[hitter_list list_id=”17729″ 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.
As a reminder: It’s only April. There’s a ton of baseball left to be played, and these are rest of season rankings. We’re interested in the long view ’round these parts. This week’s movements are a bit more aggressive; 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!
- Yet more injury casualties. Elvis Andrus is the big one, as he’ll miss 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist. That’s A) a significant chunk of time and B) a particularly tough injury for a hitter to come back from. Andrus could see his bat speed and power sapped even when he’s healthy enough to return. Kevin Kiermaier continues to disappoint fantasy owners with his inability to stay healthy – this time it’s a torn thumb ligament that will likely cost him the rest of the season’s first half. He falls off the List entirely as a result. At least Jonathan Schoop‘s oblique strain is thought to be mild.
- New to the List this week: Eric Thames (an oversight last time around), Jed Lowrie, Andrelton Simmons, Christian Villanueva, Matt Davidson, and Shohei Ohtani. The latter is, unfortunately, suffering from what looks like a pretty nasty blister that necessitated him being removed from Tuesday’s game. Still, he’s been such a revelation at the plate in these first few weeks that recognition seemed overdue, even if questions remain about how many at-bats he’ll ultimately get and/or how he’ll handle it when pitchers adjust.
- Really had no choice but to drop Matt Carpenter way down the List when I saw this. That’s terrifying, particularly when you consider that he’s been dealing with the same shoulder injury since 1924. That’s what it feels like at this point, anyway.
- I expressed moderate concern about Starling Marte‘s post-suspension 2017 performance before the season began. He’s done his best to make me look silly so far, batting .308/.400/.569 with three home runs and five stolen bases.
- It’s important to remember not to read too much into a few great weeks just because they happened to come right at the start of the season. After all, at this time last year, some folks were ready to anoint Thames as the greatest player who ever lived. Having said that, I am extremely salty that I didn’t get more shares of Jose Martinez this spring. Dude can hit.
- On the bright side, “reaching” (please note the extremely sarcastic scare quotes) for Ozzie Albies in a bunch of drafts this year is already paying dividends. He already has five home runs! Maybe he’ll turn into Jose Altuve quicker than even I expected.
Turner – I would rather have many guys after Trea Turner, than Trea Turner – like Mookie Betts or Charlie Blackmon as really easy choices. Put another way, I am happy that I drafted Dee Gordon. At some point I think we can put a fork in his 2016 hitting stats, which makes him a two category player. I get that he is lot better than Billy Hamilton, but BHam is probably close to free at this point. I don’t think it is bad luck with Turner either – his swing is not repeatable, its pretty wild – I think his streaky ways are for real, which is just another reason to drop him down. A lot of things have to go right to belong in the group which he is placed… by most, not just this list.
Gattis – Last year’s drop off in power is looking kind of real. If he doesn’t hit a ton, they will find a DH who will. Might be time to sell to a sorry owner with no C, like myself.
Kemp – It’s time to put him on. He is producing a lot like he did last year before the injury bug bit. Rather than bet on regression, take advantage of one of the games better hitters because it won’t last (health). This wouldn’t be a post by theKraken without a dig at Turner’s ADP and a push for Matt Kemp – sorry, I am sure it is annoying.
Totally fair if you don’t buy Turner’s 2016, but you really don’t need to. Prorate his ’17 to a full year and you end up with .284-109-16-65-67. Already 8-for-8 in SB this year, the average will come up, and he’s walking a ton in the early going. More walks = more chances to swipe bags and score runs, which is exactly what we want from him.
Gattis gets a large portion of his value from being a DH with C eligibility – if he loses playing time, it’ll definitely be a blow to his standing here.
As for Kemp, I’m eyeing that .444 BABIP and 18.9 SwStr% and not feeling excited.
Does not seem correct that Betts is 9. He was too low pre-season and he’s sure damn too low now.
To me there is very little separation in the top 10, you could order them in almost any way after Trout and Altuve without much protest from my end.
Kyle, any significant changes to the relative placement of Merrifield, Buxton, Margot, and DeShields in an OBP format?
DeShields would get a modest bump.
I have Miggy Cabrera and I’m not sure what he is yet.. There are a few interesting options on wire in my league, Merrifield, Wil Myers
Do I make a move or sit tight and see?
Looked good today! I clearly haven’t given up on him, although I did revise his ranking down a fair bit this week.
I’m so confused by Matt Carpenter… is it crazy to drop him in a 10-team h2h league? I have Jose Martinez and newly-eligible HanRam at 1B
I mean, did you see that chart? Yikes. I don’t know if I’d be cutting bait yet but I’m definitely worried.
I am surprised Evan Gattis has not dropped in ranking. Small sample size, but his exit velocity is down a lot:
He also has not recorded any exit velocity > 100 mph this season.
Oops. Didn’t realize that someone already commented on Gattis. Again, small sample size, but I think Tucker Barnhart is worth monitoring. He’s now getting the majority of playing time, and his launch angle seems higher this year.
Barnhart’s certainly a guy to keep an eye on.
So how long do I wait until I start panicking with Edwin Encarnacion? I can afford to bench him for now, but I’m scared he is going to copy Jose Bautista and have his production drop off so steeply in one year that I’ll be dropping him in August
He was terrible last April, too, and things worked out okay.
Andrus is suffering from a broken elbow, not the wrist, if I’m not mistaken? If it is the elbow is their a history of decreased bat speed and power after coming back? Otherwise love the updates and effort per usual!
You are correct on that – so many injuries that I’m getting them mixed up. :(
I can’t find much on the impact of a broken elbow on bat speed and power, but it wouldn’t surprise me if either is adversely affected at least a little.
Kyle, I have to ask, why a 29 spot gap between Olson and Chapman? Incredibly similar profiles, same home park, what makes you believe that much more in Olson?
Fair question. I would note, though, that Chapman has easily the largest gap between where he started the season on the List and where he is. I’ve noticed his improvement at the plate and I’m definitely a fan. If he keeps it up, he’ll continue to move up.
I think you’re a little behind on Haniger IMO, he should be in the 50’s. His peripherals are out of this world and he’s done it all before. He’s basically a locked in 130+ wRC+ bitter and a top 10-12 offensive OF.