Prime shortstops – by G. Scott Thomas

The latest World Baseball Basic confirmed what all people in baseball already knew. Trea Turner is a star.

Turner sparked america to a silver medal within the WBC, main the American crew in house runs (5), runs batted in (11), and batting common (.391). If not for his eighth-inning grand slam in opposition to Venezuela, the U.S. would have been eradicated previous to the semifinal spherical.

Turner’s WBC energy got here as a little bit of shock — he hit solely 124 homers in his first eight big-league seasons — however his means to ship within the clutch has lengthy been taken as a right. He received the Nationwide League’s batting title in 2021 with a .328 batting common for the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, and his profession common is a stable .302.

My 10-part formulation exhibits Turner to be the very best shortstop within the main leagues, based mostly on an evaluation of statistics from the previous three seasons. The rankings embody all 28 gamers who made a minimum of 750 plate appearances and spent a minimum of 50 % of that point taking part in shortstop within the 2020-2022 interval. (Every participant’s complete document was factored in, together with any stats amassed whereas taking part in different positions.)

The formulation ranks shortstops from finest to worst, then assigns scores of 1,000 factors to the chief and 0 factors to the tailender. Everyone else’s rating is set by his relative place between prime and backside. (Click on right here for an in depth clarification.)

A number of of the top-rated shortstops have been on the transfer in recent times.

Turner was traded by Washington to Los Angeles in mid-2021, then signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent over the winter. The runner-up in these rankings, Carlos Correa, left the Houston Astros in free company two years in the past, becoming a member of the Minnesota Twins. No. 3 Xander Bogaerts and No. 5 Dansby Swanson donned new uniforms this spring, respectively signing with the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs. The one member of the highest 5 to remain put was No. 4 Bo Bichette of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Look beneath for a rundown of the 15 shortstops who’re at present ranked as the very best within the sport. Three-year statistical breakdowns are supplied for the highest 5.

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  • Rating: 1,000 factors

  • WAR: 14.2 complete, 4.4 per 500 PA, 1.8 defensive

  • Averages: .316 BA, .514 SLG, .900 BPO

  • Scoring: 411 R generated, 127 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 367 G, 467 H

  • Notes: Turner topped all shortstops in uncooked manufacturing in the course of the 2020-2022 span. His 467 hits had been 50 forward of runner-up Bo Bichette, and his 411 runs generated had been 21 above his closest challenger. He additionally posted the very best three-year batting common (.316) within the group.

  • Rating: 830 factors

  • WAR: 14.3 complete, 4.9 per 500 PA, 5.0 defensive

  • Averages: .282 BA, .462 SLG, .788 BPO

  • Scoring: 324 R generated, 112 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 342 G, 360 H

  • Notes: Correa edged Turner for the very best 2020-2022 WAR amongst shortstops, 14.3 vs. 14.2. His work within the area was equally spectacular. He received a Gold Glove in 2021 and was one in all solely two shortstops to put up a defensive WAR of 5.0 or higher.

  • Rating: 810 factors

  • WAR: 12.3 complete, 4.2 per 500 PA, 1.6 defensive

  • Averages: .301 BA, .479 SLG, .851 BPO

  • Scoring: 341 R generated, 117 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 350 G, 388 H

  • Notes: Bogaerts completed among the many prime 17 vote-getters for the American League’s Most Useful Participant Award in every of the three seasons, peaking at ninth place final yr. He was named to the AL’s All-Star crew in each 2021 and 2022. (There was no All-Star Recreation in 2020.)

  • Rating: 778 factors

  • WAR: 10.5 complete, 3.5 per 500 PA, 0.4 defensive

  • Averages: .295 BA, .480 SLG, .784 BPO

  • Scoring: 390 R generated, 129 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 347 G, 417 H

  • Notes: Bichette led all American League gamers with 191 hits in 2021 and once more with 189 hits in 2022. He and Trea Turner had been the one shortstops to have greater than 400 hits and 380 runs generated in the course of the three-year interval.

  • Rating: 755 factors

  • WAR: 10.4 complete, 3.2 per 500 PA, 3.3 defensive

  • Averages: .265 BA, .451 SLG, .751 BPO

  • Scoring: 383 R generated, 119 per 500 PA

  • Totals: 382 G, 388 H

  • Notes: Swanson’s sturdiness has been exceptional. He appeared in each sport however one in the course of the previous three seasons. He received his first Gold Glove in 2022 and completed twelfth within the balloting for Nationwide League MVP.