2015 saw the debut of three of last year's top shortstop prospects, and along with our top prospect this year, now make up four of our top eight players at shortstop. Carlos Correa has already established himself as a potential first round pick, and we've seen Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, and Corey Seager make significant impacts in their debuts. Hope you're ready for even more.
Even with those three key graduations, there are still more in the minors. The top three picks in last year's draft all appear in our top five shortstop prospects, and we could see five of the top eight in the majors before this season.
Tier 1 -- The Elite Prospects
These prospects are expected to be in the top 25-50 prospects overall and have the potential to be among the top options at their position regardless of format or league size.
1. Corey Seager - Dodgers
Our top fantasy prospect overall, Seager is set to be the starting shortstop for the Dodgers this year after finishing last season in the majors with a .337/.425/.561 slash line in 27 games. Ray profiled Seager yesterday, which you can find here.
2. J.P. Crawford - Phillies
One of my personal favorite prospects, Crawford is the shortstop of the near future for the Phillies. He reached AA last year and could be in Philadelphia by the end of this season. I will have a deeper profile of Crawford later today.
3. Dansby Swanson - Braves
Quite a rarity indeed to see a top overall pick traded within a year of being drafted, but here we still find Swanson. He's expected to stay at shortstop long-term, and has the potential to be a solid five-category contributor as soon as late 2017. Matt Powers will have a profile of Swanson up later today.
4. Brendan Rodgers - Rockies
The #3 pick in last year's draft, Rodgers has everything you could hope for in a fantasy prospect. He's expected to hit for power and average, and could end up playing half his games in Coors Field. As a high school draftee, he's unlikely to reach the majors for at least three to four years, but the ceiling is a top 5 option at shortstop.
5. Alex Bregman - Astros
Bregman represents the top trade chip for the Astros after being selected #2 overall in last year's draft. With Carlos Correa at shortstop and Jose Altuve at second base, Bregman's highest value is in the middle infield, which he's extremely unlikely to ever play in Houston. He's a high floor hitter who could be ready quickly, and provide solid, across the board production.
6. Orlando Arcia - Brewers
The trade of Jean Segura has cleared the long-term path for Arcia, who will likely see the majors at some point in 2016. Hugh will have a profile of Arcia up later today.
7. Trea Turner - Nationals
The departure of Ian Desmond via free agency opens up the starting job in Washington for Turner. Turner is expected to be an above-average contributor in three categories (AVG, R, SB) and provide solid production in the other two, and can be a top 10 option at shortstop as soon as this season.
Tier 2 -- The Top 100 Candidates
These prospects are expected to be in the discussion for the top 100 prospects overall and are expected to be starting options in all formats.
8. Tim Anderson - White Sox
There are still some questions about whether Anderson can stay at shortstop or not, but he will profile for fantasy regardless of the position. If it all clicks for Anderson, he can potentially provide elite batting average, elite speed, and solid production in the other three categories.
9. Franklin Barreto - Athletics
The key (and potentially only one of value) player that the Athletics received back in the Josh Donaldson trade, Barreto was one of the youngest regulars in the High-A California League last year. He may have to move from shortstop eventually, but should still have a lot of value regardless of where he goes. He can provide solid to above-average production in all five categories, and could reach the majors in 2017.
10. Jorge Mateo - Yankees
Mateo made his full season debut in 2015, and between two single-A levels hit .278 with 82 stolen bases in just 117 games. The speed will play no matter what, but he's also expected to develop at least a little bit of power and hit for a solid average as well.
11. Nick Gordon - Twins
The start of the season in 2015 was tough for Gordon, but he really got going in late May, hitting .299/361/.399 with 18 SB in 84 games through the end of the year. He profiles as a top of the order hitter who provides fantasy owners with above-average production in potentially three categories, and is considered a lock to stay at shortstop long-term.
12. Gleyber Torres - Cubs
13. Ozzie Albies - Braves
14. Willy Adames - Rays
Tier 3 -- The Next Group of Starters
These prospects likely would slot into the 100-200 range on an overall ranking list and would be starters in mid-depth formats such as 12- and 14-team leagues.
15. Raul Mondesi - Royals
The Royals' shortstop prospect made his major league debut last season during the World Series, but we may not see him in the majors again this year. He's definitely a prospect where the real life value is higher than the fantasy value, but there's still a lot to like here. He's been among the youngest players at every level he's played at, and while the numbers don't jump off the page, he's still held his own and should continue to improve.
16. Daniel Robertson - Rays
17. Christian Arroyo - Giants
Robertson and Arroyo are both viewed as solid prospects who should be able to do a little bit of most things at the plate. Neither is likely to provide much in terms of stolen bases, but with a solid batting average and a little bit of power, they're still going to be valuable for fantasy owners.
18. Trevor Story - Rockies
19. Isan Diaz - Brewers
20. Javier Guerra - Padres
Diaz and Guerra were both traded this offseason, and in a year's time these rankings may look pretty light. Both have shown the potential to hit for power, and have shown the ability to hit for a solid batting average at a young age. There's still a ton of upside potential in both of them, although it may take four or more years for them to reach the majors.