Ben Verlander’s MLB tiers: Who are the most effective shortstops?

We’re lower than per week away from pitchers and catchers reporting for spring coaching, so we nonetheless have a while to kill earlier than the MLB offseason ends.

Let’s proceed our place rankings to assist move the time! Last week, we ranked the highest two dozen (or so) third basemen in baseball

This week, we’re shifting on to shortstop, which was essentially the most thrilling place to comply with this offseason. 

Let’s get into it!

Elite: Francisco Lindor, Trea Turner, Carlos Correa

These three are the most effective of the most effective. Turner clearly simply signed an enormous take care of the Phillies. Lindor signed that massive take care of the Mets a pair years in the past that did not look nice initially, however he bounced again in 2022. Correa signed a pair enormous offers this offseason earlier than reuniting with the Twins. 

If I needed to choose a high one, I feel it might be Correa. He’s clutch, he hits for energy and he can hit for a excessive common. He had a really underrated 12 months final 12 months. He performs nice protection. He’s unbelievable within the playoffs. He’s a star. He has a character. He generally is a villain. I feel he is the most effective shortstop in Major League Baseball.

Francisco Lindor & Carlos Correa headline The Elite SS Tier

Francisco Lindor & Carlos Correa headline The Elite SS Tier

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry have the Mets’ Francisco Lindor, Phillies’ Trea Turner and Twins’ Carlos Correa in The Elite Tier. Do you agree?

Almost Elite: Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, Corey Seager, Bo Bichette

One man I wish to concentrate on right here is Bogaerts. I haven’t got him in that high tier, although he is getting paid like that high tier. Look, Bogaerts is “Almost Elite.” He hits for a excessive common, however he does not have the ability numbers that the elite guys do. He does not play the protection these different guys do. In reality, his protection is a bit below-average. I simply do not suppose he is the complete bundle that the highest gamers are, however he is “Almost Elite.” He’s nice. 

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Should Astros’ Jeremy Pena be within the Almost Elite shortstop tier?

Should Astros' Jeremy Pena be in the Almost Elite shortstop tier?

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry have the Padres’ Xander Bogaerts and Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette in The Almost Elite Tier. Do you agree?

Really Good: Willy Adames, Jeremy Peña, Wander Franco, Oneil Cruz, Tim Anderson, Bobby Witt Jr., Tommy Edman

Some folks, reminiscent of my “Flippin’ Bats” co-host Alex Curry, may take exception to Peña not being ranked larger after the postseason efficiency he had.

His numbers in his rookie season had been a .253 batting common with 22 dwelling runs and 63 RBIs. Does that make you “Elite”? Does that make you “Almost Elite”? That’s what I’ve to go off of. I imagine Peña is “Really Good” with the potential to not solely be “Almost Elite” however “Elite.”

Pena had 19 errors final season. I imagine there are some huge defensive enhancements to be made. He has a Gold Glove, however that is quite a lot of errors. I want to see defensive enchancment. I want to see offensive enchancment earlier than placing him in that subsequent class. 

Take the playoffs out of it, if Pena hits .253 with 22 dwelling runs and 63 RBIs, are we contemplating him “Elite” or “Almost Elite”? I do not suppose so. If I needed to rank the “Really Good” class, Pena can be on the high. I do not suppose he is on par but with the Corey Seagers of the world, who’s hitting 40 homers, or the Xander Bogaerts’ of the world, who’s hitting over .300. 

Jeremy Pena & Tim Anderson headline The Really Good SS Tier

Jeremy Pena & Tim Anderson headline The Really Good SS Tier

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry have the Astros’ Jeremy Peña and White Sox’s Tim Anderson in The Really Good Tier. Do you agree?

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Pretty Solid: Vaughn Grissom, Kike Hernandez, Amed Rosario, Javy Baez, Miguel Rojas, Joey Wendle, Oswald Peraza, J.P. Crawford, Brandon Crawford

The one I’ll spotlight right here is Baez. At one level within the recreation, I feel a ton of individuals would’ve thought of Baez to be an “Elite” shortstop. But he is by no means been constant. Last season, he was persistently dangerous.

Baez hit .238 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs. This man’s one of many extra thrilling gamers in baseball. We want him to be enjoying properly. I tweeted initially of final 12 months that Baez will win a World Series with the Tigers. I do not understand how that’ll age. Perhaps, I believed within the Tigers a bit greater than I ought to have.

Grissom is somebody I’m enthusiastic about. He’s on this group as a result of we do not know so much about him. He’ll be the shortstop for the Atlanta Braves after they let Dansby Swanson stroll. We’ll see how Grissom develops.

Vaughn Grissom & Javy Baez headline The Pretty Solid & The Rest SS Tier

Vaughn Grissom & Javy Baez headline The Pretty Solid & The Rest SS Tier

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry have the Braves’ Vaughn Grissom and Tigers’ Javy Baez in The Pretty Solid & The Rest Tier. Do you agree?

The Rest: Everyone else not talked about

One clarification: My producer is a giant Dodgers fan and questioned why Gavin Lux wasn’t on this tiering. I did not embody Lux as a result of the Dodgers simply signed Miguel Rojas and I imagine he’ll be their shortstop. I do not actually know the place Lux goes to play.  

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