As we dive headlong into the second full week of the regular season, so too must the rankings of the Top 150 hitters be adjusted to reflect the most viable and productive fantasy bats across the game. There was some moderate shakeup in the middle ranks of this sophomore edition of the Hitter List. Injury prognoses and recent DL entrants have been handicapped accordingly, and 11 new players who are generating buzz with their offense have debuted toward the bottom. For elaboration on some of the changes you’ll see, refer to the notes appended to this post below the list itself.
Without further ado, let’s review who the Top 150 hitters in fantasy baseball:
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- Until he regains his mojo, Jose Altuve has been tentatively “demoted” to No. 4, ceding his bronze medal podium spot to a presently more valuable Nolan Arenado. Otherwise, the top nine remain unchanged.
- Corey Seager has ascended into the Top 10, after hitting for a .300 average while notching four runs, a stolen base, two homers and 8 RBI. He has switched places with Miguel Cabrera, who fell to Seager’s previously occupied No. 14 spot after a painfully slow start to the year.
- Following some electric batting performances, notable risers featured in the Top 25 are Freddie Freeman, Francisco Lindor, Rougned Odor, Starling Marte, A.J. Pollock and George Springer.
- Other big promotions include Daniel Murphy, Ian Kinsler, Khris Davis, Miguel Sano, Kole Calhoun, Mike Moustakas, Yasiel Puig, Evan Gattis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Eugenio Suarez and J.T. Realmuto.
- Trea Turner has been relegated to No. 26 for the time being, as Washington is wisely playing it conservative with the youngster’s hamstring injury by placing him on the 10-day DL. This is an instantaneous demotion for what his value is right now, as an elite talent you must hold on to at all costs despite his lack of availability in the immediate future. His ranking will again reflect his sterling value in fantasy baseball when he returns to full health and an active roster spot. Same goes for Gary Sanchez at No. 68 and Jackie Bradley, Jr. at No. 104: they were at No. 54 and No. 82 last week but are respectively dealing with a right biceps strain and sprained right knee ligament on the DL.
- Adrian Beltre,D. Martinez, Ian Desmond, Jason Kipnis and David Dahl have been dropped down accordingly, based on the murky nature of the timetables for their respective returns from the DL. Dahl and Martinez likely have rehab assignments in front of them, while Desmond and Kipnis are easing back into baseball activities.
- Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts have remained in the same spots from last week. It didn’t seem sensible to demote them as fantasy assets since their absences this week were only due to a temporary bout of influenza for the first two guys and placement on the bereavement list for the latter. Extended occupancy of the DL for aforementioned players was treated more like a medium- to long-term situation, as opposed to the short-term setbacks affecting these Red Sox players.
- The biggest performance-based tumbles within the rankings that are not related to injury belong to Carlos Gonzalez, Todd Frazier, Stephen Piscotty, Travis Jankowski, Greg Bird, Jonathan Schoop, Neil Walker, Domingo Santana and Justin Bour.
- Falling out of the Top 150—with their previously held rank in parentheses—are Brandon Moss (124), Russell Martin (136), Dexter Fowler (137), Denard Span (141), Devon Travis (142), Kevin Pillar (143), Curtis Granderson (144), Leonys Martin (146), Josh Bell (144), Chris Carter (148) and Ryan Schimpf (150).
- Making their first appearances on the Hitter List are Yasmany Tomas (135), Cesar Hernandez (136), Jay Bruce (137), Manuel Margot (138), Nick Castellanos (139), Brian McCann (140), Steven Souza, Jr. (142), Travis Shaw (148), Brandon Phillips (149) and Mitch Haniger (150).
If I was a betting man, I’d say Haniger continues to move up the rankings. On a different note, any thoughts on Mark Reynolds?
Certainly. 25.6% K rate is concerning, but when you consider he’s doing everything with a .286 BABIP, that says to me he’s primed to get even better numbers working for him. Leads the league in runs already and has a juicy Top 20 ISO of .343. Sign me up for that. Vis-a-vis Reynolds, the guy is killing it but I’m hesitant to anoint him when we simply have no idea where he fits in upon Ian Desmond’s return from the DL. It’s like trying to GPS a roadtrip with no known destination: I love the proverbial car Reynolds is driving but I can’t tell you what good it will be in a month, if that makes sense. I’m definitely paying attention to the situation, however, and 43.5% hard contact is hard to argue with. He’s relying on groundballs more than ever with a high BABIP, though, so I have to temper my expectations even if I could assume he has a starting job all season long.
Bryce at 9 is too low.
Why so low on Joc? 30 home run upside, and he’s below Gomez, Melky…what really makes him much different than Duvall or Thames?
Joc should really be spelled Jock — way too many Ks.
I need more production before I can justify promoting him drastically. K rate is, as commenter Anthony referenced, a staggeringly high 32%, fourth-worst in the league. Gomez’s ISO and run count are higher than Pederson’s right now, though I’ve been very underwhelmed by his start, admittedly. Joc is great in real life but currently not anything more than average for fantasy purposes. That could and likely will change for the better, but this list is designed to synthesize current performance with expected value and there is a large gap between those two commodities right now for him. BA of .250 is solid but I’m waiting for the power to materialize.
Forgot to address the Duvall/Thames part of the question. Also, Melky needs to pick it up too or he’ll drop fast into the 120s/130s. The stats are already aggressively better for Duvall and somewhat better for Thames (BA especially), and they are hierarchically ranked accordingly relative to each other within the 150:
Duvall – .367/.424/.733, 3 HR, 8 R, 7 RBI, 1 SB
Thames – .333/.429/.611, 1 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 SB
Pederson – .250/.360/.400, 1 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 0 SB
Where is Asdrubal Cabrera?
Love the list. Obviously these guys dont qualify for your list but who would you stash in a dynasty league…Tom Murphy or Ramos? I have Posey for this year so no immediate need.
Great stuff. I grew weary with ESPN’s insistence over the first half of last season that Prince Fielder was due for a breakout. Can you add a “previous rank” column?
We’ll be adding one soon, hopefully for next week’s edition!