We were spoiled on Fantasy Shortstops back in the day, when we had Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada and Derek Jeter in his prime. Over the past few years, we’ve struggled to find much at the position outside of a healthy-once-in-a-while Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes.
But as we look through these 2016 Fantasy Shortstops Rankings, you’ll realize that we finally got a nice boost to the position from some really good prospects.
As a matter of fact, last year, I wrote a piece detailing the “Attack of the Young Shortstops” we were about to endure over the next few years. To be honest, that attack came about a year earlier than I really expected it.
Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor really weren’t supposed to make a big Fantasy impression last year, but now, they’re top-10 Fantasy shortstops entering 2016 – a year ahead of schedule.
That’s not even mentioning Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager who is suddenly being drafted as a top-five shortstop, despite having less than 100 at-bats under his belt.
Caution: Highly Ranked Young Players Ahead
But I’m here to warn everyone that we should still step carefully into this realm, as young players – especially young hitters playing a very important defensive position like shortstop, center field or catcher – tend to be consistently inconsistent.
So let’s take a closer look at the big risks you’ll be taking by drafting some of these young players to man your shortstop spot in your Fantasy lineup.
Drafting Carlos Correa in Round 1? That’s such a tough one to take on because the rest of your team is based around a 21-year-old foundation that happened to have a sick rookie season. Sure, he’s a 30/20 candidate, but is it probable that a 21-year-old sophomore shortstop will follow up a huge partial season with a huge full season? I’ll let someone else take that risk.
Drafting Corey Seager in Rounds 5 or 6? Less than 100 at-bats? Sure, he crushed major-league pitching once he got here, hitting four homers with a .337 batting average. And he played well enough defensively for the Dodgers to be happy with him as their starter entering this season (Jimmy Rollins is wearing White Sox now). Even so, drafting Seager in the top 70 players means relying on a rookie among your top six players, rather than snatching up a top-25 starting pitcher, like Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels.
Drafting Francisco Lindor in Rounds 6 or 7? This old man (he’s 22 years old this season) had 12 HR and 12 SB last season in just 99 games with the Tribe. That means, with a full season, he’s a 20/20 candidate, joining Correa among the young shortstops, and he’s currently being drafted among the top 75 players in Fantasy. In a Fantasy Baseball experts mock draft on Fantasy411.MLB.com, Lindor was drafted in Round 6 (Pick No. 66). If I’m rolling the dice on a young shortstop, I’m going with Lindor at this stage.
2016 Fantasy Shortstops Rankings
These 2016 Fantasy Shortstops Rankings are for 5×5 Rotisserie Mixed leagues, and we’ll work to update these frequently. You can also check out the SCFE staff rankings on 2016 Fantasy Shortstops here.
Francisco Lindor Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III
How high do you plan on drafting one of these young shortstops? Or do you prefer to go with a veteran at a much less riskier spot? Either way, our 2016 Fantasy Shortstops rankings should help you build a quality team.
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.