Hitter List 6/9: Top 180 Hitters For 2022 – Week 9

The top 150 (plus 30 more) 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 regarding weighing stolen bases, but I still think they’re precious 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.

 

  • 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 feel how my colleagues value 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. 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)!

After getting some feedback and thinking it through, I’m going to try something new this week and call out 1-2 players per tier that are on the cusp of major movement.

TIER 1

 

  • As you’ll notice, I’ve shrunk this down a ton. While the next tier has a LOT of good players, I wanted to be a little bold and say these are the clear top fantasy assets right now.

 

TIER 2

 

  • Mookie Betts added three more steals and three more home runs in his last 11 games, and that kind of production could help him get on track for a 35-home run, 20-stolen base season. That’d put him right up in the top tier. Betts only has 2 seasons in his career with 30+ home runs, and they were in 2017 and 2018.

 

  • I’m not “worried” about Juan Soto, but it’s annoying that he’s turned half of his line drives into fly balls. The difference between a line drive and fly ball in terms of where on the bat the ball makes contact is minuscule, but the average results of a typical line drive versus a typical fly ball are enormous, especially when it comes to batting average (which happens to be the biggest negative on his stat sheet right now). This will fix itself, but if for some reason it doesn’t, Soto could fall a bit.

 

TIER 3

 

  • Bo Bichette is hitting .339/.418/.593 over his last 14 games, but he’s just converted just one stolen base attempt since the start of May and those steals are a big part of his fantasy contributions. The light at the end of the tunnel here is that he’s slotted back into the second spot in the order, which is also where the vast majority of his stolen base attempts have come from in his career. He could really move in either direction based on how the steals play out in June, but it wasn’t that long ago that we had legitimate reasons to consider him as high as third on this very list.

 

  • Tim Anderson is slated to started a rehab assignment next week, and that’s when we might start getting an idea of how the White Sox might try to manage his groin injury. My fear is that it’ll cut from his stolen base attempts, and that would cause a drop in his upside that would pull him down the list.

 

TIER 4

 

  • I didn’t put Julio Rodríguez over Starling Marte (who I have repeatedly mentioned as a 2022 comp for J-Rod), but it could happen soon. I’m just waiting for Julio’s 70-grade power to start showing up more often in games. There was an outburst near the end of May, but it didn’t carry over when the calendar flipped.

 

  • Oh, and I should have moved up Francisco Lindor last week, so I’m doing it now. His ups and downs over the last few years have made him one of my least favorite players to rank.

 

  • Ozzie Albies‘ home run on Wednesday was his first since April 23. From April 24 to now, he’s hitting just .250/.277/.335 with that single home run and two steals (though he’s been caught a whopping four times in this stretch and hasn’t converted any of his last three tries). He’s been slowly demoted in the lineup as the season has gone on, and a permanent relegation to the bottom-third would have him tumbling down this list in a hurry. It doesn’t help that teammate Dansby Swanson, who took Albies’ place near the top of the order, has a 142 wRC+ with six home runs, and has converted eight of his 10 stolen base attempts during that same stretch between April 24 and today.

 

TIER 5

 

  • Randy Arozarena is as explosive as he is inconsistent, but right now we’re seeing the fun version. In his last 82 plate appearances, he has five home runs, four steals, and a .338/.390/.608 line and better plate discipline than we’ve seen from him in a long time. He put up a 20-20 season in 2021, and while he’s a bit behind the eight-ball when it comes to home runs due to a very slow start, I think he still has a decent shot to surpass both totals.

 

  • Matt Olson is supposed to be a 40-home run threat, but is currently on pace for less than 20. A big reason for that, probably, is that he leads the league in doubles. Prior to this season, he had roughly a one-to-one double-to-home run ratio, but this season has almost four doubles for each home run on the ledger. The rolling chart below does a good job showing the relationship between Olson’s ground ball rate and his performance and should show both why I am frustrated and why I do think this could be turning itself around. If it does, he might move up a bit. If it doesn’t, he’ll drop like a sack of doorknobs.

 

TIER 6

  • Taylor Ward is going to be one of the most volatile rankings from site to site based on how much you value his year-to-date performance over his scouting reports and projections. I’m a believer. He moved down a bit this week due to being unsure about his timetable, but that’s it.

 

  • Oh, hey Marcus Semien! It’s not often that a player reverses their entire season’s trajectory in a single week in June, but here we are. The speed has been awesome too, as Semien has six home runs and seven stolen bases since May 25. It’s way too late to get to 35 home runs, but 25-30 for the season is still very much in play and he’s just five swipes from breaking the personal record of 15 that he set last season. If I had to guess now, I’d call him a 27 home run, 20 stolen base player by the end of the season with OK run and RBI totals and a disappointing batting average, but if this recent surge continues for another week or two, I might have to adjust that and move him back into the top-40.

 

  • Josh Bell’s 120 ISO on the season is the fifth-worst among all qualified first basemen, and while I’ve called out others for power problems, I’m way more concerned about Bell. He’s just not hitting the ball very hard, finding himself in the bottom-third of the league in hard-hit rate and the bottom-quarter of the league in barrel rate. He’s still making contact and he’s not just rolling over a bunch of grounders or anything, so I’m kind of confused. That inability to identify a possible cause is what keeps him from falling further, but time is running out—here’s to hoping he fixes the problem before I ever figured out what it was.

 

  • All of the top-four catchers are ranked within the same tier. On one hand, I like seeing the compression of talent as more and more young catchers come up and hit. On the other hand, it probably doesn’t feel good for anyone (particularly NFBC players) that their early-round investments aren’t as special as they hoped. They’re good players, but their ADP was largely driven by how much better they were supposed to be than everyone else at their position.

 

TIER 7

 

  • I don’t hate Wander Franco—he just hasn’t begun baseball activities yet and until he unlocks the power I know he has, he’ll have to stay outside the top-50 hitters.

 

  • I did not expect Jeremy Peña to still be here, but golly has he looked like a 25 home run hitter who can steal 10-15 bases. I’m not sure how much higher he could go, but I guess we’ll have to find out. Regardless, the trajectory looks like it’ll be up or even.

 

TIER 8

 

  • I’m not done talking about Eugenio Suárez because since May 16 he’s hitting .280 with five home runs and 28 combined runs and RBI. Almost as exciting is that he’s walking again (10.5% of the time) and keeping the strikeouts near 30%, which is about as good as it’ll get for him in any given sample. He’s been a top-eight third baseman so far this season and is available in nearly half of ESPN leagues.

 

  • Remember what I said about Lindor being frustrating because he’s so volatile? That’s what Christian Yelich has been like except he’s also been much worse. Is it the back? Is it something else? I no longer know and I’m too exhausted to care.

 

TIER 9

 

  • If Bellinger and Muncy can look ANYTHING like their old selves, they’ll vault back up this list and the Dodgers will be much more fearsome. If they can’t, they’ll both be out of the top-100 before July.

 

  • Earlier today we found out Eloy Jiménez had his rehab assignment paused due to “leg soreness”. If it’s really that, he’ll keep climbing as he gets closer to a return. If it’s not, I’ll be very sad.

 

  • I mentioned how good Dansby Swanson has been when I was bemoaning the fate of Ozzie Albies, but it’s worth noting that the second spot in the Atlanta order is a very sweet place to be for fantasy—especially when you’re hitting.

 

TIER 10

 

  • Since May 24, among 74 qualified outfielders, Austin Hays is in the top-15 in virtually every category but steals. The plate discipline remains strong, and I think that he could finish with 25 home runs and a batting average north of .275.

 

  • Randal Grichuk is a hop, skip, and jump away from just being removed from this list entirely. His struggles as a Rockie simply boggle the mind.

 

TIER 11

 

  • If you know what to make of Seiya Suzuki or Anthony Rendon, please let me know. I’m not sure how much more I could drop them in the short term, but I know they could both shoot way up if they find their form.

 

  • In 73 plate appearances since returning from injury, Joey Votto is hitting .295/.411/.705 with a 15.1% walk rate and a 17.8% strikeout rate. Welcome back, Mr. Votto.

 

  • I don’t think Joc Pederson can repeat his magical 2019 where he hit 36 home runs, but could he get to 30 for just the second time in his career? Sure, especially if he continues to get full-time at-bats.

 

TIER 12

 

  • Please don’t make me talk about Javier Báez. It’s too painful. That said, for as bad as he looks right now (which is REALLY bad), he has the ability and streakiness to pull a Semien for a week and make it all look better.

 

  • It was hard not to raise Alejandro Kirk more than this. If he continues to play every day when Gabriel Moreno comes up this weekend, he’s likely moving to the top-100.

 

  • I didn’t “move Franmil Reyes up” as much as I shoved a bunch of players down. Like Javy, he’s NOTORIOUSLY streaky and could pull a week-long fireworks show at any time. Or at least anytime he isn’t on the IL like he is now.

 

TIER 13

 

  • Nolan Gorman has slowed down because that’s pretty much what always happens when a rookie gets hot right out of the gate. Let’s see how he responds, as that response is pivotal in player development.

 

  • Why are the last 21 players in one tier? Because it’s just a hodge-podge of guys who either have a lot of talent and aren’t showing it, older guys on a hot streak, or young players who could take another step at any moment.

 

THE NEXT 32

 

  • I’d be fine if you’d rather roster one of these players than the folks in Tier 13 if you have a rationale. At this point, it’s a lot of prospect speculation and hitter versions of a Toby.

 

  • Why 32? Because I accidentally added 2 rows and figured I’d just roll with it.

 

And now, once again, it’s time for the Hitter List:

 

Rank Hitter Position Change
1Ronald Acuña Jr.T1OF-
2José Ramírez3B-
3Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
T2
1B
-
4Trea Turner2B, SS-
5Juan SotoOF-
6Mookie BettsOF+4
7Bryce HarperOF+1
8Mike TroutOF-1
9Shohei OhtaniDH-3
10Manny Machado3B-1
11Aaron JudgeOF-
12Rafael Devers3B+2
13Yordan AlvarezOF-1
14Kyle TuckerOF-1
15Bo Bichette
T3
SS
-
16Freddie Freeman1B-
17Paul Goldschmidt1B+2
18Pete Alonso1B+2
19Luis RobertOF-1
20Xander BogaertsSS+1
21Austin Riley1B, 3B+5
22Byron BuxtonOF-5
23Tim AndersonSS-
24C.J. Cron1B+4
25Jazz Chisholm Jr.
T4
2B, SS
-
26Starling MarteOF+4
27Julio RodríguezOF+9
28George SpringerOF-1
29Trevor Story2B, SS+6
30Cedric MullinsOF-1
31Ozzie Albies2B-9
32Nolan Arenado3B-1
33J.D. MartinezOF-1
34Jose Altuve2B-
35Giancarlo StantonOF+2
36Francisco LindorSS+17
37Teoscar Hernández
T5
OF
+1
38Fernando Tatis Jr.SS, OF+8
39Matt Olson1B-15
40Nick CastellanosOF-1
41Whit Merrifield2B, OF-1
42José Abreu1B-
43Jorge Polanco2B, SS-
44Randy ArozarenaOF+16
45Tommy Edman2B, OF+7
46Bobby Witt Jr.SS+1
47Carlos Correa
T6
SS
+1
48Josh Bell1B-3
49Anthony Rizzo1B+6
50Ty France1B, 2B+6
51Jared Walsh1B+11
52Salvador PerezC+6
53Corey SeagerSS-9
54Taylor WardOF-13
55Marcus Semien2B, SS+19
56Daulton VarshoC, OF+1
57Will SmithC-6
58J.T. RealmutoC-8
59Willson ContrerasC+4
60Willy Adames
T7
SS
-1
61Wander FrancoSS-28
62Ryan Mountcastle1B, OF+2
63Jeremy PeñaSS+14
64Ke’Bryan Hayes3B+22
65Alex Bregman3B-11
66Nelson CruzDH+3
67Andrew Benintendi
T8
OF
-1
68Ketel Marte2B, OF-7
69Kyle SchwarberOF-1
70Bryan ReynoldsOF-
71Harrison BaderOF+13
72Christian YelichOF-23
73Adolis GarcíaOF-2
74Kris Bryant3B, OF-2
75DJ LeMahieu1B, 2B, 3B+1
76Eugenio Suárez3B, SS+6
77Connor Joe1B, OF-2
78Rhys Hoskins1B-11
79Ian HappOF-
80Hunter Renfroe
T9
OF
-
81Alex VerdugoOF+2
82Jake Cronenworth1B, 2B, SS+7
83Michael BrantleyOF+2
84Cody BellingerOF-19
85Eloy JiménezOF+8
86Dansby SwansonSS+1
87Andrés Giménez2B, SS+3
88Tyler O’NeillOF+3
89Max Muncy1B, 2B-8
90Kolten Wong2B+2
91Lourdes Gurriel Jr.OF+3
92Brandon Lowe
T10
2B, OF
+3
93Jesse WinkerOF+3
94Myles StrawOF+3
95Austin HaysOF+14
96Chris Taylor2B, SS, OF+2
97Max KeplerOF+2
98Justin Turner3B+2
99Randal GrichukOF+2
100Marcell OzunaOF+2
101Seiya Suzuki
T11
OF
-13
102Brendan Rodgers2B, SS+27
103Gleyber Torres2B, SS+3
104Anthony Rendon3B-26
105Joc Pederson1B, OF+25
106Joey Votto1B+34
107Ramón LaureanoOF+1
108Jorge SolerOF+2
109Josh Donaldson3B+2
110Charlie BlackmonOF+14
111Jeff McNeil2B, OF-8
112Rowdy Tellez1B+3
113Andrew Vaughn1B, OF+21
114Javier Báez
T12
2B, SS
-7
115Alejandro KirkC+UR
116Tyler StephensonC+4
117Adley RutschmanC+2
118Keibert RuizC+3
119Ryan McMahon2B, 3B-3
120J.P. Crawford3B, SS-15
121Franmil ReyesDH+2
122Joey GalloOF-18
123Tommy PhamOF-50
124Matt Chapman3B+2
125Trey Mancini1B, OF+10
126Wilmer Flores1B, 2B, 3B+11
127Jonathan India2B+16
128Luis Urías2B, 3B, SS-11
129Alek Thomas1B, 2B-15
130Nolan Gorman
T13
2B
-3
131Yoán Moncada3B-19
132Brandon Nimmo2B, 3B, SS+6
133Luis GonzálezOF-1
134Mike YastrzemskiOF+2
135Brandon MarshOF-17
136Anthony SantanderOF-23
137Gavin Lux2B, SS, OF+4
138Yasmani GrandalC, 1B-7
139Jorge MateoSS, OF+3
140Luis Arraez1B, 2B, 3B, OF+9
141Christopher MorelOF+3
142Kole CalhounOF+3
143Spencer Torkelson1B+3
144Christian Walker1B-11
145Patrick Wisdom1B, 3B, OF+5
146Jurickson Profar1B, 2B, OF+UR
147Mitch HanigerOF+UR
148Austin MeadowsOF+UR
149Manuel MargotOF-10
150Kyle Farmer3B, SS+UR

 

The Next 32 (in no particular order)

Photo by Keith Gillett/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.

26 responses to “Hitter List 6/9: Top 180 Hitters For 2022 – Week 9”

  1. King Tut says:

    What made Pham drop 50 spots? Seemed he had a decent week.

    • King Tut says:

      Also what does Drury have to do to get a mention?

    • Scott Chu says:

      He did – but I was also VERY late dropping him. The more I watch, the more I see the skill erosion at 34. Hell be lucky to get to 18 HR/15 SB and I wouldn’t be shocked if health and performance had him falling short.

      • Bean ball says:

        What about Pham?

        • Scott Chu says:

          Sorry, the above was about Pham. As for Drury, I’m waiting just a bit more to make sure this isn’t just another random hit streak. It’s the same thing I did with Taylor Ward, frankly, until I saw what I needed.

          That said, feel free to pick him up over one of the 120-150 guys if you are a believer.

    • Jim says:

      Pham is ranked #131 overall (avg stats) on my OBP league. His Runs and BB are his value. HR/SB are a bonus.

  2. Eric says:

    You should really look into Brandon Drury. Man is hot

    • Scott Chu says:

      He’s a popular topic right now. As with a lot of late breakouts, I’m playing it very conservatively unless I have an obvious open spot for a guy like him. If he’s still hitting second and cruising in late June, he’d shoot up. As long as he stays healthy, hell be on next week.

  3. Taco Bellinger says:

    What’s up with Profar being so low? I haven’t been totally convinced, but dude is among top players in points leagues.

    • Scott Chu says:

      I talked about this on the First Pitch today, but I’ve yet to see anything to suggest he’s better than the 2018-2019 versions of himself. Those were decent seasons but not anything to get excited about. As of now, I think that folks who roster him should be thrilled they got so much juice from Profar and also to expect the trajectory to level off to something like 2018-2019 or lower.

  4. cypher930@gmail.com says:

    Hey Scott. Awesome insights as always. What are your thoughts on Michael Harris & Ezequiel Duran jumping from AA? Are they worth a pickup? Also, Luis Garcia has looked good in AAA, is he someone to monitor or pickup (post-hype sleeper is only 22yrs old)?

    • Scott Chu says:

      Thanks Cypher!

      I think these guys are all relevant in deeper leagues and keeper/dynasty even if they are inconsistent in 2022.

      Long term, I probably rank it Harris, then Garcia, then Duran (between Jung and Smith in their system at 3b and Seager at SS, I have concerns about how he sticks after this season.

  5. Simsbad says:

    Are you sure it wasn’t Connor Joe that you were “VERY late dropping him” and NOT Tommy Pham??

    • Scott Chu says:

      Since the start of 2020, Pham is hitting .230/. 337/.377.

      I just don’t think hell get to 20 HR, 15 SB, or a .240 AVG by the end of the year, plus he’s a drag in RBI. I just don’t think he’s that much better than replacement level right now for fantasy in 12 teamers.

  6. i dunno says:

    What’s your take on Toronto’s Santiago Espinal? He’s slashed .297/.355/.415 in 162 major league games so far, with added slugging (.451) in 2022 thusfar.

  7. Close Reader says:

    FYI… you’ve got Hanniger listed twice.

  8. Big Joey says:

    Raise France! The guy is an awesome hitter. I know he won’t steal bases but he’s killing it with his .900 OPS all season so far, 167 wRC+ through 257 PAs

  9. Garrett Cooper says:

    Can I get some love please? All I’ve ever done in my career is hit. Sure I get injured a lot, but my career 124 WRC+ is pretty good! Can I have one of the 2 honorable mention slots you gave to Bryson Stott?? (he’s duplicated at 13 and 32)

  10. fantasypro888 says:

    Interesting to see Yepez drop of the list completely, and no mention of Dylan Carlson who should be making his return to the big league club this weekend most likely. Not even in the Next 32?? Do you see one of both of them having to sacrifice playing time going forward?

    • Scott Chu says:

      For Yepez, he’s basically been unrosterable after that initial week and a half. He’s hitting .197/.253/.324 since then and needs to show that he can make any kind of adjustment before I care.

      For Carlson, he will probably jump into the last 2 tiers if he’s healthy and gets every day PAs again, though I fear hell be at the bottom of the order – a far cry from the leadoff hitter we were hoping for. He feels very Toby-ish to me.

  11. Anthony says:

    Why do you hate Ty France

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