Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor are undoubtedly two of the best shortstops in baseball.
Despite the talents of both men, the young shortstops often get overlooked by other young big names. Seager hangs in the shadow of Trevor Story, the rookie Colorado shortstop who’s power lights up Coors Field. Lindor often gets over looked, casual fans seeing Correa or Bogaerts as the future of AL shortstops. Both of these men unjustifiably get overlooked, both vying for postseason berths. These two men are certainly the future, thus prompting the discussion of who is the best shortstop in baseball. Both men make a very strong case, perhaps always being tied together as “NL’s best SS vs. AL’s best SS”.
The Case for Corey Seager:
Being a Dodger fan, I admittedly have bias in this discussion towards Corey Seager. I have been anticipating his arrival for years, but despite that I will remain neutral. From the surface, Seager is the better pure power hitter. Corey uses his 6’4″ frame to his advantage, blasting 21 HR’s, 32 2B’s, and 3 3B’s. Corey is batting .305 with an .894 OPS, and strikes out at a relatively low rate of 19.0%. Although Seager lacks in stolen bases, the young Dodger shortstop showcases above average base running with his excess of extra base hits, and his 73 runs. Most importantly, he leads all MLB shortstops in WAR, with a 5.7. (As of August 12th, 2016).
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) August 9, 2016
Seager’s biggest disadvantage is certainly his fielding. Although not being a bad fielder, Seager does not showcase the range or flashy handwork that most shortstops have. To make up this deficiency, Seager has a powerful arm, thus causing the implications of moving to third base later in his career, which pulls him out of the discussion of best shortstop.
The Case for Francisco Lindor:
Francisco Lindor may be ranked third in WAR for shortstops behind Seager and Machado, but arguably can be stated as equal if not better than his counterparts. While Lindor doesn’t have the power Seager showcases, he still has slugged a respectable 14 homers, 20 doubles, and 60 RBI’s. Lindor is batting .308, however holding a far greater advantage in stolen bases with 15.
Perhaps the biggest advantage for Lindor is his fielding. Although Lindor only barely edges out Seager in defensive saber-metrics, the range and purity of Lindor outshines that of Seager. Although Seager may hold a slight offensive advantage now, Lindor will most certainly stay AT shortstop, making his case a much stronger one.
— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2016
Regardless of whose side of the argument you find yourself on, it is undeniable the sensational talent both young men showcase. Despite my Dodger bias, I lean towards Lindor being the more prolific shortstop of the future. However, baseball fans might see Seager take a path similar to A-Rod (bit of an exaggeration, I know) by becoming a dominant hitting third baseman.