[hitter_list list_id=”17028″ include_stats=”1″ season=”2018″]
Welcome back to Hitter List. Every Wednesday during the regular season, I’ll rank the current value of the top 150 hitters for the remainder of the year. Use these rankings to help get a sense of both a player’s expected performance and his trade value in your fantasy leagues moving forward. They’re constructed with 12-teamer, H2H, 5×5 leagues in mind; adjust as needed for your specific setup.
The injury bug is in midseason form as many widely owned players have landed on the disabled list during the season’s first two weeks. A handful of elite bats have also been slow to get going, likely due in part to the dying gasps of Old Man Winter across the country. It is also, of course, only April. The better part of six months remain, and these are rest of season rankings. We’re interested in the long view ’round these parts. That said, if you believe I’m under-reacting on any particular player, feel free to make your case in the comments.
On to the highlights!
- Scott Kingery makes his first appearance on the List after homering in back-to-back games, including a grand slam on Tuesday night. He’s now hitting .258/.324/.548 with two home runs, two stolen bases, and 11 R+RBI through nine games. He’s already logged time at second, third, short, and in the outfield, and one can reasonably expect him to be eligible at all of those positions eventually if he keeps hitting.
- We all knew going into 2018 that third base would be insanely deep, and that’s embodied in two of this week’s biggest risers: Matt Chapman and Maikel Franco. Both were drafted outside the top 20 at the position per NFBC ADP, but each is off to a quick start that has made them two of the most popular waiver wire pickups in the early going. If Chapman can continue to limit whiffs and Franco’s mechanical tweaks endure, they’ll easily turn profits on the pittance of an investment required to land their services.
- It’s not possible to draft every player you like, especially when it’s your job to know about basically everyone in the league. Consequently, every year there are guys that I express enthusiasm about in offseason columns who, for one reason or not, don’t end up on many of my rosters. Eugenio Suarez was 2018’s version of this phenomenon, which makes his broken thumb a personal bummer despite not having a lot of shares. There’s no timetable on his return, but hand injuries can sabotage entire seasons.
- Also notorious for that – back injuries. Until we know more, it’s hard to drop Anthony Rizzo too far; more likely than not he’ll be his usual excellent self once the tightness subsides. Still, the elite are separated by so little that any whiff of uncertainty is cause for a slight demotion in the ranks.
- Paul DeJong is hitting .302/.333/.535 with three home runs already. Sounds great, right? Of course it does! What doesn’t is 18 strikeouts against one walk. The plate discipline remains terrifying, and once the .455 BABIP falls back to orbit, things could get ugly. Like, “first half of 2017 Trevor Story” ugly…except worse because he doesn’t ever walk. Just something to think about.