He is a discounted Trea Turner in my opinion for 2020 Fantasy Baseball: SS Rankings.
7. Xander Bogaerts, Boston
I often think back to his prowess as a prospect and being of the class that also produced Lindor and Addison Russell. While he hasn’t topped off at the ceiling Lindor is displaying, the only knock on him has been speed. He is a high average hitter, who is going to continue to pop 30 homers and drive in 100 runs. Entering his age 27 season, there is hope he can push that number even higher. He has played around with his launch angle in the past, and seems to have found the secret for his success. He may not be as exciting as the top of this list, but he is every bit as productive.
8. Fernando Tatis, San Diego
The tools to be unquestioned as the top Shortstop in future years. The only question is, can he do it this soon. Still just 21, he has limited experience with barely 100 games higher than Double-A. Some will question his peak power playing in Petco, but the Home Run totals are almost dead even home versus away. He can be elite in every category, and I think he reaches that, just not quite yet this season.
9. Gleyber Torres, New York (A)
There is great production in his bat, and he has proven to have the clutch gene, but Torres is a better real world player in my estimation than he is a fantasy one. That isn’t to say he won’t be serviceable for your rosters, but he is merely playing at par in what is and elite top half at the shortstop position. His dual eligibility gives a bump, but not enough to surpass anyone ahead of him here.
10. Corey Seager, Los Angeles (N)
How has he fallen so hard from grace? Seager was once thought to be the cream of the crop at shortstop, but injuries, and consistency have stood in the way. Still just 25 entering the season, the best may finally be upon us. He’s not going to give you any speed, but can be well above average everywhere else. With the lineup L.A. has built, there is also less pressure for him to carry the load. I’m higher on him than most in these 2020 Fantasy Baseball: SS Rankings, and think he can even surpass this ranking, and remind us of the love we once had for him.
11. Carlos Correa, Houston
It is almost comical to see a player of Correa’s ilk almost not even make the Top 12 in my 2020 Fantasy Baseball: SS Rankings. When he plays he gives you the production you’d expect. But the problem is in fact that health. While I normally don’t knock players for health concerns, the nature of his – most specifically the back, are the type I hate. They can pop up at anytime, and can be truly detrimental to his ability to do anything. He is a big risk versus reward type for me, which means I am not reaching for his services.
12. Manny Machado, San Diego
Just like Correa, it is almost comical that a name as large to baseball as Machado’s is cannot even crack the Top 10. The good news is that he is also eligible at 3B, where he will get most if not all of his at bats. The better news is that amazingly, he is still just 27 years of age and in his prime. Petco hasn’t sapped his power, but it has been absolutely brutal for his average at just .219 in 2019. If he can figure out his home park, he can improve upon his draft ranking. I wouldn’t be shy to draft him, but in a conservative fashion.
13. Jonathan Villar, Miami
I’m still trying to figure out who the real Villar is. The speed is obvious, and legit, but it is everywhere else that makes me panic. I don’t think he is a high average guy, nor do I expect anything of significance in the power department. He made significant strides in elevating his launch angle in 2019, nearly tripling what it had been historically in his career, but at 7.0% was still only good for 24 homers in the season of the long ball. Now he moves to Miami, which figures to work against him even more, and I think people reaching too far are in for disappointment.
14. Bo Bichette, Toronto
Starting with the bloodlines and pedigree, there is a lot to like here. But like Tatis, there are similarities beyond that, most notably his age. Inexperience and being just 21 are enough to tell me his ceiling is still on the horizon, and to not want to be the guy selling out for it too early. If he falls in my lap, the upside is there to pay big dividends on these 2020 Fantasy Baseball: SS Rankings.
15. Amed Rosario, New York (N)
I have had a thing for Rosario dating back to his days in Brooklyn when he spent the summer in the NY Penn League. Everyone loved the glove, the plate approach, the speed, and professed there to be wiry power that would eventually come. He’s stood the course, and now may finally be ready for that 20/20, .280’ish season. As Max Freeze said on the episode, Rosario is his line at the Shortstop position, and it’s hard to argue against that.
16. Jorge Polanco, Minnesota
Did you know that at 17.9% Polanco is second amongst Shortstops in Launch Angle? Better than that, at 16.5% he doesn’t strike out a ton. I have Minnesota as a Final Four team this year, he has no one hovering over his shoulder, and is scheduled to bat second in a deep lineup. Polanco is poised for a breakout power season, and he can be had for cheap.
17. Tim Anderson, Chicago (A)
Has a reigning batting champion even been thought of so much as an afterthought? On that note, has anyone ever improved their batting average by 100 points to become a batting champion? Anderson is a nice, and under-appreciated player. But he still does not know how to get on base other than by a hit, and his .399 BABIP is unsustainable, whereas his 2.9% BB rate is exactly who he is. 20/20 is in the cards, but it’ll be at a sub .300 pace, which is enough to move him down the ranks.
18. Didi Gregorius, Philadelphia
I’m not sure anyone saw the evolution of Didi coming when he blossomed in New York. But it was so good, he became a Sir as a result. There were moments when he played at MVP levels, and showed he can be clutch in the moment. He played half the season in 2019 coming back from injury, and still finished at a 32 homer pace. The power is there, the opportunity in Philadelphia is present, and he’s betting on himself with a one year contract. Don’t let Didi be an afterthought in your drafts.
19. Marcus Semien, Oakland
Interesting how the White Sox moved Semien to make way for Tim Anderson, and then they both had career years in the same season. Sometimes players get in grooves. Whether it be for a weekend, a month, or a season. That is what Semien did. Also playing in a walk year, there is motivation, but he is not the level of player who doubled his output in 2019.
20. Willy Adames, Tampa Bay
If you are afraid of Adames because you think Wander Franco is looming, you would be correct. But fear not, it won’t be this year. Adames is safe, and an elite fielder who will be the everyday shortstop in Tampa Bay. He’s also going to be a good source of run production, at the cost of average and speed.
21. Dansby Swanson, Atlanta
Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman, Brendan Rodgers. The 2015 class was supposed to be flush with talent at the top for shortstop, and hasn’t exactly panned out as such. Bregman of course has, but Swanson and Rodgers are still pushing. Like Adames, Swanson is an elite defender, and the Braves have a surplus of offense to live with any deficiencies Dansby provides. He is going to get at bats and be a sneaky source for 15/15 with potential for more.
22. Paul DeJong, St. Louis
I was once in love with DeJong, and thought the power and run production he displayed in 2019 was achievable. I just didn’t think it would come at such a severe cost. His average has absolutely plummeted, which can sink you depending on your league type, which makes all of those homers and RBI somewhat hollow. I also don’t view him as a legit base stealer, so if you are expecting an increase on the career high 9 steals, you are much more optimistic than I.
23. Elvis Andrus, Texas
This is your last chance to get a bargain on what should be 20+ steals, with a batting average that won’t hurt you. Yes he is a year older into his 30’s, but this is how he plays. Don’t buy for power, but don’t avoid for speed.
24. Luis Urias, Milwaukee
I was kind of surprised to see the Padres give up on Urias after billing him as their future for so long, but he moved into a very favorable position. Does A.J. Preller know something that should concern us all? Maybe. Has he been the dynamic high average hitter he was in the minors? Nope. Is he capable of the power he displayed in Triple-A when he launched 19 homers? Probably not. But he is just 22, and there was a long track record of success. The hamate injury is concerning, but I do not think derailing, and I expect him to be getting full time work by May the latest.
25. Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles (A)
There is nothing elite here, and he will likely be no more than waiver material. However, he is going to play everyday, and figures to be a good place holder when needed for your fantasy rosters. He is an insurance policy more than anything else, and he’s in a surprisingly sneaky lineup that could inject some youthful exuberance into this veteran.
Part of the reason for me doing the rankings this way is how jumbled things get when sorting for Fantasy Pros. However, I do love their format and that they rank the industry. You can catch how I have things sorted over there with this link: 2020 Fantasy Baseball Expert Rankings Consensus.
Andy is a jack of all trades in the Fantasy Sports industry, covering football, baseball, and the NFL Draft. He has written, edited, podcasted, and produced over 1,000 videos for his various series, in addition to dozens of guest appearances and collaborative pieces.
A top ranker on Fantasy Pros for both Football (23rd in 2018) & Baseball (7th in 2018), avid fan of mining for MLB prospects, and former D1 College hoops player, Andy is a native New Yorker, who has served as a firefighter in the FDNY for the past 18 years and counting.