The MLB currently has a lot of young talent to boast. There are plenty of budding superstars who will become household names in a matter of a few years. What’s amazing about this influx of soon-to-be stars is the amount that are coming in as shortstops.
Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts are the top three shortstops the American League has to offer. Entering the 2017 season, they had a combined 5.274 years of service time. They already have more hardware to take home than years played, with a Gold Glove, two Silver Sluggers, two All-Stars, and one Rookie of the Year award between the three.
Even when you look further than just the consensus top three in the American League, the talent drop off is not so steep. Jean Segura led the AL in hits and at-bats last season and slashed an impressive .319/.368/.499. He’s entering his age-27 season and could end up putting up another season of stellar offensive play.
Elvis Andrus is a name often forgotten about, even though he put up career highs in home runs, runs batted in, batting average, OBP and slugging percentage last year while also putting up a career low in strikeouts. Even though it feels like he’s been in the league forever, Andrus is still 28 years old, right in the middle of his prime.
Turning to the National League, the talent pool is just as top-heavy, and may even be deeper.
Corey Seager finished 3rd in National League MVP voting, won a silver slugger and was an All-Star last year… as a rookie. Trevor Story hit 27 bombs with 72 RBI and a .567 slugging percentage in just 97 games last year… as a rookie. Trea Turner slashed .342/.370/.567 with 13 HR and 33 steals in 73 games last year as guess what? A rookie.
I didn’t even mention Addison Russell yet, who might have the second-best upside [behind Seager] and was a key contributor in the Cubs’ World Series-winning season, hitting 21 homers, driving in 95 runs and being named to his first All-Star team in just his second season.
Aside from these gifted big leaguers, what solidifies this as the golden age of the shortstop is the talent that has yet to reach the majors.
As of now, three of the MLB’s top four prospects, four of the top 10, and 10 of the top 50 are shortstops. Lindor, Correa, Bogaerts, Seager, Story, Turner and Russell all could be considered future MVP candidates without generating any gasps. To think that there are still another handful of shortstops who have yet to reach the majors and have similar potential is just mind-boggling.
Over the next decade, when all of the aforementioned players along with more that I didn’t have room to name have settled in, it’s likely that this generation of shortstops could go down as one of the greatest positional groups of all-time.