Best MLB Shortstop: Trea Turner vs. Francisco Lindor


Mar 15, 2023

Two of Major League Baseball’s best shortstops reside in the National League East, creating a debate about who the league’s best ultimately is.

Whether you want to consider Trea Turner of the Philadelphia Phillies or Francisco Lindor of the New York Mets as the best shortstop in the game, you’re unlikely to get many people fighting you on that notion. 

With that, let’s dive into these electric shortstops and decide which currently has the edge at the position. 

The Case for Trea

After getting traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021, Trea Turner left Hollywood in the offseason and signed a massive deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Turner inked an 11-year deal worth $300 million and will be looking to get the Phillies over the hump after they lost the 2022 World Series to the Houston Astros.

Turner is a true five-tool player and will give the Phillies another threat at the top of their lineup. He’s carved out a very strong career and finished the 2022 campaign inside the top 15 in baseball with a 6.3 WAR. Turner’s speed is really one of his biggest selling points, which has seen him snag 230 bases throughout his MLB tenure. He gets on base at a career .355 clip and boasts a .842 OPS over his eight seasons in the big leagues. Throughout that span, he has three finishes inside the top eleven in National League MVP voting and is a two-time All-Star.

Turner is elite at putting balls in play and is always a threat to lead baseball in batting average. He’s a complete player with the pedigree to be considered the best shortstop in the game today. 

The Case for Lindor

Francisco Lindor was dealt to the New York Mets from the Cleveland Guardians in the 2020 offseason and was later extended by the club. Lindor signed a lucrative ten-year deal with the Mets worth $341 million.

He’s continued to be a consistent star presence and is deservedly highlighted in this conversation. His first year with the Mets wasn’t anything to write home about, but he had a solid bounce-back campaign in 2022, where he tallied 26 home runs and drove in 107 runs. Lindor has a higher career WAR than Turner in the same career sample size and undoubtedly played a significant role in leading the Mets to a 101-win season last year.

Lindor’s importance to the Mets can’t be understated, and he’s poised to have another big season for a real World Series contender. 

The Verdict

As good as Lindor is, Turner brings more to the table right now. Lindor had a slightly higher WAR in 2022, but the difference wasn’t anything substantial. Turner has brought more consistency to the conversation and is the type of player any team would love to have as their starting shortstop. The biggest concern for us surrounding Lindor is that he’s posted three straight seasons with an OPS below .800, which we value in this conversation. You really can’t go wrong with either of these players, but we’ve landed on Turner as the current best shortstop on baseball, but only by a single with eyes. 

Thumbnail photo via Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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