Well we have finally reached the grand daddy of them all. The deepest position in all of fantasy baseball. Shortstop. There are well over 20 players that are fantasy viable at the shortstop position this season and it makes drafting to position quite interesting. You can go early, wait or even load up on the position. As you saw in the Catcher, First Base and Second Base Primers, you will get Lucas and Bubba’s Top 20, strategy, busts, targets and more. Let’s see who the guys like in the 2020 Fantasy Baseball Shortstop Primer.
|Lucas (@BieryPlox33)||Bubba (@bdentrek)|
|1- Francisco Lindor||1- Francisco Lindor|
|2- Trevor Story||2- Trea Turner|
|3- Alex Bregman||3- Alex Bregman|
|4- Trea Turner||4- Fernando Tatis Jr.|
|5- Fernando Tatis Jr.||5- Trevor Story|
|6- Xander Bogaerts||6- Xander Bogaerts|
|7- Adalberto Mondesi||7- Bo Bichette|
|8- Javier Baez||8- Gleyber Torres|
|9- Gleyber Torrres||9- Javy Baez|
|10- Jonathan Villar||10- Adalberto Mondesi|
|11- Tim Anderson||11- Manny Machado|
|12- Bo Bichette||12- Jonathan Villar|
|13- Manny Machado||13- Carlos Correa|
|14- Marcus Semien||14- Didi Gregorious|
|15- Carlos Correa||15- Marcus Semien|
|16- Elvis Andrus||16- Tim Anderson|
|17- Jorge Polanco||17- Jorge Polanco|
|18- Amed Rosario||18- Amed Rosario|
|19- Didi Gregorious||19- Elvis Andrus|
|20- Kevin Newman||20- Carter Kieboom|
Overall Thoughts on the Position-
Lucas- Everyone realizes that shortstop is deep, but it’s even deeper than you think. I have Machado ranked at 12 and feel comfortable with him there! You can definitely wait it out in deep leagues, but if you get a chance to snag a stud who will do power and speed for you, don’t be afraid to do so early on. Story/Lindor will provide immense value as they could both supply 25 homers AND 25 steals. Don’t be afraid to wait on SS, even if you have to draft a Jean Segura late in a 15 team you will likely have a pitching advantage or used that early pick to stack up your lineup elsewhere.
Bubba- DEEEEEEEEEP!!!! We thought the shortstop position was in 2019. Well in 2020 it’s just as deep if not deeper. I could’ve easily gone 30+ shortstops I would be totally fine drafting this year. It will be hard to believe that a shortstop won’t reside in my MI position this season. Leaving me with at least two shortstops starting regularly on my fantasy teams. When approaching the position in drafts it gets interesting as there are a couple philosophies. You can grab a stud shortstop early as they are very talented. But, with the position being so deep you may want to take a different position early in drafts and grab some shortstops later. There are a lot of ways to go when it comes to shortstop. I won’t worry too much on where I take a shortstop but I definitely will pay attention to where they are going in drafts and realize there’s a lot of wiggle room at the position. In the end, the shortstop position is amazing and if you fail at shortstop then you really missed the boat on so much talent.
Potential 2020 Busts-
Lucas- Manny Machado has disappointed his fantasy owners in 2 of the past 3 years and I think there’s a chance that becomes 3 of 4 given his high draft cost (61 overall.) Machado has been batting average liability in recent years hitting in the .250s range, and he hit poorly at home (.703 OPS in Petco in 2019). Additionally Machado struggled mightily vs RhP, hitting a putrid .715 OPS in 515 PA’s. I don’t think Machado will totally fall flat on his face, but I’m fading him in 2020 given his price tag and the depth of SS.
Bubba- This was one of the hardest busts for me to write up. I wanted to say Tatis Jr or Javy Baez or even Adalberto Mondesi. I already wrote up Jonathan Villar at 2B, so I couldn’t do that again. For shortstop my bust will be Marcus Semien, but it’s strictly on his price. Semien is a solid fantasy player and has been for a few seasons. In 2018 Semien went off for 33 home runs and 10 more steals. Semien has always been good for steals, but the power was new. He may still hit 20-25 home runs and steal 10+ bags, but his average will dip back to the .250 range which will take away from his counting stats. I am a Semien fan, but usually as a pick later in drafts.
Top Shortstop Targets for 2020-
Lucas- If I’m drafting in the middle of the draft I will be absolutely ecstatic if I get a shot at selecting either Francisco Lindor or Trevor Story. Both provide incredible power-speed profiles. Even though Story plays in Coors Field I’m giving the slight preference to Lindor, as he could potentially flirt with 40 homers if things break perfectly right, and Lindor has a much better contact profile. Alex Bregman provides nice duel eligibility (SS/3B), plays in one of the best lineups in baseball and has Joey Votto level plate discipline (17 BB% and 12 K%.) Sure, he may not crack 40 homers again, but he’s as safe as it gets. Think Nolan Arenado with multi position eligibility. If you really want to hit a home run with stolen bases, there aren’t many better options than Adalberto Mondesi, who stole 43 bags in only 102 games in 2019. Mondesi is working his way back from a shoulder injury, and shoulder issues can be very scary. Mondesi carries plenty of risk, not only on the health front but performance risk as well as he fans nearly 30% of the time (82 wRC+ in 2019). Despite these concerns Mondesi could hit 15 home runs and steal you 50+ bags if things break right, I’m definitely buying in on the 24 year old.
Bubba- With shortstop being so insanely deep there are a few major targets. I really like the idea of drafting Trea Turner near the turn of Round 1. He has a very solid average, nice power, good counting stats and all the steals. If you wait longer then I am a big fan of Bo Bichette. On Benched with Bubba EP 232, Derrick Boyd of Baseball HQ explained the HQ projections love for Bichette and a huge season could be ahead. Bichette is a really nice power/speed option in an ever increasing Blue Jays lineup. Lastly, if waiting at shortstop then I am targeting the likes of Amed Rosario for his steals and Didi Gregorious who should be a major fantasy asset with the Phillies.
Top Shortstop Sleeper Targets for 2020-
Lucas- In 2019 Tim Anderson was pacing towards a 25-25 campaign, before an ankle issue took him out of the lineup. Anderson should provide your team 20-20 type numbers come 2020, quite a nice combination given his draft cost. Sure, there will BA regression, however Anderson won’t fall off the table, as he posted a .294 xBA (92nd percentile!) I’m definitely going for Anderson at pick 97. Amed Rosario should be viewed as a nice backup plan if you get snaked on Anderson, Rosario has improved his K Rate for 3 consecutive seasons (from 29% as a rookie to 19% in 2019). Add in the speed component (94th percentile sprint speed) with the BA improvements (.287 BA in 2019) and the upside to hit teens HR’s and you now have yourself a nice speedy SS.
Bubba- Amed Rosario shouldn’t be a sleeper to many, but he’s still being drafted like one. Rosario hit 15 home runs, stole 19 bags and hit .287 last year for the Mets. Solid numbers for a little MI on most clubs. Rosario hit even better in the 2H, which leads to believe some changes were made that can hopefully carry over to 2020. Rosario hit .260 in the first half, but improved to .319 in the 2H. His wOBA jumped from .300 in the 1H to .340 in the 2H. The overall power results weren’t great with only 6 second half home runs, but that was also in 17 fewer games. Rosario is only 24 years old and if he can somehow move up the Mets batting order like he did last season, could take a very nice leap for your fantasy teams.
Dynasty Shortstop Targets-
Lucas- Shortstop is definitely the position you want to invest in for dynasty purposes as it’s where the best athletes in the game begin their careers before they shift to other positions for a variety of reasons (often they worsen defensively or are blocked in their org, I’m thinking of you CJ Abrams.) The window is all but shut to buy low on Royce Lewis, but it never hurts to check in on the price in trade discussion. A guy who is much cheaper that you can target is Jorge Mateo. Mateo is like a lower rent version of Mondesi, electric speed and piss-poor plate discipline. He could likely be had cheap this winter and may get an opportunity at 2B in Oakland this upcoming season.
Bubba- Shortstop is loaded when it comes to prospects. Wander Franco leads most all prospects in dynasty formats. There’s former first round pick Royce Lewis as well. Lastly, my target in Dynasty leagues is Marco Luciano. Luciano is an 18 year old stud who destroyed rookie ball last season to the tune of 10 home runs, 9 stolen bases and a .302 average in only 179 at bats. Luciano should head to Single A this season and I wouldn’t be shocked if he finishes the season in AA. I’ve seen Luciano compared to Alex Rodriguez. You won’t want to miss out on Marco Luciano for your dynasty teams.