We have reached November. The baseball season ended a few weeks ago. That means it is time for some too early fantasy baseball rankings. To get things started, we will begin with the lovely catcher position. After the Top 30 rankings, there will be a breakdown of a few of the catchers to target. Those that take things too seriously may want to check into some updated rankings closer to January as a lot will change with the positional rankings this offseason. Many players are looking for new homes this offseason, and they may not sign with their new teams for quite some time. 

The shortstop position is once again a loaded fantasy position. There are some elite talents, five-category contributors that one will have to take early in drafts. At the same time, one can wait later in drafts to draft players with massive upside. Knowing the player pool and how the fantasy player wants to form their team is critical when drafting the fantasy position. 

Once the positional rankings are released, I will post a google sheet with all positions on one page (like last year). Make sure to keep a lookout for all updates as the rankings will be more fluid than usual this season; if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@bdentrek). 

Shortstop
1- Trea Turner
2- Trevor Story
3- Fernando Tatis Jr.
4- Francisco Lindor
5- Tim Anderson
6- Bo Bichette
7- Adalberto Mondesi
8- Corey Seager
9- Javy Baez
10- Xander Bogaerts
11- Dansby Swanson
12- Gleyber Torres
13- Carlos Correa
14- Jake Cronenworth
15- Jonathan Villar
16- Didi Gregorius
17- Jorge Polanco
18- Marcus Semien
19- Willy Adames
20- Tommy Edman
21- Paul DeJong
22- David Fletcher
23- Jose Iglesias
24- Miguel Rojas
25- Amed Rosario
26- Andres Gimenez
27- Brandon Crawford
28-Willi Castro
29- Nick Ahmed
30- Niko Goodrum

Power and Steals

The shortstop position is loaded when it comes to power and stolen bases, but many players can excel at both, unlike many other positions. On a shortened 2020 season, there were three shortstops; Trea Turner, Trevor Story, and Fernando Tatis Jr. that all had double-digit steals and home runs. Xander Bogaerts was almost a fourth as he had 11 home runs and eight stolen bases. There were 13 shortstops with at least five stolen bases and 23 with at least five home runs. If you wanted to do the lazy prorated analysis, at least 11 players should have stolen at least 15 bases, and 23 should have hit at least 23 home runs. Shortstop is a loaded position and a great position to find power and speed combos to balance your roster.

Bounceback Season

There were a couple of shortstops that had disappointing 2020 seasons and will be looking for a bounceback. Javy Baez is one of the more prominent bounce-back candidates in 2021. Baez is usually not a batting average asset, but in 2020 he only hit .203, and that was a massive hit to his production as he also only walked 3% of the time. A career-worst .262 BABIP and 31.9% strikeout rate were other factors to his drop in overall production. Baez also saw his zone contact rate and first-pitch swing rate drop while his pop-up rate rose. To no surprise, his quality of contact even took a hit as his barrel rate dropped 4.6%. Many questions are surrounding Baez, including injuries and maybe an overall approach change at the plate. Regardless, we should look for Baez to bounce back, and he is an excellent value going into 2021. 

Conclusion

The shortstop position is a deep fantasy position yet again as we enter 2021. The dilemma that will approach fantasy players will be taking a shortstop early or waiting due to the depth. There will be a hit in the overall stat line, but the player taken instead of the shortstop and the player not drafted when a shortstop is eventually taken will be the real debate. There are strong arguments in drafting one of the elite options early as there is legit 30/30 upside, while one can also wait and see how their team is built and draft for power, speed, or another category of need. The most important advice I can give is not to wait too long and complete miss on drafting quality talent at the position.