Ranking the 5 AL West shortstops heading into the 2023 season

Jun 28, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman David Fletcher (22) celebrates
Jun 28, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman David Fletcher (22) celebrates / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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4) David Fletcher/Luis Rengifo - Los Angeles Angels

David Fletcher is likely going to be the shortstop on Opening Day but if Luis Rengifo hits well in Spring Training I wouldn't be surprised to see him get the nod. Regardless of who starts on Opening Day, I think both players will get a large chunk of the starts at shortstop.

David Fletcher is a really fun player to root for but he's struggled to hit with the exception of the shortened 2020 season. He needs to hit over .300 to be a league-average hitter because of his lack of power and inability to draw walks. He ranked in the fourth percentile with a 4.7% walk rate in 2021 and he was even worse than that in 2022, walking just 3.1% of the time.

Fletcher is a great defender at second base but isn't the same defensively at shortstop. Luis Rengifo was a tick above average offensively last season but is not good enough defensively to play shortstop. The Angels have to prioritize either offense or defense and lack the complete player at a very important position.

3) J.P. Crawford - Seattle Mariners

J.P. Crawford isn't anything special but I'd rate him just a tick above what the Angels have at shortstop. Crawford had a 102 OPS+ in 2021 and a 100 OPS+ in 2022. He hits at the bottom of the Mariners' order and gets on base at a decent clip.

Crawford ranked in the 86th percentile with an 11.3% walk rate. He did that while ranking in the 93rd percentile with a 13.3 K-rate.

Despite winning a Gold Glove in 2020 Crawford was not good defensively last season accumulating -4 DRS and placing in the second percentile in OAA. He was better in 2021, so I expect him to get closer to league average in 2023 which makes him in my opinion a good amount better than Fletcher and Rengifo.