Right when the season started, I wrote a piece where I gave my predictions for who I thought had the best shot to lead the league in each of the 5 main hitting categories among guys drafted outside the top 100. As we all could have guessed, I did not get them all correct. Using the same NFBC ADP data, I wanted to see which players outside the top 100 are actually leading in each main hitting category at the end of the 1st half. I also wanted to include how my picks stack up to the competition thus far.
.349, 1st in MLB
With a .349 1st half batting average, McNeil edges out Cody Bellinger’s .336 mark for the best in all of Major League Baseball. Not too shabby for someone going nearly 250 picks after the MVP frontrunner. McNeil has been a rare bright spot for the Mets this season, and quite a surprise to fantasy players. What he lacks in the power department he has been making up for by being a wonderful source of hits and contributor to team batting average for fantasy owners.
My Pick: Eloy Jimenez (ADP: 111)
.241 batting average = 125th in MLB
23 SB, 2nd in MLB
Wait a second, I got one right?! I won’t lie, when I wrote my original piece I figured I would go a cool 0/5. Among my picks, I thought Mallex had a pretty good shot at leading the pack among guys outside the top 100. When he was briefly sent to AAA, I admittedly panicked and thought this one would blow up in my face. But fear not! Mallex rebounded among his return to the MLB, at least in the SB department. His 23 bags trails just Adalberto Mondesi (28) for the most in the league.
My Pick: Mallex!
69 Runs, Tied for 4th in MLB
With 69 runs scored, this pair trails just Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, and Cody Bellinger in runs scored in the first half. Not bad company to be in. Devers and Bell have been been two of the game’s biggest breakthrough players this season and have been lots of fun to watch mash. Bell has been rewarded with his first All-Star game appearance, and Devers has been rewarded with plenty scoops of ice cream. One of these guys also happens to be leading the entire MLB in runs batted in.
My Pick: Matt Chapman (ADP: 102)
59 runs scored = tied for 21st in MLB
Runs Batted In
84 RBI, 1st in MLB
After knocking in 62 runs in 148 games last year, Josh Bell has already knocked in a whopping 84 in 88 games this year. Saying he has been on an absolute tear this season would be a severe understatement. Bell’s 60 extra base hits has passed Albert Pujols for the most XBH in the National League in the first half of a season ever. Bell has knocked in 13 more runs than the 2nd place man, Mr. Cody Bellinger. I previously described Bellinger as the MVP frontrunner, so what does that make Bell then? He’s 1st in RBI, 1st in XBH, 5th in HR, 4th in OPS, and T4th in runs scored. Bell has got to be the first half Fantasy MVP, especially when you consider his ADP compared to Bellinger and Yelich.
My Pick: Nomar Mazara (ADP: 153)
49 RBI = 51st in MLB
30 HR, tied for 2nd in MLB
Big. Meat. Pete. ‘Lonso (Long) Ball. The Polar Bear himself. Pete Alonso has been sending baseballs into orbit this year. He also just happened to win the Home Run Derby by defeating Vladdy Jr. in the final round. Aside from just mashing home runs left and right, Alonso has been a complete hitter for the Mets this year. His .280/.372/.634 slash line has fantasy owners drooling at the mouth. His 30 long balls trail just Christian Yelich for most in the MLB this season. Aside from being tied for 2nd most HR, he is also tied for 3rd most RBI, has the 6th best OPS, and the 7th best WAR. I’d love to see someone smash 50 homers this year and Pete could absolutely be the guy to do it.
My Pick: Mike Moustakas (ADP: 137)
25 HR = tied for 7th in MLB