Red Sox

Ranking the top 10 MLB shortstops for 2023

Red Sox

The story of the 2022-23 MLB offseason was four of the league's top shortstops hitting free agency.

Longtime Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts inked an 11-year, $ 280 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Trea Turner signed an 11-year, $ 300 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Dansby Swanson left the Atlanta Braves to join the Chicago Cubs on a seven-year deal worth $ 177 million. Carlos Correa failed physicals with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets before re-signing with the Minnesota Twins for six years and $ 200 million.

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That group headlines a talented list of players at baseball's premier position heading into the 2023 season. Here's a look at the top 10 shortstops in MLB ahead of Opening Day.

10. Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals

2022 stats: .265/.324/.400, 13 HR, 57 RBI, 32 SB

Edman was a Gold Glove second baseman in 2021 and he remained a stellar defender when he moved over to shortstop in the second half of 2022. The 27-year-old quietly was one of St. Louis' best players last season as he posted a 5.6 WAR while swiping 32 bases, hitting 13 homers and posting a .725 OPS.

9. Willy Adames, Milwaukee Brewers

2022 stats: .238/.298/.458, 31 HR, 98 RBI

Adames is more than just a big bat. In addition to his 30+ homer potential, the 27-year-old is an excellent defender who has been durable throughout his five-year career. The strikeout totals are high (166 in 2022), but he more than makes up for it with his pop and game-changing glove.

8. Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays

2022 stats: .290/.333/.469, 24 HR, 93 RBI

 

Bichette's defense leaves plenty to be desired, but he's among the best offensive shortstops in the game. The 25-year-old finished 12th in AL MVP voting in 2021 and 11th in 2022. Through four seasons, he has slashed .297/.340/.491 with a 127 wRC+. If his glovework improves, Bichette will skyrocket to near the top of this list.

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If Bo Bichette improves defensively in 2023, he'll be a top-five shortstop heading into the 2024 season.

7. Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays

2022 stats: .277/.328/.417, 6 HR, 33 RBI (83 games)

Franco missed time in 2022 due to quad and hand injuries. If the 22-year-old can stay on the field in 2023, it'll mark his first full big-league season. In 153 games across his first two seasons, has slashed .282/.337/.439 with a 121 wRC+. A healthy Franco has elite All-Star potential.

6. Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs

2022 stats: .277/.329/.447, 25 HR, 96 RBI (with Atlanta Braves)

Swanson picked a great time to have a career year. The 29-year-old played all 162 games in his final season with the Braves and posted personal bests in almost every offensive category. He topped that off with his first Gold Glove and was rewarded with a lucrative contract in free agency. The former No. 1 overall pick and World Series champion will look to avoid regression to the mean in 2023.

5. Corey Seager, Texas Rangers

2022 stats: .245/.317/.455, 33 HR, 83 RBI

Seager's résumé speaks for itself: Rookie of the Year, World Series champion and MVP, three-time All-Star, and two-time Silver Slugger. While his debut season with the Rangers wasn't as dominant as his time with the Dodgers, there's no reason to believe he can't produce an MVP-caliber campaign in 2023.

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Corey Seager looks to regain elite form after an up-and-down debut season in Texas.

4. Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins

2022 stats: .291/.366/.467, 22 HR, 64 RBI

What a weird offseason it was for Carlos Correa. After failing physicals with the Giants and Mets, the two-time All-Star ended up back where he spent his 2022 season. Correa will look to have a bounce-back defensive season -- a major question mark given his apparently problematic ankle -- and stay consistent at the plate. He's pretty much a lock for 20+ homers and an OPS above .800.

3. Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres

2022 stats: .307/.377/.456, 15 HR, 73 RBI (with Red Sox)

The pressure is on Bogaerts to live up to a $280 million contract that seemed way over his market value. Or course, that isn't to say Bogaerts isn't elite. He's coming off one of his best defensive seasons and is one of the most consistent offensive shortstops in the game. While his power dipped slightly in 2022, he made up for it by flirting with a batting title and posting a .833 OPS. He'll help a stacked Padres club contend for a World Series in 2023.

2. Francisco Lindor, New York Mets

2022 stats: .270/.339/.449, 26 HR, 107 RBI

Lindor was a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate during his time in Cleveland and returned to form as arguably the best shortstop in baseball during his second year in Queens. The 29-year-old veteran had a bounce-back year at the plate and remained a sensational defender to lead all shortstops with a 6.8 fWAR. He'll once again look to separate the Mets from fellow NL East powerhouses Atlanta and Philadelphia.

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Francisco Lindor shined in his second season with the Mets and reestablished himself as arguably the best shortstop in baseball.

1. Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies

2022 stats: .298/.343/.466, 21 HR, 100 RBI, 27 SB (with Los Angeles Dodgers)

Turner tops the list because he's exceptional in every category. He's capable of hitting over .300, clubbing 20+ homers, stealing 30+ bases, and posting an OPS near .900. It's no wonder why he signed the second-most expensive free-agent contract this past offseason, which also marks the fifth-largest MLB contract of all time. Turner and Lindor are interchangeable as the top two shortstops in baseball and will fight for the top spot while battling for an NL East title.