[brid video=”194818″ player=”10951″ title=”Top 20 Shortstops for 2018 Fantasy Baseball”]

So far we’ve (I’ve) gone over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Sure, I could’ve just said here’s the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings, but if you’re gonna clickbait, you gotta go full bait.  Last year, I was drooling about the top 20 shortstops; this year, well, I like a few of them.  Lowercase yay!  How’d it go from a deep position to shallow in one year, especially a year after a huge offensive outburst?  I have some theories, but they all involve the Illuminati, so I can’t talk about them.  With each player is my projections and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2018 fantasy baseball:

1. Trea Turner – Went over him in the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Also, I go over Trea Turner in the above video.

2. Francisco Lindor – Went over him in the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball.

3. Carlos Correa – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Bogaerts.  I call this tier, “Harumph.”  By the tier name I mean, I really want to like this tier more than I do, considering how high I’m ranking them.  I can’t remember the last time I was so bored by a tier this high in a ranking.  Shortstops are bad, yo.  I nearly put the Baez/Anderson tier here and moved this tier down.  Let’s get into Correa before I give myself early onset aggravation.  Correa has 20-steal speed, they say.  Yet — again with some stank — YET, he attempted three steals?  David Ortiz, now, the broadcaster, could attempt more.  Steamer projects Correa for eight steals.  I mean, I guess.  Shoot (not you, deranged white man), he could steal 15 bags, I guess.  But will he?  Why are we so confident the steals are coming?  I do think the power and average are real, and 30+ HRs and a .295+ average are worthwhile, but with 12 steals, is a helluva lot more enticing than two steals.  I’m going to project him for five steals, but the line of demarcation for Correa’s steals is anywhere from zero to twenty.  2018 Projections:  90/32/107/.298/5 in 572 ABs

4. Alex Bregman – The Astros’ motto must be, “Our best baserunners have less steals than are lesser baserunners.”  Or they could just go with, “World Series Champs.”  Either works.  So, Bregman somehow steals 17 bags last year, when he never stole more than ten bags any year in the minors.  That doesn’t coalesce with everything I’ve learned about the Astros through Springer and Correa’s base stealing.  It sits atop everything I know like it’s oil and water.  Not sure if Bregman is the oil or water–Okay, you know what?  I’ve taken this metaphor far enough — metafar?  Any hoo!  Bregman should be able to hit 25 HRs, but if you jump out of a DeLorean and tell me he only stole two bags in 2018, I’d say, “You time travel and that’s the news you return with?  What should I do with my bitcoin?!”  2018 Projections:  98/25/79/.281/14 in 583 ABs

5. Corey Seager – I’m challenging myself by not ranking Seager six spots lower.  Seriously, fighting with myself like Tyler Durden to not see how Paul DeJong is essentially Corey Seager with less name value.  Then I go back to ~30 runs and ~50 points on average with a sigh and decide Seager’s more valuable, but close to fifty spots in overall ranks more valuable?  I follow that up by tormenting myself further by thinking how Marwin Gonzalez is really Seager seventy spots later.  Then I’m sitting on the toilet in a contemplative pose thinking how Semien is Seager 190 spots later.  Then I’m crying at a long distance commercial thinking about how Brandon Crawford is Seager 500 spots later and…Ugh, I’m struggling here.  Really not loving the shortstops, and I kinda hate Seager.  So much anguish!  I need a pint of mint chip ice cream!  2018 Projections:  101/28/84/.298/4 in 588 ABs

6. Chris Taylor – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

7. Jean Segura – His 2016 year of 20/33 was followed by a 11/22 year.  Know what this sounds like?  He’s one year ahead of Andrus.  So, what will Andrus be in two years?  Okay, now I’ve confused myself.  Last year, Segura was sidelined for five weeks with an ankle injury, that could’ve sidelined him for eight weeks, so maybe he rushed back.  He’s still only going to be 28, so 30+ bags isn’t off the table.  Like a nudist at a flea market, I’m barely buying Segura.  2018 Projections:  97/14/50/.291/26 in 591 ABs

8. Xander Bogaerts – I was thisclose to ranking him in the Cozart tier.   Even as I write this I’m debating it.  It’s a more heated debate than Oreos or Hydrox.  Oreos is recognized by autocorrect, Hydrox is not!  Hydrox are non-GMO-certified, but people who eat cookies want GMOs!  Feeling like Bogaerts is more of a Hydrox for top shortstops.  Thinking of calling him Hydroxander.  2018 Projections:   88/18/94/.283/14 in 614 ABs

9. Javier Baez – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Peraza.  I call this tier, “Jewish, Net Worth, Girlfriend.”   By the tier name I mean, those are the Google search suggestions when you look up any player.  Those suggestions are always there.  So, this tier would always be my suggestions if you Googled, “Shortstops to draft.”  There’s a shizzton of landmines in the middle infield, so I might just draft my shortstop and my MI from this tier.  As for Baez, went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

10. Tim Anderson -Already gave you my Tim Anderson sleeper.  It was written while singing Steve Winwood.  2018 Projections:  83/21/68/.260/25 in 593 ABs

11. Trevor Story – Already gave you my Trevor Story sleeper.  I also go over Story in the above video.  2018 Projections:  78/31/89/.247/8 in 575 ABs

12. Paul DeJong – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

13. Tim Beckham – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

14. Jose Peraza – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

15. Orlando Arcia –  This is a new tier.   This tier goes from here until Amed.  I call this tier, “Heads, tails, something else entirely.”  By the tier name I mean, I don’t know what to make of these two guys.  I thought I’d love them, and I don’t.  I also don’t hate them.  It is true, I love me some sleeper middle infielders.  It’s also true I love guys that have power and speed.  It’s also true I love guys in hitters’ parks.  I love guys that are young.  I love guys that were top prospects.  I love walks on the beach with you in reach.  Though, I don’t love sand between my toes.  Shark Tank Idea Alert!  A thin strip of towel to get sand out from between your toes.  I call it Towel Floss™.  Who wants to invest?!  Outside of beach walks and Towel Floss™, Orlando Arcia checks all the other boxes.  You, sir, are a Box Checker!  Last year, Orlando Arcia went 15/14/.277 with garbage runs and RBIs.  I’d throw out the runs and RBIs because Arcia hit eighth for the better part of the season last year, which, if all things break right, won’t happen this year.  Jonathan Villar is currently slated into the leadoff slot for a platoon and Eric Thames is currently slated into the two hole for another platoon.  Neither of those make any sense if we see what we saw last year from either.  Thames will likely drop to the five hole, Sunday Santana will move up, Villar will fall down, Arcia will move up, Braun will–Okay, I’m not arranging the entire Brewers’ lineup right now, but Arcia’s more of a leadoff or number two.  Runs and RBIs with the top of the order and a simple repeat of a 15/15 season makes him a top 15 shortstop.  Upside though?  In the 2nd half last year, Orlando Arcia hit 7 HRs and stole 9 bags.  Merely prorating that makes him a 17/20 guy.  His strikeout rate went from 21.6% in a partial year of 2016 (55 games) to 18.2%.  In Triple-A, it was 17.5% and even lower the further back you go into the minors.  He swings at the 11th most pitches outside the strike zone, the 18th most pitches inside the zone and swings at the 10th most pitches overall, so Arcia waits for no pitch.  Somehow, he still has a 6.6% walk rate, which is a miracle considering how much he swings.  He has the 12th weakest contact in the majors, and the 16th lowest fly ball percentage.  I think he can get near where he was last year, because of park and general garbage pitching, but I don’t see the huge upside.   2018 Projections:  71/16/77/.271/15 in 561 ABs

16. Amed Rosario – He’s slated to hit eighth on the Mets, which dampers the back of my Pampers, if you catch my drift.  If you don’t catch my drift, move about six inches to the left.  There it is, huh?  Also, don’t love Amed’s .330 BABIP last year only produced a .248 average with a 2% walk rate and 29% K-rate.  I’m gonna chalk some of this up to small sample size and write it off, but if he repeats any of those numbers, he’s in for a terrible year.  Amed to that.  2018 Projections:  61/12/67/.262/20 in 553 ABs

17. Zack Cozart – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Russell.  I call this tier, “Scrambled Eggs Benedict in Beatlesese.”  The Beatles’ song, Yesterday, was once titled Scrambled Eggs, so “last year” translates to “Scrambled Eggs Benedict” in Beatles-speak.  All the guys in this tier were either off their game last year, or more on their game than previously seen.  Time will tell if, uh, time is telling us anything.  As for Cozart, here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the Angels.  Ah, it’s Yunel without the homophobic eye-black.  I’m getting the sense that I’m being too low on home runs across the board again if home run numbers from last year hold up, but someone like Cozart becomes super uninteresting if his home runs crash back to earth.  Super Uninteresting Man is like Clark Kent, but, instead of the Daily Planet, he works at the Daily Planner.  In today’s news, my blotter needs new paper!”  And that’s me quoting me!  2018 Projections:  65/17/71/.271/4 in 450 ABs

18. Elvis Andrus – As mentioned in a confusing manner in Segura’s blurb, I don’t buy Andrus’ breakout last year when he went 20/25.  He was around a 5% HR/FB prior to last year, then he more than doubled that to near-12%.  His Ks were up, walks were down, ground balls were up (not literally), his line drives were down and he’s one year removed from being Alcides Escobar’s doppelgänger.  Elvis left the building last year a lot, but the one reentering the building this year may be closer to the one eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches between smack sessions.  2018 Projections:  82/10/61/.291/21 in 581 ABs

19. Eduardo Nunez – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

20. Marwin Gonzalez – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

21. Didi Gregorius – In today’s game, expecting a hitter to hit less home runs feels like a fool’s bet.  Then again, Didi, uh, did hit the lowest average distance on his home runs (376), a full seven feet shorter than the next guy.  Seven feet is a huge difference.  That’s the difference between Judge and Avisail Garcia, and a top five home run distance and the 26th average distance.  I wanna believe Didi is gonna do it to me one more time, but I recognize in these Karl Kani jeans, Didi’s homers could be in the thirteens.  2018 Projections:  65/19/78/.279/3 in 552 ABs

22. Andrelton Simmons – This is a recurring theme that I haven’t mentioned once yet, so some recurring theme, huh?  If you subtract even the barest of minimum stats from some of these guys, their value plummets.  There is so little separating, say, Andrelton, from Brandon Crawford.  2018 Projections:  62/15/69/.282/14 in 561 ABs

23. Addison Russell – Feels like he needs a change of scenery, even if it’s a few of those trees that smell like semen.  Wouldn’t shock me to see him limp along for a few years, hitting 17-22 HRs, then break out on another team at the age of 27.  Member, he’s still only 24.   2018 Projections: 57/18/66/.244/4 in 451 ABs

24. Yangervis Solarte – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Semien.  I call this tier, “Drowsy or sleepers.”  It’s late, and maybe you’re tired of the draft by this point.  Or maybe you find a sleeper.  As for Yangervis, went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

25. Eduardo Escobar – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

26. Ketel Marte – Feels like one of those guys who is assured playing time in the spring.  The club has all the confidence in him, the reporters say.  The Diamondbacks are even considering Marte for the leadoff spot.  People are starting to bust out exclamation marks whenever he’s mentioned.  You get an eggplant emoji tattooed on your arm with Ketel’s name.  Then we get to the third day of the season and he’s in a platoon with Descalso, Drury and Ahmed.  2018 Projections:  61/11/53/.275/14 in 441 ABs

27. Marcus Semien – Semien is a sterile, jizzgender male, who couldn’t beat his way out of a sock last year.  A full season of at-bats should massage out a happy ending for Semien, as he is not a baby batter anymore.  2018 Projections:  64/23/72/.241/10 in 508 ABs

28. Brandon Crawford – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Asdrubal.  I call this tier, “How much do you value everyday playing time?”  This tier is stacked with guys that should play every day.  And that is the only time stacked is used to include a lineup with these players.  As for Crawford, he’s illustrative of a problem with the shortstops.  A ton of teams just put an underwhelming guy in to play defense at short and hope they’re not that bad, while they are that bad.  2018 Projections: 60/12/69/.248/6 in 494 ABs

29. Jose Reyes – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

30. Asdrubal Cabrera – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

31. J.P. Crawford – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Swanson.  I call this tier, “Thankfully, new blood.”  The shortstops need this tier like they need a hole in their head if they have internal bleeding in their head and they really do need a hole in their head to help alleviate some pressure.  As for Crawford, and a lot of the guys in this tier, he made Prospector Ralph’s top 50 prospects for 2018 fantasy baseball.  From a fantasy standpoint, Crawford sorta bores the blood out of my head, so to speak, but he’s also one guy in this tier with an easy path to playing time and upside.  Well, I guess Pinder and Barreto too, but, ya know, A’s.  Also, I went over Crawford in the video.  2018 Projections: 47/11/42/.234/7 in 401 ABs

32. Gleyber Torres – Already gave you my Gleyber Torres fantasy.  After I wrote it, my dog ate it, but I salvaged it six hours later.  2018 Projections:  45/7/41/.277/12 in 364 ABs

33. Willy Adames – Already gave you my Willy Adames fantasy.  It was written in the stars I saw after being knocked out.  2018 Projections:  47/7/41/.259/9 in 312 ABs

34. Franklin Barreto – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

35. Chad Pinder – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

36. Dansby Swanson –  Will still only be 24, but it’s getting close to the point where it’s hard to remember why we ever liked Swanson.  I wonder if the Braves wish they were caught giving payouts to Swanson and Camargo so they lost control of them.  2018 Projections:  61/11/56/.242/6 in 512 ABs

37. Troy Tulowitzki – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end of the list.  I call this tier, “Underappreciated.”  What I mean by the tier name is when something appreciates, it rises in value, but if it doesn’t rise in value, and instead drops, or goes under, it underappreciates.  These guys are underappreciating by the year.  As for Tulo, it’s now a positive for everyone involved if he can’t stay on the field healthy.  2018 Projections:   51/15/67/.242 in 404 ABs

38. Jose Iglesias – In a good year, he goes 6/7/.255 and in a bad year he goes 4/7/.255.  Something to be said for consistency.  Church!  2018 Projections:   55/6/60/.258/8 in 488 ABs

39. Chris Owings – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

40. Adeiny Hechavarria – He’s a Hechavarria crappy shortstop!  2018 Projections: 50/9/53/.247/4 in 507 ABs

41. Jordy Mercer – This all goes back to the point I made in Crawford’s blurb.  Teams are content with absolute garbage at short.  Sorry, Jordache Mercer, but you’re Bad Idea Jeans.  2018 Projections:  50/12/56/.251/1 in 512 ABs

42. Freddy Galvis – Here’s what I said this offseason, “(Galvis was) traded to Padres.  I’m still floored that he saw 608 ABs in 162 games last year.  Hey, it’s Freddy Gehrig!  I mean, he went 12/14/.255.  At some point, a rational human being would’ve thought, ‘Ya know, maybe we’ve seen enough of Galvis, and we give Crawford a shot.’  Apparently, last year’s Phillies manager was not that rational.  Let’s hope this year’s Padre manager, Andy Green (WHO?), is rational and doesn’t play Galvis for 600+ ABs.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2018 Projections:  48/10/51/.250/9 in 385 ABs

43. Alcides Escobar – I had either forgotten or never knew (prolly the former, but the latter is possible.  It’s also possible I don’t know the difference between former and latter.), but did you know how awful Alcides was last year?  He played in 162 games, and had 599 ABs, so you figure he at least got steals, right?  He had four!  In 11 attempts!  Holy shizz, that’s awful.  Did he have a case of the yips with stealing bases that wasn’t reported?  What would the ‘running yips’ look like?  “Alcides takes a lead off first base and…Is he curling into a fetal position?  Well, that’s odd.”  I get it, guys get old, but four steals in 11 attempts for a guy who stole 17 bags in 21 attempts the year before?  What the holy eff happened to him?  Did he get really late jumps because he contracted a rare disease that causes really long blinks?  I got questions, ya’ll!  2018 Projections:  54/3/59/.241/6 in 434 ABs

44. Jorge Polanco – Similar to Escobar, as mentioned in the 2nd basemen post, I almost wrote a sleeper on Polanco.  He looks like a possible bet for 17/17/.275, which is totally usable.  However, if he misses those numbers a tad and goes 14/14/.260, you’re gonna be wiping googies from your eyes.  UPDATE:  Suspended 80 games.  It is ironic that an Escobar is going to benefit from a drug bust.  2018 Projections:  35/7/41/.258/6 in 264 ABs

45. Wilmer Difo – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

46. Johan Camargo – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

47. J.T. Riddle – I’m not saying it’s true that the Marlins’ J.T. Riddle is actually going to be Jeter in Riddler leotards and cosplay mask, but I’m not saying it won’t be him either.  2018 Projections:  40/8/41/.253/3 in 424 ABs

48. Dixon Machado – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

49. Hernan Perez – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball..

50. Aledmys Diaz – Here’s what I said this offseason, “(Diaz was) traded to the Blue Jays for J.B. Woodman, who sounds like a closed captioning gone wrong on Seinfeld.  Cardinals, apparently, didn’t love the idea of going back to the disappointing Aledmys with Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong emerging in the middle of the infield for the deadly DeWong combo.  The Blue Jays, on the other hand, have no problem getting worse.  Diaz will likely back up Tulo and Devon Travis, which means he could see anywhere from 100 ABs to 450 ABs.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2018 Projections:  47/8/40/.266/3 in 361 ABs

51. Pat Valaika – I forget if I mentioned this already.  Oh no, my past brain has melded with my present brain and doesn’t know what to tell my future brain!  Eek, I’m a character from a Christopher Nolan movie!  Any hoo!  I wouldn’t be shocked if Valaika completely steals someone’s job, or if Valaika fails to get 100 ABs.  He’s here simply because the Rockies are too juicy to pass up.  By the way, when you’re giving someone’s fantasy team the evil eye, it’s called ‘The Valaika.’  2018 Projections:  31/15/44/.263 in 205 ABs