2017 Prospect Watch: Top 10 Shortstops

Yanks' Torres, Braves' Swanson headline star-studded list

January 25th, 2017

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.
It was another banner year for shortstops in 2016, as (the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner), , and , each of whom appeared on last year's Top 10 Shortstop Prospects list, made their mark on the big leagues. Despite the turnover, this year's list is once again teeming with high-ceiling talents and features an even mix of American League and NL prospects.

Scouting reports, grades, stats and video on Prospect Watch
Top 10 Prospects by Position
1. , Yankees
The recipient of a $1.7 million bonus out of Venezuela in 2013, Torres excelled in his first full pro season in '15 as he helped Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach win the Carolina League title at age 19. He continued to impress last season in his return to Myrtle Beach before joining the Yankees as their key return in the deal in July, and then became the youngest Arizona Fall League MVP and batting champion (.403) in 25 years. Now 20, Torres boasts one of the highest offensive ceilings among prospects, with the potential to hit for a high average and deliver 20-plus homers from a premium position.

2. Dansby Swanson, Braves
Swanson became the first No. 1 overall Draft pick to be traded the year he was drafted when Arizona shipped him to Atlanta in the deal following the 2015 season. The Vanderbilt product made quick work of the Braves' system in 2016, beginning the year at Class A Advanced Carolina before advancing to Double-A and then hitting over .300 in the big leagues as Atlanta's everyday shortstop. While there's some concern about his ability to hit for power, Swanson's bat, speed and defense, as well as his leadership skills, could make him a perennial All-Star.

3. , Mets
The Mets had high expectations for Rosario when they gave him a $1.75 million bonus, the largest amount the club has given to an international player, in July 2012, and he's proved to be well worth the investment early in his career. He broke out in 2016 when, at age 20, he batted .341 in 54 games after a midseason promotion to Double-A. He shows the makings of becoming a plus hitter with extra-base pop, and he'll always offer plenty of value with his plus speed and defense. Meanwhile, another strong Minor League campaign could have Rosario competing for playing time in New York by the end of 2017.

4. , Phillies
The No. 16 overall Draft pick in 2013 had his production taper off between the Double-A and Triple-A levels in '16, although he still held his own as a 21-year-old against advanced competition, showing good feel to hit, advanced on-base skills and plus defense at shortstop. Crawford may never offer much in the way of over-the-fence pop, but that shouldn't keep him from reaching his ceiling as a top-of-the-order hitter.

5. Brendan Rodgers, SS/2B, Rockies
The Rockies gave Rodgers a club-record $5.5 million bonus after making him the No. 3 overall Draft pick and the first player selected from the prep ranks in 2015. He lived up to the hype as a 19-year-old in his first full season, when he finished fourth in the South Atlantic League in home runs (19), extra-base hits (50) and slugging (.480). Both Rodgers' bat and power project to be above average at maturity and should support a move to either second or third base if he's ultimately forced off of shortstop.

6. , Rays
The Rays' key acquisition in the 2014 Trade Deadline blockbuster that sent to the Tigers, Adames continued his quick rise through the Minors last season at age 20 with a standout campaign in Double-A. He's an above-average hitter with an approach that belies his age, and scouts expect him to tap into more of the power he showed in the Southern League last season moving forward.

7. Kevin Maitan, Braves
The Braves shelled out $4.25 million to land Maitan -- MLBPipeline.com's No. 1 international prospect heading into the 2016 signing period -- last July, as they targeted the switch-hitting 16-year-old Venezuelan for his huge offensive ceiling and potential to stick at shortstop. It's that combination which gives Maitan a chance at becoming a future superstar, though he'll likely need several years to develop in the Minors.

8. , SS/2B, Yankees
Mateo's stock took a hit in 2016 with his struggles in the Florida State League, and a two-week suspension for insubordination raised questions about his makeup. That being said, the 21-year-old still possesses a slew of high-end tools including top-of-the-scale speed and average hitting ability, although some question whether he can stick at shortstop in the long run.

9. , Twins
The son of former big league pitcher Tom Gordon and Dee Gordon's half-brother, Nick Gordon has been nothing short of consistent since the Twins made him the fifth overall pick in 2014. A Florida State League All-Star last season at age 20, Gordon doesn't have loud tools but is a well-rounded player with the potential to be a solid everyday shortstop in the big leagues.

10. , SS/2B, A's
Acquired in the trade that sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto in November 2014, Barreto jumped directly to the Class A Advanced California League for his first full season and then spent much of his age-20 campaign in Double-A before moving up to Triple-A late in the season. He's a dynamic hitter who projects to hit for both average and power, though some believe his fringy defense will require a move to second base.

Next up
Few hitters in the 2015 Draft class were more accomplished than , who, after winning back-to-back Cape Cod League batting titles and then hitting .370 as a junior at Arizona, became the 19th overall pick in June. He continued to rake while reaching Double-A in his first full season, showing the offensive tools to develop into a top-of-the-order hitter while also holding his own at shortstop.
took home MVP honors in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in 2015, only to be dealt from Arizona to Milwaukee as part of the package to acquire and right-hander that offseason. He was even more impressive last year during his full-season debut, when, at age 20, he hit 20 homers to lead the Midwest League, tied for third in RBIs (75) and finished fourth in slugging (.469) en route to the Brewers' Minor League Player of the Year Award.