Hitter List 4/20: Top 150 Hitters For 2022 – Week 2

The top 150 hitters for 2022 fantasy baseball.

First, let’s get some basics out of the way in terms of how to interpret these rankings. None of this stuff should come as any major surprise, but it never hurts to provide background:

 

  • As a reminder, these rankings are geared toward a standard, daily, 12-team H2H redraft league, as that is typically the most popular fantasy baseball format. They will only factor in the five standard categories: Runs, RBI, Home Runs, Batting Average, and Stolen Bases.

 

  • I would recommend not paying super close attention to the specific ranks of each player, and honing in more on the respective tiers that they’re in. Each tier represents a grouping of players that I think could arguably perform at a similar level, and/or carry similar levels of risk in terms of injury concerns or playing time obstacles. If Player X is ranked at #55 and Player Y is ranked at #65, but they’re in the same tier, it means that I personally like Player X a lot better, but think there’s a valid argument to be made for Player Y performing just as well.

 

  • I take rankings like this as more of an art than a science. Every person’s rankings are influenced by their own biases, strategic philosophies, determinations of risk, and projections. It’s why no two rankings are ever exactly alike. Jon’s way of evaluating and ranking players has worked out well for Jon (and me) over the years, but it might not be a great fit for you. I can’t possibly predict your team’s specific needs, your league mate’s player evaluations, or your current waiver wire, and if I could it’d be weird. In a bad way.

 

  • Yes, these ranks vary from the official PL positional rankings that I also developed in the offseason. That’s because these are only mine – no input from others. This is a safe space for me where I answer to no one but myself…and you if you leave a comment.

 

  • I’m using 20 games as the threshold for the positional eligibility in the List. I have not included presumed eligibilities based on likely new positions. This is just a maintenance thing and we will update eligibility throughout the season. Feel free to let me know if I’m missing any!

 

And now a couple of notes on how I generally evaluate hitters before we dive in:

 

  • I’ve gotten more level-headed over the years when it comes to weighing stolen bases, but I still think they’re incredibly valuable given how rare they’re becoming. Every steal is important, so don’t take those “chip-in” steals for granted. Finding steals at the end of the season can be a dogfight.

 

  • So let’s talk about cold starts: Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you some long-winded rant about marathons and sprints — what I care about most is whether these struggling hitters are getting their playing time reduced by way of demotion in the order or getting left out of the lineup entirely. Both are obviously concerning, but how managers approach slumping hitters will give you a lot of insight into the length of the leash a player might have with that manager. Something I’m not doing is reading too deeply into expected stats quite yet. Plate discipline metrics are starting to become slightly meaningful, though as I discussed in today’s Hacks and Jacks podcast, a single series of improved or worsened discipline still has a massive impact on a player’s stat line.

 

  • If I did want to get some insight on whether what I’m seeing is new or if it’s just normal fluctuation, I’d use my favorite tool—the rolling chart. While we don’t have much for rolling data in 2022, you can see where they currently are on a rolling chart and see how it compares to their career trajectory.

 

  • No stat is an island and they should all be taken in proper context. For ranking purposes, the primary starting points I use are plate discipline, wRC+, quality of contact metrics (also known as Statcast batted ball data), and lineup context. I also use various projections (some free, some I buy) and dollar value generators. Unlike Nick, I’ll also look at other rankings as I prepare my own to get a feel for how my colleagues are valuing certain players, positions, or stats. I recommend trying as many of these things as you can until you find what you like.

 

  • Positional eligibility, and specifically multi-eligibility, is really neat but also isn’t a huge factor in many 10- and 12-team leagues anymore due to the prevalence of multi-eligible players (16 of the 30 second baseman I ranked in the preseason were eligible at two positions, with five more players being eligible at three positions). It’s of more value in deeper contests like the NFBC, or in leagues with limited roster moves (draft and hold leagues, transaction limits/costs, extremely short benches, etc.), but even then the value is fairly situational and context-dependent.

 

  • On a similar note, I don’t really penalize players for only qualifying in the utility slot. At most, it is a mild inconvenience if a DH-only player is available at a great value and you already have filled your utility spots.

 

  • If you’d like input on a player or have any feedback, your best bet is to reach out to me on Twitter (@ifthechufits) or in the comments!

 

Ranking Notes

 

Want more on how these rankings came together? Check out the podcast Hacks & Jacks featuring myself and Joe Gallina, which also happened to be a finalist for Best Baseball Podcast of 2021 by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA)!

 

  • I shuffled around the top tier, and while I’d love to say it’s a bold, triumphant exclamation…it’s just a really tight tier and it could shuffle around quite a bit.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is my top hitter right now because he looks unstoppable at the plate and the separation between these top players is razor-thin.
  • I added Ronald Acuña Jr. to the top tier because he’s unbelievable.

 

  • This ranking of Shohei Ohtani is just the hitter — in daily formats where he is both a hitter and pitcher, he’s my top overall player.
  • Luis Robert is off to an absolutely scorching start to the season, and I love the dramatic strikeout reduction that’s happened since his debut. The longer he looks like a 30-20 player, the higher up he’ll climb.

 

  • He continues to show improved plate discipline after he struggled so much in 2020, and there’s a non-zero chance Matt Olson gives us triple-digit runs scored and RBI along with 40 or more home runs while hitting .275.

 

  • I still don’t know how to rank Byron Buxton, but until I hear he’s out for a month or longer, I won’t move him much. He’s just too good when he’s playing.
  • I’m not worried about Cedric Mullins yet. He’s still leading off, and the strikeouts have come down considerably since the opening four games.

 

  • Tier 5, at this point, is a bunch of guys who might jump into Tier 4. I expect to dissolve this mini tier by the end of the month.
  • Oblique injuries can linger, but I hope I’m worrying about nothing with Teoscar Hernández. A big part of his value comes from accumulating counting stats in that lineup, so missing time hurts just a little bit more.

 

  • Over his last nine games, Francisco Lindor has three home runs, three steals, and just two strikeouts to six walks. I don’t know if he’s back, but if he was, it would look like this.
  • Seeing Alex Bregman look like pre-scandal Bregman is really encouraging, and if he keeps it up for the whole month he could easily move up another 10-20 spots.
  • Javier Báez is out with thumb soreness, but it’s not broken.

 

  • Franmil Reyes will soon have a two-week stretch where people ask me if he’s a top-30 hitter. Just watch. He’s just a streaky guy.
  • I didn’t move Seiya Suzuki enough, I just know it. Unless something awful happens, he’ll be in the top-50 next week.

 

  • I miss Fernando Tatis Jr. really bad, but even 300 plate appearances of him combined with a replacement-level player (or better yet, an above-replacement level player that you drafted) should still be an elite piece of your team.

 

  • Marcell Ozuna is hitting the baseball very hard and making a lot of contact, so maybe that small sample from 2021 doesn’t mean that much after all.
  • While I did move C.J. Cron up in the rankings a bit, the real test is the upcoming road trip—can he do enough at home to make up for the adjustment periods on the road?

 

  • No, I still don’t know what to do with Cody Bellinger. I’m not sure when I will.

 

  • Jarred Kelenic has been much better over his last five games, and the power and speed are there, even if the contact isn’t.
  • Bobby Witt Jr. will be a fine player and could still be a 20-20 player in 2022, but this kind of struggle is par for the course. The first thing to expect, from a development standpoint, should be more contact. The hit tool is too good for him to strike out this much. He might not get on base, but he should miss less.

 

  • Spencer Torkelson finally got his first hit and then his first two home runs. He’s slowly moved up to sixth in the order and could move even higher if he keeps making contact.
  • Myles Straw is going to see a slowdown in runs scored, but he should be able to keep swiping bags and getting on base, and that means he can generate value.

 

  • Get well soon, Fernando Tatis Jr.
  • Eugenio Suárez has, just like that, reinspired my intrigue with a couple of home runs and a few games where he didn’t strike out. It’s going to be a bit of a wild ride for him in the rankings, so buckle up.

 

  • Don’t look now, but Anthony Santander is doing some cool stuff. Despite a career 5.7% walk rate, he’s walking 22.2% of the time (and at least once in nine of his eleven starts) while also dropping his strikeout rate. The power leaves a lot to be desired, which stinks as it’s his primary skill for fantasy, but I’m very curious to see where this goes.
  • My buddy and undying Astros fan Carl Palmer is expecting his first kid any moment, so he’ll probably be on cloud nine when he sees I also moved up Jeremy Peña for him. You’re welcome.
  • I’m sorry, Akil Baddoo, but until there are fewer strikeouts or more running, you’ll keep falling. He’s fine to drop in 10- and 12-team leagues with three outfield spots. I’d probably keep him in anything deeper.

 

  • The final tier is mostly made up of guys I figured ought to be in here but that I didn’t know what to do with. Josh Naylor is one of the more interesting new names—he can make good contact and has power, but high ground ball rates have made it tough for him to unlock it in the majors.
  • Owen Miller hit the IL, that’s why he’s missing, but I did manage to bump Steven Kwan again due to the role.

 

And now, at long last, I present to you, the Hitter List:

 

Rank Hitter Position Change
1Vladimir Guerrero Jr.T11B+4
2Juan SotoOF-
3Trea Turner2B, SS-2
4José Ramírez3B-1
5Shohei OhtaniDH+1
6Bo BichetteSS-2
7Ronald Acuña Jr.OF+6
8Bryce HarperOF-1
9Kyle Tucker
T2
OF
-1
10Rafael Devers3B-1
11Freddie Freeman1B+1
12Mookie BettsOF-2
13Mike TroutOF-2
14Luis RobertOF+3
15Manny Machado3B-
16Yordan AlvarezOF-2
17Ozzie Albies
T3
2B
-1
18Aaron JudgeOF-
19Xander BogaertsSS-
20Tim AndersonSS+2
21Matt Olson1B+4
22Trevor Story
T4
SS
+2
23Nick CastellanosOF-3
24Pete Alonso1B+2
25Paul Goldschmidt1B+2
26Starling MarteOF+2
27Byron BuxtonOF-4
28Cedric MullinsOF+1
29Marcus Semien2B, SS+1
30Whit Merrifield2B, OF+1
31Wander FrancoSS+3
32Austin Riley
T5
3B
-
33Nolan Arenado3B-
34Tyler O’NeillOF+3
35Randy ArozarenaOF-
36Eloy JiménezOF-
37Teoscar HernándezOF-16
38Francisco Lindor
T6
SS
+9
39Corey SeagerSS-
40José Abreu1B-
41George SpringerOF-
42Alex Bregman3B+6
43Salvador PerezC-1
44Javier Báez2B, SS-6
45Jose Altuve2B-2
46Brandon Lowe2B, OF-2
47Jorge Polanco2B, SS-2
48Kris Bryant3B, OF+2
49Max Muncy1B, 2B-3
50J.T. Realmuto
T7
C
-1
51Will SmithC-
52Jared Walsh1B-
53Giancarlo StantonOF-
54J.D. Martinez
T8
OF
+1
55Franmil ReyesDH+5
56Joey GalloOF+3
57Adalberto Mondesi3B, SS-
58Bryan ReynoldsOF-
59Carlos CorreaSS-3
60Anthony Rendon3B+1
61Kyle SchwarberOF+1
62Nelson CruzDH+1
63Austin MeadowsOF+4
64Seiya SuzukiDH+11
65Marcell Ozuna
T9
OF
+22
66Ketel Marte2B, OF-12
67Rhys Hoskins1B+3
68Josh Bell1B-
69C.J. Cron1B+12
70Ryan Mountcastle1B, OF-1
71Jazz Chisholm Jr.2B, SS+1
72Yasmani GrandalC+1
73Christian YelichOF-2
74Mitch HanigerOF-9
75Tommy Edman2B, OF+3
76Willson ContrerasC+3
77Jake Cronenworth1B, 2B, SS+3
78Cody Bellinger
T10
OF
+13
79Jonathan India2B-13
80Hunter RenfroeOF-4
81Willy AdamesSS+2
82Avisaíl GarcíaOF+2
83Trent GrishamOF-6
84Chris Taylor2B, SS, OF+1
85Daulton VarshoC, OF+4
86Ke’Bryan Hayes3B+4
87Matt Chapman3B+1
88Dylan Carlson
T11
OF
+5
89Josh Donaldson3B+3
90Julio RodríguezOF+8
91Jarred KelenicOF+9
92Anthony Rizzo1B+3
93Bobby Witt Jr.SS+1
94Joey Votto1B-20
95Alex VerdugoOF+1
96Randal GrichukOF+1
97Jesse WinkerOF-15
98Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
T12
OF
+4
99Justin Turner3B+4
100Spencer Torkelson3B+22
101Andrew BenintendiOF+4
102Yoán Moncada3B-1
103Myles StrawOF+10
104Eddie RosarioOF+5
105Adolis GarcíaOF+5
106Fernando Tatis Jr.
T13
SS, OF
-42
107Adam DuvallOF-
108Trey Mancini1B, OF-4
109Eduardo Escobar2B, 3B+3
110Brandon Belt1B+4
111Dansby SwansonSS-25
112Ty France1B, 2B+3
113Ian HappOF+8
114Keibert RuizC+3
115Eugenio Suárez3B, SS+12
116Tommy PhamOF+3
117Nathaniel Lowe1B+3
118Michael BrantleyOF+5
119Anthony Santander
T14
OF
+16
120Ryan McMahon2B, 3B-21
121Mitch GarverC+3
122Yuli Gurriel1B-14
123DJ LeMahieu1B, 2B, 3B+2
124Jeremy PeñaSS+25
125Brendan Rodgers2B, SS-14
126Steven KwanOF+11
127Harrison BaderOF+1
128Andrew Vaughn1B, OF+17
129Akil BaddooOF-23
130Kolten Wong2B+3
131Charlie Blackmon
T15
OF
-15
132Brandon CrawfordSS-6
133Amed RosarioSS-4
134Jorge SolerOF-
135Luis Urías2B, 3B, SS-17
136Frank Schwindel1B-
137Jonathan Schoop1B, 2B+1
138Luke Voit1B+1
139Gleyber TorresSS-9
140Kiké Hernández2B, OF-
141Jeimer Candelario3B+2
142Austin HaysOF+2
143Josh Naylor1B, OF+UR
144Brandon MarshOF+UR
145Gavin Lux2B, SS, OF+UR
146Luis Arraez2B, 3B, SS+4
147J.P. Crawford3B, SS+UR
148AJ PollockOF-2
149Sean MurphyC+UR
150Austin NolaC+UR

 

Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire | Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here bat Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor and mascot for Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and a 3x FSWA Award Finalist. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, cartoon connoisseur, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

34 responses to “Hitter List 4/20: Top 150 Hitters For 2022 – Week 2”

  1. Game over says:

    No Connor Joe ?

  2. Simsbad says:

    No love for Jesus Sanchez? Urshela > Arraez

  3. Bus says:

    Jesus Sanchez???

  4. Bohmtown says:

    Thoughts on if Alec Bohm’s hot start is for real?

    • Scott Chu says:

      It’s a decent example of what a good Bohm looks like but remember that series he just finished was in Coors.

  5. Joe Stan says:

    Hunger strike until Connor Joe makes the List

  6. That Guy says:

    Hunter Dozier?

  7. Jay says:

    Wasn’t expecting Gallo to go up 3 spots when he’s ice cold and losing playing time?

  8. johnnycuff says:

    dylan carlson has a wRC+ of 25 and has moved up 5 spots…

    • Scott Chu says:

      He more ended up being moved up due to injuries and stuff, but also he’s showing good plate discipline and they keep letting him lead off.

  9. HowdyRowdy says:

    Too soon for Rowdy Tellez? Hot bat, hitting cleanup for in Brew Crew lineup

    • Scott Chu says:

      I want to see some extended success. We’ve been down this road before and platoon guys are hard to roster unless they still play and just move down the order.

  10. Brett Wilson says:

    Any chance you could look into profar for next week?

    • Scott Chu says:

      Absolutely. Covered him on the first pitch this morning a little, but what I want to see is something that suggests he’s not a 20/10 guy with a mediocre BA. Hell make the list either way, but still.

  11. Kyle G says:

    When Owen Miller comes back, where does he slot in? Pederson close?

    • Scott Chu says:

      Joc could make it in – I just need to see the game logs this week.

      Owen Miller is probably in Tier 15 or 16? I’m still a bit conservative.

  12. Rusty says:

    Think you forgot Jean Segura. McCutchen probably should be on here too. Expect Naylor to be moving up after the solid performance this week. His stat cast looks nice too (15% barrel rate suuuuper small sample but still nice).

    • Scott Chu says:

      Segura and Cutch are good back-end plays in deeper leagues, like 15 (or maybe 12) teams with 5 OF. In 3 OF with 2 UT, though, they just never crack the roster because they’re more accumulators than anything else. That is solid in deep leagues, but you need more upside in shallow leagues.

      Naylor will light up the Statcast page, but it won’t matter until he hits more balls hard in the air. I worry that he’s a Yandy Diaz type, who also just can’t seem to unlock his extreme power.

  13. JNork says:

    No place for Taylor Ward or did I miss him?

  14. Sweet Chin Music says:

    @Scott Chu, where is this weeks Hitter List?

  15. Scott Chu says:

    Yo! So I had some technical difficulties followed by the stomach flu yesterday. The new version will be up today.

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