Looking over my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings for shortstops, the names that jump out at me are the ones I don't like.
One of the first names is Carlos Correa. OK, so maybe dislike is a little strong, but I actually have him outside my top dozen for the first time since the Apple Watch was released. I probably shouldn't since Correa's stats last season were pretty much in line with his career averages. But something about the move from Houston to Minnesota just doesn't feel right. For years I liked Correa more than others, but now I've flipped sides.
At least with Correa, I understand why people like him more than I do. But another shortstop that I seem to like far less than others is Willy Adames, and I don't understand that affection. I know, after he was traded to Milwaukee, he was on fire. After hitting just five home runs with a sub-Mendozian average in 41 games with the Rays, he hit 19 in 98 games with the Brewers. He stole four times the number of bases and his OPS jumped 250 points! Obviously, the trade did him some good. But he had a .276 BABIP before the trade and a .349 mark afterward. That screams all kinds of regression. I would temper your expectations much closer to his 2019 season when he hit 20 HRs, stole four bases, and hit .254. That is not a top-20 SS, so adjust your draft rankings accordingly.
For a guy like Adames to be ranked lower, others need to be higher. One of those players I am probably a little too excited about is Oneil Cruz. He's tearing the cover off the ball in spring training so far. That should be taken with more than just a grain of salt, but it helps show why Baseball America had him ranked as their No. 14 prospect this year. The 17 homers, 19 stolen bases, and .310/.375/.594 he hit in the minors last year are a good indication of his potential. I expect his current ADP of the 20th round to continue to rise, but even in the 15th round, I think he could be a real steal.
Speaking of stealing, I also like all three of the fleet-footed Kansas City shortstops. Unfortunately, because I like all three, I can't elevate any of them higher in my rankings. However if one of them manages to make the other two irrelevant, I would jump on that one quickly. Adalberto Mondesí will not be pushed aside, but he could see more time at third base. If that happens and either Nicky Lopez or Bobby Witt Jr. see 90 percent of the at-bats at SS, respond accordingly. Either way, this is a spring training battle I will be watching very closely.
The rest of my rankings, especially at the top, look pretty similar to the ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings) for shortstops, but it's probably worth taking a peek below.
2022 Fantasy Baseball: Shortstop Rankings
— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.