MLB Pro 2019 Top 10 Shortstop Prospects
Shortstop is a funny position, as many of the best prospects get moved to another position due to poor fielding. It’s incredibly rare to find players who can hit above league average, and can play the defense needed to stay at the position. Because of that, defense is much higher value on this list than any others, including catcher.
Some shortstop prospects that just missed our top 10 list are the Mariners’ Fernando Leguizamo and the Marlins’ Brandon Brownell.
Going from the back end of the list, we begin with #10.
#10 | Fernando Tatis Jr. | Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU, A-) | Age: 20 | Acquired via: Draft (2018, Rd 2, Pk 36)
Tatis Jr. makes the list because his defense will most definitely keep him at shortstop. He’s also projected to be a solid hitter, with good power and solid contact. He certainly needs to prove himself more offensively, after a season with 69 OPS+, but he’s still young and has time to improve.
#9 | Adam Smith | Tempe Angels (LAA, R) | Age: 19 | Acquired via: Draft (2018, Rd 2, Pk 60)
Smith is another guy who makes the list almost entirely because of his defense. But he also backs up his elite defensive tools with solid potential hitting, and good speed. He showed well offensively to start his pro career, but will need to continue that as he goes to the next level. None of his hitting is above average, but he has no weak spots.
#8 | Nander De Sedas | Bradenton Pirates (PIT, R) | Age: 19 | Acquired via: Draft (2018, Rd 3, Pk 97)
It’s funny, as De Sedas was drafted after Tatis Jr. and Smith, but he liked around the league more than both, but not by the respective teams. The 19 year old has solid defensive tools, although could shift to third and become elite there. His offense is similar to Smith, no plus tools, but also no flaws. He’s one of those guys that’s just a surefire Major Leaguer, but maybe not a star.
#7 | Brendan Rodgers | Rochester Red Wings (MIN, AAA) | Age: 21 | Acquired via: Draft (2015, Rd 1, Pk 15)
Rodgers is higher on this list because he’s proven himself at a higher level. He plays solid, but not elite defense and hit hitting is solid all the way around. His 65-grade contact is where his potential comes from, and he could easily be a .300 hitter in the Majors.
#6 | Anthony Kerr | Los Angeles Angels | Age: 24 | Acquired via: Draft (2015, Rd 2, Pk 48)
Kerr came very close to losing his prospect eligibility, and will break it within the first week of the season. He plays average defense at SS, but has a really solid offensive profile. He grades out at a 65-grade contact, with plus eye, gap power and avoid K. On top of it all, he runs well. We’ll see how he does as an every day starter, but I would bet he becomes a very solid starter for the Angels.
#5 | Jared Stevens | Clinton LumberKings (SEA, A) | Age: 22 | Acquired via: Trade with SF
There’s a chance Stevens ends up on the other side of the bag, but he’s got the physical tools to last at shortstop if need be. He makes this list regardless because he’s got massive power potential, with plus contact and power to go with elite speed.
#4 | Brice Turang | Bradenton Pirates (PIT, R) | Age: 20 | Acquired via: Draft (2018, Rd 5, Pk 139)
Turang may have not been a high pick this last draft, but as he played, people saw the massive potential he has. His defense is as good as any other prospects, while showcasing plus contact to go with good gap power and a solid eye. His next season will have to show these tools are for real, but there’s little doubt he won’t prove it.
#3 | Aaron White | Houston Astros | Age: 23 | Acquired via: Draft (2015, Rd 1, Pk 5)
White may not be the best defender (he has the lowest chance of sticking at short as anyone on this list), but he’s also the best hitter on the list. Last year, he hit 59% than average in AA, and it seems likely for him to keep up the torrent pace this season. He has plus tools everywhere, with solid speed and as a switch hitter, he matches up with every pitcher well.
#2 | Dave Allen | Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS, AAA) | Age: 23 | Acquired via: Trade with SEA
Allen has some of the best range of any shortstop prospect, and adds to it an offensive profile that’s loaded with plus tools. He’s a switch hitter that provides power and gets on base consistently. This season, he’ll likely be in the Majors, and can show off why he’s considered the best SS prospect by some people in the league.
#1 | Jeremy Scott | Reno Aces (ARI, AAA) | Age: 23 | Acquired via: Draft (2017, Rd 1, Pk 1)
Scott was the #1 overall pick and has been extremely productive in his two pro seasons, getting to play half a season at AAA last season. Arizona looks to be trying to end their tanking this season, which means Scott could easily be in the bigs after a few weeks. He shows all the physical tools to be a great shortstop, although he does make a misstep on some routine plays. If for some reason Arizona starts to feel he can’t handle the position, he has shown the physical tools to play the outfield. He also has plus tools on the offensive side and shows great speed, and should be a great player at the next level.