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2022 Fantasy Baseball Primer: Shortstop

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Feb 28, 2022

The more the game changes in some aspects, the more it stays the same in others. And one aspect that hasn’t changed is that shortstop is loaded once again for fantasy baseball.

The elite-level options are made up of three hitters, but there is a ton of value and potentially elite players that follow.

Like we have in past years, we’ll be ranking them in tiers for you using FantasyPros ADP, breaking down the categories they can help you in.

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2021 Recap

A couple of the biggest standouts from last season were Willy Adames (SS – MIL) and Bo Bichette (SS – TOR). Adames, after looking like he was lost in Tampa, was traded to Milwaukee where he flourished, posting a .285/.366/.521 slash line with 20 home runs and 58 RBIs in 99 games. As for Bichette, he was part of a loaded Blue Jays lineup that featured Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B – TOR) and Marcus Semien (2B – TEX). But for 2022, Bichette may just be the most valuable Jay available, given his ability to steal 20-plus bags as he did in 2021.

On the flipside, Gleyber Torres (2B,SS – NYY) was once again bad, hitting nine home runs while batting .259/.331/.366 for the season. That was over 516 plate appearances, too, which makes me wonder when we will stop obsessing over his Baltimore-led 2019 season.

If we are looking at an out-of-nowhere guy, let’s talk about Jazz Chisholm Jr. (2B,SS – MIA) He quickly became must-watch TV in Miami, as he hit 18 home runs with 23 steals in a front-loaded season. There are concerns about his profile, given the huge strikeout rate and second-half slump, but he became one of the new faces of the game last year. 

2022 at a Glance

The first shortstop off the board is Tatís who has an average ADP of 1.2, follow closely by Turner at 2.2. For me, there are exactly three choices as the No. 1 pick – Turner, Tatís Jr., and José Ramírez (3B – CLE). That’s it. After Turner, Bichette and Semien round out the shortstops taken in the first two rounds, with ADPs of 6.0 and 33.6, respectively.

We always want to identify potential breakout players at a position, and there are two young players that I’m targeting here. The first is Brendan Rodgers (2B,SS – COR), who will look to make up some of the production that Trevor Story (SS – FA) is leaving behind. We finally saw Rodgers put together a solid season last year, and the thing that has me most excited is that he had even better numbers on the road than at home. Other potential breakouts are Wander Franco (SS – TB), Bobby Witt Jr. (SS – KC), and Oneil Cruz (SS – PIT). There is talk about being a better real-life player than fantasy for Franco, but I have no doubt he’s going to be a fantasy stud and is worthy of his 47.4 ADP. As for Witt, I’ll be buying in his second year, but I’ll probably fade him for his rookie year. I like Cruz late, but I just hope the Pirates don’t toy with him in Triple-A for too long.

Grade Legend*

A: A no-doubt stud capable of winning you a category

B: A solid, consistent contributor

C: Won’t lose you the category, but won’t win it, either

D: You can do better here

F: You’re getting NOTHING

(*Grades listed are relative to the position and consider positional depth.)

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6

Players who just missed in ADP who I like more than Urshela and Lopez:

Andrés Giménez (2B,SS - CLE), Josh Rojas (UTL - ARI), Joey Wendle (2B,SS,3B - MIA), Ha-Seong Kim (2B,SS,3B - SD), Didi Gregorius (SS - PHI)

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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