In fantasy baseball, everyone loves a deep position, flush with talent. Shortstop is, again, that position this season and, based on the recent infusion of youth, it is likely to remain one of the deeper spots for some time. 




A clear indicator of that is found in the fantasy baseball ADP as the top-eight shortstops are gone inside the first 40 picks of fantasy baseball draft and you still have plenty of starting talent available to you, both inside the top-100 overall and well into the deeper rounds. 

There is plenty of high-end talent available to you, so while you don’t want to panic if you miss out on the top few guys, be sure to grab your starting shortstop reasonably early and use the depth at the position to cover your middle infield spot. Let’s take a look at where you can best grab your players.



ADP Pockets for the Shortstop Position

Tier 1 (Rounds 1-2):

All three are nice power/speed combos and well-deserved to be first or second-round picks. Funny enough, I actually like taking Turner late in the first or Lindor in the second a little more than taking Witt where he’s going in drafts. You’ll get your home runs and stolen bases, but I’m wondering what this year’s runs scored and RBI count look like with the surrounding lineup. Just something to think about.

Tier 2 (Round 3):

This is actually a pretty interesting tier. I’m interested, but not entirely. Henderson is probably my favorite as he’ll hit in a great spot within the Orioles order and he’s got eligibility both at shortstop and third base. Seager is obviously a great player, but don’t be surprised to see him start the season off a little slow. He’s missed all of spring training so far while he recovers from hernia surgery and may need some time to get his timing down at the plate. It won’t be a huge drop-off, but maybe just enough to turn him into a great buy-low candidate if he was drafted by a panicky owner. De La Cruz is going to be a big favorite for people as he is an exciting young talent, but be careful. Probably just rookie jitters, but he struggled in August and September after pitchers made adjustments against him. He should be fine, but I feel like he’s being over-drafted a bit. Abrams is the guy you draft if you ignored stolen bases during your first two picks and Bichette, should be solid for power and average. Slight concern with his stolen base drop-off the last two seasons, but still an exciting, young talent.

Tier 3 (Rounds 5-7):

You’re probably better off using Hoerner, McLain and/or Kim at second base, given the lack of depth at the position, but if you started off with Mookie Betts in the first round, all three can be drafted at shortstop with confidence. It will also add to your position flexibility throughout the season. Cruz is a wild card and people drafting him are drafting for his upside, so taking him at his ADP is fair value with a little bit of wiggle room for bonus value by season’s end. If he does deliver on that power/speed potential, you’re sitting pretty at the position.



Tier 4 (Rounds 9-12):

All quality options here. Bogaerts, Swanson and Estrada are all solid options who can give you some power and some speed. Estrada leans more towards the steals than the other two, but you get more power from them. Volpe is the intriguing one as he went 20-20 last year but had a horrendous batting average and OBP. Recent interviews with Aaron Boone have revealed Volpe’s offseason work towards improving his plate discipline and while we never want to overrate spring stats, he is slashing .391/.462/.522 through nine games. 

Tier 5 (Rounds 15-17):

So now we start creeping into the territory of category-specific choices. Story and Adames offer power, while Edman, when healthy, offers more speed. Holliday is going to be highly-coveted during drafts and he’s a fantastic talent, but as the GM Jim Bowden warns you during our Front Office Insights, the rookie may be a better reality player than a fantasy player. Yes, you’ll get a great average from him, but you may only see 10 homers and 10 steals. Maybe a little better – maybe something in Tovar’s 15-15 range. Just something to keep in mind if you’re prospect-chasing this season.

Tier 6 (Rounds 19-23):

This is not a tier that interests me all that much. If you need a little pop, maybe Pena or Correa can help, but no one here profiles as someone I’m targeting in drafts. Perhaps you are looking for some roster filler? I’d still probably drop down to the next tier. 

Tier 7 (Rounds 27 & beyond):

You can actually go deeper than this last tier if your league has really deep benches and you waited on middle infield. But for typical 12-team leagues, you don’t need to fish deeper than this at shortstop.  Neto, Anderson and Arcia are all expected to be their team’s regular starter so you’re getting at-bats. The production isn’t exactly stellar, but you’re getting solid opportunities here. Winn could also be a huge sleeper as he looks to be the starting shortstop for the Cardinals for now and he’s got 30-steal upside. Merrill and Lawlar make for great stashes if you have a deep roster; otherwise, just keep them on your watch list.

*Round assignments set for 12-team leagues

**NFBC ADP date range set for 2/26/24 – 3/10/24    

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