With Opening Day of the 2020 MLB season just a few weeks away, we have a new batch of updated fantasy baseball rankings for you here at RotoBaller. The unpredictable effects of COVID-19 and the implementation of the 60-game season will make the upcoming fantasy campaign the most unique we have ever seen. Not only because of the schedule structure, but because of the inevitable impact of the pandemic.
Drafting healthy players will be like walking through a minefield this year since we've already seen a wide range of players test positive for the virus. Even though these players should recover in time for the beginning of the campaign, the long-term impact could compromise their strength and endurance. The in-season struggle of maintaining the players' well-being will be a balancing act, so we can only hope all players and staff do their part to keep everyone healthy. With two-thirds of games now played within the division and the remaining third versus interleague counterparts, this setup gives some hitters in certain divisions advantages over others. Considering the effect of Park Factors and the pitching staffs they'll face within their division, factoring in these elements is essential in such a short season.
Don't forget to bookmark our main fantasy baseball rankings page which is loaded up with rankings, tiers, auction dollar values, player stats, projections, news and more for Mixed Leagues, H2H Points Leagues, Dynasty Leagues, 2020 Redraft Prospects, Dynasty Prospects and more! With that said, let's analyze the landscape of the shortstop position.Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Get access to our exclusive articles, rankings, projections, prospects coverage, 15 in-season lineup tools, daily expert DFS research, powerful Research Station, Lineup Optimizer and much more! Sign Up Now!
Updated Shortstop Rankings - 5x5 Mixed Leagues
|Rank||Tier||Player||Position||Nick M.||Nick G.||Pierre||David||Riley|
|5||2||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SS||19||22||28||22||22|
Francisco Lindor is our unanimous choice for the top-ranked overall shortstop in 2020. After another excellent year where he filled all five roto categories (32/101/74/22/.284), he's primed to do so once again during the upcoming shortened season. The switch-hitter provides tremendous stability to a fantasy roster since he limits his strikeouts and seldom finds himself in a hitting slump. Lindor is one of the more consistent producers among all players, let alone at the shortstop position.
Coming in a close second is Trea Turner, although I am a little lower on him than my fellow rankers. He is a difference-maker in the stolen base column, there is no denying that fact, but I believe that makes less of an impact with a 60-game schedule.
If we compare him to Trevor Story for an example, Turner has averaged 16 steals per every 60 games over the past two seasons, whereas Story averaged 10. The potential six-steal difference is a lot easier to make up for later in the draft than the 20 or more that Turner would normally beat him by in a full season. I feel much more confident taking the Rockies shortstop over Turner, who won't provide nearly the amount of HR and RBI numbers.
There's a lot of appealing talent in tier two, but one player I'm staying away from in this range is Javier Baez. His bottom-eight K-rate (27.8%) makes him a candidate to fall into some weekly hitting slumps, which we cannot afford to let happen this season. The 27-year-old is also coming off his worst year on the basepaths, stealing 11 of 18 bases (61.1%). This inefficiency makes me wonder how many attempts he'll have this season as the Cubs primary three-hole hitter. When Baez is hot, he's as hot as anyone, but I'm not willing to roll the dice on him this year.
Xander Bogaerts is a safer play in this tier after coming off a career year where he slashed 33/110/117/4/.309 in roto leagues. The Aruba Native displayed tremendous consistency in 2019 since he never hit lower than .286 in any month, thanks to limiting his K-rate to an admirable 17.5% K%. Bogaerts still has a great offense all around him this season, and he'll play two-thirds of his games in the AL East's hitter-friendly environments. With two well below-average starting rotations in Toronto and Baltimore in the division, Bogaerts should have another terrific season.
Gleyber Torres also benefits from the AL East's bam boxes, but he will also face the Red Sox rotation, which is looking very beatable in 2020. Entering his age-23 season, he could have a monster mini-campaign batting in the heart of the potent Yankees lineup.
Adalberto Mondesi is another player I have a hard time getting behind for the 2020 campaign. He's a one-trick pony who we draft for steals, but if he posts another .291 OBP like he did in 2019, he won't separate himself from the rest of the pack in that column. Mondesi's swing and miss tendencies also make him a slump candidate, which makes him a liability in the remaining roto categories, especially BA.
There's plenty of hype surrounding Blue Jays youngster Bo Bichette this season, and for good reason, after we saw him slash .311/.358/.571 with 11 dingers in his first 46 games of big-league action last year. Batting atop an improving lineup in a hitter-friendly division is appealing for his counting stats, but he'll have to figure out how to improve against breaking balls. Bichette mustered a .237 BA against these pitches, and if he doesn't show improvement early, he'll see a heavy dose of these offerings until he can prove himself.
Tim Anderson was surprisingly consistent in 2019 despite owning one of the worst K-BB% marks in the league (18.1%). A chance of a repeat in his league-leading .335 BA is hard to envision, but he still did a suburb job of filling up the remaining roto categories last season in only 123 games (18/81/56/17). With not many stud pitchers within the division besides a couple of starters in Cleveland, Anderson could return a top-10 value at the position batting in a more formidable White Sox lineup.
If there's a season that Carlos Correa can stay 100% healthy for, it's the 2020 campaign. The 25-year-old's biggest flaw is his health, but he's easily one of the best hitters at the position when he's on the field. He hit 21 homers to a .279 BA in 75 games last year, but over his final 60 contests, he had a roto line of 19/36/52/.280. There's an obvious risk when selecting Correa, but If he resembles these numbers in 2020, he's an easy top-five shortstop despite providing next to no steals.
Jorge Polanco is a safer play when getting to this part of the draft since he plays every day and can flirt with the .300 mark in BA. There's not a ton of pitching depth in the AL Central, so the counting stats will pile up batting second on an even more lethal offense than their historic 2019 lineup.
Paul DeJong won't likely crack any of my 2020 fantasy squads after seeing him labor to a .188 BA over the final 60 games last season. His struggles went back even further with a .207 BA from June 1 onward, although he did finish second in the NL in homers with 30. DeJong still makes a risky player to target after showing a long slump tendency that could drain a few of your categories.
I'm more bearish on Amed Rosario than my fellow RotoBallers since I expect him to take another step forward offensively this season. The 24-year-old has gradually improved in nearly all offensive areas in his three-plus years in the bigs as he enters a prime age to break out. After seeing him jump from a .260 hitter in the first half of 2019 to a .319 mark in the second half, I'm even more convinced it could happen in the shortened season. If he could find a way to the top of the order, his numbers could truly flourish, but Rosario is still a helpful five-category contributor regardless of batting spot.
The move away from New York will significantly hurt Didi Gregorius' fantasy value. His home park in Philadelphia is decent for left-handed hitters, but Yankee Stadium was tailor-made for his swing to hit home runs over the short porch in right field. He's also coming off setting career-lows in BA (.238) and OBP (.276), so there's not a lot to love going into his age-30 campaign.
Tier Six and Below
Getting this late while looking for a shortstop, you can go one of two ways. Either grab a sturdy option to set and forget, or take a shot on a boom or bust player in hopes of riding a hot streak. A few shortstops I recommend as safety valves are Dansby Swanson, Nick Ahmed, and Andrelton Simmons for their counting stats and Kevin Newman for his high batting average.
Some potential late-round bargains revolve mostly around younger talents like Luis Urias and Carter Kieboom, who can hit for a high average with decent pop. Both should play every day, but there are internal options to replace them in the lineup if they struggle out of the gate.
If you're looking for steals this late, Garrett Hampson and Nick Madrigal are two players who have the wheels to lead the league in thefts someday. They both profile as a prototypical leadoff hitter, and while Hampson should play regularly with the added DH, Madrigal isn't a lock for everyday playing time. If either of these bats gets hot, the runs and steals will pile up along with a high batting average.