2020 Preseason Power Rankings: ShortstopSeason Preview
When we rolled out our Preseason All-America Teams, we followed one guiding principle: If we were building a team to win the 2020 national title, which players would we choose? We use the same philosophy to construct our Position Power Rankings — think of them as an extension of our Preseason All-America Teams.
These are NOT professional prospect lists, though they do take pure talent into consideration. Players who proved themselves against top competition in summer ball and look poised for breakout years might rank higher on the list than other players who had gaudier stats from last spring. We considered past performance and offensive statistics, but we also try to keep the numbers in context, because some leagues or ballparks are more offensive than others, and some leagues simply have more talent than others — so all stat lines are not created equal. So in addition to the numbers, we also factored in raw talent, defensive ability (especially at premium positions), makeup and reports of development over the summer and fall.
Finally, remember that there are 301 Division I teams, and we’re ranking the top 10 percent of starting players at each position. These lists reflect our projections of which players will be the best of the best this spring, but many good players in the remaining 90 percent just didn’t make the cut. We’ll revisit the Position Power Rankings over the course of the season and make adjustments as players prove themselves on the field.
This is an exceptionally strong year for the shortstop position, and our deliberations over the three spots on our All-America teams were robust. You can rank the top eight or nine shortstops in almost any order, and our staffers had wildly differing views on how to line them up. This list represents our best effort at consensus; we settled on Arizona State’s Alika Williams and Baylor’s Nick Loftin — two Team USA veterans who are standout defenders as well as accomplished hitters — for the top two spots.
Top 30 Shortstops
Rank Player, School AVG/OBP/SLG OPS AB HR RBI BB SO SB
1 Alika Williams, Arizona State .333/.430/.471 .901 210 4 53 33 28 9
2 Nick Loftin, Baylor .323/.380/.502 .882 235 6 41 17 17 6
3 Casey Martin, Arkansas .286/.364/.548 .912 283 15 57 30 79 10
4 Luke Waddell, Georgia Tech .322/.436/.416 .852 233 2 34 45 22 7
5 Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State .294/.402/.457 .859 265 6 61 39 69 7
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