Shortstop has become a position of studs, and that's especially true in the minor-league ranks, where so many who might not be up to major-league standards defensively haven't moved off the position yet.

It means I have to treat it differently from every other infield position for the purpose of these rankings, going 20 deep instead of the usual 10. Bonus content! Who can complain?

It's not a stretch to get there either. My initial thought is that all 20 of these prospects will make my overall top 100, set to come out in January. I'd venture to say the top five will all be in my top 20 (if not top 15), too.

Note: This list is intended for a variety of Fantasy formats and thus weighs short-term role against long-term value. Not all of these players will contribute in 2023 — most, in fact, will not — but among prospects, they're the names Fantasy Baseballers most need to know.

1. Anthony Volpe, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .249 BA (511 AB), 21 HR, 50 SB, .802 OPS, 65 BB, 118 K

Some will take one look at Volpe's batting average and dismiss him as "just another overrated Yankees prospect," not recognizing that it was dragged down by a frigid first two months. Over his final 72 games before moving up to Triple-A, he hit .286 with a .910 OPS, showing all the power, speed and plate discipline that vaulted him up rank lists in 2021 and entrenched him as the Yankees shortstop of the future.

2. Elly De La Cruz, Reds

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .304 BA (471 AB), 28 HR, 47 SB, .945 OPS, 40 BB, 158 K

It's almost too easy to compare De La Cruz to 2022 call-up Oneil Cruz, both because he's another freakishly tall shortstop (6-feet-5) and because he possesses a toolset so explosive that there are really no limits to his upside. The strikeout rate may give you pause, but he should overcome it purely on quality of contact. And there's 70-grade speed to boot.

3. Jordan Lawlar, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, Low-A, High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .303 BA (389 AB), 16 HR, 39 SB, .910 OPS, 57 BB, 115 K

Not even two full seasons into his professional career, Lawlar has already suffered a torn shoulder labrum, a benign back growth and a fractured scapula, but he's managed to climb to Double-A anyway with production so stellar it makes you wonder how he lasted to the sixth pick in the 2021 draft. All reports point to a future 20/20 man with the potential to hit for average, too, if he can keep the strikeouts under control.

4. Marcelo Mayer, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2022: Low-A, High-A
Minor-league stats: .280 BA (350 AB), 13 HR, 17 SB, .887 OPS, 68 BB, 107 K

Mayer didn't make quite the first impression Lawlar did, but the first of the four big shortstops drafted in 2021 nonetheless lived up to the hype, evoking Corey Seager comparisons with his pretty left-handed swing. It's nitpicking to critique the strikeout rate given that he was thriving against pitchers with far more experience, and it also looks like he could be a bigger base-stealer than expected.

5. Jackson Holliday, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, Low-A
Minor-league stats: .297 BA (64 AB), 1 HR, 4 SB, .911 OPS, 25 BB, 12 K

The first overall pick in this year's draft has a chance to be an even better major-leaguer than his seven-time All-Star father of Rockies and Cardinals fame, Matt Holliday. He profiles similarly as a hitter, albeit from the left side, bringing an advanced approach, tremendous barrel control and above-average to plus power. Meanwhile, he provides more defensive value than his pop as a true shortstop, and he can run.

6. Ezequiel Tovar, Rockies

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .319 BA (285 AB), 14 HR, 17 SB, .927 OPS, 27 BB, 66 K
Major-league stats: .212 BA (33 AB), 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 BB, 9 K

Tovar's unexpected rise to prospect prominence carried him all the way to the majors and has him positioned to claim the opening day job in 2023. The tools don't quite back up the numbers, but he's still adding strength and gets the most out of what he has with clean mechanics and sharp instincts. Coors Field will only further bolster his talents, giving him five-category potential.

7. Marco Luciano, Giants

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, High-A
Minor-league stats: .269 BA (227 AB), 11 HR, .817 OPS, 26 BB, 58 K

There may come a point when Luciano stops getting a pass for his lackluster production, but we're not there yet with the 21-year-old, who was hyped from a very young age and has made a methodical climb up the minor-league ladder, mastering one stop before struggling at the next. His big power was manifesting early before a back injury derailed him, so let's not lose hope.

8. Noelvi Marte, Reds

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: High-A
Minor-league stats: .279 BA (448 AB), 19 HR, 23 SB, .829 OPS, 59 BB, 107 K

Marte's stock took a dip early last season when he showed up out of shape and then struggled out of the gate. But he caught fire midseason before being traded to an organization with a much more inviting home venue. You don't hear the Hanley Ramirez comparison much anymore since he's not shaping up to be that sort of athlete, but odds are Marte is going to mash, particularly if he gets to call Cincinnati home.

9. Brooks Lee, Twins

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .303 BA (122 AB), 4 HR, 6 2B, .839 OPS, 16 BB, 20 K

Drafted eighth overall this year, Lee is exactly the sort of hitter who profiles best for points leagues -- highly disciplined with little speed and closer to 20-homer power than 30. Factor in the likelihood of him shifting to third base, and he reminds me of Alex Bregman (the current version, not the one who went bananas with the juiced ball), only with more batting average potential.

10. Colson Montgomery, White Sox

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: Low-A, High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .274 BA (350 AB), 11 HR, .810 OPS, 54 BB, 83 K

A first-round pick out of high school in 2021, Montgomery showed more discipline and polish than expected in his first full professional season, making it all the way to Double-A before looking overmatched. He stands an imposing 6-feet-4, which offers hope for more power even if his left-handed swing is geared for line drives right now. That makes for another easy Corey Seager comp, doesn't it?

11. Royce Lewis, Twins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2022: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .313 BA (131 AB), 5 HR, 12 SB, .940 OPS, 18 BB, 32 K
Major-league stats: .300 BA (40 AB), 2 HR, 4 2B, .867 OPS, 1 BB, 5 K

In only his 46th game back (combined majors and minors) from tearing an ACL for the first time, Lewis did it again in a rare start in center field, and much depends on his recovery from that second procedure on the same knee. But in between, he did the most reassuring thing a prospect can do: produce at the big-league level, delivering premium exit velocities with a low strikeout rate.

12. Oswald Peraza, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2022: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .259 BA (386 AB), 19 HR, 33 SB, .778 OPS, 34 BB, 100 K
Major-league stats: .306 BA (49 AB), 1 HR, 2 SB, .832 OPS, 6 BB, 9 K

While reports of Anthony Volpe's defense are mixed, no one doubts whether Peraza is equipped to handle shortstop, and it's interesting that he got the first crack of the two late last year. He's been more productive than first glance would have you believe, rebounding from a cold start to bat .316 with a .942 OPS in his final 53 minor-league games, but he needs to hit it to the right part of the park to send it out.

13. Masyn Winn, Cardinals

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .283 BA (474 AB), 12 HR, 43 SB, .832 OPS, 63 BB, 115 K

The former two-way player has gotten a lot of buzz over the past year, mostly related to his defense (and cannon of an arm). It may have overheated his Fantasy stock. He hit just .258 after moving up to Double-A, where he spent the majority of his season, and he's likely to top out at 15 homers or so. Still, the steals are sure to earn him admirers in 5x5 play. 

14. Zach Neto, Angels

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2022: High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .299 BA (147 AB), 5 HR, 5 SB, .853 OPS, 12 BB, 33 K

Though he's on the small side and not particularly strong, Neto generates power through exaggerated mechanics, namely a big leg kick (that he tones down with two strikes) and noisy load. They're the sort of traits that could backfire against upper-level pitching, but the fact he hit .320 in 30 games at Double-A is a good sign. Drafted 13th overall just this year, he's clearly on the fast track.

15. Jackson Merrill, Padres

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, Low-A
Minor-league stats: .339 BA (227 AB), 6 HR, 11 SB, .906 OPS, 20 BB, 44 K

Merrill sells out a little too much for contact right now, reluctant to turn on pitches in a way that would generate more power, and needs to work on his launch angle as well. But the tools are there for him to develop into an impact bat, and if not, he looks like a good bet to hit for average, especially with infield shifts being reduced.

16. Adael Amador, Rockies

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2022: Low-A
Minor-league stats: .292 BA (449 AB), 15 HR, 26 SB, .860 OPS, 87 BB, 67 K

During an April that put so many bats on ice, Amador burned the California League down with a .338 batting average and six home runs. The Rockies showed tremendous restraint in keeping the 19-year-old there all season, and he indeed came back down to earth, but there are still a number of indicators that could make him bulletproof at Coors Field, from the crazy strikeout-to-walk ratio to the lightning-quick bat.

17. Edwin Arroyo, Reds

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2022: Rookie, Low-A
Minor-league stats: .293 BA (467 AB), 14 HR, 27 SB, .845 OPS, 46 BB, 123 K

Another teenager who blew out expectations early only to blow up down the stretch, Arroyo became a key piece in the Luis Castillo deal and then hit .227 with one home run in 27 games with his new organization, despite remaining at the same level. I worry he was a product of the hitter-friendly California League and that his power won't play in a post-juiced ball league, leaving defense as his one plus attribute.

18. Jordan Westburg, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2022: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .265 BA (544 AB), 27 HR, 12 SB, .852 OPS, 70 BB, 147 K

Evaluators don't seem to have much negative to say about Westburg, and yet he keeps showing up lower on rank lists than his numbers would suggest. So I'm going to fall right in line here. His best trait is his ability to pull the ball for home runs, and he sacrifices some batting average in doing so. Unfortunately, Camden Yards' new dimensions work against him in that regard.

19. Luisangel Acuna, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2022: High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .277 BA (357 AB), 11 HR, 40 SB, .795 OPS, 51 BB, 96 K

What if Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies had a baby? It might look a lot like the former's little brother, who has a small stature, a big swing and energy for days. At 5-feet-8, he'll be hard-pressed to hit for big power in the current big-league environment and may be better served toning down his swing, but he really just needs to hit enough to keep his legs in the lineup. So far, so good.

20. Addison Barger, Blue Jays

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2022: High-A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .308 BA (467 AB), 26 HR, 33 2B, .933 OPS, 48 BB, 131 K

Barger will always struggle with strikeouts because of his big leg kick, but he cut down on them considerably in 2022 without sacrificing the power that's his biggest selling point. He improved his production with each jump up the ladder, making it no longer a stretch to think he could emerge as a big-league regular (more likely at third base), especially since he bats left-handed.