New wave of elite shortstops nearly ready

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Scouts in Arizona and Florida covering spring training are buzzing over the game’s next generation of shortstops.

Corey Seager of the Dodgers, Francisco Lindor of the Indians, Carlos Correa of the Astros, J.P. Crawford of the Phillies and Addison Russell of the Cubs continue to impress everyone both on and off the field. None of them are expected to start the year in the major leagues, but at least a couple of them will arrive by early summer or September at the latest, with Lindor and Seager the favorites to arrive first.

Baseball has enjoyed a nice run of Hall of Fame shortstops over the past couple of decades, but we’ve had to say goodbye to five of the best during their time, including: Derek Jeter (2014), Omar Vizquel (2012), Barry Larkin (2004), Cal Ripken Jr. (2001) and Ozzie Smith (1996). Larkin, Ripken and Smith already are in the Hall and it's only a matter of time before Jeter and Vizquel join them.

However, the next generation of young baseball fans should fasten their seat belts because this new group of five shortstops presently in the minor leagues will arrive in the next couple of years, following in the huge footsteps of those retired legends.