Every kid growing up wants to play shortstop, it is just what they want to do. It is one of the most active and demanding positions on the diamond, but it is the position that usually features a team's best overall fielder. In the MLB however, not many shortstops have reached star-caliber status the past few years. That comes with a few notable omissions such as Derek Jeter, Troy Tulowitzki, and Jose Reyes.
Short stop play going up
The level of play at the shortstop position is going up after many talented shortstops joined the league this year, last year, and the year before. Those players include Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor, and Corey Seager. That group is lead by Correa, last year's American League Rookie of the Year. All of the aforementioned players are under the age of 24, meaning the shortstop position is set for the upcoming years. Just to put into words how much the former #1 pick has accomplished in his young career, some people have called Correa the next Jeter.
While those are some lofty compliments and expectations, you can see the resemblance. Last year, Correa burst onto the scene to the tune of 22 home runs, 14 steals, and a .279 batting average. The 21 year-old shortstop out of Puerto Rico has continued to have success throughout the early stages of this season.
In only five games, Correa has hit three round-trippers, and stolen two bases. After winning Rookie of the Year, the young shortstop could continue racking up accolades in the upcoming years. If he continues to play at MVP-caliber play, Correa could become the youngest to ever win a league MVP award.
His team, the Astros, are championship contenders this year, and will be for many years to come, as they feature the best middle infield in the MLB. The other half of the middle infield, Jose Altuve, is arguably the best second baseman in the league. Enough about Correa, now let's move on to Bogaerts, the future of the Red Sox.
Bogaerts is arguably the second best shortstop in the league, but there is nothing second class about the player. He is one of the top contact hitters in the league, and he showed that last year as he hit at a .320 clip. His power numbers aren't quite what you want, but he more than makes up for it with his clutch hitting.
Last year, Bogaerts hit with a .386 batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs. The Arubian shortstop is also a plus defender for the Sox. Out of the most demanding position in the infield, Bogaerts accomplished a .984 fielding percentage last year.
Hitting third for the Red Sox, behind Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia, boosts Bogaerts' RBI totals; he had 81 last year to be exact. Bogaerts will be looking to lead the Sox to a championship this year as they have all the pieces in place. It will be interesting to see the young shortstop in the coming years, as he continues to improve the different facets of his game.
The shortstop position features some of the league's top talents.
Now, onto Francisco Lindor, the shortstop of the future for the Cleveland Indians. Lindor is one of the top fielding shortstops in all of baseball, and can make even the most difficult plays look easy. The defensive wizard will see many Gold Glove awards come his way in the future, but he could also earn a few Silver Slugger awards.
Everyone knew he was an outstanding defender when he joined the league last year, but not many expected him to excel offensively. Lindor showed 20-20 potential by slugging 12 home runs and stealing twelve bases in less than 100 games. He also showed off his contact skills by hitting at a .313 rate. Lindor will lead an Indians defense that will look to back up one of the top pitching staffs in baseball.
The newest addition to the shortstop class, Corey Seager, could become one of the top players in the National League. The brother of Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, Corey is a shortstop who is the top prospect in baseball. He also has immense potential that gives him a huge offensive ceiling. He has great contact skills as well as above-average power. Seager is the favorite to win ROY this year, and in doing so, he could lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a much needed championship title.
The depth of the shortstop position doesn't end after those four, as Trevor Story has recently debuted in record-setting fashion. Story with his power could become the fifth member of the group.
Other players who could impact the shortstop position are the Nationals' Trea Turner, and the Phillies' J.P Crawford. All-in-all, the shortstop position is set for the upcoming years, with some of the league's best talents playing at shortstop. The MLB is truly entering the era of the shortstop.