With an exciting May already off to a good start, we are beginning to see guys work their way out of early funks to solidify their identities as hitters in 2017, as has been the case with Jose Abreu and Eric Hosmer of late. The overachieving outliers tend to normalize after 6-8 weeks of gameplay have passed and we have a proper sample to look at, but Ryan Zimmerman, Aaron Judge, Avisail Garcia and Michael Conforto have been examples of players who don’t seem too concerned with slowing down their production any time soon. Conversely, we keep waiting for dramatic turnarounds from the usually dependable likes of Todd Frazier, Mike Napoli, Jose Bautista and Jackie Bradley, Jr., but they haven’t transpired just yet.
From a logistical standpoint, we are excited to debut a formatted list that reflects the style used for the Top 100 Starting Pitcher List that Nick compiles. Green and red change arrows, as well as previous, worst and best columns are now included to make the list more helpful.
With all that context taken into account, let’s review the Top 150 hitters in fantasy baseball:
Editor’s Note: The Best/Worst columns are currently incorrect. Please ignore them for now as we fix the issue.
- Gary Sanchez got his ranking restored to a previously-held level upon reactivation from the 10-day DL. J.D. Martinez has progressed within his rehab assignment from High-A Lakeland up to Triple-A Toledo; this signals that a return to MLB is imminent, so his ranking has been slightly adjusted to reflect that optimism. Meanwhile, Seattle won’t get Mitch Haniger back for two more weeks in the best-case scenario.
- Troy Tulowitzki should see reinstatement to the active roster soon, but Josh Donaldson’s lack of ability to put full weight on and exercise with his injured calf has cast doubt on his return being as soon as had been previously expected. We will continue to monitor the situations for each Toronto player and adjust ranking spots in correspondence with their availibilities.
- David Dahl still does not have a concrete timeline for return, so they’ll continue to be outside the rankings or falling within them, respectively, until we hear otherwise. Adrian Beltre, on the other hand, has exhibited optimism that he could return by the end of May but we will hold off on significant promotions until that becomes more probable closer to that time.
- Yoenis Cespedes has a scheduled return date of May 23. Therefore, he has seen a semi-promotion roughly half the distance back to his pre-injury rank of 20. Cespedes can’t help you for this week’s or next week’s H2H matchups, but owners of the slugger at least have some coveted information now on how much longer they need to hold on.
- Stephen Piscotty earned both a trip to the DL and a temporarily lowered ranking upon sustaining a hamstring strain on Thursday. Tommy Pham has been doing quite nicely in relief of Piscotty since, and we’ll continue to monitor the active roster in St. Louis for changes.
- Due to continued excellence on the field, those seeing significant promotion include the aforementioned Ryan Zimmerman, Aaron Judge, Michael Conforto and Eric Hosmer. Others were Starlin Castro, Travis Shaw, Jay Bruce, Matt Holliday, Jedd Gyorko, Kevin Pillar, Didi Gregorius and Victor Martinez.
- Some of the players who saw a substantial demotion either a) continue to own unproductive overall bodies of work that contrast with high expectation or b) are in the midst of a slump that should reasonably last not too much longer. The guys who experienced this include Anthony Rizzo, Jonathan Villar, Trevor Story, Chris Davis, Nomar Mazara, DJ LeMahieu, Mike Moustakas, Rougned Odor, Mark Trumbo, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, Brandon Belt, Steven Souza, Jr., Brad Miller, Alex Bregman, Jose Bautista and Carlos Gomez.
- Falling out of the Top 150—with their previously held rank in parentheses—are Matt Davidson (118), Carlos Beltran (125), Jonathan Lucroy (131), Matt Wieters (140), Max Kepler (142), Jason Heyward (143), the aforementioned Jackie Bradley, Jr. (146), Yulieski Gurriel (147), Melky Cabrera (148) and Ben Zobrist (149).
- Making a fresh appearance on the Hitter List are Aaron Hicks (121), Cody Bellinger (126), Yonder Alonso (133), Brett Gardner (134), Javier Baez (137), Jayson Werth (139), Marwin Gonzalez (143), Jed Lowrie (144), Joc Pederson (147) and Hernan Perez (148).