[hitter_list list_id=”21310″ 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. That said, adjustments to the List are becoming more aggressive as we move deeper into the year. With that should come the acknowledgment that small shifts in a specific player’s ranking are often as much a consequence of other players’ more drastic movements as anything else. This is especially true when injuries occur. Put another way, please do not @ me if a guy moved up like two spots even if he’s failed to get a hit in the last couple games. I do, however, welcome more substantive grievances in the comments.
On to the highlights!
- It’s my birthday! Does that entitle me to any slack insofar as these rankings are concerned? Probably not.
- Injury roundup: Mookie Betts finally went on the DL after his abdominal strain didn’t improve with rest. He could be back as early as Friday, though, so he remains in #2 spot for now. Relatively good news on the Rhys Hoskins front as his fractured jaw won’t require surgery, but he’s still going to be out until perhaps the end of the month. Josh Donaldson has already dealt with a shoulder injury this year and is now on the shelf with a calf issue. If he’s ever fully healthy, a rebound in performance is likely, but it’s fair to wonder if that scenario will remain hypothetical. Brandon Belt will miss a couple of weeks after having his appendix removed. Lastly, Byron Buxton‘s broken toe continues to give him trouble, and he’s played so poorly that his only value had been coming from steals. I’ve been a Buxton apologist for years, but we’ve now got the equivalent of two full seasons’ worth of MLB data that suggests he’s simply not very good at hitting. He’s still only 24, so it’s a long way from over. Consider my faith shaken, though.
- New to or back on the List this week: Ben Zobrist, Shin-Soo Choo, Harrison Bader, and Ian Kinsler. Zorilla entered play on Tuesday hitting a cool .306/.395/.465 and has found himself installed as the leadoff hitter in the Cubs’ top-5 lineup. The Rangers’ lineup is much less productive, but Choo has spent the whole season in one of the top two spots and went deep on Tuesday for the 10th time this season, bringing his line up to .267/.369/.453 overall. Bader will have his work cut out for him finding playing time on a crowded Cardinals roster, but he’s got five homers and six steals to his credit in just 113 plate appearances. Lastly, Kinsler had four multi-hit games and three homers last week. His Statcast data suggested he had been much better than his results would indicate, and it seems like this might finally be regression kicking in.
- So the news on Daniel Murphy is…not good. A recent Washington Post article quoted a scout who described Murphy’s play on his rehab assignment as “gimpy,” “struggling to move laterally,” and “lacking straight-ahead speed.” This video certainly isn’t encouraging, either. Microfracture surgeries aren’t as easy to come back from as Justin Turner made it look last season. History may prove his drop here to be an overreaction, but with no timetable for return and these reports, it’s hard to see Murphy coming back at anything close to his previous form.
Eduardo Nunez make it back to the top 150 this year?
Wouldn’t surprise me, but he’s going to A) have to play more often and B) start running.
Happy birthday! I gift you a few notes…
Moncada shouldn’t be sliding IMO. He hasn’t been awesome since being activated, but he has hit in nearly every game. He is starting to run a bit and he is hitting the ball better the past few days. I think he will be higher on this list in a week.
Gary Sanchez seems really high.
Gregory Polanco has no place in the top 100 – I am not sure he is top 150 right now. He is not even playing regularly.
I think around 75 is reasonable for Moncada, he’s likely to keep running hot and cold. Sanchez is head and shoulders above other catchers and plays almost every day – once his BABIP normalizes a bit he’ll no longer be a huge drag on AVG.
Fair point on Polanco, I thought I’d bumped him down a bit from last week but apparently not. He’ll continue to drop if he doesn’t get it together quickly.
I take back my Moncada love… after watching yesterday he is looking pretty rough. I was fooled by a few solid swings the other day, but he doesn’t look like he has much mojo.
Hey Kyle, any reason Aguilar would be that low?
Is it because you think he will fall off considerably from his current production, or will be reduced to part-time once Thames returns? Based on performance alone, he should be a top 100 hitter I would think.
Mostly due to the roster crunch in Milwaukee. If I were certain he’d play every day he’d get a significant boost.
Devers at #57 feels wrong. I have owned Devers all season and he has without a doubt been the hardest player to keep rostered. So many unranked CI outplaying Devers, sadly.
In a non-keeper, is Devers droppable despite his rank here?
I think the ranking here is inflated. I would have a really hard time keeping Devers in the top 100. His xAvg is .230, and he’s striking out 27% of the time. He’s 140th out of 160 qualified batters in contact % (9th overall in swinging strike %). He’s in the top 25 in out of zone swing %. He’s just not seeing/reacting that well to the ball in my opinion.
With this, plus the at bats I’ve seen, I’ve lost hope for the time being. I would imagine there is a better contributor for the interim on your waiver wire, and I’m not sure anyone is going to be snapping Devers up if you’d like to keep a close eye on him for later.
I dropped him for Lamb this week (series in Coors.) I guess I will stream the CI for the time being.
Other options are Cron, Adams, Bour. Not stoked on any of them.
Hard to argue with the numbers marsupial put forth – Devers is probably due for a substantial downward revision. Long term I still buy the talent though. Whether or not he’s droppable will depend on context – league settings, available players, etc.
Where am i at?
Knocking on the door. Plate discipline and long-term playing time outlook give me pause.
I agree with Krakken, Polanco shouldn’t be on the list. Question, should I dump Lucroy for either Molina, Stassi or Murphy?
I’d be good with swapping him out for Molina. Stassi’s a good option but more of a short-term play since he’ll be out of a job once McCann is healthy.
Considering cutting ties with Jonathan School in a shallow ten teamer. Any optimism for a turnaround?
Realized this was from earlier in the week a min a go before I typed the body, also happy birthday my guy.
out completely; Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop, Gregory Polanco, Domingo Santana just to name a few. I have had 0 shares of any of these guys over the past 3 seasons. Very boring players, impossible to trade even when they are playing above their heads. Ok I lied I think I had some sprinkles of Domingo 3 years ago. I think you and I both know that we could use 20 waiver wire pick ups ROS on 4 OF spots and outperform this sad lot.
Very surprising to me Andujar isn’t on the list, seems like a top 60-80 guy before this week, certainly have him somewhere in Shaw territory now. I disbelieved Tommy Pham to begin with but if you like Tommy Pham in the 20s you’ll love Leonys Martin in the mid 50s.
I see 3B as a position of reflection right now, Suarez, Andujar, and Candelario are getting sneaky close to some early round choices in terms of production and ROS perceived volume.