As teams across Major League Baseball gear up for the 2021 season, our efforts to rank the top players at every position are ongoing.
With first basemen, third basemen and second basemen all checked off, we're going to conclude our tour around the infield with the top 10 shortstops in MLB.
There's a lot of star power at shortstop right now, particularly on the offensive side. To wit, the highest single-season OPSes ever accumulated by shortstops have come from each of the past two seasons. More of the same figures to be in order for 2021.
In determining our rankings, we considered players' recent track records and their upside and downside for the coming season.
We'll begin with some honorable mentions and then count down the top 10.
5 to Watch
Willi Castro, Detroit Tigers
Albeit in only 36 games, he broke out last year via a .349/.381/.550 slash line that was backed up by solid peripheral metrics, including above-average marks for expected batting average and slugging percentage.
J.P. Crawford, Seattle Mariners
It seems like forever ago that he was an elite prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies system. But he's only 26, and he's coming off a Gold Glove-winning season.
Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays
He's stuck behind Willy Adames—who's a pretty good shortstop in his own right—for now, yet he's the No. 1 prospect in MLB. He should be seen in Tampa Bay at some point in 2021.
Andres Gimenez, Cleveland
He's no Francisco Lindor, but his superb speed and defensive chops give him a pretty high floor as an everyday shortstop.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Texas Rangers
He finally moved out from behind the plate last year and responded by hitting .280 and winning a Gold Glove. Now he's set to fill Elvis Andrus' shoes at short.