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Ranking the top 25 shortstops in fantasy baseball [UPDATE]

The shortstop position is stacked heading into 2021. We break down the best shortstops to consider in fantasy baseball drafts.

New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) takes infield practice during spring training workouts at Clover Park. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

March 31 update: Aldaberto Mondesi will begin this season on the IL due to a strained oblique. Not sure how long he’ll be out — hopefully it’s just those 10 days — but those types of injuries tend to linger. I moved him from No. 8 to No. 10.

March 24 update: The San Diego Padres and many fantasy baseball owners must have felt their hearts jump into their throats on Tuesday night when Fernando Tatis Jr. departed early from a game with trainers by his side. Fortunately, it looks like he’ll be fine as he is dealing with some pre-existing shoulder soreness. He remains the No. 1 shortstop below and should be a top-five pick in all drafts.

The Indians’ Andres Gimenez and the Tigers’ Willi Castro were bumped up a few spots from last week’s update.

March 9 update: Xander Bogaerts has made strides with his balky right shoulder. A recent MRI didn’t reveal any serious damage, and Bogaerts will take batting practice this week. Confidence remains high that he will be 100% well in front of Opening Day, so he is still at No. 5 in my shortstop rankings.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has been out of the Padres’ lineup for the past few days. The indication from San Diego is that the time off is more about rest than recovering from an injury. We’ll see if he returns later in the week. You should still feel comfortable selecting Tatis Jr. with a top-four pick in your drafts.

If you don’t have a quality shortstop, odds are your team isn’t very good. That holds true in both Major League Baseball and fantasy baseball. The position has never been this rich with talent. It seems like we attach superlatives to shortstop prior to every season these days, but just look at what we’re dealing with — there are three and possibly four first round picks in standard head-to-head, 5x5 leagues.

You can go from there all the way down into the mid-teens of the position to find the likes of 2019 AL MVP candidate Marcus Semien and Paul DeJong, who is one season removed for a 30-homer year. It’s just very difficult to come away from your draft wanting more here.

Offseason transactions

The New York Mets made one of the splashiest moves of the entire offseason when they acquired Francisco Lindor in a trade with the Cleveland Indians, who received a couple of Mets shortstops — Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario — along with a package of prospects. Moving from the AL Central to the NL East could be a tough transition for Lindor; instead of beating up on the Tigers and Royals, he will be dealing with some of the best rotations in the league quite frequently. However, after averaging 30 home runs and 20 steals over his last four full seasons, it’s comfortable to assume that Lindor will be just fine.

Semien signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays this winter, adding more pop to an already-fearsome lineup. He was outstanding in 2019, but that is the only season of Semien’s eight-year career in which he recorded an above-average OPS+. He should provide good power numbers, especially now that he has moved out of Oakland’s spacious home park. But a repeat of his .285 average or recording double-digit steals appears unlikely. On the bright side, with Bo Bichette entrenched as Toronto’s shortstop, Semien will gain eligibility at second base in all leagues early this season.

Notable injuries

The Red Sox have shut down Xander Bogaerts for a couple of days so that he can rest a sore right shoulder.

Top 25 SS rankings

Shortstop rankings 2021

Rank Player Team
Rank Player Team
1 Fernando Tatis Jr. San Diego Padres
2 Trea Turner Washington Nationals
3 Trevor Story Colorado Rockies
4 Francisco Lindor New York Mets
5 Xander Bogaerts Boston Red Sox
6 Corey Seager Los Angeles Dodgers
7 Bo Bichette Toronto Blue Jays
8 Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox
9 Gleyber Torres New York Yankees
10 Aldaberto Mondesi Kansas City Royals
11 Dansby Swanson Atlanta Braves
12 Javier Baez Chicago Cubs
13 Carlos Correa Houston Astros
14 Marcus Semien Toronto Blue Jays
15 Tommy Edman St.Louis Cardinals
16 Didi Gregorius Philadelphia Phillies
17 Paul DeJong St. Louis Cardinals
18 Jorge Polanco Minnesota Twins
19 Andres Gimenez Cleveland Indians
20 Willi Castro Detroit Tigers
21 David Fletcher Los Angeles Angels
22 Jake Cronenworth San Diego Padres
23 Chris Taylor Los Angeles Dodgers
24 Willy Adames Tampa Bay Rays
25 Nick Ahmed Arizona Diamondbacks