2020 Shortstop Ranking Tiers (Fantasy Baseball)
Back in March, the first iteration of shortstop tiers showed how deep shortstop was. Now, a 60-game season creates a greater clumping of tiers within the same position, along with tighter rankings across all positions. This lack of disparity is seen in the average tier projections listed below. As a result, shortstops who were previously not considered as starting options like Kevin Newman or Andrelton Simmons are now utility options in 12-team leagues. The ranking tiers below are based on Yahoo eligibility. Players with Yahoo-only eligibility are listed with asterisks.
Check out all of our fantasy baseball ranking tiers here.
Tier One: Five-Category Fun
If there was any debate on the top shortstop in a full season, it has been put to bed for now. In a 60-game season, high-end speed becomes even more important, making Turner the most coveted shortstop. The short season also gives the oft-injured Turner a greater likelihood to stay healthy.
Lindor has a top-shelf floor (pun intended) and has a chance to contend for scoring the most runs in baseball. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Lindor near the top of the charts in homers as well.
Tier One Average Projection: .282 AVG, 10 HR, 39 R, 29 RBI, 12 STL
Tier Two: The Triplets
The only flaw among this group is that they aren’t the “best of the best” in any one category, like Turner with steals or Lindor with runs. But, these three shortstops will still provide five-category value and should finish close to each other in every category provided full health. These players also possess the ability to have a lengthy hot streak and finish as the number one overall shortstop.
In an OBP league, Bregman ascends to the top of the rankings, as his three-year walk rate of 13.4% is about five percentage points better than anybody else in the top two tiers.
Tier Two Average Projection: .285 AVG, 12 HR, 36 R, 35 RBI, 5 STL
Tier Three: Upside City
- Adalberto Mondesi (KC)
- Xander Bogaerts (BOS)
- Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)
- Ketel Marte (ARI)*
- Gleyber Torres (NYY)
Back in March, Mondesi and Tatis Jr. posed as injury concerns. However, in a shortened season, they are soaring up draft boards. These two guys are most likely to replicate Trea Turner’s season, albeit with a lower batting average.
Marte won’t provide speed, but he more than makes up for it in average. Bogaerts may be the most boring in this tier, but his dramatic increase in power and safe batting average makes him an attractive option in the third round. He jumps ahead of both Mondesi and Baez in OBP leagues.
Tier Three Average Projection: .278 AVG, 10 HR, 34 R, 31 RBI, 6 STL
Tier Four: Run It Back
- Manny Machado (SD)
- Marcus Semien (OAK)
- Tim Anderson (CWS)
- Jonathan Villar (MIA)
- Bo Bichette (TOR)
- Danny Santana (TEX)*
This group is largely composed of guys who had career years, with the exception of the player from Miami (Machado) and the guy now playing there (Villar). Machado had an underwhelming debut in San Diego but still clocked 30+homers for the fifth consecutive year. I’m also projecting his strikeout rate to come down from last year’s career high. Villar was cut after a 4-WAR campaign in Baltimore and should give Turner a run for his money in steals.
Semien (top-three AL MVP), Anderson (batting title), Bichette (142 wRC+ in 46 games), and Santana (20/20 season) all have skeptics from their 2019 seasons, but Semien and Anderson have displayed changes in their approach to warrant the better performance. Bichette has the prospect pedigree to provide a 10/5 season while hitting near the top of the order. The last four guys on this list move down a peg in an OBP league.
Tier Four Average Projection: .267 AVG, 9 HR, 32 R, 28 RBI, 7 STL
Tier Five: Box of Chocolates
- Carlos Correa (HOU)
- Jorge Polanco (MIN)
- Amed Rosario (NYM)
- Eduardo Escobar (ARI)*
- Elvis Andrus (TEX)
- Paul DeJong (STL)
- Corey Seager (LAD)
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR)*
There are all sorts of varieties in this tier, and at this point in the draft it makes sense to start focusing on weaknesses. Good on power, need some average? Paul deJong is not the player to draft here. If steals and average were targeted early in the draft, it’s a different story.
Drafted a relatively safe team through the first eight rounds rounds, so want to take a risk? Correa’s the guy to target. It may be surprising to see Correa ranked outside the top 15, but his lack of steals and hitting seventh in the lineup hurts him significantly. In an OBP league, Correa is leaps and bounds better than anyone in this tier.
Tier Five Average Projection: .275 AVG, 8 HR, 30 R, 30 RBI, 4 STL
Tier Six: Utility Boxes of Chocolates
- Kevin Newman (PIT)
- Nick Madrigal (CWS)*
- Tommy Edman (STL)
- Gavin Lux (LAD)
- Jean Segura (PHI)
- Didi Gregorius (PHI)
- Andrelton Simmons (LAA)
Shortstop is so deep this year that players in the 26-32 range can be targeted at the utility spot, even after filling a middle infield position with a player from tier five. Again, this tier provides a wide assortment of category value, ranging from a homer/steal guy in Edman, to steal/average guys like Madrigal. Madrigal and Lux are the only ones who maintain a similar level of value in OBP leagues.
Tier Six Average Projection: .272 AVG, 6 HR, 25 R, 25 RBI, 5 STL
Shortstop is the deepest position in the pool, one that can fill up to three starting positions. Reviewing the average projections by tier shows that there is significantly less drop off in category value over a 60-game season. It makes sense to target high-end value in scarce categories like steals with Turner or average with Bregman and then target players who fall from higher tiers as bargain values. Finally, COVID-19 can change everything. For example, Scott Kingery was comfortably in Tier Six until he tested positive. With the uncertainty surrounding how long it takes to recover from COVID-19, along with the possibility that he won’t have a starting position when he returns, Kingery falls out of that tier. Luckily, our News Desk provides instant updates – make sure to follow us on Twitter prior to your draft and all season long.
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