MLB: The most valued shortstops of 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Boston Red Sox Shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) turns a double play in the eighth inning during the game between the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies on September 15, 2019 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Boston Red Sox Shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) turns a double play in the eighth inning during the game between the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies on September 15, 2019 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians Shortstop Francisco Lindor. (Photo by Carrie Giordano/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Shortstop Francisco Lindor. (Photo by Carrie Giordano/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

7. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians, $6.146 million value, $10.85 million salary

This ranking will surprise some and outrage others who view Lindor as the quintessential MLB shortstop. It says something about what the baseball world thinks of Lindor that he got $10.85 million in 2019 as a first-year arbitration-eligible; that’s normally third-year arb money.

Lindor had a normal year by his standards in 2019. He batted .284 with 32 home runs and 74 RBIs, all within a normal range for his career. He is 25 and thus is likely to be improving.

All of which makes his 4.7 WAR sound surprisingly low. It’s actually only the sixth best figure among qualifying shortstops, and translates to $3.186 million based on positional averages.

Lindor is also widely thought of as a defensive genius, but the 2019 data doesn’t support that description. His .979 fielding average, 10 errors in 481 chances, is good but not great by the standards of his peers, seven of whom beat it. It amounts to $991,000 in value.

Lindor got to an average of 3.54 chances per nine innings, substantially the worst performance of his career, and good for only 28th among his peers. It only added $892,000 to his value.

The 1,196  innings he put in were above average, adding a final $1.07 million. Still the composite was a few ticks off the kind of performance we have come to expect from Lindor.