One final point: At this stage of the season, specific needs and schedules mean everything! While I may rank one player a tier or two higher than another, there are more reasons now than ever to ignore such a gap in the late tiers if you’re after a specific stat.
- From here on out, you’ll see a +2 to +3 shift for all players due to injured players that were dropped deep down the list.
- Daulton Varsho’s ability to steal some bases may eventually convince me to put him in that top tier of catching with Will Smith and Adley Rutschman.
- Nick Castellanos was heating up in a big way over the two weeks before he went on the IL with an oblique injury. He’s eligible to return today, though I haven’t seen any news that gives me an idea of his timeline.
- Willson Contreras could come back at any time, in theory, and the MRI he got last week suggested things shouldn’t be too bad. He could drop further if we find out he’s out for more than a few more days or so.
- Jorge Polanco should return this week, but more importantly, we need his power to return. Until I see that, I’m going to slowly keep moving him down.
- Oneil Cruz has been cutting the strikeouts a bit and it’s helping him show off his extreme toolset. As you can see in the rolling chart below, his strikeout rate and wOBA are closely connected (unsurprisingly) and when he stops striking out over 35% of the time, good things happen.
- A slump plus an injury pulls DJ LeMahieu down the list, and any setback will drop him further.
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hasn’t been awesome and now he’s hurt.
- I’m not sure what to make of Lane Thomas but he’s hitting well on a bad team. He’s mostly a contact guy who probably would struggle a bit to hit 20 home run power in a full season, but if he keeps up the improved plate discipline, he could be rather draftable next season.
- Spencer Torkelson is looking like a much different hitter than in his first tour of duty and it’s something I’d watch closely. He was one of the best college hitters of the last decade.
- Nothing Elvis Andrus is doing makes any sense and I don’t trust it as far as I can throw it (which is not far because I’m not strong). Feel free to scoop him up in whatever format but I’m dropping at the first sign of struggle. Historically, he can’t keep a 25-game wOBA for very long. Also, I’d note that in the below chart the reference line is his cumulative wOBA over that span, not the league average.
And now, once again, it’s time for the Hitter List: