Every week during the season, we are releasing a list of the best batters in fantasy baseball that’s designed to be similar to Nick’s list of Top 100 Starting Pitchers that comes out each Monday. Our objective is to give you the most current rankings of who we see as being the top 150 hitters league-wide for the rest of the season. They take into account expectations going into the season and production to this point—as well as recurring trends and streaks—as a way of analytically extrapolating who http://pitcherlist.com/the-list-724-ranking-the-top-100-starting-pitchers-every-monday/will bring you the most fantasy dividends throughout the year. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from batters for all of 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.
Note: These rankings have been made with H2H 5×5 12-teamers in mind.
Here’s 8/2’s edition of Hitter List:
- Let me begin by saying Ben Gamel and Bradley Zimmer are the next guys up for inclusion on the list. They are doing extremely well of late, and I want to mention them as possible fliers even if I don’t yet throw them on the Top 150. Gamel is batting .313 with 56 runs and 36 RBI, yet lacks in power and only has six homers over 332 at-bats. Not great in the latter two categories, consider, but he is still retaining value. Zimmer, meanwhile in 209 AB, owns a .282 average, 30 runs, 37 RBI, eight jacks and 13 steals. He is tearing it up for Cleveland despite the late start to the action, and he seems like a cross-category stud even this early in his career. Food for thought.
- Manuel Margot is another honorable mention. I dropped him out of the rankings last week, but I’ve also brought him up in some Batter’s Box articles. He’s one of those bubble guys who’s solid but fluctuates in consistency. He batted .391 with five runs, three homers and seven RBI over the last week. He’s one of the hottest adds in fantasy right now, even if his counting stats are on the lower end due to DL time. Worth a look.
- Anthony Rendon, Jonathan Schoop, Eric Hosmer are all surging. Wouldn’t want to face any of those guys in the playoffs.
- George Springer and Zack Cozart both departed to the 10-day DL with quad injuries this past week. In Springer’s case, he’s eligible to return Friday with the handy retroactive clause the Astros would be able to take advantage of, while Cozart is becoming a durability concern with the nagging and recurring nature of this injury. Springer sees a slight dip based on a little lack of clarity as to whether the August 4 reactivation will indeed transpire, while Cozart drops more because he will be battling the chance of re-aggravation even when he’s back on the 25-man Reds roster.
- Mark Trumbo also should not be gone too long. He experienced back tightness but a ribcage muscle strain is what officially landed him on the DL. He’ll miss approximately the better part of one more week, and he’s still a decently valuable power guy despite a recent slump prior to the injury. Matt Kemp is on a very similar timeline with a hamstring issue. Akin to the treatment I’m giving Cozart with his chronic proneness to injury, Kemp’s seen a demotion that will require significant upticks in production upon returning to rebound from.
- Ian Desmond, I’m sorry that I jinxed you, sir. I remarked last week that he seemed to have shaken off the old calf injury to start playing well again. What do you know, he’s since re-aggravated it and landed back on the DL. Tough break for the Rockies to have to deal with this, but it’s not like the outfield isn’t stacked right now even in his absence (in part due to a resurgence by Gerardo Parra and the fresh emerge of Raimel Tapia).
- It’s been re-emphasized that Starlin Castro has no certifiable timeline for return to the Yankees. We’re learning rapidly that injured hamstrings, calves and obliques can be super obnoxious to rehab, so New York could be playing it conservative to prevent a flare-up from a premature return. Either way, time is a-wastin’ as the fantasy season flies by, so his stock is unfortunately dwindling as a result.
- Chris Owings, it was a fun season, my man. A finger fracture from an HBP has relegated him to the 60-day DL, and the only way he plays meaningful baseball again this year is if the D-backs can sneak into the playoffs as a Wild Card. He is now fantasy irrelevant.
- Yoan Moncada’s call-up was highly anticipated both in real-life baseball and the fantasy realm. He’s off to a slow start and is not even in the conversation for being a fantasy starter. He is 100% a dynasty add while he acclimates to the majors, but I’d stay away from him for the time being in classic roto. As far as new talent, however, keep an eye on Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers. Getting good vibes from what he’s done while hitting the ground running. With Dustin Pedroia going to the DL and Xander Bogaerts struggling of late, the Boston infield needs a boost and Devers has provided it in recent games.
- Making a fresh appearance on the Hitter List are Melky Cabrera (127), Evan Gattis (136), Odubel Herrera (138) Lucas Duda (139), Mallex Smith (146), and Maikel Franco (150).
- Cabrera has been like the Yadier Molina of outfielders this year: quietly killing it and yet not as widely owned as you might think. He went and enjoyed a 4-5 night as a member of the White Sox against Cleveland only to be rewarded with a trade to Kansas City, where he’s essentially put Jorge Bonifacio out of a job. Great late-season addition if you need some depth at OF.
- Gattis, despite the timeshare with Brian McCann, is still a catcher I like right now. He went .333 this week and has three homers over the last two weeks. Probably still a streamer backup C given the playing time issue, but he’s producing when he’s there.
- Herrera has found his stride for Philly of late. I like for him to continue having an outstanding second half.
- Duda can thrive in Tampa Bay, too, as it appears. He’s had some DL time, so his accomplishments have also been unfairly shrouded in obscurity, but he’s a 20-HR guy who batted .368 this week. Not too shabby.
- Smith has killed it in Kevin Kiermaier’s absence. Average is more than decent at .287, but the 16 steals are truly what set Smith apart from the pack despite lacking in meaningful power.
- Much like the Desmond curse, me praising Franco will probably anger both the karma gods and the fantasy gods. But the stats are looking better recently even though the season as a whole will register as a disappointment, based on where expectations were for the Phillies’ 3B. He’s 12-50 with six runs, three HRs and seven RBI over the past 15 days. I don’t trust him enough to start on a daily basis, but he has streamer appeal once again.
- Falling out of the Top 150—with their previously held rank in parentheses—are the aforementioned Chris Owings (91), Scott Schebler (113), Jorge Bonifacio (133), Jonathan Villar (134), Josh Bell (147), and Dexter Fowler (150).
- Schebs is dealing with a nagging shoulder injury on the DL now, but he had a really excruciating July at the dish. He’ll be sitting out of the rankings while he rehabs and gets his mind right as well.
- Just when Bonifacio’s stock seemed to be surging, Kansas City acquired Cabrera and it looks as though Bonifacio’s playing time is now in question because of it. He could get the occasional start in either OF or at DH behind Brandon Moss, but his door of opportunity is a bit less ajar now.
- Villar hasn’t done anything of note in a hot minute. Mired in a slump when he even gets playing time on an otherwise excellent Milwaukee team, I don’t need him taking up space on my roster.
- Bell had a rough 2-15 week. If he could bump up his .247 average slightly, I feel as though his fantasy value would take on more collective value since none of the counting stats are weak but they also don’t have the pop you hope for. Still a solid backup, but he admittedly has spells of inactivity.
- Fowler was last week’s intended No. 150 although a glitch in our document snuck Hunter Pence in there erroneously, but Fowler is back on the DL with a wrist strain after struggling mightily immediately prior. So he’s gone anyway, alas.