Top 10 Best Shortstops for the 2024 MLB Season

From veteran stars Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager, to newcomers in Bobby Witt Jr. and Gunnar Henderson, the shortstop position is loaded right now.

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 31: Corey Seager #5 of the Texas Rangers fields the ball during Game Four of the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 31, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

Starting from the days of tee ball, all the way through Major League Baseball, the best player on the field is supposed to be put at the shortstop position. This is where you find the top athletes in the sport, who can impact the game for their teams in so many different ways.

Right now, the position is filled with so many talented players, from long-established superstars like Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor, to budding stars such as Bobby Witt Jr., who was just minted with a $288.77 million extension with the Kansas City Royals off a breakout season.

At a time where the position is as good as ever before, let’s take a dive into our rankings of the top 10 shortstops in baseball heading into the 2024 season.

The following rankings were made by our senior staff members at Just Baseball. Jack McMullen, Peter Appel, Aram Leighton, Ryan Finkelstein, Leo Morgenstern and Colby Olson, each created their top player lists at each position and we took the composite average score to set our 2024 rankings.

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Honorable Mentions: Willy Adames, Jeremy Peña

The late 1990s were viewed as a golden era for shortstops, with Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra and Barry Larkin all at the height of their powers. But as you can see from those who just missed our list, 2024 projects to be one of the deepest years in terms of talented shortstops in MLB history.

Adames isn’t going to compete for batting titles, but he has pop and grades out as one of the best defenders at his position. Adames has homered 24 or more times in each of the last three seasons, and is fourth among all shortstops with 17 outs above average over that same period.

The 28-year-old is entering a contract year, and if the Milwaukee Brewers don’t turn out to be contenders, he’ll be a coveted player before the July 30 trade deadline.

Meanwhile, Peña, while still productive, had a relatively disappointing second season. That’s probably bound to happen when your rookie year concludes with you winning the World Series MVP. It is fair to be concerned that he didn’t homer a single time after the All-Star Break, but Peña is a tremendous defender and someone we would anticipate bouncing back at the plate in 2024.

And yet, neither Adames or Peña cracked our list…

10. Carlos Correa

2023 Stats: 580 PA, .230/.312/.399, 18 HR, 65 RBI, 96 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -2 DRS, -1 OAA

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Both the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets reneged on megadeals with Correa last offseason, before he signed an eventual six-year, $200 million deal to return to the Minnesota Twins.

All that uncertainly probably did affect his 2023 campaign, but nothing that happened last season left the Giants and Mets feeling any buyers remorse.

In his age-28 season, Correa slashed a disappointing .230/.312/.399 with a league-leading 30 double plays grounded into and a 94 OPS+ that suggests he was a below-average player at his position.

Defensively, Correa won the Platinum Glove Award as the best defender in the AL in 2022, posting 20 defensive runs saved and 11 outs above average. In two seasons with the Twins, Correa has one defensive run saved and -4 outs above average.

Until he proves otherwise, we’re left to wonder if the surgically repaired right ankle that two teams had major concerns about might already be starting to affect his output.

9. J.P. Crawford

Age: 29

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2023 Stats: 638 PA, .266/.380/.438, 19 HR, 65 RBI, 134 wRC+, 4.9 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -3 DRS, -8 OAA


J.P. Crawford was a first-round pick by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2013 MLB Draft, but was still too green when the franchise acquired Bryce Harper and a slew of stars in advance of the 2019 season. And so, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners as part of a deal that sent infielder Jean Segura back to the Phillies, a trade that’s worked out well for both parties involved.

In 2023, Crawford had the finest offensive season of his career, leading the AL with 94 walks and posting the best marks of his career in terms of on-base percentage (.380), slugging percentage (.438), home runs (19), RBIs (65), OPS (.818) and WAR (4.9).

At the same time, Crawford’s defensive metrics have dipped. He has -7 defensive runs saved since the start of the 2022 season, after having 14 across the two prior campaigns.

Likewise, he had seven outs above average between 2020 and 2021, but has -19 outs above average over the last two years. Those metrics aren’t the end-all-be-all, but it is interesting considering his defense was the best aspect of his game for many years.

8. Dansby Swasnon

Age: Turns 30 in February

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2023 Stats: 638 PA, .244/.328/.416, 22 HR, 80 RBI, 9 SB, 104 wRC+, 4.9 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 18 DRS, 20 OAA


Dansby Swanson may never replicate the monster contract year he produced for the Atlanta Braves in 2022, but his first campaign with the Chicago Cubs was pretty impressive nonetheless.

After signing a seven-year, $177 million deal to join the Cubs in free agency, Swanson homered 22 times, drove in 80 runs and posted a .744 OPS.

Chicago will likely be hoping that he can find a middle ground between the .277 average that he hit for in his final season with the Braves and the .244 mark that he hit a year ago. Still, Swanson has developed into a much better offensive player than he appeared to be early in his career.

And his glove at shortstop remains his meal ticket. While there’s quite a few tremendous hitters on this list who happen to play shortstop, Swanson excels in the field, as evidenced by consecutive Gold Glove Awards. Over the past two seasons, Swanson leads all qualified defenders with 40 outs above average, and is fifth with 27 defensive runs saved.

7. Xander Bogaerts

Age: 31

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2023 Stats: 665 PA, .285/.350/.440, 19 HR, 58 RBI, 19 SB, 120 wRC+, 4.4 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -4 DRS, 3 OAA


We can question how well the 11-year, $280 million deal that Bogaerts signed with the San Diego Padres prior to the 2023 season will age, but he remains one of the most steady offensive players in the sport, and has actually graded out pretty well defensively in recent years.

Since the start of the 2021 season, Bogaerts is top five among all shortstops in batting average (.295), on-base percentage (.365), hits (497), doubles (103), runs scored (257), walks (175) and fWAR (14.8).

His long-term defensive future may still be at third base, but defensive metrics have been much higher on his performance in the field over the past two seasons than at any point in his career.

Bogaerts has -54 defensive runs saved in his career, but one defensive run saved across the last two seasons. He has eight outs above average at shortstop since the start of the 2022 season, compared to -31 over the totality of his career.

6. Gunnar Henderson

Age: 22

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2023 Stats: 622 PA, .255/.325/.489, 28 HR, 82 RBI, 10 SB, 123 wRC+, 4.6 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 10 DRS, 0 OAA


Henderson split time between shortstop and third base in 2023, even seeing minimal action at second base. The result was a player who posted 10 defensive runs saved at shortstop and won AL Rookie of the Year.

Oh yeah, he’s a special player at the plate, too. In 2023, Henderson posted 29 doubles, 28 home runs, 82 RBIs and an .814 OPS, becoming the rare player to win a Silver Slugger in his rookie season. For good measure, Henderson even finished eighth in AL MVP voting, a sign that the 22-year-old may soon compete to actually win the award.

The Orioles won an AL-best 101 games in 2023, capturing the AL East crown after winning just 83 games in the prior season.

For as great a job as Mike Elias did in helping to build the Houston Astros dynasty, he’s perhaps done even better in building an incredible farm system as the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Henderson, a second-round pick in 2019, is one of the crown jewels that the O’s have produced from a system that always seems to have the most top 100 prospects in baseball.

5. Bo Bichette

Age: Turns 26 in March

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2023 Stats: 601 PA, .306/.339/.475, 20 HR, 73 RBI, 125 wRC+, 3.8 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 5 DRS, -2 OAA


Bichette had a nightmarish defensive season in 2022, but improved significantly in 2023, and his growth defensively makes him a pretty special player when you considering his offensive contributions.

Over the last three seasons, Bichette is second to only Trea Turner — more on him in a minute — in hits among shortstops, with 555. Across that same period, Bichette has an .815 OPS and has made two All-Star Game appearances.

The most encouraging part of Bichette’s second All-Star campaign in 2023 was how much he improved defensively. Bichette had 47 errors between 2021 and 2022, but cut that down to just eight in 2023. He went from having an unsightly -16 defensive runs saved in 2022 to five in 2023.

Bichette may never be Andrelton Simmons in the field, but his defensive improvements should allow him to stay at shortstop over the long run, a position where he has one of the best offensive profiles in the sport.

4. Bobby Witt Jr.

Age: 23

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2023 Stats: 694 PA, .276/.319/.495, 30 HR, 96 RBI, 115 wRC+, 5.7 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -6 DRS, 14 OAA


Defensive metrics may be divided on Witt’s play at shortstop, but he’s such a valuable player offensively that there’s little doubt he’s already among the best players at the position.

The former No. 2 overall pick used his electric speed to swipe 49 bases in 2023 and lead baseball with 11 triples. On top of that, his power output was pretty remarkable, as Witt homered 30 times and drove in 96 runs. Among AL position players/DHs, the only players who topped the 5.7 fWAR that Witt posted in 2023 were Shohei Ohtani, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Julio Rodríguez.

Defensively, Witt is an example of a player who the two most used defensive metrics are at odds on. He posted 14 outs above average in 2023, the eighth-best mark among all qualified defenders. However, he had -6 defensive runs saved, and that was actually quite the improvement over the -18 he posted at shortstop in his rookie season.

The feeling here is that Witt is one of the sport’s best young stars, and even if DRS doesn’t seem to like him, it would hardly be a shock if he wins an AL MVP at some point.

3. Trea Turner

Age: 30

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2023 Stats: 691 PA, .266/.320/.459, 26 HR, 76 RBI, 30 SB, 108 wRC+, 3.8 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -12 DRS, -4 OAA


Turner’s first season with the Phillies was a disaster until an early August standing ovation from fans at Citizens Bank Park.

While some questioned the logic of giving a standing ovation to a struggling player, it worked in Turner’s case. Turner’s power production returned in a major way over the final two months of the regular season, hitting 16 of his 26 home runs after the ovation.

The Phillies had a disappointing postseason exit, blowing 2-0 and 3-2 NLCS leads over the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Turner among the stars whose bats went silent in Games 6 and 7 at home. Still, Turner hit .347 in the postseason, and there’s reason to believe he’ll put together a full campaign at the plate in the second season of an 11-year, $300 million deal.

If there’s anything to be concerned by after a bizarre first season with the Phillies, it’s Turner’s play defensively at shortstop. While he’s never been a Gold Glove-caliber defender, Turner had a career-high 23 errors, and career-worst marks in defensive runs saved (-12) and outs above average (-4).

There’s no indication his world-class athleticism has declined, but he regularly booted balls in 2023 that he put himself in position to field.

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Bryson Stott, a natural shortstop, was a Gold Glove finalist at second base, so the Phillies have opted not to flip their middle infielders for the time being. But Turner doesn’t have a strong enough arm to play third base, and his play at shortstop in 2023 makes you think he’ll end up at second base for a sizable chunk of the remaining decade of his deal.

2. Francisco Lindor

Age: 30

2023 Stats: 687 PA, .254/.336/.470, 31 HR, 98 RBI, 31 SB, 121 wRC+, 6.0 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 7 DRS, 6 OAA


Francisco Lindor is the rare player who is universally recognized as a superstar while playing in a small market, but somehow seems to be unappreciated since joining the New York Mets in 2021.

Yes, the 2023 Mets season was a disaster, as the team with the highest Opening Day payroll in MLB history finished with a 75-87 record. No, Lindor wasn’t remotely to blame for it. He cleared the 30 home run mark for the first time since 2019, also drove in 98 runs en route to winning his third career Silver Slugger.

In addition to those Silver Sluggers, Lindor is a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner, with a Platinum Glove Award also on his trophy mantle. Still only 30, Lindor is a few more peak seasons away from being a legitimate Hall of Fame candidate.

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1. Corey Seager

Age: Turns 30 in April

2023 Stats: 536 PA, .327/.390/.623, 33 HR, 96 RBI, 2 SB, 169 wRC+, 6.1 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 5 DRS, -2 OAA


If you need an idea of how excellent Seager was in 2023, he only played in 119 regular season games, and still finished second to Shohei Ohtani in AL MVP voting. Come playoff time, Seager was healthy, and didn’t take a backseat to anyone.

In the second campaign of a 10-year, $325 million free-agent deal, Seager put up a full season of superstar-caliber numbers, despite missing time with left hamstring and right thumb injuries. Seager led the junior circuit with 42 doubles, while homering 33 times and posting a 1.013 OPS.

When the playoffs arrived, Seager cemented his status as one of the greatest postseason hitters in MLB history. Three years after he won World Series MVP as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seager led the Rangers to their first World Series title in franchise history, again earning MVP of the Fall Classic. All he did in 66 postseason at-bats was hit .318 with six home runs and 12 RBIs.

With Ohtani now in the NL, Seager has to be at the forefront of the AL MVP conversation, particularly if he’s able to play a full season.

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