Major League Baseball has waited far too long to see a fresh crop of elite shortstops. Long gone are the days of Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Miguel Tejada; but, the kids that grew up idolizing them have arrived, and the kids are all right.
Here’s a quick a rundown of the new guys covering the six hole:
Carlos Correa, 21, Houston Astros–In just under 100 games last season, Correa was able to put every one of his five tools on display: hit for average (Correa BA .279/ League BA .254), hit for power (22 HR, .512 SLG–plus two in the playoffs), he showed off the leather–minus a couple of rookie hiccups–, he showed off the arm, and the wheels (14 SB). What’s not to love?
Addison Russell, 22, Chicago Cubs–Though his bat is not as developed as Correa’s, he still hit 13 jacks last year, with 54 RBI and definitely made some noticeable adjustments at the plate throughout the season. What he lacks at the plate, he makes up for with the glove. He’s an extremely fluid shortstop with easy, boring (that’s a good thing) mechanics. He has been compared to Barry Larkin and Derek Jeter; either way, things are looking up for the North Siders
Xander Bogaerts, 23, Boston Red Sox–He’s been around for a couple more years than Russell and Correa, but Bogaerts has proved to be a primetime, blue chip shortstop in Boston. After trading Jose Igleasias, another young (26), talented shortstop, to Detroit, Boston fans were very anxious to see that Bogaerts aptly filled the role. To their relief, he has done just that. Not only is he a wizard in the field, but he also took home the AL Silver Slugger Award last season, after batting .320.