On a recent spring afternoon, I hopped a DeLorean to go back to the future and discuss the top 100 prospects for 2021.

Then I built a quantum computer to predict next year’s dynasty landscape around the infield.

Catcher

First Base

Second Base

Third Base

Today, I’ll post my updated shortstop list, share my thoughts on the process and synthesize conversations we had this week about the position’s future.

Rank Player Age Team
1 Fernando Tatis Jr. 21 SD
2 Trea Turner 26 WAS
3 Trevor Story 27 COL
4 Francisco Lindor 26 CLE
5 Wander Franco 19 TB
6 Adalberto Mondesi 24 KC
7 Gleyber Torres 23 NYY
8 Xander Bogaerts 27 BOS
9 Javy Baez 27 CHC
10 Bo Bichette 22 TOR
11 CJ Abrams 19 SD
12 Tim Anderson 26 CHW
13 Amed Rosario 24 NYM
14 Carlos Correa 25 HOU
15 Marco Luciano 18 SF
16 Marcus Semien 29 OAK
17 Corey Seager 25 LAD
18 Jorge Polanco 26 MIN
19 Royce Lewis 20 MIN
20 Oneil Cruz 21 PIT
21 Bobby Witt Jr. 19 KC
22 Dansby Swanson 26 ATL
23 Jeter Downs 21 BOS
24 Noelvi Marte 18 SEA
25 Austin Martin 21 ??
26 Carlos Colmenarez 16 ??
27 Cristian Hernandez 16 ??
28 Paul Dejong 26 STL
29 Didi Gregorius 30 NYY
30 Jazz Chisholm 22 ARI
31 Luis Angel Acuña 18 TEX
32 Maximo Acosta 17 TEX
33 Mauricio Dubon 25 SF
34 Willy Adames 24 TB
35 Nico Hoerner 22 CHC
36 Elvis Andrus 31 TEX
37 Jose Garcia 22 CIN
38 Robert Puason 17 OAK
39 Geraldo Perdomo 20 ARI
40 Greg Jones 22 TB
41 Casey Martin 21 ??
42 Jon Berti 30 MIA
43 Ronny Mauricio 19 NYM
44 Orelvis Martinez 18 TOR
45 Myles Straw 25 HOU
46 Ed Howard 18 ??
47 Luis Urias 22 MIL
48 Tyler Freeman 20 CLE
49 Jorge Mateo 24 OAK
50 Ji-Hwan Bae 20 PIT
51 Wilman Diaz 16 ??
52 Nick Ahmed 30 ARI
53 Ha-Seong Kim 24 ??
54 Andrelton Simmons 30 ATL
55 Freddy Zamora 21 ??
56 Niko Goodrum 28 DET
57 Braden Shewmake 22 ATL
58 Bryson Stott 22 PHI
59 Liover Peguero 19 PIT
60 Jeremy Pena 22 HOU
61 Angel Martinez 18 CLE
62 Will Wilson 21 SF
63 Taylor Walls 23 TB
64 Luis Garcia 19 WAS
65 Keoni Cavaco 18 MIN
66 Cole Tucker 23 PIT
67 Eduardo Garcia 17 MIL
68 Orlando Arcia 25 MIL
69 Luis Guillorme 25 NYM
70 Thairo Estrada 24 NYY
71 Willi Castro 22 DET
72 Reggie Preciado 16 SD
73 Jeremiah Jackson 20 LAA
74 Gabriel Arias 20 SD
75 Brice Turang 20 MIL
76 Adam Hall 20 BAL
77 JP Crawford 25 SEA
78 Oslevis Basabe 19 TEX
79 Oswald Peraza 19 NYY
80 Kyren Paris 18 LAA
81 Freddy Galvis 30 CIN
82 Rafael Morel 18 CHC
83 Kendall Simmons 20 PHI
84 Yeison Santana 19 SD
85 Alexander Vargas 18 NYY
86 Andres Gimenez 21 NYM
87 Brayan Rocchio 19 CLE
88 Estiven Machado 17 TOR
89 Alejandro Pie 18 TB
90 Gunnar Henderson 18 BAL
91 Chris Taylor 29 LAD
92 Brainer Bonaci 17 BOS
93 Carson Tucker 18 ??
94 Miguel Rojas 31 MIA
95 Vaughn Grissom 19 ATL
96 Kevin Made 17 CHC
97 Jose Salas 16 MIA
98 Alika Williams 21 ??
99 Yiddi Cappe 16 MIA
100 Ehire Adrianza 30 MIN
101 Nander De Sedas 20 ??
102 Yasel Antuna 20 WAS
103 Jose Fermin 21 CLE
104 Aeverson Artaega 17 SF
105 Jack Mayfield 29 HOU
106 Eddy Diaz 20 COL
107 Jose Devers 20 MIA
108 Jose Tena 19 CLE
109 Anthony Rodriguez 17 SF
110 Adael Amador 17 COL
111 Anthony Volpe 18 NYY
112 Juan Garcia 17 WAS
113 Jose Pastrano 17 CLE
114 Richie Martin Jr. 25 BAL
115 Brandon Crawford 33 SF
116 Jordy Mercer 33 DET
117 Tim Beckham 30 SEA

 

Left off: Carter KieboomManny MachadoJean Segura 

Great Scott!! Shortstop is the deepest position in dynasty—perhaps in the history of fantasy baseball—and it’s only getting deeper. Possible #1 draft pick The Ferrari Austin Martin and the two best international prospects in this year’s class, Carlos Colmenarez and Cristian Hernandez, will have to settle for taking the slow road up list mountain here, same as all the other helium-hungry young boppers making the climb. 

Nonetheless, my initial list generated a lot less fervor than some other spots. Maybe it was the 116 names or even the fact that I’d called it Top 100, a word+letter combo puts my in a veg-out, list-scrolling state. 

Whereas the Bregman Boys came out to light my Internet house afire in defense of their guy, Carlos Correa rallied little support. Perhaps even Houston fans have dimmed on the once-brightest bauble in baseball. More likely they and everyone else just realizes this position is crazy. An injury risk with no speed in the statline has no business near the top. He’s currently a resident at the Corey Seager center for misspent youth, so at least he won’t be lonely. 

I struggled with where to rank Wander Franco. A lot of his fantasy fate will come down to whether he runs or not, and he’s already built like a 1990’s NFL fullback, so there’s at least a little fear the speed might be fleeting if he fills out any further. But hey, some of these big backs could fly. 

Oneil Cruz and CJ Abrams, both with number one prospect upside, will also be ranked in the outfield. It’s Just likely Cruz lands at third base and Abrams at second, but I think they’re so good they’ll just play wherever the clubs need them when their time comes. Same could be said of almost all these guys, which is one reason this position looks the way it does. Teams keep everyone who can handle shortstop at the position until they absolutely have to play them elsewhere. 

Now onto the conversations!

inab1gcountry: Brainer bonaci cannot be real person.

TheProspectItch: Some names really make you think . . .

Domino80: Genuine question. Is there a real usefulness to seeing a top list of 100 shortstops? Or any position for that matter?

TheProspectItch: You mean like, compared to developing a cure for Alzheimer’s or something?

Or compared to other fantasy baseball content?

Either way the answer is . . . hell if I know.

But I need to know replacement level to thrive in dynasty leagues. If I can trade the 27th shortstop believing he’s not that different from the free agent pool at the position, I’m doing that.

Or prospects: if I can trade from the known guys here and scoop a fast riser like Peguero or Rafael Morel, I’m doing that.

There’s profit in dynasty in having a decent grasp of the prospects just outside the known circle in a given league.

I’ve seen Estevan Florial traded at least five times—not because he’s an especially valuable piece but because he’s a known name. If you know the pool, you trade away guys like him. If you don’t, you wind up buying them from as throw-ins.

dorpedo2d: I find Rosario > Correa to be an interesting take. Rosario is on the waivers in my dynasty, while I have Correa and I am holding him with the expectation that he produces like a top 20-30 player when healthy. Your ranking is making me reconsider their values though.

TheProspectItch: Thanks! Rosario in the second half was finally finding himself. A 20/30 season with decent batting average is in his future imo.

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

 
  1. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Great stuff Itch! Hope your social distancing yourself from all these SS. Stay safe, Bro.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks MP!

      Same to you and yours!

  2. JKJ

    JKJ says:
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    Agreed on Rosario. 20/30 season seems very, very realistic. Not many of those out there at all. His glove/arm ensures he’ll be around a long time.

  3. tyler says:
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    So the inclusion of Beckham had me revisiting the 2008 draft, which brings up a number of great names full of what ifs, and momentary fantasy blips.
    What do you think on that draft two possible HOFs in the first round: #5 and #28, three giants pennants with Posey and Crawford in that draft and a lot of flashes like D. Gordon and Beckham, some quality in Kimbrel and Kipnis, and Hosmer, but over all a terrible year, and yet another example of how hard scouting is.

    • tyler says:
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      I suppose the 27th round pick of the braves and the 48th round pick of the twins might garner a HOF vote or two in their day as well.

  4. Jolt In Flow says:
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    Itch, thanks as always. You already know I love your write-ups.

    Thought/question; your top overall 2021 prospects has CJ Abrams at 2, right behind Wonder Boy. So on this list, with Wander sitting at number 5, were you hard and fast on CJ at 11? Or how high up had you legitimately thought of ranking him? I guess, what I’m asking is that if you had to tier him, who around him do you see CJ being tiered with for 2021?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Jolt in Flow!

      This is a great question. Sorry it took me a while to respond. I thought I’d already done so because I spent so much time thinking about it in my afk moments!

      I think with the loss of the milb season–and I know this isn’t certain by any means–he’d have to be closer the tier below Bo.

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