Top 10 Shortstops For 2017
As of 2015, BHC writers on the staff have been routinely ranking each player at each position in all of Major League Baseball. The list below includes five honorable mentions as well as the top ten shortstops in the game. Their previous year’s ranking appears in parentheses.
NR = Not Rated in 2016, HM= Honorable Mention in 2016
Trevor Story (UR) – Colorado
Jose Iglesias (6) – Detriot
Addison Russell (UR) – Chicago Cubs
Dansby Swanson (UR) – Atlanta
Tim Anderson (UR) – Chicago White Sox
- Didi Gregorius (10) – New York Yankees
When taking into account the shoes he needed to fill for the New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius has done a superb job as a young player in doing so. In 2016, he batted .276 with 20 home runs in 153 games. Along with Xander Bogaerts and Andrelton Simmons, Gregorius will represent the kingdom of the Netherlands in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
- Troy Tulowitzki (1) – Toronto
Because of his 2016 campaign, Troy Tulowitzki has definitely fallen from the rank of number one last season, somewhat due to injury. He only batted .254 with 125 hits. However, he was still sixth and fielding percentage and tied for fourth in home runs. Because of that and his veteran leadership, he certainly still deserves a spot on the top ten.
- Alcides Escobar (3) – Kansas City
Much like Tulowitzki, Escobar has fallen from his previous ranking. His numbers may have been slightly better, but they failed to elevate a team that should have competed more, considering they were defending World Series champions. For Kansas City to win in the future, they will need Escobar to return to his form and grow some leadership skills. Talent does not always win games.
- Elvis Andrus (HM) – Texas
Elvis Andrus was second among all shortstops in batting average last season, heading .301 in 2016. He also ranked third in on-base percentage, with an OBP of .362. Considering the amount of talent on the Texas Rangers the season, I expect Elvis Andrus to continue to motivate the players around him while having his own stellar season.
- Brandon Crawford (5) – San Francisco
Throughout his career, Brandon Crawford has been one of the game’s most underrated shortstops. In 2016, Crawford led all shortstops in triples with 11. He also batted .275 with 84 RBI. With the veteran experience around him, I expect Crawford to continue to be one of the most consistent players in the National League.
- Andrelton Simmons (4) – Los Angeles Angels
There is no question that Simmons remains in the conversation for the best defensive shortstop in the entire MLB. But his move to the American League did raise some questions about his adjustment to difficult pitching. However, after the All-Star break, Simmons his .291 with 26 RBI in 69 games for the Los Angeles Angels. If he can continue his adjustment to the American League, he will continue to develop as one of the league’s best shortstops. After all, he is a perennial top ten defender.
- Carlos Correa (7) – Houston
In his first full season with the Houston Astros last season, shortstop Carlos Correa batted .274 with 20 home runs. His 96 RBI in 2016 was not too shabby either. These numbers are slightly down from 2016, but every young hitter is forced to adapt once pitchers adjust to his style. Likewise, the young team around him will allow Correa to truly develop into the big league shortstop that he will be for years to come.
- Xander Bogaerts (2) – Boston
Though finishing the season in a slump, Bogaerts was one of the league’s most consistent hitters for most of the 2016 season with the Boston Red Sox. He was third in the MLB in terms of RBI and was in the top ten in the league for HR, AVG, SLG, and OPS. And because of the lineup around him, he led the entire league in runs scored. Expect big things out of Bogaerts as he matures and nears free agency.
- Francisco Lindor (UR) – Cleveland
Despite a heartbreaking finish in the World Series for his Cleveland Indians, Lindor has positioned himself as the most dynamic shortstop in the American League. In 2016, he echoed his stellar rookie season by hitting .301 and driving in 78 runs. Additionally, he only made 12 errors all year long.
1. Corey Seager (UR) – Los Angeles Dodgers
Seager had a breakout season in 2016 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, batting .308 with 72 RBI and 26 homers. He led the entire MLB in slugging percentage as well. At a young age, he is already well on his way to becoming one of the best players in the game.
Will Hyland is a freelance baseball writer and producer. Follow him @willhyland.