Exciting times lie ahead for the shortstops.
Oh, sure, most of the headlines surrounding this year's All-Star Game centered upon the prodigious power of Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger, or the remarkable wealth of talent at third base. It's the shortstops, though, who have fantasy owners excited for the future.
Consider that Carlos Correa, at age 22, has maintained seasonal paces of a .325 batting average, 36 home runs and 118 RBIs, placing him among the 20 best overall on our Player Rater for the season and 10 best overall in the past 30 days.
Trea Turner, though currently sidelined with a fractured right wrist, has batted .310 with 20 home runs, 68 stolen bases and 102 runs scored in 138 games played during 2016 and 2017. To put that into perspective, only Rickey Henderson (1985 and 1990) and Joe Morgan (1976) have managed a season of at least a .300 batting average, 20 homers, 60 steals and 100 runs scored in baseball history.
Corey Seager, the defending National League Rookie of the Year, has maintained seasonal paces of a .298 batting average, 23 homers and 81 RBIs, right in line with his extraordinary 2016. He's also just 23 years old.
Xander Bogaerts and Francisco Lindor have also flashed elite fantasy potential in their young careers, and they're both younger than 25. Andrelton Simmons, who until this season was known almost exclusively for his glove, is now a top-five fantasy shortstop on our Player Rater, sporting a pace of a .290 average 16 home runs and 23 steals.
And that's hardly scraping the surface at a position that has players like Tim Anderson, Orlando Arcia, Franklin Barreto, Brendan Rodgers, Amed Rosario, Dansby Swanson and Gleyber Torres, among others, either settling in now at the big league level or on the way in the next couple of seasons.
It should come as no surprise, then, that five of the top 16 players overall in my midseason dynasty rankings update qualify at shortstop, with 12 (11 of them natural shortstops) of the top 81 shortstop-eligible players.
Dynasty-league owners: It's much more important to address your shortstop position than it might have been a decade ago, and, yes, this also means that there is more depth at the position than there once was. If you're shifting your team's focus toward 2018 -- there's no shame in that if you don't fancy yourself a current contender -- it's a particular position to try to address on the trade market now.
With the All-Star break now upon us, trade season will only continue to heat up, especially in ESPN standard leagues, where the trade deadline is less than a month away.
To provide a head start, below is the midseason update of my dynasty 300, which serves as an effective "price guide" for those evaluating trades in keeper leagues.
The rankings formula
The Dynasty 300 uses the following player valuation formula:
2016 second-half performance: 10 percent.
2017 performance: 22.5 percent.
2018 performance: 22.5 percent.
2019 performance: 22.5 percent.
2020 performance and beyond: 22.5 percent.
The rationale for these weights is to provide the most accurate long-term projection of the player's value, essentially identifying the wisest, safest long-term investments. In addition, the reason that 2020 gets a greater weight than the remainder of 2017 is that I already provide going-forward rankings for fantasy owners focusing solely on this season. They are updated regularly, right here.
Remember that other factors influence these values, beyond simply your league's scoring system. The list below is a starting point, but you need to do your own manual adjustments to account for the following:
Number of keepers: How many players can you keep, and must every team keep the same number of players?
Player pricing: Is your league draft or auction format, and do you keep players in the round they are picked, for the auction price paid, or are players simply kept without prices attached?
Contract factors: Are there limits on the number of years you can keep a player and/or are there guaranteed contracts, and is there price or round inflation?
Farm teams: Does your league include minor leaguers and how are these players factored into the keeper system?
Team competitiveness: Are you a contender, rebuilder or something in between? At midseason a firm answer to this is much more crucial.
The Dynasty 300
Note: Players listed below qualify only at designated hitter