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Shortstop is where you can find the stars in Fantasy baseball in 2021. Fernando Tatis, Trea Turner, and Trevor Story will go in the first round in many leagues, and they'll be followed within the next two rounds by Francisco Lindor, Bo Bichette, Adalberto Mondesi, Corey Seager, and Xander Bogaerts. You might get three more in the top 100, meaning there are enough very good options to go around for everyone.

Of course, there's a pretty good chance you might end up with more than one of those players on your squad, too. In a Roto league, it's entirely possible to pick Turner, Story, and Seager with your first three picks, filling up SS, MI, and U in the process. In fact, that would be a great start if you're not going with the early aces strategy. The position is that good. 

Shortstop is going to play a key role in how your season unfolds. We're in a golden age, and it's even possible to get significant upside if you wait -- Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa are going outside of the top 100 right now. However, it's not a terribly deep position -- after those two go off the board, the players with elite upside really thin out -- and it's possible to end choosing from some pretty underwhelming options. 

  • Position Previews: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B

Shortstop is a bit of a feast or famine position, in other words, and given how many elite players there are at the position, missing out could prove costly. 

2021 Draft Prep
Shortstop Preview
Consensus Rankings
SD San Diego • #23 • Age: 22
2020 Stats
AVG
0.277
HR
17
R
50
RBI
45
SB
11
SO
61
Fernando Tatis has played in 143 games. He has 39 homers, 27 steals, 111 runs, and 98 RBI. He cut his strikeout rate from 29.6% to 23.7% in his second season, while increasing his walk rate, and he was among the league leaders in hard-hit rate and average exit velocity. Tatis is already arguably the best player in Fantasy.
WAS Washington • #7 • Age: 27
2020 Stats
AVG
0.335
HR
12
R
46
RBI
41
SB
12
SO
36
It's easy to forget that Turner is just 27, so what if his 2020 represented a true step forward in his abilities? He cut his strikeout rate to a career low 13.9%, and also cut his infield fly ball rate in half, to 7.2%. Turner's 150-game pace in 2020 was a .335 average, 30 homers, 30 steals, 115 runs and 103 RBI. If all Turner does is what he's done for years, he's an easy first rounder. If 2020 was him taking a step forward, he could be one of the five best players in Fantasy.
COL Colorado • #27 • Age: 28
2020 Stats
AVG
0.289
HR
11
R
41
RBI
28
SB
15
SO
63
The only possible argument against Story as an elite Fantasy option is that, after trading Nolan Arenado, the Rockies might be in full sell mode. However, it sounds like they are looking to sign Story to an extension, which means he'll hopefully be caling Coors Field home for a long time. As long as that's the case, he'll be one of the most complete hitters in Fantasy and a borderline first-round value.
NYM N.Y. Mets • #12 • Age: 27
2020 Stats
AVG
0.258
HR
8
R
30
RBI
27
SB
6
SO
41
Switching leagues and facing an all-new crop of opposing pitchers can be a tough test, so there may be an adjustment period for Lindor. However, he's one of the best all-around contributors in the game, and the Mets lineup should be one of the best in the game. He'll be hitting at the top of that lineup, and should have a ton of opportunities to rack up stats. If Lindor gets off to a slow start, don't be afraid to make an aggressive buy-low offer.
KC Kansas City • #27 • Age: 25
2020 Stats
AVG
0.256
HR
6
R
33
RBI
22
SB
24
SO
70
If it weren't for steals, Mondesi may not even be worth drafting. Good thing he's the best guy in the majors at the hardest thing to find in 2020. Mondesi has 67 steals in 161 games over the last two seasons, and he's done that with sub-.300 OBP in each season. You shouldn't expect him to improve much as a hitter, but if he ever manages to be even a .270 hitter, 70 steals are within reach.
TOR Toronto • #11 • Age: 23
2020 Stats
AVG
0.301
HR
5
R
18
RBI
23
SB
4
SO
27
Small sample sizes abound in Bichette's profile, as he has played just 75 major-league games, but all he's done is live up to every single expectation placed on him, hitting .307/.347/.549 with a 32-homer, 100 run, 88 RBI, 16-steal per-150-game pace. The Blue Jays lineup is even better with the additions of George Springer and Marcus Semien at the top, and Bichette has a chance to be a 100-100 guy.
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #5 • Age: 26
2020 Stats
AVG
0.307
HR
15
R
38
RBI
41
SB
1
SO
37
Seager hit .307/.358/.585 last season and, by some measures, he was actually unlucky. Statcast data suggests Seager should have hit .330 with a .653 slugging percentage, as he was arguably the best hitter in baseball based on quality of contact metrics. I made the comparison many times to Freddie Freeman last offseason, and Seager made the same age-25 leap Freeman did. If he proves it was for real, Seager could be a first-rounder next year.
BOS Boston • #2 • Age: 28
2020 Stats
AVG
0.3
HR
11
R
36
RBI
28
SB
8
SO
41
Bogaerts' counting stats weren't where we expected them to be in 2020, but he was pretty much everything we've come to expect otherwise. Bogaerts is one of the surest bets for batting average in the league, and he'll even swipe some bags. The Red Sox lineup figures to be better in 2021 after an across-the-board worst-case scenario season, which should get Xander's numbers back to where we want to see them.
CHW Chi. White Sox • #7 • Age: 27
2020 Stats
AVG
0.322
HR
10
R
45
RBI
21
SB
5
SO
50
If you were inclined to think Anderson's 2019 breakout was a fluke, he followed it up with nearly identical numbers. You'd like to see him run even more -- Anderson is capable of 30-plus steals if the White Sox ever gave him the green light. There's still some skepticism about the leap he has made as a hitter over the last two seasons, but he's sported an expected batting average over .290 in each of the last two seasons, so the improvements sure seem to be real.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #25 • Age: 24
2020 Stats
AVG
0.243
HR
3
R
17
RBI
16
SB
1
SO
28
Torres was one of the biggest disappointments in the league in 2020, and the dip in power was especially frustrating. He still hit the ball plenty hard -- actually, his hard-hit rate was slightly higher than in 2019 -- so it's hard to make sense of exactly how things went wrong. That's a good thing, because it suggests that the results were pretty flukey. Torres should still be one of the best sources for power at the position.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #9 • Age: 28
2020 Stats
AVG
0.203
HR
8
R
27
RBI
24
SB
3
SO
75
Baez's production has dipped in consecutive seasons since his 2018 breakout, but 2020 was way more of an outlier than 2018 was. Baez was just a bit worse in pretty much every way -- slightly worse contact rate, slightly higher strikeout rate, slightly lower average exit velocity -- but it's not like we're talking drastic differences. Baez has always been a streaky hitter, and the thing about a 60-game season is, if you get off to a bad start, you may not have time to fix it. He should in 2021.
HOU Houston • #1 • Age: 26
2020 Stats
AVG
0.264
HR
5
R
22
RBI
25
SB
0
SO
49
In most leagues, there's going to be a pretty big gap between the top-11 shortstops and Correa, who figures to go 12th. Given his struggles in 2020 and his lengthy injury history, that makes sense, but Correa is a pretty sure bet to provide that kind of production when he's healthy. If he can stay healthy, you'll get a great value on Draft Day.
2021 Draft Prep
Don't forget about ...
ATL Atlanta • #7 • Age: 27
2020 Stats
AVG
0.274
HR
10
R
49
RBI
35
SB
5
SO
71
Swanson is less of a sure thing than Correa, and he isn't exactly a model of health in his own right. However, his 150-game pace for 2020 looks like this: .274 average, 25 HR, 124 R, 87 runs, and 12 steals. That's a bit better than what we've seen from him in 2018 and 2019, but not far off -- Swanson was on pace for a 28-homer, 12-steal season in 2019 before a heel injury in July. He hasn't put it all together quite yet, but Swanson has shown tantalizing glimpses over the past two seasons.
OAK Oakland • #10 • Age: 30
2020 Stats
AVG
0.223
HR
7
R
28
RBI
23
SB
4
SO
50
It's easy to understand why everyone has largely written Semien off -- because he followed up his breakout with a .223/.305/.374 line in 2020 while losing the gains in plate discipline he made in 2019. He looked a lot more like he has for most of his career, in other words. However, we're still talking about a 53-game sample size, less than a third of his sample in 2019, and Semien still has value as a cheap power-speed combo even if he doesn't bounce back -- he was on a 21-homer, 12-steal pace in 2020. That's not ideal with his batting average, he won't be totally useless even if he doesn't bounce back. As a late-round pick, that's not bad.
CLE Cleveland • #1 • Age: 25
2020 Stats
AVG
0.252
HR
4
R
20
RBI
15
SB
0
SO
34
Rosario figures to open the season as Cleveland's starting shortstop, and by virtue of being at least theoretically capable of being an average major-league hitter, he could end up hitting toward the top of the lineup. Of course, most of his career has been defined by being much less than an average hitter. The hope is that a change of scenery will help the 25-year-old start to put things together, and he can be a useful source of batting average speed without being a zero in power if he does. He doesn't have much appeal in a points league, but as a post-hype sleeper in Roto, he's worth a look as a reserve.
2021 Draft Prep
Shortstop Sleeper, Breakout, & Bust
Sleeper
Projections powered by Sportsline
SD San Diego • Age: 25
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
NR
Roto
193
Roto (SS)
20
H2H
254
H2H (SS)
26
2020 Stats
AVG
0
HR
0
R
0
RBI
0
SB
0
SO
0
Kim joins the Padres following seven seasons in KBO, but he's still just 25 years old -- he was playing professionally as an 18-year-old. He's been one of the best players in Korea, hitting at least 19 homers in six straight seasons, including 30 in 2020, while adding 20-plus steals four times. There's a big adjustment coming from Korea to MLB, but Kim has an incredibly intriguing skill set for Fantasy. If he can beat out Jake Cronenworth for the starting second base job, he might just be a must-start option in Roto leagues, and even if he finds himself in a utility role, the Padres are trying him out in the outfield and he can already play second, short, and third base, so that flexibility could keep him in the lineup more often than not. Kim has a lot to prove, but he's worth a late-round pick on the off chance he does just that.
Breakout
Projections powered by Sportsline
HOU Houston • #1 • Age: 26
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
NR
Roto
97
Roto (SS)
12
H2H
90
H2H (SS)
10
2020 Stats
AVG
0.264
HR
5
R
22
RBI
25
SB
0
SO
49
If you're looking for this year's version of Corey Seager, Correa is the best potential target. When he's on the field, Correa is usually a pretty good bet to perform, which makes it slightly amusing that he missed just two games in 2020 but put up his lowest OPS ever in the regular season. It's natural to be frustrated by that, but Correa hit six home runs in 13 playoff games, bringing his total to a much more respectable 11 in 71 games. You expect more, of course, but when healthy, Correa has proven to be an elite hitter. He's been healthy far too rarely, but if you had told me a year ago that Correa would only miss two games in 2020, I would have bet he was a top-40 pick. Instead, he's outside of the top 120 in NFBC ADP. It's very similar to where Seager was last season, and we saw how that turned out.
Bust
Projections powered by Sportsline
TOR Toronto • #11 • Age: 23
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
NR
Roto
24
Roto (SS)
6
H2H
37
H2H (SS)
7
2020 Stats
AVG
0.301
HR
5
R
18
RBI
23
SB
4
SO
27
It's really hard to find a player who is being overvalued at shortstop. Bichette and Mondesi are the only two who might fit, and even then, neither is a great fit. I'll give Bichette the nod because, at the very least, Mondesi should give you truly elite stolen bases. Bichette's bat has to carry significantly more weight for him, which makes him just a teeny-tiny bit risky, given his current ADP in NFBC drafts in the second round. Bichette should be very good, but he's heavily dependent on batting average for his value, and that can always fluctuate from year to year. If my heart doesn't sound into this call, that's because it isn't. Shortstops are, for the most part, being appropriately valued this season.
2020 Draft Prep
Shortstop Top Prospects

1. Wander Franco, SS, Rays

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2019: low Class A, high Class A
2019 minors: .327 BA (425 AB), 9 HR, 27 2B, 18 SB, .885 OPS, 56 BB, 35 K  
One of the big teases of the abbreviated 2020 was whether Franco would get the call, but it's a foregone conclusion for 2021. His ability to put bat to ball sets him apart from other young hitters, giving him an 80-grade hit tool and possible Juan Soto outcome if the power develops as hoped.
Scott's 2021 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

2. C.J. Abrams, SS, Padres

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2019: Rookie, low Class A
2019 minors: .393 BA (150 AB), 3 HR, 15 SB, 1.083 OPS, 11 BB, 14 K 
The first of four consecutive shortstops is perhaps the most foolproof, showcasing 80-grade speed and a hit tool to match. He's young enough that we shouldn't rule out the possibility of some power development, especially given how prevalent it is in today's game, but it's worth noting Abrams could wind up in center field.
Scott's 2021 Fantasy impact: don't count on it

3. Austin Martin, SS, Blue Jays

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2019: not under contract 
The No. 5 pick in the 2020 draft was probably the No. 2 talent after Spencer Torkelson, standing out most especially for his hit tool and on-base ability. He's a shortstop for now but will more likely wind up at third base (or even the outfield), where he projects to be an Anthony Rendon-type contributor.
Scott's 2021 Fantasy impact: don't count on it

4. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2019: Rookie, short-season Class A
2019 minors: .302 BA (179 AB), 10 HR, 13 2B, .981 OPS, 32 BB, 45 K  
Luciano is beginning to garner the same sort of hype Julio Rodriguez did as a teenager, with MLB.com going so far as to peg him for a .300 average and 40 homers "on an annual basis." In a field defined by its tepid takes, that's really saying something, but he of course has several levels still to climb.
Scott's 2021 Fantasy impact: don't count on it

5. Bobby Witt, SS, Royals

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2019: Rookie
2019 minors: .262 BA (164 AB), 1 HR, 9 SB, .670 OPS, 13 BB, 35 K 
The No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft has face-of-the-franchise potential with a chance for a Trevor Story-like five category-outcome. He's also rated as a good enough defender to stick at shortstop, but like Luciano, he's still in the fledgling stages of his minor-league career.
Scott's 2021 Fantasy impact: don't count on it

So which 2021 Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.