Younger shortstops are among the many recreation’s largest stars, and in recent times it appeared as if nearly each season produced one other excellent rookie SS and fantasy baseball favourite on the place (Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, and many others.). High prospects Fernando Tatis, Jr. (No. 4 in our prospect rankings) and Bo Bichette (No. 15) may proceed that pattern this yr, though they in all probability received’t open the season within the majors. Nonetheless, these are names that every one Dynasty/Keeper leaguers ought to already know, and people in re-draft leagues must have them on their radars, too.
Whereas fantasy house owners watch for Tatis Jr. and Bichette, there are a number of different rookie shortstops who may break camp as starters for his or her respective golf equipment.
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MLB High Prospects: SS
The Padres’ Luis Urias (No. 26 in our prospect rankings) performed largely second base final season, however this yr he’s poised to be San Diego’s opening day shortstop. Urias has struggled with plate self-discipline in his temporary time within the majors, and he appeared a bit out of sync after I noticed him in spring coaching. He’s additionally been battling a hamstring challenge, though the membership seems to imagine he’ll be wholesome by the point the season begins. At his finest, Urias has nice hand-eye coordination and good pitch recognition, which have allowed him to stroll nearly as a lot as he’s struck out in his professional profession. This spring, I believe he’s merely been anxious and has tried to do an excessive amount of. As soon as he settles down, he ought to return to type. He doesn’t have a lot energy or velocity, however his pure hitting instruments and on-base expertise imply he ought to hit for common and rating runs whereas batting close to the highest of the San Diego lineup.
Richie Martin, whom the Orioles chosen within the 2018 Rule 5 draft, may very effectively open the yr as Baltimore’s beginning shortstop. Martin, who has underwhelmed as a professional after a wonderful collegiate profession, broke out final yr in Double-A with the Athletics earlier than being chosen first total in December’s Rule 5 draft. The rebuilding Orioles have an incentive to provide him common taking part in time as a result of they’ll must return him to the A’s if he doesn’t stay on Baltimore’s main league roster. Martin has competed effectively this spring and appears like a brand new hitter in comparison with his early days with Oakland. He’s now utilizing his decrease physique extra successfully than he did earlier in his professional profession, which has allowed him to remain extra underneath management and drive the ball with extra authority. He in all probability received’t ever develop a lot energy, however he has the bat velocity, plate self-discipline, and hand-eye coordination to hit .275 with a number of dwelling runs whereas additionally swiping 15-plus bases.
Kevin Newman is competing to be the Pirates’ beginning shortstop. He hasn’t hit very effectively this spring, however his competitors, Erik Gonzalez, has been even worse. With roughly a dozen video games left in Grapefruit League play, there’s nonetheless time for Newman to show issues round. At his finest Newman makes a lot of contact and sprays line drives across the subject. He doesn’t have the leverage or swing path to hit for energy, however he has stable pitch recognition and good hand-eye coordination which can enable him to hit for common. Newman in all probability isn’t the long-term reply for the Pirates at quick, but when he does emerge because the starter, he ought to hit for common and steal 15-plus baggage over a full season.
Fernando Tatis Jr. received’t be on the Padres’ opening day roster, however he may make his massive league debut someday round midseason. Solely 20, Tatis is a precocious expertise who continues to be studying to harness his ample instruments. Final season, Tatis fractured his thumb within the midst of a powerful displaying at Double-A and missed the final a part of the yr. This spring he hasn’t proven any rust as he’s blistered Cactus League pitching for a .696 slugging proportion via the primary half of spring coaching. He’ll must tighten his plate self-discipline to succeed in opposition to superior pitching, however he has the hand-eye coordination to hit for a stable common. His elite bat velocity and glorious leverage enable him to generate plus energy whereas his athleticism is greater than ample to stay at shortstop. If he can enhance his plate self-discipline, he profiles as a future star who may hit for common with 25-30 dwelling runs and 15-20 stolen bases within the majors.
Toronto’s Bo Bichette is one other electrical younger expertise who may arrive within the majors later this season. He’s appeared nice after I’ve seen him this spring, and he’s been the Blue Jays finest hitter via the primary half of Grapefruit League motion. Bichette typically will get a foul rap for his aggressive swing mechanics and emotional demeanor, however he’s really a really sensible, managed hitter with a wonderful work ethic. On the plate, Bichette maintains nice stability and a direct swing path even along with his massive leg kick. Within the at-bats I’ve seen this spring he’s been extra constant and he’s proven improved pitch recognition. Regardless of his small stature he has excellent bat velocity, above-average uncooked energy, and a capability to drive the ball out of the park to all fields. He’s labored arduous to make himself a mean defensive shortstop, and he ought to stick on the six regardless that he profiles higher at second because of common vary and a mean arm. As soon as he will get a giant league shot he has the abilities to hit for common, stroke 20-plus dwelling runs, and steal 15-20 baggage.