Our look at the best players at each position entering the 2023 season now takes us to arguably the toughest one: shortstops. There are many talented shortstops that are worthy of being considered for this list. And to give a sneak preview, three of the players on this list did change teams during this offseason. So, who made our top five shortstop list? Let’s take a look.
5. Dansby Swanson
We start off the list with new Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson. Swanson has long been a terrific defender at short, and the new Cub received recognition of that prowess earlier in the offseason by way of his first NL Gold Glove award. But how good is he defensively? Well, Swanson posted a gaudy +21 Outs Above Average last season, a figure that topped all players at the position last year. At the dish, the former Brave turned himself into an all-around threat over the last three seasons. The 28-year-old has clubbed 62 home runs since the start of 2020, second among all shortstops.
Now off to Chicago on a seven-year deal, Swanson will look to be a key contributor team for a Cubs team on the rise.
4. Corey Seager
Rangers shortstop Corey Seager headed to Texas last winter, after he received a massive 10-year deal worth $325 million. Seager posted a solid first season with the Rangers, as the infielder hit a career-high 33 home runs in 2022. A former NL Rookie of the Year, Seager has posted an OPS+ above league average in every season of his career, and has turned into an elite power threat at the position. The 28-year-old has cracked 127 extra base hits and 64 home runs over the last three seasons, the latter of which leads all shortstops in that span.
Seager held his own in the field in 2022, as the shortstop posted an +4 Outs Above Average last season. With an improved rotation, Texas will be banking on Seager and his prowess at the plate.
3. Trea Turner
Very few players in MLB can impact the game the way Trea Turner does on a nightly basis. The two-time All-Star won his first Silver Slugger last season, after Turner hit .298/.343/.466 with 21 home runs and 100 RBIs. A career .302 hitter, Turner possesses elite contact skills, as well as some of the best wheels in the sport. The 29-year-old ranked among the best in sprint speed last season, a good explanation for the 27 steals Turner racked up with the Dodgers.
A 2019 World Series champion with the Nationals, Turner will head back to the NL East for 2023. The speedy shortstop heads to Philadelphia to join a Phillies team that came just two wins shy of its third World Series title in 2022.
2. Carlos Correa
Former Twin Carlos Correa went to Minnesota in the spring of 2022 on a short deal that included an opt-out after the season. With the Twins, Correa put up yet another strong season. The 28-year-old batted .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and an OPS of .834. The two-time All-Star did have a rough year in the field last season, but Correa has been a reliable defensive shortstop throughout most of his career.
Correa makes this list for 2023, but it’s very likely that he won’t be here come next season. Although not official as of this writing, Correa is expected to ink a long-term deal with the Mets. The former AL Rookie of the Year is likely headed to third base, thanks to the man who tops this ranking.
1. Francisco Lindor
Sent to Queens in a massive deal two years ago, Francisco Lindor has been as good as advertised for the Mets. The four-time All-Star, thanks to his elite power, has cracked at least 20 home runs in five of Lindor’s six full seasons — sans 2020 — and three 30+ home run campaigns. The 29-year-old played a key role for the Mets last season, as he drove in 107 runs for a group that won 101 games in 2022. Defensively, Lindor possesses some of the best baseball IQ and skills that can be found at the position. The two-time Gold Glove has posted an Outs Above Average that has ranked in the top 3% of the league in every season since his debut in 2015.
Assuming Lindor is joined by Carlos Correa on the left side of the Mets infield, baseball fans from Queens could very well be given quite the treat with those two on the same team in 2023.