After Short led the Northeast Conference with nine homers and 33 walks as a Sacred Heart sophomore in 2015, lackluster performances in the Cape Cod League and his junior season depressed his Draft stock. After signing for $80,000 as a 17th-rounder in 2016, he regained his power and steadily advanced through the system. He began 2019 in Triple-A and was poised to make his big league debut later in the year, but an errant pitch broke his left hand in April, sidelining him for 10 weeks and hampering him afterward. Short made up for some of that lost time in the Arizona Fall League and was added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster in November, though they traded him to the Tigers for Cameron Maybin at the 2020 Trade Deadline.
Short has surprising power for his size, thanks to quick hands and an aggressive approach in which he tries to pull and left everything with his right-handed swing. He will need to shorten his stroke, develop more consistency and make adjustments to catch up to fastballs up in the zone. While he doesn't hit for average, he does work deep counts and draw a lot of walks, fueling healthy on-base percentages.
Short can help a team beyond his bat, using his solid speed well on the bases and playing quality defense at a number of positions. He might be the best shortstop in the Tigers' system, and his quickness and strong arm allow him to get the job done at second and third base as well. He has a ceiling as a Zack Cozart-type regular but more likely will be a slugging utilityman.
Scouting grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
Short put himself on the prospect map by leading the Northeast Conference with nine homers and 33 walks as a Sacred Heart sophomore in 2015, only to slump in the Cape Cod League that summer and again as a junior. He fell to the 17th round of the 2016 Draft, signed for $80,000 and didn't do much in his pro debut. But he has opened eyes since with his power and patience, combining for 30 homers and 176 walks in his first two full seasons while reaching Double-A.
Short has quick hands and a pull-heavy approach, giving him more pop than a typical 175-pounder. He's an extreme flyball hitter who makes a lot of loud contact from the right side of the plate, though the Cubs would like to see him cut down his swing and make more regular contact. He works deep counts and draws a lot of walks, giving him healthy on-base percentages despite subpar batting averages.
With solid speed and an aggressive nature, Short can steal an occasional base. Some club officials believe he's the best defensive infielder in the system, and his quickness and arm strength allow him to play second and third base and serve in a utility role if needed. If he can put the bat on the ball more consistently, he could be an everyday shortstop in the mold of Zack Cozart.
Scouting grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
Short led the Northeast Conference with nine homers and 33 walks as a Sacred Heart sophomore in 2015, intriguing scouts with his combination of pop and patience. But he didn't perform well in the Cape Cod League and slumped as a junior, so he dropped to the 17th round of the 2016 Draft. He got going again offensively in his first full pro season, slamming 13 homers and finishing third in the Minors with 94 walks while reaching high Class A in 2017.
While he's just 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, Short has quick hands and makes repeated hard contact, giving him the ability to produce 12-15 homers on an annual basis. He's an extremely disciplined hitter who walked more than he struck out in his first two years as a pro, though his whiff rate has soared in Double-A this year and his on-base percentages have been much more impressive than his batting averages. He runs well and is aggressive on the bases.
Short's athleticism, quickness and solid arm strength give him defensive versatility. The Cubs believe he's a legitimate shortstop and also have played him at third base and second base. There's no reason he couldn't handle some outfield duty as well, which could make for a very interesting utilityman package.