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Ok, so technically it’s the first post of the Top 100 Hitters series, and I’m calling it Week 2. That preseason Top 100 was essentially the same minus a few changes for injuries, but that’s what this week is for! And besides, how different could your team really look after just eight days of baseball?

Wait, don’t answer that. I’m in the ‘Perty ‘Perts league with Grey and as of Sunday night, April 9 he’s already made 17 adds. So…maybe it is massively different. Maybe you drafted at the beginning of March and succumbed to the Ian Desmond, J.D. Martinez, Jason Kipnis, Martin Prado and Alex Dickerson (?) injuries all in a three week span. Although, if you own Martin Prado and play in an RCL you probably feel a small sense of shame for the negative pub he gets on our Podcasts and articles. Unwarranted? Maybe, but I mean, who doesn’t love a 1-cat player that’s average only. What do we call that? An AVAGNOF? Sounds too Russian for me. I’ll pass.

Unleeeeeeess I’m in need of a boost in the next week or so, in which case an AVAGNOF (and no, I don’t predict that sticks beyond this post) is a far better option than the sexier names like Joey Gallo, or the potentially drafted options in Danny Valencia and Eugenio Suarez. So, who else fits the Martin Prado mold? The person who preceded him in Atlanta and is still the superior version of him at 34 years young.

(Note: Each week I’ll highlight a player owned in <30% of ESPN leagues. This player may or may not be on the Top 100 below, but they’re either a hot hand to insert into your lineups, someone on the verge of breakout, or a prospect about to answer the call that is worthy of the stash.)

  • Yunel Escobar, 3B (8.1% owned) – Now, I gotta pump the brakes on the fun of the last few paragraphs, because while Yunel’s primary value is his high average, hitting atop the Angels lineup he’s also in a great position to rack up the runs. Well, anyone that hits in front of Mike Trout should contribute there, but someone with a hit tool like Escobar’s is at a big advantage. He’s a .284 career hitter who hit north of .300 each of the past two seasons. Don’t expect him to be this year’s Jake Lamb, but while you’re waiting on someone like Anthony Rendon to stop sucking hard, go ahead and drop that pitcher you took in the 21st round two weeks ago and get Yunel into your lineup. 8 runs in the first week of action may be a little too much than what you can expect, but there are many paths to him doing it often.


Now, enough of the lesser-owned options, let’s focus on the Top 100 Hitters for this week. There aren’t many differences from the initial post aside from the injury switches. There have been less than seven games. SEVEN GAMES. The weeks and months of thoughts that went into the preseason rankings haven’t drastically changed in just seven days. Haha, now 14 days? Maybe. More changes coming next week, but look for the injury drops to Desmond, Sanchez and Martinez. Don’t agree, THAT’S WHAT THE COMMENTS ARE FOR!

Note: These rankings are considered ROS Trade Value

[email protected]’s Top  Hitters

(Rankings based on 12-team Roto. GREEN indicates player rising. RED indicates player dropping.)

Rank Name Pos Team
1 Mike Trout LAA OF
2 Mookie Betts BOS OF
3 Jose Altuve HOU 2B
4 Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B
5 Kris Bryant CHC 3B/OF
6 Nolan Arenado COL 3B
7 Bryce Harper WSH OF
8 Manny Machado BAL 3B/SS
9 Charlie Blackmon COL OF
10 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B
11 Trea Turner WSH 2B/OF
12 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B
13 Josh Donaldson TOR 3B
14 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B
15 Joey Votto CIN 1B
16 Corey Seager LAD SS
17 Carlos Correa HOU SS
18 Starling Marte PIT OF
19 Brian Dozier MIN 2B
20 Edwin Encarnacion CLE 1B
21 Ryan Braun MIL OF
22 Carlos Gonzalez COL OF
23 Rougned Odor TEX 2B
24 Nelson Cruz SEA OF
25 A.J. Pollock ARI OF
26 Robinson Cano SEA 2B
27 Wil Myers SD 1B/OF
28 George Springer HOU OF
29 Daniel Murphy WSH 1B/2B
30 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS
31 Francisco Lindor CLE SS
32 Trevor Story COL SS
33 Jonathan Villar MIL 3B/SS
34 Hanley Ramirez BOS 1B
35 Jose Abreu CWS 1B
36 Giancarlo Stanton MIA OF
37 Kyle Seager SEA 3B
38 Christian Yelich MIA OF
39 Andrew McCutchen PIT OF
40 Justin Upton DET OF
41 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B
42 Alex Bregman HOU 3B
43 Mark Trumbo BAL OF
44 Gregory Polanco PIT OF
45 Ian Kinsler DET 2B
46 DJ LeMahieu COL 2B
47 Matt Kemp ATL OF
48 Yoenis Cespedes NYM OF
49 Todd Frazier CWS 1B/3B
50 Khris Davis OAK OF
51 Adam Jones BAL OF
52 Kyle Schwarber CHC C/OF
53 Chris Davis BAL 1B
54 Buster Posey SF C/1B
55 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B
56 Eric Hosmer KC 1B
57 Carlos Santana CLE 1B
58 Joc Pederson LAD OF
59 J.D. Martinez DET OF
60 Jackie Bradley BOS OF
61 Adam Eaton WSH OF
62 Ian Desmond COL OF
63 Jonathan Lucroy TEX C
64 Stephen Piscotty STL OF
65 Evan Longoria TB 3B
66 Brad Miller TB 1B/SS
67 Keon Broxton MIL OF
68 Matt Carpenter STL 1B/2B/3B
69 Aledmys Diaz STL SS
70 Jason Kipnis CLE 2B
71 Dustin Pedroia BOS 2B
72 Miguel Sano MIN 3B/OF
73 Albert Pujols LAA 1B
74 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF
75 Lorenzo Cain KC OF
76 Jose Bautista TOR OF
77 Adam Duvall CIN OF
78 Gary Sanchez NYY C
79 Jean Segura SEA 2B/SS
80 Jose Ramirez CLE 3B/OF
81 Billy Hamilton CIN OF
82 Troy Tulowitzki TOR SS
83 Justin Turner LAD 3B
84 Eduardo Nunez SF 3B/SS
85 David Dahl COL OF
86 Marcell Ozuna MIA OF
87 Jake Lamb ARI 3B
88 Byron Buxton MIN OF
89 Odubel Herrera PHI OF
90 Dee Gordon MIA 2B
91 Michael Brantley CLE OF
92 Hunter Pence SF OF
93 Mike Napoli TEX 1B
94 Victor Martinez DET 1B
95 Jay Bruce NYM OF
96 Willson Contreras CHC C/OF
97 Javier Baez CHC 2B/3B/SS
98 Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B
99 Dexter Fowler STL OF
100 Kevin Keirmaier TB OF

And again, something we’ll include each week this year is the honorable mentions. The next five in.

101 Maikel Franco PHI 3B
102 Dansby Swanson ATL SS
103 Tommy Joseph PHI 1B
104 Ender Inciarte ATL OF
105 David Peralta ARI OF

 A few notes I’m pondering on for next week that may be helpful in the lead up:

  • Nolan Arenado could easily jump Kris Bryant. I love that Bryant runs and has the OF eligibility, but Arenado could lead the majors in HR and RBI this year while batting .320. It’s small tinkering, but worth noting.
  • Odor and Murphy may rise, while that #39-#43 window may fall. I think Upton and McCutchen bounce back, and Rendon could once again get to his ceiling of those 2014 numbers, but guys like Polanco, Trumbo, Khris and Kemp should be above.
  • Speaking of Khris and Kemp…both of them have it in their bats to get into the Top 20. If Kemp’s really inspired in his childhood favorite team’s digs he could end up being a massive value this year based on where he was drafted. And then there’s Khris Davis. I’ll give him 4:1 odds that he’ll lead the AL in home runs by the end of the year. That’s better than the 50th best hitter, most likely.
  • Lastly, two of my favorite young guns are Aledyms and Benintendi. Watch for them to rise throughout the year.


Follow [email protected] on Twitter at @matthayes for far more than just fantasy advice.

  1. price is wright says:

    Would you trade Bird and VV for Dahl?

    12 team 6×6 league that has k/9, QS and OPS

    • @price is wright: That’s tough. Probably depends upon if there’s another option at SP you could pick up to replace VV that can at least give you great QS. VV is the most dependable of this trio, somehow.

      All that said, I’m not sure that Dahl ends up that much higher than Bird, and VV with the K/9 gives a little boost. If you have depth for Bird and VV, go for it.

  2. Peter says:

    Would you drop Max Kepler for David Peralta? Thanks in advance.

    • @Peter: Personally, yes. I’ll probably get blasted for that, but I’ve never been super high on Kepler. Yet.

      • Peter says:

        Awesome, made the swap. I’m with you regarding Kepler.

  3. whitekenyan says:

    Kendrys Morales? Home games in Toronto are going to be a good fit for him this season. He should be in that Pujols/Napoli/V-Mart range.

    • @whitekenyan: He’ll likely make his way into this next week. Didn’t make many changes from the first one, and I was hesitant on him to start the year, but that was a few weeks back. I really do love his power potential as an Edwin-lite.

  4. PED Inc says:

    Odor should Bautista you for putting him below some of those names.
    Thanks for the rankings buddy, that’s the only one that really sticks out to me, Segura seems low as well, all that did does is hit and steal bases.

    • @PED Inc: Thanks for the read and comments! Agree. Odor will likely be higher, especially with another hot week (I’m lower on him than others at Razz because his low OBP gives him a drop off floor).

      However, Segura won’t rise for me. Not yet at least. I think last year was his ceiling, he won’t repeat the power and he settles back to a Top 10-15 SS rather than a Top 5.

  5. Pousse-Pousse says:


    …but seriously: are Tommy Joseph and Eric Thames in straight (or close to) platoons at this point? I’m in a shallow league and need to know if these guys are going to play every day or not–if not, they’re going to the curb! Thanks!

    • @Pousse-Pousse: All the lolzzzzzzzz…so…sleepy…

      Haha, it’s been brutal to watch. I really think he can still have a productive season, but he just can’t connect on anything. He’s defintely in line for a drop next week. Out of the 100 that is.

        • Pousse-Pousse says:

          @[email protected]: Thanks. I can tolerate slumps, but not loss of playing time.

          I own Buxton in my money league, too, and am going to hang on for a couple more weeks. Still have some hope, but I can’t remember watching worse at bats since I played high school baseball.

          • @Pousse-Pousse: Same here in a $ AL-Only league. Traded $19 Hosmer in his last year for $15 Buxton with a possibility of three years left this offseason. REALLY want it to work out.

  6. dcarroll18 says:

    No love for Solarte this week? I was looking at him as a Trea Turner fill in, but I’m starting to have second thoughts after checking out your rankings. Appreciate your fantasy prowess!


    • @dcarroll18: Go get him. I’m a fan of Solarte. At the top I wrote about not changing the rankings much from the preseason because we’re only 7 days in. I don’t know that he’ll creep into the 100 yet, but for a fill in he’s a great option.

  7. Chris says:

    Trea Turner officially on 10 day DL.

    Need a 2B, here are my options in a 12 team 5×5:
    Marwin Gonzalez
    Cesar Hernandez
    Jorge Polanco
    Joe Panik
    Jed Lowrie

    I’m leaning Marwin just for the multi-elg and the hot streak.

    • @Chris: I’d actually go Panik or Polanco and pray Turner’s leg gets better fast, haha. But in a 7 day window just take the best matchup against the worst SP each day if possible.

      • Chris says:

        @[email protected]: Sadly only 5 moves a week and I’ve already used 2. I started leaning polanco, so I’ll go there!

        If turner’s leg doesn’t get better I’ll have to trade.


    • Pousse-Pousse says:

      @Chris: Ew. Mondesi’s not available? I’d take him over those guys.

      • @Pousse-Pousse: I do like the possibility of Mondesi and his running, but he’s not tearing the cover off the ball, either.

  8. Sun Tzu says:

    Love seeing Peralta get a mention. I think he can have a Christian Yelich kind of year at a fraction of the price tag (and without the irritating childish looks).

    I’m guessing we’ll see Manny Margot make his way up the list this season. I think he could be a .260 15/30 guy hitting atop the Padres lineup. He’s a guy I’d much rather roster than a boring old vet like Napoli just to see if there’s additional upside in there that presents itself as soon as this year.

    • @Sun Tzu: I’m a fan of Peralta. Not sure that he can reach Yelich’s numbers, but no reason to think he can’t repeat 2015 when he was really valuable.

      And yes, Margot will make his way to the list. 15/30 may be a little aggressive for this season, but it’s definitely in the cards for him.

      And, oh Napoli. I cringed making that initial rank. We’ll see. Could still get to 30 HR again tho.

  9. toneDEAF! says:

    Nomah?! Mahzarah!?!

    • @toneDEAF!: Haha, he’ll make his way in there. Especially after that monster first week. I really want to see him do something, though, because the talent didn’t match the stats last season.

  10. Quintero says:

    Javier Baez cracking top100. Didn’t see this coming. Own him on my dynasty league. Would love to know what’s your projection for him. Thanks!

    • @Quintero: I think he’ll flirt with 20/20 this season. He was double digits in HR/SB last year in much less time than he figures to get this season. I love the positional flexibility and the lineup. He’s going to be streaky, but as the season goes on he can carve out a regular role that leads to a .260/70/20/75/20 line. That’s optimistic, though. We’ll see where he ends up next week.

  11. CUBS WIN CUBS WIN !!! says:

    in a 12 team al/nl h2h weekly points league – 1 for a K would you pick up Y escobar and drop kepler my other OF are pscotty odubal polanco and calhoun my 3B is K seager. thx for your help !!

  12. TommyL says:

    Not a Mazara fan?

    • @TommyL: I am, but was really hesitate coming into the year. His talent’s enormous, but the production didn’t quite match it last season, especially with the power. That first week, tho. Goodness. He’ll crack the Top 100 next week.

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