2023 Dynasty Fantasy Positional Rankings: Shortstop

The shortstop is the captain of the infield, requiring athleticism, a strong arm, good range and a high baseball IQ. If you can hit—or, better yet—hit with power, you are a coveted asset for both a major league organization and a fantasy team.

It is common for organizations to move shortstops drafted from high school or college programs to a position down the defensive spectrum. Often this is done because the prospect may not show the requisite range for the position—in which case, they may shift to third or second base, depending on their arm strength. If they are athletic, they may move to center field to take advantage of their foot speed. There are other cases where a prospect is moved off the position due to being blocked in the majors. For example, with Carlos Correa entrenched in Minnesota, Royce Lewis by necessity started learning the outfield. In some cases, where we think the player is not likely to debut at shortstop in the majors, we did not include them here.

Our rankings are targeted specifically for dynasty leagues, with a focus on balancing a variety of scoring formats. To achieve this we focused on wRC+ as our primary measure. While wRC+ by its nature is OBP-slanted, we took into consideration high and low batting averages when ranking players. The goal of these positional rankings is to provide the best possible order based on a value of three to five years, which means older, productive veterans are discounted and may be ranked alongside or even behind prodigious talents yet to debut.

Keep all of this in mind when considering your team’s needs and the context of your league. If you are trying to compete in 2023, you should prefer J.P. Crawford over Cole Young (who we have ranked back to back) — but some of your league mates, especially those not competing, would likely prefer Young in a trade.

Because of the depth of the position, we have listed 100 shortstops and added additional targets, sleepers and fades.

1. Fernando Tatis Jr., SDP

2. Bo Bichette, TOR

3. Bobby Witt Jr., KCR

4. Trea Turner, PHI

5. Gunnar Henderson, BAL

6. Corey Seager, TEX

7. Wander Franco, TBR

8. Oneil Cruz, PIT

9. Francisco Lindor, NYM

10. Xander Bogaerts, SDP

11. Elly De La Cruz, CIN

12. Anthony Volpe, NYY

13. Carlos Correa, MIN

14. Dansby Swanson, CHC

15. Willy Adames, MIL

16. Vaughn Grissom, ATL

17. Jeremy Pena, HOU

18. Ezequiel Tovar, COL

A DW Target: Already having debuted in MLB at 21 years old, because of his plus defense and baserunning ability, the floor for the Venezuelan is higher than his susceptibility to chase would indicate. Although his swing decisions are raw, he makes good contact and his bat path leads to more in-game power than the underlying exit velocity data would imply. With all of his tools grading out as above-average or better, having Coors Field as his home park and the expectation that he will be the team’s shortstop of the future, Tovar has the capacity to be a solid contributor to a fantasy team, as soon as 2023.

19. Tommy Edman, STL

20. Jackson Holliday, BAL

21. Marcelo Mayer, BOS

22. Jordan Lawlar, ARI

23. Tim Anderson, CHW

24. Jackson Merrill, SDP

A GP Target: Merrill was limited to 55 games in 2022 due to a fractured wrist and a hamstring injury, but he re-emerged in the Arizona Fall League and impressed there. Merrill combines an advanced feel to hit with a solid plate approach and projectable power. He has a beautiful lefthanded swing with the plate skills and projection to match. A full, healthy season from Merrill could potentially lead to a significant jump up rankings. 

25. Royce Lewis, MIN

A GP Fade: You’d be a fool to deny Lewis’ ability—it was on full display in his major league debut in 2022. However, injuries have limited Lewis over the last few years. He’s likely to miss a large chunk of 2023 and you have to wonder how the litany of injuries have impacted him. Lewis is an exciting player but one I’m wary of investing heavily in. While Lewis’ contact and power are above-average or better, his approach is fringe-average. With multiple injuries to his lower half you have to wonder how aggressive he’ll be as a baserunner going forward. 

26. Amed Rosario, CLE

27. Nico Hoerner, CHC

28. Brooks Lee, MIN

29. Marco Luciano, SFG

30. Colson Montgomery, CHW

31. Noelvi Marte, CIN

32. Oswald Peraza, NYY


33. CJ Abrams, WAS

A DW Fade: Still only 22, the former Padres top prospect thus far has struggled in his major league career to impact the ball with any real authority. Although his exit velocities have increased as he has matured, his chase rate is still well below-average and he is showing susceptibility to being exploited by major league pitchers (in 2021 in Double-A, his chase rate was under 35% whereas last year, his chase rates climbed in Triple-A and MLB, respectively, to 40% and 44%.). Adding to the concern is that his defense at shortstop has been well below-average using Statcast OAA, meaning that his bat has a lot to overcome for him to be a valuable player. Because of the low walk rates, his OBP will never be high, which will also have the consequence of putting a lower cap on his stolen base totals despite having a 90th percentile sprint speed and above-average baserunning ability (over 40 stolen bases in fewer than 600 minor league plate appearances). 

34. Thairo Estrada, SFG

35. Ha-Seong Kim, SDP

36. Javier Baez, DET

37. Adalberto Mondesi, BOS

38. Adael Amador, COL

39. Masyn Winn, STL

40. Zach Neto, LAA

41. Jordan Westburg, BAL

42. Ceddanne Rafaela, BOS

43. Brady House, WAS

44. J.T. Williams, NYM

45. Edwin Arroyo, CIN

46. Brice Turang, MIL

47. Addison Barger, TOR

48. Carson Williams, TBR

49. Brayan Rocchio, CLE

50. Luisangel Acuna, TEX

51. Orelvis Martinez, TOR

52. Colt Keith, DET

53. Angel Martinez, CLE

54. Joey Ortiz, BAL

55. Ronny Mauricio, NYM

A DW sleeper: Mauricio has been ranked quite highly across the industry for years but has not been able to fully manifest the tools into on-field production. The contact quality—especially for a 21-year-old—is excellent. At Double-A last year, Mauricio’s contact rate, exit velocities and barrel rate were essentially the same as that of Gunnar Henderson. The biggest difference was the chase rate, which is quite a large flaw that Mauricio needs to improve. Even still, because of his age-to-level raw power, he is projected to be a league-average hitter at peak with above-average power and a little speed. There are quite a lot of similarities in his profile to Christopher Morel, but with even more risk.

56. Yiddi Cappe, MIA

57. Cole Young, SEA

58. J.P. Crawford, SEA

59. Cristian Hernandez, CHC

60. Trey Sweeney, NYY

61. Mikey Romero, BOS

62. Jose Salas, MIN

63. Eric Brown, MIL

64. Matt McLain, CIN


65. Michael Arroyo, SEA

A GP Sleeper: A young, projectable middle infielder with advanced bat-to-ball skills and elite swing decisions, Arroyo is a high-upside flyer you can acquire for very little in dynasty leagues. Arroyo debuted in the Dominican Summer League as a 17-year-old and hit .314/.457/.484 over 49 games. Arroyo’s baseline skills project well long term and portend a strong debut in 2023 when he comes stateside. In a similar fashion to Adael Amador in 2022, it’s worthwhile to bet on a young player with advanced plate skills. 

66. Nick Gordon, MIN

67. Luis Rengifo, LAA

68. Liover Peguero, PIT

69. Eddinson Paulino, BOS

70. Kahlil Watson, MIA

71. Aeverson Arteaga, SFG

72. Jordan Groshans, MIA

73. Maikel Garcia, KCR

74. Jorge Mateo, BAL

75. Greg Jones,  TBR

76. Osleivis Basabe, TBR

77. Dylan Moore, SEA

78. Jose Rodriguez, CHW

A DW Sleeper: Based solely on data-driven analysis, Rodriguez is underrated in the fantasy industry. His minor league production in concert with his ability to get the bat on the ball and steal bases implies an average major league hitter with 15-home run power and the potential for 20 stolen bases. Despite a free swinging approach (a high chase rate), he finished extremely strong at the end of the year, improving on both sides of the ball. If he is able to build off how he finished, including being more intentional with his defense, Rodriguez could become a starter in a major league infield.

79. Lenyn Sosa, CHW

80. Wenceel Perez, DET

81. Roderick Arias, NYY

82. Max Muncy, OAK

83. Denzer Guzman, LAA

84. Axel Sanchez, SEA

85. Ricardo Cabrera, CIN

86. Darell Hernaiz, OAK

87. Cristian Santana, DET

88. Peyton Graham, DET

89. Ryan Kreidler, DET

90. Tyler Freeman, CLE

91. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, NYY

92. Gabriel Arias, CLE

93. Victor Acosta, CIN

94. Jose Tena, CLE

95. Jacob Amaya, MIA

96. Nasim Nunez, MIA

97. Xavier Edwards, MIA

98. Miguel Rojas, LAD

99. Kyren Paris, LAA

100. Cam Cauley, TEX

The Next Prospects: who will be next to join the list?

1. Adrian Pinto, TOR (50/Extreme)

2. Kevin Made, CHC (45/High)

3. Pedro Ramirez, CHC (50/Extreme)

4. Eddys Leonard, LAD (45/High)

5. Brainer Bonaci, BOS (45/High)

6. Manuel Sequera, DET (50/Extreme)

7. Ignacio Alvarez, ATL (45/Extreme)

8. Matthew Lugo, BOS (45/High)

9. Leonardo Balcazar, CIN (45/High)

10. Jonathan Mejia, STL (50/Extreme)

11. Cutter Coffey, BOS (50/Extreme)

12. Jesus Baez, NYM (50/Extreme)

13. Leo Jimenez, TOR (50/Extreme)

14. Carlos Colmenarez, TBR (50/Extreme)

15. Cristofer Torin, ARI (50/Extreme)

16. Dyan Jorge, COL (50/Extreme)

17. Angel Genao, CLE (50/Extreme)

18. William Bergolla Jr., PHI (50/Extreme)

19. Danyer Cueva, TEX  (50 Extreme)

20. Armando Cruz, WAS (50/Extreme)

21. Yendry Rojas, SDP  (50/Extreme)

22. Manuel Beltre, TOR (50/Extreme)

23. Jonathan Ornelas, TEX (45/High)

24. Adinso Reyes, DET (50/Extreme)

25. Braden Shewmake, ATL (45/High)

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