Bernie on the Scene: Middle Infield Rankings

Bernie on the Scene: Middle Infield Rankings

This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.

This week, I continue my fantasy baseball draft preparation articles with shortstop and second base rankings.

Shortstop Rankings

Players may be ranked differently at second base and shortstop. Much has to do with the frequency of play at the position as well as the strength of the position.

  1. Fernando Tatis, SD
  2. Bo Bichette, TOR
  3. Trea Turner, LAD
  4. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
  5. Trevor Story, FA
  6. Tim Anderson, CWS
  7. Marcus Semien, TEX
  8. Wander Franco, TB
  9. Corey Seager, TEX
  10. Francisco Lindor, NYM
  11. Javier Baez, DET
  12. Corey Seager, TEX
  13. Carlos Correa, FA
  14. Jorge Polanco, MIN
  15. Jazz Chisholm, MIA
  16. Dansby Swanson, ATL
  17. Adalberto Mondesi, KC
  18. Willy Adames, MIL
  19. Jake Cronenworth, SD
  20. Gleyber Torres, NYY
  21. Bobby Witt, KC
  22. Chris Taylor, LAD
  23. Eugenio Suarez, CIN
  24. Luis Urias, MIL
  25. Amed Rosario, CLE
  26. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, TEX
  27. Oneil Cruz, PIT
  28. Gavin Lux, LAD
  29. Gio Urshela, NYY
  30. Brandon Crawford, SF
  31. Didi Gregorius, PHI
  32. J.P. Crawford, SEA
  33. Brendan Rodgers, COL
  34. David Fletcher, LAA
  35. Josh Rojas, AZ
  36. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, TEX
  37. Jonathan Villar, FA
  38. Miguel Rojas, MIA
  39. Paul DeJong, STL
  40. Joey Wendle, MIA
  41. Bryson Stott, PHI
  42. Andres Gimenez, CLE
  43. Nicky Lopez, KC
  44. Jose Iglesias, FA
  45. Alcides Escobar, WSH
  46. Garrett Hampson, COL
  47. Jeremy Pena, HOU
  48. Jose Peraza, NYY
  49. Jose Barrero, CIN
  50. Elvis Andrus, OAK
  51. Nick Gordon

This week, I continue my fantasy baseball draft preparation articles with shortstop and second base rankings.

Shortstop Rankings

Players may be ranked differently at second base and shortstop. Much has to do with the frequency of play at the position as well as the strength of the position.

  1. Fernando Tatis, SD
  2. Bo Bichette, TOR
  3. Trea Turner, LAD
  4. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
  5. Trevor Story, FA
  6. Tim Anderson, CWS
  7. Marcus Semien, TEX
  8. Wander Franco, TB
  9. Corey Seager, TEX
  10. Francisco Lindor, NYM
  11. Javier Baez, DET
  12. Corey Seager, TEX
  13. Carlos Correa, FA
  14. Jorge Polanco, MIN
  15. Jazz Chisholm, MIA
  16. Dansby Swanson, ATL
  17. Adalberto Mondesi, KC
  18. Willy Adames, MIL
  19. Jake Cronenworth, SD
  20. Gleyber Torres, NYY
  21. Bobby Witt, KC
  22. Chris Taylor, LAD
  23. Eugenio Suarez, CIN
  24. Luis Urias, MIL
  25. Amed Rosario, CLE
  26. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, TEX
  27. Oneil Cruz, PIT
  28. Gavin Lux, LAD
  29. Gio Urshela, NYY
  30. Brandon Crawford, SF
  31. Didi Gregorius, PHI
  32. J.P. Crawford, SEA
  33. Brendan Rodgers, COL
  34. David Fletcher, LAA
  35. Josh Rojas, AZ
  36. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, TEX
  37. Jonathan Villar, FA
  38. Miguel Rojas, MIA
  39. Paul DeJong, STL
  40. Joey Wendle, MIA
  41. Bryson Stott, PHI
  42. Andres Gimenez, CLE
  43. Nicky Lopez, KC
  44. Jose Iglesias, FA
  45. Alcides Escobar, WSH
  46. Garrett Hampson, COL
  47. Jeremy Pena, HOU
  48. Jose Peraza, NYY
  49. Jose Barrero, CIN
  50. Elvis Andrus, OAK
  51. Nick Gordon, MIN
  52. Nico Hoerner, CHC
  53. Kyle Farmer, CIN
  54. Christian Arroyo, BOS
  55. Leury Garcia, CWS
  56. Nick Ahmed, AZ
  57. Tyler Wade, LAA
  58. Harold Castro, DET
  59. Willi Castro, DET
  60. Luis Garcia, WSH
  61. Ramon Urias, BAL
  62. Edmundo Sosa, STL
  63. Ha-Seong Kim, SD

His Time Has Come: Luis Urias

Hopeful: Oneil Cruz

Second Base Rankings

  1. Mookie Betts, LAD
  2. Trea Turner, LAD
  3. Marcus Semien, TEX
  4. Ozzie Albies, ATL
  5. Jose Altuve, HOU
  6. Whit Merrifield, KC
  7. Ketel Marte, ARI
  8. Jorge Polanco, MIN
  9. Javier Baez, DET
  10. Brandon Lowe, TB
  11. Max Muncy, LAD
  12. DJ LeMahieu, NYY
  13. Jonathan India, CIN
  14. Ryan McMahon, COL
  15. Jake Cronenworth, SD
  16. Gleyber Torres, NYY
  17. Jazz Chisholm, MIA
  18. Luis Urias, MIL
  19. Tommy Edman, STL
  20. Josh Rojas, ARI
  21. Ty France, SEA
  22. Luis Arraez, Minn
  23. Gavin Lux, LAD
  24. Kolten Wong, MIL
  25. Chris Taylor, LAD
  26. Eduardo Escobar, NYM
  27. Cavan Biggio, TOR
  28. Brendan Rodgers, COL      
  29. Jean Segura, PHI
  30. Enrique Hernandez, BOS
  31. Nick Madrigal, CHC
  32. Jeff McNeil, NYM
  33. David Fletcher, LAA
  34. Adam Frazier-SEA
  35. Jose Iglesias, FA
  36. Tommy LaStella, SF
  37. Jonathan Villar, FA
  38. Yu Chang, CLE
  39. Jonathan Schoop, DET
  40. Robinson Cano, NYM
  41. Cesar Hernandez, WSH
  42. Rougned Odor ,BAL
  43. Abraham Toro, SEA
  44. Michael Chavis, PIT
  45. Garrett Hampson, COL
  46. Joey Wendle, MIA
  47. Harold Castro, DET
  48. Leury Garcia, CWS
  49. Nick Senzel, TEX
  50. Andres Gimenez, CLE
  51. Kevin Newman, PIT
  52. Nico Hoerner, CHC
  53. Willi Castro, DET
  54. Wilmer Flores, SF
  55. Nick Solak, TEX
  56. Tony Kemp, OAK
  57. Dylan Moore, SEA
  58. Vidal Brujan, TB
  59. Ramon Urias, BAL
  60. Luis Garcia, WSH
  61. Edmundo Sosa, STL
  62. Ha-Seong Kim, SD

Sleeper: Josh Rojas

On the Rise: Ryan McMahon

HEADING HOME

Finally! We have a deal.

I file my articles on Saturday each week. I expect that by the time you read this there will have been plenty of moves. So the teams listed in the rankings may have changed.

I just don't know why MLB and MLBPA didn't come to their agreement sooner. Although, I do think the players made some great strides. They got way more than half a loaf, and they can build on this Collective Bargaining Agreement for the future.

For those of us in the world of Fantasy Baseball, the biggest change this year will be the addition of the designated hitter in the National League. Clearly, careers have been extended. Players like Nelson Cruz and Kyle Schwarber will be important to our fantasy rosters.

Watch this one carefully: Players can't be sent back and forth between the minor leagues and the major leagues no more than five times a season. That means potentially more innings for pitchers as well as fewer roster moves for us.

In the future, probably as soon as 2023, we'll see a pitch clock, larger bases and maybe more. MLB has created a Rules Committee that will recommend rules changes. Then, MLB has 45 days to implement the changes if they so desire. For the first time, players will be on the Rules Committee.

I find it fascinating that the MLBPA Executive Board voted 8-0 against approving the CBA. But their rank and file player representatives voted 26-4 FOR  approving the CBA. It shows the players were very united, tuned in and not afraid to voice their real concerns. 

Agents, and Scott Boras in particular, had much to say in steering the MLBPA Executive Board to their conclusions. In the future, I think it would be very wise to have players on the Exec Board that represented all the players — not just the super stars. Not just players with the same agent. International players should be represented on the Exec Board. But who am I to tell the MLBPA how to do their job? They made great gains. Maybe no more than one player per agent on the Board? There I go, telling them what to do again.

MLB CBA Winners

  • The fans: We get a full 162-game schedule and 12 playoff teams. That means more fan engagement in the sport during September, when the NFL usually rules.
  • Aging designated hitters and weak defensive players; Universal DH is now a fact.
  • Tony Clark, Bruce Meyer and the MLBPA: They did a great job for their players.
  • Advertisers and Legal Gambling Sites: New advertising logos will appear on uniforms and helmets.
  • Large Market Clubs: They have an increased salary cap prior to being taxed.
  • Rookies and younger players: The minimum salary was increased to $700K from $570K.
  • Players with options: They can't be sent back and forth to the minors more than five times.

MLB CBA Losers

  • Rob Manfred: He showed no leadership. He was seen playing golf and working on his swing during the heat of negotiations. That's not a good look. He smiled and laughed during his announcement that there was "no deal" when everyone thought there was a deal. And to make things really worse, he apologized to the fans. Apology not accepted. Thank you anyway, Mr. Manfred.
  • Aging and mediocre players: The new minimum salary and other financial aspects of the new CBA will further squeeze out aging and mediocre players. Owners will not spend that much more money year over year. Maybe initially. But not in the long haul. How do they pay for the new financial aspects of the new CBA? By squeezing out marginal players — just as they have been doing for the past five years. Only this could be worse. More money to the younger guys means less money for the marginal veterans. It really is simple math. By helping the younger players, MLB and the MLBPA have put a target on the backs of aging and marginal veterans. The owners already have the arrows in their quivers.
  • Teams that tank: Well, now there will be a draft lottery for the top six picks. The 18 non-playoff teams will be included in the lottery for the top six picks. Some teams that tank will get burned.

In coming weeks I will have more to say about the CBA. I think kinks will work themselves out.

Thanks for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff.

Thanks for reading my articles at forbes.com.

And know this: I always enjoy reading your comments in the comments section below. I try to respond to all of them. I love reading what you have to say.

Have a great week. BASEBALL IS BACK!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bernie Pleskoff
Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.
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