Once the bane of a fantasy owner’s existence, shortstop now boasts more than a handful of truly exciting players. Even the players down the board a bit offer plenty of help with room to grow, as the raw power of Brad Miller or the possibilities of Tim Anderson might be more enticing than paying out the ass for Corey Seager depending on your draft strategy and roster construction preferences.

Ranking shortstops is always tough, but this era makes the task even more trying due to the bevy of options. With plenty of top notch prospects at the position at lower levels, we appear to be headed right back to the late 1990s, a magical time characterized by a fear of Y2K and a bevy of legitimate power hitters covering one of the most athletically challenging positions on the diamond. We eliminated Manny Machado (who would have topped both of our lists) because he won’t actually play shortstop in 2017 barring an injury. At least that made it a little easier.

Perhaps the glut of all-star talent near the top of this position makes it more justifiable to wait on a shortstop who will help in fewer categories, but I can’t stress enough how (at least) the top five players on these lists could be real difference makers. I’m not a position scarcity guy for the most part, but this is a year I want a top five shortstop.

These rankings are for re-draft leagues only and do not take into account value beyond 2017. Players who do not primarily play this position were not ranked here unless they are slated to do so in the upcoming season.

Brian Vaughan:

  1. Carlos Correa, HOU
  2. Corey Seager, LAN
  3. Jonathan Villar, MIL
  4. Francisco Lindor, CLE
  5. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
  6. Trevor Story, COL
  7. Addison Russell, CHN
  8. Aledmys Diaz, STL
  9. Elvis Andrus, TEX
  10. Troy Tulowitzki, TOR
  11. Jean Segura, SEA
  12. Dansby Swanson, ATL
  13. Brad Miller, TB
  14. Tim Anderson, CHA
  15. Asdrubal Cabrera, NYN

Carlos Correa might be ever-so-slightly undervalued coming off his merely very good first full season, but we both like him to dominate. He’s only going to get better, and his adjustment period feels like it’s firmly over now. Trevor Story’s ability to hit for any kind of average is always a big question mark, and it might be even more of an issue as he tries to come back from injury. I still feel his power and non-zero speed contributions bump him into a higher tier.

Van Lee:

  1. Carlos Correa, HOU
  2. Corey Seager, LAN
  3. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
  4. Francisco Lindor, CLE
  5. Jonathan Villar, MIL
  6. Trevor Story, COL
  7. Aledmys Diaz, STL
  8. Addison Russell, CHN
  9. Troy Tulowitzki, TOR
  10. Jean Segura, SEA
  11. Brad Miller, TB
  12. Elvis Andrus, TEX
  13. Brandon Crawford, SF
  14. Dansby Swanson, ATL
  15. Asdrubal Cabrera, NYN

Van doesn’t exactly share my optimism about Jonathan Villar, but then again, I don’t share the even higher level of optimism many pundits have when it comes to the upstart Brewer. My co-host was kinder to veterans than me, as his list includes Brandon Crawford and a higher ranking for Tulowitzki than I could give out. Tulo is always a risk (and always has the initials T.T.T.), but he’s a safe counting stats option if he stays on the field for a large enough chunk of the season. All in all, though, these lists are more similar than I anticipated before the podcast.

Early Regrets: I can’t help but feel I overrated a few players due to their youth. Steadier veterans could easily out-earn more dynamic players like Swanson, Diaz, and Russell. That said, I like gambling a bit when the reward could mean getting second or third round production a bit later. The approach of Tim Anderson and the yawn-inducing tendencies of Asdrubal Cabrera also give me pause, but what’s a guy supposed to do?

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