Three Young Shortstops Who Don’t Get Talked About Enough

Among a deep and talented position group, three young shortstops deserve more recognition for their production.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 16: Masyn Winn #0 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 16, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Don’t look now, but the shortstops around MLB might be experiencing a new golden age.

Whether it’s young stars like Gunnar Henderson, Bobby Witt Jr. and Elly De La Cruz, or more household names like Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa, baseball fans these days are spoiled by the sheer depth and talent of this group.

But that same depth and talent can also cause us to overlook other special shortstops who are playing well in 2024, like these three names.

Masyn Winn, St. Louis Cardinals

It’s difficult to get the recognition you deserve when you’re playing between veterans Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt in the Cardinals’ infield, but Masyn Winn is deserving of praise.

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Known for his cannon of an arm, Winn has always been lauded for his defense at the shortstop position. And in a welcome development this season, his bat that has taken a massive step forward, making for a much more complete player profile.

St. Louis hopes it has its next franchise shortstop in Winn. Fortunately, the statistics seem to indicate good news on that front.

In 252 plate appearances so far, the 22-year-old has a .330 wOBA and a 116 wRC+, above average output which has translated into 1.4 fWAR. Those are solid metrics, especially for a shortstop. And the fact that he’s still just 22 means there’s plenty of room for growth.

If the Cardinals aren’t able to get former top prospect Jordan Walker ironed out, at least they have Masyn Winn to potentially hang their hat on as a developmental win.

Anthony Volpe, New York Yankees

Ever since Derek Jeter’s retirement in 2014, the Yankees’ inability to find a true successor to their iconic shortstop was glaring.

Don’t give me Didi Gregorius. Don’t me give Gleyber Torres, Troy Tulowitzki or Starlin Castro. Ditto for Tyler Wade and Gio Urshela. None of those names came remotely close to approaching Jeter’s greatness.

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But New York may finally have its long-awaited heir to The Captain on the roster now in Volpe.

A Yankees first-round pick in 2019, Volpe had (by many measures) a successful rookie season in the big leagues in 2023, slugging 21 home runs and playing Gold Glove defense. Not bad for an opening act.

And while Volpe might still be years away from being considered the “next” Jeter, it’s worth noting that the latter finished his first full season in 1996 with 2.2 fWAR, just a smidge higher than the former’s 2.0 fWAR last year. It’s a promising start, if nothing else.

The parallels will surely keep coming if Volpe continues to play at a high level, but for now, the 23-year-old stands as one of better young shortstops this game has to offer.

Ezequiel Tovar, Colorado Rockies

I called this one.

Going into the 2024 season, shortstop Ezequiel Tovar was a player I had pegged as underrated, largely due to the fact that the Colorado Rockies aren’t a good baseball team.

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Like Masyn Winn, Tovar was already heralded for his defense. But unlike the former, the latter has an extreme advantage playing in his favor: His home stadium of Coors Field, baseball’s most notorious hitter’s paradise. And Tovar is maximizing that benefit.

Through 324 plate appearances, the 22-year-old sports a .339 wOBA and 105 wRC+ along with 11 home runs. It’s also likely that Tovar’s wRC+ would be higher if not for the fact that wRC+ is a league-adjusted statistic that takes park factor into consideration.

In any case, his 2.2 fWAR is also indicative of his value despite the fact that he plays in Colorado.

The Rockies haven’t gotten a lot right on the player development side of things in recent years, but their decision to hand Tovar a seven-year, $63.5 million extension prior to this season looks like it could land pretty favorably given the player’s youth and upside.

And if Colorado was a more competitive club, perhaps Tovar would be in line for more league-wide recognition of his talents.


Masyn Winn, Anthony Volpe and Ezequiel Tovar are three shortstops who simply aren’t being talked about enough across baseball.

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The good news for Winn and Volpe, at least, is that their respective franchises (Cardinals and Yankees) are two of the most historic and popular in the sport, meaning their paths to relevancy will likely face less resistance as compared to Tovar’s, who is stuck on a Rockies team that remains far from winning consistently.

Regardless, let’s remember that the oldest of this trio is Volpe at 23, meaning there should be plenty of good baseball ahead for all three.