Hitter List 8/9: Ranking the Top 150 Batters ROS
Every week during the season, we are releasing a list of the best batters in fantasy baseball that’s designed to be similar to Nick’s list of Top 100 Starting Pitchers that comes out each Monday. Our objective is to give you the most current rankings of who we see as being the top 150 hitters league-wide for the rest of the season. They take into account expectations going into the season and production to this point—as well as recurring trends and streaks—as a way of analytically extrapolating who http://www.pitcherlist.com/the-list-724-ranking-the-top-100-starting-pitchers-every-monday/will bring you the most fantasy dividends throughout the year. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from batters for all of 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.
Note: These rankings have been made with H2H 5×5 12-teamers in mind. These rankings do not take the games of 8/8 into account.
- George Springer should be back to the Astros lineup in the next few days, but the shadowy timeline of his convalescing from the quad injury makes it tough to restore him to his pre-injury ranking today. He’s a top-15 guy when healthy, no questions asked, just for the sake of clarification.
- Matt Holliday (back), Salvador Perez (intercostal [rib muscle]), and Aaron Altherr (hamstring) saw demotions this week that are directly related to their departures to the 10-day DL. Holliday had really struggled of late, so I will be hesitating to reinstall him at his previous ranking of No. 103 if and when he gets healthy. Perez, on the other hand, is one of the best catchers in fantasy; it’s lucky for his owners that the injury is not a more complicated oblique strain, and he should be available again by the end of August if things go according to plan. Altherr re-aggravated an injury he had supposedly rehabbed, so expect Philly to play things conservatively when he’s back to the roster.
- Zack Cozart (quad) and Avisail Garcia (thumb) came back from the 10-day DL and have been promoted back to the neighborhood of their ROS rankings before their de-activations. Garcia should be fine and should be owned at OF in all leagues with his .303 average, 54 RBI and 13 homers, especially now that Melky Cabrera has departed for Kansas City. The Reds, however, might be a little cautious with Cozart since the injury has flared back up before. He’s still a dynamite play at SS, but easing him back into full-time duty may be a factor in determining his share of playing time in the next week or so.
- Both Brandon Belt and Evan Gattis are on the 7-day concussion DL, so they saw slight demotions that will prove temporary in nature as soon as they’re back to full health.
- I’ve flip-flopped Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado underneath Mike Trout. Goldy has three homers, 11 RBI and a .435 average over the last week. Yes, please.
- Giancarlo Stanton is back at the top with most jacks in the league. He’s your new No. 7 hitter, especially because his runs and RBI rank among the premier 10 totals across MLB.
- Miguel Cabrera just isn’t a top-25 guy anymore, nor can I look at his stats and say he’s a top-35 guy this season. He has tumbled down the rankings because I realized the name recognition/value and monstrous production of yesteryear was clouding my judgment and preventing me from demoting him like I should have a while ago.
- Whit Merrifield, Justin Smoak, Eduardo Nunez, Willson Contreras, and Orlando Arcia are my meritorious big risers of the week. Merrifield is a cross-category monster, Smoak isn’t getting enough love for his 31 HRs and 76 RBI, and Nunez is clearly comfortable mashing in Boston. Contreras has been one of the best players in baseball period, not only just among catchers, since the All-Star break, and Arcia just recently seemed to find his power stroke while also maintaining an average in the neighborhood of .280. He should be capable of ratcheting up the run production to be an even more competitive starting SS, but the fact that he stole five bases in July alone on top of a decent portfolio tips the scales toward you needing to own him.
- Making a fresh appearance on the Hitter List are Tim Beckham (139), Joey Gallo (142), Mitch Moreland (144), Josh Bell (146), and Marcus Semien (147).
- Beckham hasn’t had a hitless outing since becoming an Oriole last week, and his average and XBH work in his new home landed him AL POW honors. Ride the suddenly exciting Beckham wave while it’s cresting, since it’s anybody’s guess how valuable he will be when J.J. Hardy returns to the 25-man roster from the DL. For the time being, however, he’s being added like crazy—to the tune of a 30-plus percentage point increase over the past 48 hours in both Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
- Gallo has a league-leading eight homers over the span of the last two weeks and hit .333 in the past seven days. It is still unfortunate that he’s been a batting average liability over the course of the season, but this spurt in efficiency coupled with consistently manufactured power make it hard to leave him out of a Top 150 list.
- Moreland already has a couple of homers and five RBI as part of his 6-18 beginning to the month of August. He had a truly brutal July in which he hit just .145, but the XBH have started rolling back into his portfolio over the past 10 days. I’m OK with using him as a UTIL or streamed backup 1B.
- Bell is a little streaky, so he can make for a stressful few days in the middle of a matchup as you’re wondering if he’s going to be able to turn it on and produce for you in meaningful ways. However, he just had two separate hit streaks of six games apiece over the last three weeks, and the 19 homers and 59 RBI are nice touches on top of hitting well enough for average lately. Not hitting a bomb over his last seven games shouldn’t be too much of a concern, and he’s fine to deploy as a backup 1B or corner infielder.
- Semien has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games. He consistently bats second for Oakland, and while the RBI have correspondingly been absent from his résumé since his July 31 grand slam, he does score runs pretty often. He’s a backup SS who provides modest production and doesn’t do anything mind-boggling, but it is nice that he can occasionally be a threat to get the odd double or steal a base.
- Falling out of the Top 150—with their previously held rank in parentheses—are Wilson Ramos (142), Trevor Story (144), Matt Davidson (147), Clint Frazier (148), and Jose Reyes (149).
- Ramos has fared terribly since coming back from the 60-day DL on June 24. Well below the Mendoza Line with a .187 season average, he just has not delivered on the high expectations that were set for him. Thirteen RBI and just seven runs scored over 91 AB from the primary Tampa Bay backstop unfortunately mean you have to look elsewhere for your fantasy needs. Ramos is getting more opportunities than Jesus Sucre, but neither are really worth owning in even the deepest of leagues at this point.
- Story has started August by going 3-18 after finishing the final week of July with a 4-24 slump. The young Rockies SS hasn’t been able to duplicate the prodigious power we came to associate him with during his 2016 debut campaign. He’s only got 15 bombs on the year across 326 at-bats. And after languishing below .200 for most of April and May, he snuck into the .230 range once in June and once in July before now receding back to the .220s. He’s yet to crack 50 in either runs or RBI despite playing at hitter-friendly Coors half the time, and he’s in the bottom third of the lineup because he has struggled.
- Davidson went to the DL with a nagging wrist injury after getting a HBP last week. He has gained 3B eligibility and does a fair amount of DH duty in addition to the odd spot start at first. Davidson has 22 homers and 51 RBI to his credit, but because he’s unusable and inactive for the moment we’ve made way for other players in the rankings as the fantasy season starts to approach the playoff push.
- Frazier is one of those borderline players right now who’s exciting to watch in real life but might need to be more of a stash-for-dynasty type of guy from a fantasy standpoint. Off to a rough start in August, but too much shouldn’t be made of his fluctuating batting average since the sample size is so small (107 AB). Four homers, 12 runs and 17 RBI over a month-plus of gameplay is acceptable but not entirely helpful for your roto needs.
- Reyes hit .302 in July and yet is now mired in an 1-13 slump to begin August. He also hasn’t homered since July 15. That kind of feast-or-famine batting is the last thing you need for weekly H2H matchups right now. I’m perfectly fine admitting the recency bias of his decent July got me when I added him to the rankings a couple weeks ago. The good news is that, with the arrival of Amed Rosario to The Show after a recent call-up, Reyes could very well gain 2B eligibility at some point if the Mets need him to move around to accommodate the hot prospect at short.