2016 Prospect Watch: Welcome To The Shortstop Era

The 2016 Top-100 Preseason Prospect List for MLB Pipeline was officially released and there is one noticeable trend within the top players of the future; shortstops. Generally, shortstops are the captain of any defense, so it is impressive to see so many young players be in these impactful spots for their respective big-league organizations. Not only are most of these players talented with the glove, but several of them are elevating the shortstop position to a premier offensive spot as well. Altogether, there are 20 shortstops within the top-100 and six among the top-12 players. At the top of the list is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager.

Seager is 21-years old and made his Major League debut September 3rd for the Dodgers. Los Angeles sees Seager as a major part of the future, as he started and batted third in the playoffs last year. Thus far, Seager has shown a natural feel at the plate with a free-and-easy swing. He has a higher offensive ceiling than any shortstop other than 2015 Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa.

At the plate, Seager displays bat speed, strength, and the ability to hit to all fields. As he continues to develop, Seager has the potential to contend for batting titles while adding 20-plus home runs every year. While long-term he may eventually be moved to third base, Seager’s arm strength can play anywhere. With a quick first step, he is able to make plays with the glove naturally. In the city of stars, Seager has the makings to be the next for the Dodgers.

Also in the top-12 are 2015 draftees Brendan Rodgers and Dansby Swanson. In his first season since being drafted, Swanson oddly enough has been with more organizations than preseason prospect lists, as he was a part of the trade that sent Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves to the Arizona Diamondbacks. It is the soonest that a player drafted number one overall has ever been traded in history.

Finally, J.P. Crawford, Orlando Arcia, and Trea Turner also find themselves ranked within the top-12 of the prospect list. All three players have tremendous upside and have big expectations with their respective teams. With camps opening up in a few weeks time, there is an outside chance that all three may very well be on Opening Day rosters as starting shortstops. Of the three, Turner is the most likely to be penciled in on Opening Day for the Washington Nationals.

Every few years things tend to run in cycles in baseball. For awhile it was the outfielders taking center stage, with the likes of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Then, it was the pitchers having their turn. With 2016’s outlook it is certainly the era of the shortstop. In the center of the diamond, these young players have the ability to be front and center for a long time.

 

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