[hitter_list list_id=”19326″ 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. Position eligibility does factor in to a degree.
As a reminder: 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. As we progress further into the season, movements in either direction will get more aggressive. That said, if you believe I’m way off the mark on any particular player, feel free to make your case in the comments.
On to the highlights!
- Injury roundup: While his performance thus far suggests there’s still plenty of life in the bat, part of what made Miguel Cabrera a perennial fantasy stud was his durability. That’s clearly gone now, as he’s already on his second stint on the disabled list. Elsewhere, Yadier Molina is out for a month after suffering what the Cardinals referred to as a “pelvic injury with traumatic hematoma.” That’s fancy talk for “dude took a 102 mph foul tip to the nads.”
- New to or back on the List this week: Eduardo Escobar, Kevin Pillar, Maikel Franco, Matt Adams, Jorge Soler, C.J. Cron, Matt Kemp, Scott Schebler, and Max Kepler. Escobar is lessening the pain of many Corey Seager owners (including yours truly). He’s not going to keep hitting above .300, but the power is legitimate and he’s improved his walk rate by a couple of percentage points. Soler is mashing for the Royals after a couple of years in the wilderness. And we can’t not talk about Adams, who currently resides outside his mind. After cracking 20 home runs in part-time duties last season, Adams has gone deep 10 times in 94 plate appearance to start 2018. That includes seven bombs in his last eight games, during which he’s hit an absurd .400/.516/1.240. He’s making a case for regular at-bats even when (if?) everyone gets healthy in Washington.
- Honorable mention to Nick Markakis, who’s hiting .333/.417/.533 with six home runs and 46 R+RBI, even after going 0-for-4 on Tuesday. Markakis hasn’t been good for the better part of the last decade, but he’s chipping away at my skepticism.
- Welcome to the 2018 season, Eddie Rosario! The Twins’ outfielder shook off a slow start and has gone deep four times in May already, adding a couple of stolen bases for good measure. That hot streak has his overall numbers tracking pretty closely with last year’s breakout performance.
- Approximately everyone who commented on last week’s List pointed out how much they hated Ian Happ‘s placement therein. Naturally, he hit two home runs on Monday night. Has my continued faith in Happ saved his season? I don’t think it’s a stretch to say, definitively, yes. But seriously folks, you can see Happ did drop a good bit this week. Am I still too optimistic? Quite possible.
Thanks for another helpful list. I see Brett Gardner has moved up a few spaces. He’s been all kinds of terrible at the plate (hitting .198 for the season and .033 over the last 15 days) — is this because of his immense potential for runs? Also: I know it’s not looking good at this point, but do you think Jay Bruce can finish the season with more than 20 HRs?
Thanks for reading! Gardner moving up was just a function of a bunch of guys ahead of him dropping. I also decided this week that I was weighting catcher eligibility too heavily, so there were more drops than usual. That said, I definitely think he’s a better hitter than this and his runs potential is indeed fantastic.
Bruce will probably manage 20+ HR but the rest might be ugly.
Tim Anderson is still awfully low for a guy at 7HR/10SB and not killing you in any category. Feels like he’ll cruise to 20/30 this year, with room for more. I’d have him like 50+ spots higher. Matt Olson is way above him, and I made that trade two weeks ago, and still am feeling great about having Anderson instead.
I remain wary of Anderson. Still hate the plate discipline (though it has improved a bit), don’t expect him to do much better than .250, and he’s near the bottom of a lousy lineup. I do trust the speed but he’s only attempted four steals in the last month, and before this week he’d only gone deep once in about a month’s worth of games as well.
He and Olson should probably move closer together on the list, but I definitely can’t say I have any desire to give Anderson that kind of bump.
Bellinger up… I don’t get it. Its time to realize that he wasn’t what everyone was hoping for. I watch a lot of his at bats and I don’t think I have ever seen a luckier hitter – that BA probably should be closer to .250 and the power is not there either. He rolls more ground balls through the pull side and dinks in bloopers the other way at a highly unsustainable rate. That run production is not there like last year either without the team’s best hitter.
If Bellinger ends the season with a sub-10 HR/FB%, I’ll be shocked. I absolutely expect that the power will be there soon enough. Strikeouts are down as well. I felt like I overcorrected on him in last week’s installment, so bumped him back up a bit.
What do we need to see from Josh Bell to move him up on the list of 1B? 1B like Edwin, Miggy and Smoak are all on the waiver, but I can’t seem to let Josh Bell go. Can you give me some closure that he will surely fall off comparatively?
What in the world is Edwin doing on waivers? You should absolutely cut Bell for him.
I’m thinking it won’t be long until Jose Ramirez hits the top 10. Thanks for your work.
Anything’s possible but man that top 10 (top 15-20, really) is just so stacked.
I’m not here to shit talk Happ. I honestly think his 44% K rate is very impressive and has to take skill to accomplish that. What I am here to say is I don’t understand the Zimmer love. You gotta be a diehard Indians fan or somethin.
Nope, just a Zimmer fan. It’s been rough so far for him but I still see a guy who has power and speed (near 15/30 pace over a full season when you look at his entire MLB performance so far), a hard-hit rate around 40%, and whose underlying numbers don’t support an eight-point increase in strikeout rate.
You may look at him and see a guy with severe contact issues who’s stuck hitting at the bottom of his team’s batting order. Which is fair.
Andrelton Simmons is sad and wondering what he needs to do to get some recognition back at #123. He’s only hitting .350 and sporting a clean .407 OBP. He’s sad because Billy Hamilton is sitting on your list at…… #75. Billy Hamilton. Billy who only has 2 more steals than Simmons. Billy who’s OBP is lower than Simmons’ batting average. Billy who has more strikeouts than Simmons has singles.
Is Billy your cousin or something?
I’ve been trashing Hamilton at every opportunity for years, in fact! But even I don’t think he’s this bad, and he’s gonna run more sooner or later. Perhaps I’ve overcorrected for my inherent distaste, though.
As for Simmons, to be fair he was one of the biggest risers this week. He keeps doing this, he’ll keep climbing.
Cheers, and thanks for the list!
Hey Kyle, great article as always! Where do you think Justin Turner slots in once he’s back and healthy? Is he a guy to continue to stash even though I have Eugenio Suarez? Or should I sell the hype as his return gets closer?
H2H 5×5 Catagory League
Thanks! As you can probably tell from his place on the List, I’m a pretty big fan of Suarez. Dude tripled his walk rate in two years, hits in front of/behind Joey Votto, and hasn’t missed a damn beat after only taking three weeks off for a broken thumb. Definitely one of the most underrated players right now.
As for picking between Turner and Suarez…(insert “por que no los dos” meme)
I’m comfortable with Turner where he sits right now, but I expect him to come back strong and make his way upward.
Could sell Turner if you can get something that you think is valuable enough to you. Or when Turner back you can hope to get a small sell high with Suarez but doubt people will bite as hard.
Hi Kyle, how is Domingo Santana +10? The guy doesn’t hit
.368/.455/.579 so far in May, playing time outlook has cleared up with Thames out, still a fan of the skills despite early struggles.
I’m last in saves in AL Only and have been offered Chapman for Benintendi. It’s an OBP league, so I’m reluctant. My remaining OF would be Betts/Stanton/Zimmer/Granderson/Dustin Fowler. We play 4. I’d have to pick up someone like Mahtook as an additional platoon OF.
Yeah, that’s tough. I would probably look for a cheaper alternative.
How is Villanueva still on this list? He’s gone 0 for his last 26.
Well, to start, he was only 0-for his last 22 when this was published. ;)
Again, this is for ROS. One bad week is usually not enough to move the needle all that much for me.
Struggling with a decision or two:
– In an OPS league – Khris Davis just doesn’t seem to be “hitting it” so to speak — I could pick up a higher upside option like Happ/Schwarber/Soler (keeper league) — do you think this is worth it.
– Same league — Chris Taylor or Ian Happ (Taylor will get SS soon) who’s worth the ride for this season?
I think picking up Schwarber is a good idea, but cutting Davis is not.
Would go with Taylor – he’s gotten back on track over the last month or so and the SS eligibility is a nice bonus over Happ.
I dropped Josh Bell and Matt Carpenter this week to strengthen my SP position, mainly because I autodrafted the back half of my draft and ended up with too many 1Bs. I also have Greg Bird coming off the DL. So I was surprised not to see Bird on the list at all.
Oh, and why is Puig so low?
*edit: glad to see Carp off this list. Man, has he been bad. Seems to have forgotten how to hit breaking balls.
I need to see Bird stay healthy for more than 30 seconds before he’s back on the List.
Puig has been trash so far and he was lousy in 2015-16 as well. I’m not sold at all on 2017 being his true form.
one more question: how far do you drop Adam Eaton given the seemingly inscrutable nature of his injury? I’m good stashing him on the DL (dropped Bird for him LOL) but looks like I could regret that.
Dropped him nine spots this week, will probably drop again if his injury outlook continues to be this murky.
looks like Eaton go bye-bye. a shame.
Glad to see Jorge Soler make the list for the first time I would imagine in a few years. Thanks Kyle.